Ricoh GR vs iPhone

One of the common observations regarding the Ricoh GR is that the whole concept of a compact camera seems obsolete — or at least redundant — in an era where we already carry a camera phone in our pockets. The dubt grows as we consider modern smartphones feature good quality cameras, thanks mostly to their software and processing power.

Ricoh GR II Positive Film

Physics tells us that bigger sensors and better optics will resolve more data and make good use of more light, but it seems we got to a point where this became just part of the topic. That’s because smartphones can only equip sensors and optics that fit into their cramped limited spaces, and their software has to manage making the images coming out good enough.

Ricoh GR II Positive Film

To some degree we can say the task of using software for compensating miniaturisation was successful. Starting with Nokia Lumia phones and continuing with modern iPhones, image quality became acceptable and in some cases even pretty good. Modern phones offer advanced and automatic HDR, multiple shooting modes, the chance of saving in RAW, a plethora of apps for doing sophisticated shooting and editing on the go and, of course, extreme ease of sharing. So, what is the role of compact cameras today?

iPhone 11 Pro (edited)

This post will be focusing on two major actors of this confrontation: the iPhone and the Ricoh GR II. One is the most popular camera smartphone, the other one is the most acclaimed digital pocket camera today, together with the Sony RX100 line. I think most of the considerations will also be valid for other phones and cameras bands and models.

I will try to answer the question I mentioned before: does a compact camera make sense today, if we already carry a good camera phone in our pockets?

iPhone 11 Pro (edited)

As usual with my articles, I will try to stick to my use experience and to practical applications of the objects I am writing about, instead of producing abstract reference material.

Some of the photos in this post were shot trying to compare the two cameras, but I will also drop in some random shots that are not part of a direct comparison.

iPhone 11 Pro (edited)

Comparing photos from the two devices proved to be quite hard to deal with, and that’s because while writing this comparison I gradually realized how different these devices are. Comparing a Nikon Z6 and a Fuji XT4, for instance, is quite easy. The same goes for every digital camera out there.

Smartphones though are different beasts. I will get into this later with more details, but for now let’s say that even deciding the terms of the comparisons was difficult.

Ricoh GR II Positive Film
iPhone 11 Pro in same location and time, just a slightly different point of view

I will make an example: the aperture on the phone is not variable: so, which aperture should I use on the Ricoh GR? One that gives me the same DOF as the phone? That would be crazy, because I would end up shooting the Ricoh always on the verge of diffraction and having to compensate for a very dark exposure by raising the ISO until the image is ruined. So, should I use the widest aperture on the GR, like the phone does? That’s better but the difference in DOF is so massive that it becomes hard comparing details apart from the in focus areas. Or maybe I should use the optimal aperture for the Ricoh (f4)? That also seems fair, but then I have to increase the ISO where I would normally keep it 1 stop lower (I mostly shoot the GR at f2.8). And so on.

In the end I tried shooting the GR the way I usually shoot it, that is, mostly at f2.8 and sometimes at f4, following the principle that this is not a scientific lab test but more like a report based on direct experience.

iPhone 11 Pro: notice the oversharpening
Ricoh GR II, jpg sooc with no effects. The details are less evident but they are all real. The DNG woul show even mode detail.
The iPhone creates the illusion of detail, while the GR II actually captures it. Keep in mind the GR photo is a jpg with no editing and low sharpening, and it has much less in focus at such a close distance.

Such issues pervade the whole comparison, so I ask you to kindly focus on the bigger picture and don’t enter the inviting labyrinth of method details!

iPhone 11 Pro
Ricoh GR II, no effects

Photos shot with the iPhone often look wonderful — if we don’t zoom too much. Apple and the other smartphone makers are calibrating their software for offering the best rendering perception on small screens, because that is where most of the photos shot with the phones will live on. Social networks, instant messaging, mobile friendly websites. These photos are intended to look fine full screen and in a portion of that small screen. The moment you zoom in, compromises become evident: compression artifacts, HDR compositing artifacts, over-sharpening. What looked like an impressive quality from a distance becomes a mediocre rendition once zoomed in. Sometimes, even a small zoom will do.

iPhone 11 Pro (edited with Lightroom CC on iPhone). I love this portrait, but a close inspection reveals how many of the details are lost because of noise reduction and aggressive sharpening

And we are not talking of being pixel peepers: an iPhone screen is smaller than a 15*10cm photo print, that is as small as you would probably print. So you must zoom in or watch it enlarged if you want to enjoy the photo at the same magnification level of a small printed photo.

