Family Holidays ~ DSLR or iPhone???

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: July 16, 2013

Category: General

Hi Everyone,

Today I thought I’d share just a few pictures from our week away on the Greek Island of Skiathos but also pose a question…

Now you’d likely think that being a photographer I’d be taking my camera with me but to be honest most times I go away with my wife I rarely if ever do. In fact 99% of the time I just rely on my iPhone and that’s because:

  • It’s less to carry
  • Its ALWAYS with me
  • Less to be concerned about losing

And probably most importantly….

  • Not wanting to get carried away taking photos; I’m away with my wife after all πŸ™‚

So, for this holiday this is exactly what I did…used ONLY my iPhone and gave myself a task of only editing the photos using Photoshop Touch and/or Snapseed.

Now here’s the thing…

I think most of us recognise that nowadays a lot of photos are taken with mobile phones but I have to admit it was only this past week away that it really hit me exactly how BIG a deal this is. You see in the whole week away I reckon I saw 1, maximum 2, people using dedicated cameras to take photos…the vast majority were all using their mobile phones. I guess the reasons for this are kind of similar to the reasons I decided to only use my iPhone…convenience, and for everyday stuff this is perfect.

Oh and another thing that worked seamlessly was having the Creative Cloud. Photographs taken with my iPhone were initially tweaked in Photoshop Touch which was connected to my Creative Cloud Account where I created a folder (Skiathos 2013) meaning they were then instantly available on my iPad and Computers for later…very slick πŸ™‚

I Wonder…
What about you? Are there times nowadays when you rely on your mobile phone whereas before you would have taken your camera gear or has this changed nothing?

I know for myself there are times now when I find myself taking photographs that I wouldn’t have done so before because I have my phone with me ‘all the time’, and this I think is GREAT!

More Photographs = More Memories πŸ™‚

Have a fab Tuesday and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow.


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  1. J.R. Maddox

    I dont like taking my big camera around to be honest. I love it for studio work but find it really hard to carry and pull it out while on vacation or at the zoo you name it. I did however take it with me to the zoo this last Friday. Im not going to lie. I got much better shots but I was tired of lugging it around. So out and about I take photos on my iPhone. Im going to have to sync that up with my Creative Cloud now that you mention it…

  2. Bob Bell

    Bang on mate. I’m currently on holiday in Florida and did a few days in New York beforehand. Although I’ve brought my DSLR with, I’ve ended up using it about 3 times. Just so much easier with my iPhone and I can take more in and actually enjoy my hol.
    If I’m honest, I hate getting my camera out in public as its so big and seems to draw a lot of attention. I’m even toying with idea of investing in a compact now, as I’m a bit ocd about the quality of iPhone pics on a bigger screen. They still rock though!

  3. jlua

    You ask “DSR or iPhone?”. For me it is neither. For vacation travel, for me it is a compact camera, because the iPhone screen is very difficult to see in sunlight, and because I prefer the flexibility of a good compact camera when I see a good opportunity, which happen, even on vacation. iPhone photography for me is exclusively for situations when I donΒ΄t have my camera with me. But when I am on vacation, I like to be able to take really good pictures when the situation arises, and I am comfortable doing that only with a dedicated camera, even if it is a small one.

  4. ramin

    I’m extremely used to carrying my DSLR with me everywhere, but our last long vacation to the US showed me that the gear is quite heavy. In planning our upcoming trip I was dreading the amount of gear I was planning on taking with me. All this, until I finally decided to take the plunge and buy a P&S. Sure, an iPhone is great for many situations (and I do use it a lot), but I still want something resembling a real camera with me. And in this case the little P&S (a Fuji X20) will have to serve.

  5. Nick McClelland

    Nice one Glyn. I had been thinking about this for the family holiday next year as well and mentioned it recently on my twitter feed. Seriously reckon I’ll just get a better phone. Was thinking about getting a new compact but after your post and the one Will aka wilgenix had posted I’m not convinced it’s worth me spending any more hard earned cash on that front. My trusty D7000 is always there when I need it. The next dilemma now is android or iPhone – another debate, always something πŸ˜‰

  6. Steve H

    I’ve recently been forcing myself to use the iPhone whilst out and about. With a trip to Venice (Italy) coming up in September I’m torn about which route to go. Compact (Canon G11) or iPhone – rather than the full SLR kit. On a visit to Egypt three years ago I took the G11 and had no regrets at all. In fact the articulated screen actually helped with street photography. With the camera pointed at the subject I would pretend to be looking in another direction, but use the flip out screen (often at right angles) to see what I was really looking at. Worked a treat.