This becomes more evident if you print bigger, let’s say A4, or if you watch these photos on a bigger screen, like a tablet or a desktop computer. I am still often impressed by the different perception of quality I experience if watching an iPhone photo on the iPhone and then on the iPad and Mac.

iPhone 11 Pro (edited)

Of course there are ways for improving the quality of iPhone shots so that they can work better in bigger screens and print sizes, but this usually requires shooting in RAW and doing some specific post processing, trying to balance noise reduction and local sharpening. It’s important to note that when you enter RAW territory you lose most of the native camera optimizations, and this is another very important topic of this post.

iPhone 11 Pro
Ricoh GR II, no effect
In this full size crop you can appreciate the difference in resolution and actual detail. Again, both out of camera jpgs with no effects.

Starting with the 13 Pro, iPhone Pro line offers a new “cooked RAW” format called ProRAW, which should include the native camera optimization and still give you more data. The noise reduction is still baked in the RAW, but it is possible to change the sharpening and other parameters. From our point of view, there is not much of a change: for avoiding all software artefacts you must use a pure RAW format.

iPhone 11 Pro turned the water greenish and over exposed the scene
Ricoh GR II Positive Film

By shooting RAW with a phone we lose what makes smartphone photos appear good — all the software magic. We are left with a photo we must manually edit for finding a compromise.

For this reason, in this article I am focusing on jpg photos, because shooting only RAW would stop the comparison here: the RAW files coming out of the APS-C sensor in the GR are orders of magnitude better than the ones coming out of the iPhone small sensor and lens, and with proper post processing we can make them crush whatever the iPhone can hope to produce in RAW without its software wizardry.

Ricoh GR II Positive Film

And the truth is in the end that most people will shoot with the native phone camera in a lossy format like JPG or HEIC, embracing all the software enhancements, applying a preset and posting on social media. If that’s the use case, can the Ricoh GR compete and does it make sense to keep one in our pockets?

Ricoh GR II Positive Film

One thing I noticed is that as light goes down, the iPhone software trickery helps — a lot. Shooting at night with the GR II means expecting lots of noise as we raise the ISO. The GR III with its IBIS allows for slower shutter speeds, if there is no major movement in the scene. But the iPhone can take care of movement to some degree, and its advanced image software pipeline can sometimes produce decently clean and usable photos where the GR fails miserably.

This is something to consider. With extreme low light, the only way to shoot the GR is in RAW and using some software like DXO PureRaw for improving the quality before editing. And results could still be disappointing.

Ricoh GR II Positive Film + LightPix FlashQ

That is if we don’t consider using artificial light, though: the GR has a built in flash (the GR III has not …) and can mount external flashes, so it offers an extensive set of choices for integrating and subverting the available light.

Ricoh GR II Positive Film + LightPix FlashQ

The iPhone flash is a toy if compared to the one on the GR, and especially if compared to external flashes like the LightPix FlashQ or another speedlight.

Elements of versatility like that are also what separates a real camera from a device that can also take photos. I won’t go deeper into this, but it is evident that if we bring the flash into the equation, the comparison between iPhone and GR (or any smartphone and decent compact camera) ends right now, with a victory for the compact camera.

iPhone 11 Pro (edited)

But what if we have enough light? Well, then things are also quite different. In this post I am including many photos, and even if they are resized they can still illustrate the reality behind this comparison. When necessary I am posting full size details.

In good or decent light, the GR produces more pleasant images, with more real detail, more true dynamic range, a more pleasant focus plane separation.

iPhone 11 Pro: this looks like a very nice quality photo when seen on the iPhone screen…
… but once more, zooming a bit reveals all the noise reduction and over sharpening.

At this point we can already give some answers to our question.

Using a Ricoh GR instead of an iPhone makes lots of sense if we are interested in having higher image quality and if we want to be able of zooming in the photo, cropping it or simply printing it big.

Ricoh GR II Positive Film. The portraits shot with the Ricoh GR II don’t suffeer from over sharpening or noise reduction.

All the software optimization in the iPhone is intended to offer the perception of a better image when consuming it on small screens. But at the same time, these optimizations make it possible to get decent photos in low light situations where the GR would suffer. I use the term “decent” because that is all you will get, and again, zooming a bit is enough for understanding all the compromises being made for reaching that “decent” status, even with the latest Night Modes.

iPhone 11 Pro
Ricoh GR II no effects
Ricoh GR II Positive Film

Finally, if we want to use flashes, then the GR is the only real choice, especially if we want to use external ones.

Let’s go on.

Another important element to consider are the ergonomics. This is a very subjective topic, so I have no illusion of giving you any final word about it — still, I will present you with my own experience.

Ricoh GR II (edited)

Shooting with the iPhone and the GR seems on paper quite a similar experience: we are using a big screen for framing, we have autofocus, we can shoot a photo with one hand. But this is not telling us the whole story.

The Ricoh GR is a camera with dedicated physical controls, developed with one hand usage in mind. It is possible to operate the camera with just one hand, reaching all the essential controls, holding it with a safe and comfortable grip. There are buttons and dials for instantly changing all the parameters you need to change, using just one hand, and it’s all customizable.

iPhone 11 Pro

The iPhone on the contrary requires us to mostly use two hands for holding and operating the touch screen, and there are no useful physical controls. We can set the volume key as shutter but it has no half way state and using it can create camera shake that is not present if using the onscreen shutter. The old Lumias did much better, with their real two states dedicated shutter button.

The autofocus on the iPhone is much better than the one in the GR. It sticks to objects, it recognises subjects like people, animals, faces. The autofocus on the GR II is slower and it offers basic face recognition only when we shoot in full auto. I only shoot my GR in center focus, so I do focus and recompose.

iPhone 11 Pro (edited). Another example: this looks very cool on iPhone, and everyone I’ve sent it to commented enthusiastically… but the image quality looks terrible when seen on a bigger screen or zoomed in, even if it used the Night Mode and I tried to save it with editing.

One thing to keep in mind when talking of autofocus is that the small sensor on the iPhone has a huge depth of field, while the large APS-C sensor of the GR has much less. This means that the autofocus on the iPhone has a much larger tolerance for missed focus, and this (together with the lower resolution output) contributes to the feeling of dealing with a magic autofocus that never misses a shot.

iPhone 11 Pro no edit
iPhone 11 Pro + Focos + Lightroom Mobile. The auto masking is not perfect, but harder to notice when seen on a small screen.

This is not very relevant for the final user, until we ponder upon the other side of this coin: having such a huge depth of field, the iPhone can’t do subject separation unless using (again) some software trickery. Now, if the auto HDR reached a usable status, the same can’t be said for DOF simulation. The iPhone has state of the art algorithms for this, and it still fails to properly mask hair, small elements, enclosed areas etc, so the final “portrait shots” are often comical and sometimes horrific. Unless, again, you watch the photo without zooming, in a portion of a mobile screen.

A solution for this is to use a dedicated app like Focos for shooting portraits with the iPhone, since it lets us simulate lens properties, improve the masking, etc. I like Focos very much and I consider it to be one of the must have apps for iPhone photography. But this process can easily become overkill and it can all be done much faster and better with Photoshop, if we don’t absolutely need to do everything on the phone.

Another example of iPhone photo simulating narrow depth of field using Focos app. RNI filters added to the pseudo vintage look.

On the GR we have better focus planes separation, even if you should not expect too much: in the end we are talking of an APS-C sensor mounting a 18mm lens f2.8 (equivalent to 28mm on Full Frame). But it still much, much better than the iPhone.

The detail created by the GR is real detail, while the one in the iPhone is coming from a software pipeline that is applying massive noise reduction and then intense sharpening, trying to bring back the detail was was lost during the denoising. What you get in the end is a photo that is not actually a memory of a moment, but more like an interpretation of that memory. How faithful is that interpretation being? Well, it depends, and we have no say in that. Many modern smartphones are applying software cleaning to faces, and we can’t turn that off. The iPhone is also having some mild “beauty” filter baked in. For me, this is the biggest downside of smartphone photography and the biggest argument in favor of digital compact cameras.

Another iPhone photo whose image quality seems great on a small screen and mediocre when we look at it a bit closer, as shown on the enlarged detail.

Smartphone photography has its own goals: to use software for overcoming miniaturization; to produce images that are pleasing when seen on mobile screens; to please the users with images that offer vivid colors, contrasty tones, automatic HDR. The faithful capture of reality was not and is not something that smartphone makers are preoccupied with. They want people to capture photos fast, easily and with results that are looking great – even better than reality – when seen on a small screen and shared on social media. That’s all.