    From my recent experience with the iPhone, the two big negatives for me are the limited battery life and the need for an iPad or Laptop to off load the pictures. On the plus side you only need one charger/cable combination with country adapter (if going the iPad route). As with most things technology related. It’s not just the main bit of kit that is the immediate problem. It’s all the ancillary stuff. Cables, connectors, batteries, storage etc.

    Oh, and don’t forget about insurance and airport security hassles!

  7. Hetta

    Very nice! What Apps do you typically use?

  8. Mitchell Prout

    You absolutely nailed it. I feel ever since i upgraded to the iPhone 5… i have depended on the camera in it more and more at family type events.
    I of course, like anyone should, realize it’s shortcomings, but i think that as a photographer you must learn to work within what you have to work with. Along side of snapseed and photoshop touch. (i’d add a cheap-o app Camera+ to the mix) and you’ve got tools that you can make work for you.
    I can honestly say that in my “portfolio”, i’ve got 2 photos that i took with an iPhone…. and often enough, if i didn’t tell someone… they’d never know.

  9. Keith Hammond

    I used to take the big guns everywhere, holidays, city breaks even just wandering around London for the day. Now they only come out for gig shoots or if it were to be a special one off type trip to some far flung place.
    I much prefer either my little Oly EP 1 or as you my iPhone.
    I’m interested to know if anyone prints their iphone pics, if so what size can you get them up to before they look rubbish, i suppose you could run them through a few filters blow them up real big and call them “arty” πŸ™‚

  10. Jonathan Thompson

    Great article.

    I find I’m less & less likely to carry a big DSLR around now I have the iPhone 5. In fact, recently, the only cameras I’ve felt some excitement about are more compact models with small interchangeable lenses, Even with them, I’d always have my phone with me for those occasions you just want a snapshot of my wife & I. We haven’t been on a proper trip for some years but when we do, I want to make sure I have those photos printed out, not yet sure how well the iPhone photos look printed, but I’m sure they’ll be fine on a muti image layout per page kind of deal. The phone is always a great way to have fun, put a DSLR in front of people & they freeze, iPhone, they go nuts, winner, winner chicken dinner πŸ™‚ Phones are also great for behind the scenes snapshots too.
    Smart phone battery life is an issue but something fairly easy to work around.

    So my future plans will be DSLR for working photography and dedicated photo days, small compact like the Canon EOS M for creative moments on hols & iPhone for always being there for just about anything.

    Right, now where are those holiday brochures? πŸ˜‰

  11. Todor

    I would have loved to have taken my dale to Cyprus to do some stock etc but know that it would have been impractical when having two young children in tow. Not to mention all the other bits and pieces to go wit it. So I opted for my trusted compact, a couple of film cameras and my iPhone.

  12. Todor

    Sorry DSLR not ‘dale’! iPad predictive text!!!

  13. Mike Rodriguez

    Currently, I predominately use the DSLR. Thus far, I’ve been pretty stingy (read: cheap) when it comes to phone quality, so the camera on it is pretty low-grade. So, I don’t use it much. I do have a phone with a much nicer camera that a friend in the industry gave me, but so far I haven’t been inclined to pony up the $$ and activate it as a phone. So, while the camera still works, it operates basically as a small tablet requiring a wi-fi connection, and I don’t carry it with me as often, since it would require caring that and my phone. Having said that, we’re off for lunch with friends in a little bit…I think I’ll leave the DSLR at home and take both “phone” devices. πŸ™‚

  14. DaveT

    As I use my holidays as an opportunity to travel, I always try and plan my trip to somewhere I want to photograph. And because I want to be able to make the most of the image making opportunities, I use a DLSR with a couple of lenses, flash gun and remote, and on some trips with dusk shots in mind, that also means taking along a tripod.

    Yes, its a ‘clat’ sometimes, but I couldn’t live with myself knowing I have been somewhere great and was limited in the opportunity to get images that I want.

    IPhones are very capable, but for me they are too limiting (at the moment).




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