Ricoh GR II snapshot of a villa I was shooting for job. The GR II is a great way for capturing visual notes that are faithful to reality and don’t introduce software guessing and compositing.

The GR on the contrary is a real camera, meaning that it tries to capture visible reality according to its own limitations. It is a proper tool for capturing light and there is no advanced software interfering and altering reality. Yes you can use filters but that is optional and something else entirely, it is a matter of stylistic choices, something that can also be applied with iPhone. I can shoot Positive Film with the GR or I can apply some RNI filter to the iPhone photo after I shot it, and that is just a possibility.

The iPhone Pro has the advantage of multiple focal lengths, but the quality of the “tele” and “super wide” sensors/lenses is worse than the main camera, so in my opinion they rarely make sense apart than snapshots.

The photos coming out from iPhone and GR each have a distinct identity.

iPhone creates photos that are usually brighter than reality, sometimes with a definite HDR look.

The GR I & II produce photos that have almost a film look, very detailed and yet not over sharpened, with real DOF plane separation, and of course we can use its signature effects like Positive Film and Hi-Contrast B&W, producing unique photos without the need of applyig filters with apps – a step that is common with iPhone shots, because they often look flat and boring out of the camera. Or should I say, out of the software pipeline.

My opinion is that both tools make sense.

Getting photos that resemble film is quite easy with teh Ricoh GR II, without needing to apply filters. In this case I just added some grain to the Positive Film.

There are times when we just want to capture a fast photo and we don’t care about how faithful it is to reality. Times when we want that easy auto everything. In such situations, shooting with iPhone is a pleasure.

There are also times when we want to capture reality as it is. When we want to have a much higher image quality. When we want to shoot with a comfortable one hand grip. When we want to use flashes. When we want to capture important moments and make sure they will look great in bigger screens, or printed, and so on. In these situations, the GR makes much more sense.

iPhone 11 Pro main camera
Ricoh GR II no effects
1:1 detail. Notice the oversharpening in the iPhone, even with a scene that has optimal lighting and the lowest ISO. The white balance is wrong in both photos: iPhone made it far too cold and Ricoh GR II far too warm!

I think it is possible to create interesting photography with both tools and I am not bashing the iPhone. On the contrary, I know well that spending some time in Lightroom CC Mobile, RNI Films, Focos, Lens Distortions etc can take an iPhone shot and make it less artificial and even pleasing. As long as it stays on a mobile screen. Watching it on the iPad is often already making it clear it is a “phone photo”. There are exceptions of course, but what I learned after years of iPhone shooting is that no matter how cool they look when seen on the phone, they will look like “phone photos” when seen on bigger screens or zoomed it.

iPhone 11 Pro. Its software is extremely efficent at detecting and enhancing textiles, fabrics and similar patterns, but the iPhone averaged the exposure with its HDR and gave us a pleasant but flat image.
The Ricoh GR II does not need software, it just captures reality as it is, and it also managed giving us a good approximation of the strong contrasts in the photo (bright sunny day outside, quite dark room inside)

The photos shot with the GR are looking like photos. The “phone” part is gone. Is this important for you? For your clients? That is up to the situation.

A note must be made about the jpg files produced by the Ricoh GR: their compression is quite high and this introduces artifacts that can sometimes degrade the quality. It seems crazy they didn’t include an option for saving as tiff or as jpg with low compression. To get the absolute most out of image quality you must use dng, though this doesn’t mean the jpg files look bad. While on iPhone the use of raw is actually taking something away from you (the automatic software enhancements), the use of raw with the GR is allowing for a higher image quality, because it bypasses the jpg compression.

iPhone 11 Pro. I tried capturing this photo a couple of times and it kept producing that weird noise in the sky and left part of the photo. Maybe the HDR had issues with the tens of seagulls flying fast in front me? The exposure is the usual flat HDR averaged one.
Ricoh GR II no effects. This image is a much better rendition of the scene. I could open the shadows a bit and have a perfect capture.

If I am shooting something important, something I care about, I tend to prefer using the GR. The iPhone is fun, fast and so on, but it is usually not what I want to use for recording something I really care for, or a shooting I planned, etc. And I just love the GR II’s Positive Film look so much!

iPhone 11 Pro main camera. The software went crazy with over sharpening and produced an unpleasant image. Zooming it reveals how all that detail is just coming from a crazy strong sharpening.
Ricoh GR II no effects. The camera managed to capture much more real detail, even if the close focus and the f2.8 gave us quite few DOF. I could have used an higher ISO and narrower aperture for having more in focus. Still, look at that pleasant rendition!

So yes, I think compact cameras make sense in an era when we all have a phone camera in our pockets – because they are not the same thing at all, and it becomes evident if we look carefully at what they are and what they do. They may seem “small cameras you can take with you in a pocket” but the way they capture reality is very different.

Ricoh GR II Positive Film. Some say the iPhone is best as a fast way for capturing scenes, but I often use the GR for this and it’s just as fast.

Smartphones approach to photography depends on their makers and how they see photography. Right now they see it as a way for feeding social media and giving instant gratification to users. There is no care for photography as a way for preserving real memories.

Another detail of villa architecture captured with the Ricoh GR II and its Positive Film effect.

Will this change? Hard to say. Software will always be necessary for overcoming miniaturization, and even if it will be tuned to being more respectful of reality, it will still be a software interpretation nonetheless.

The advent of AI will bring even more arbitrary interpretation into the way smartphones will capture reality. Skin texture will be guessed and enhanced or reduced. Eyes will be improved to approach hyperrealism. Clothing will be enhanced, and so will haircuts, food, makeup, who knows what else. In the end, we won’t be capturing reality, but creating photorealistic illustrations depicting an idealized version of what we experienced.

Ricoh GR II Positive Film

Since the small sensors and optics will not be enough, AI will step in and fix the issues by creating data that is simply not existing or with an unacceptable signal to noise ratio. I am not particularly enthusiastic about this future.

Some are thinking that cameras will survive only if they embrace AI and software, but I think it is the opposite: cameras can only stay meaningful and relevant if they offer a practical and high quality way for capturing reality as it is, in the most faithful way, without poisoning the images with artificial data and software interpretation.

Cameras are already doing their best for capturing reality as it is, so if this is important for you, they still are a better choice than a smartphone. No matter how old or limited a compact digital camera is, it will still tell you more truth than a smartphone.

28 comments

  1. Thanks for taking time to do this comparison, I have been waiting patiently for a while now.

    I really enjoyed reading it and the way it’s written. I also agree with you on most points.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Leon, thank you! I will update the post with more comparison photos at some point, and I will also probably extend it a bit by mentioning video. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Amazing. Thank you so much for writing this. I agree, it’s a really well balanced insight and great to see photos we can relate to. It must have taken an age to write. I use both for the reason you mentioned. I’m going to play around with rni films to see if I can get my iPhone pics to look a little closer to the colours/film look of the gr2. Man I love the gr2. So you have any tips? Well done again Andrea. Brilliant work – please keep posting

    1. Thank you very much Ian! The original text was longer but I did cut the part about video. I may add it back at some point, and I also want to add more photo examples and text about portraiture, because it is an interesting topic. I will send a newsletter after I update it!

  3. Thank you for a very well written comparison. I’ve just ordered the GR III Diary Edition and your comparison matches my thoughts on phone/camera merits. My previous Ricoh was the GXR kit.

    1. Hello Rod! The GXR was an amazing camera, sooner or later I will get one. And the Diary Edition GR III looks wonderful, I wish you to enjoy it! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. I used to own the original Ricoh GR (I) and, later the Ricoh GR II. I loved the sharpness of the lens and snap focus settings. I intensely. disliked the dust on sensor and inside the lens, and low light noise and low light focusing.
    As both iPhone and the GRII have the same focal length, it sometimes seemed like the GR didn’t give me much different.
    However I’m intrigued by the GRIIIx with the 40mm (equivalent) lens and optical stabilisation. I think with this (and the sensor dust removal function) the camera is enough of a differentiator to give me a reason to buy it.

  5. Thanks for this interesting article, Andrea. It resonates a lot with me. I use the GR II und iPhone 13 Pro. The latter I bought because I expected the camera to be really good. And as long as you watch the pictures only on iPhone screen, they definitely are very good. But only there. Seeing the pictures on the Mac for the first time was quite a disappointment. Especially the over sharpening gives a very artifical touch I don’t like.
    I prefer to have a bigger camera (like the Nikon D750) with decent glass, especially with difficult light conditions. But for snapshots and as a carry-on camera the Ricoh is very handy with an impressive image quality. And I like the positive film simulation a lot, as well as the b/w. So I still use the iPhone as a snapshot camera, when I didn’t bring the GR II. But I guess about 75 % of my private pictures (kids, daily walkarounds) are made with the GR.
    Very inspiring pictures in your article, and thanks again for many excellent articles on your blog, btw!

    1. Hello Ingmar! Thank you so much for reading the article and for your comment. It’s interestng to read that a more recent iPhone than mine is still offering the same basic results I described in the comparison. Your approach to the matters is the same I have, using the iPhone for random snapshots and the GR for photos that are more important. And bigger cameras for everything else! It’s good to use each tool for its own best scenario, when possible. Thanks again, have a good time!

  6. You make me fall in love with my Ricoh GR II again. I rarely take it out, but when I do I never regret it. Do you have some recipes that you can share with me so I can set it up. Loved the way how they look with the LightPix flash. I take a lot of photos at friends weddings, events, parties only as a hobbie. Giving a more personal POV to the event, and they happen mostly at night. I love the GR II because it has the flash, and hadn’t considered buying one. Would love to know how it works before buying it. Thanks Andrea.

    I stumbled in your blog a few months ago and I love it, great work.

    1. Hello Gerardo! Or Gerardi 🙂 ? I am glad you like the blog! The LightPix offers a very different experience compared to the GR II in-camera flash. The LightPix is more powerful, it can use small colored filters that allow for creative solutions, and most importantly it can be used off camera, so you can actually create nice volume rendering on the go, especially for portraits. I guess the next post could be about GR II + LightPix flash! I have no particular recipes, my camera setting are mostly the same I described in the GR II review, and I usually keep white balance on daylight so that all photos have the same wb and I get warmer tones in portrais. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  7. Hello Andrea, a really useful comparison between smartphone and camera. Thanks a lot for this detailed description. I am using digital cameras since 2001, full format since 2008 and a compact digital cam since 2016. All what you said isthe truth, twice and thee or four times.
    I do not like digital manipulation of pictures. As a journalist I do not manipulate pictures (only brightness and contrast as we already did with analogue film) and I think what iphones or android phones do is changing reality.
    Thank you very much for your detailed insights.
    Thomas

    1. Thank you for reading the blog and for your comment, Thomas! I think sooner or later all these technologies will arrive on dedicated cameras, as soon as the cost of cpus and gpus will be low enough for having an acceptable impact on the overall cost of the camera. When that will happen, we will start having cameras that will do lots of stuff on their own, using AI for correcting, deciding, altering and “improving” reality. I am not fighting against this, because we can’t stop “progress” and it is impossible to actually regulate some markets. So we can just wait and see what will happen. At some point I think cameras without AI will become like film cameras today — an object of passion for a small minority, while the majority will embrace the new way of doing things, just like we moved from film to digital because of the objective advantages. I don’t like this AI future but I I think it’s unaivodable. Weird times ahead!

  8. Hi Andrea, thanks for sharing amazing pictures with the gr II. Could you share your positive film recipe? It looks great. Many thanks

    1. Thanks for your comment! My positive film settings are still the same ones I described in the Ricoh GR II review. I may tweak them a bit depending on the scene, but most of they time I just keep them like that. Thanks for reading the blog!

  9. Excellent article Andrea! It’s very well written, and you figured out how to approach a difficult comparison. I was fortunate to buy a GR IIIx last week and I still use an iPhone 11, so this was very interesting to read with some great photos to illustrate your thoughts. It’s also amazing you’re hosting a refugee family. That’s so kind and generous of you to provide the hope and means for their freedom in this life. I can’t imagine what they’ve been through, and with such a young child. It’s still shocking to me that in this day and age of awareness that there are still wars displacing the innocent. Absolutely shameful.

    1. Hi Jaish! I am happy yu liked the article and found it interesting. It was quite a difficult comparison indeed, I hope I managed to at least convery the main concepts in a reasonable way.

      About my lovely guests, I felt it was the least I could do. In my job I work for extremely rich people, and they are all happily ignoring what is happening: they could donate so organizations, host people, contribute in meaningful ways to make life less of an hell for many Ucrainians. Even one people being helped is a lot! But they all think someone else will do, some abtract “others”, and they keep buying Lamborghinis and renting villas and ordering 30.000 euros custom Birkin bags (all actual examples). So I decided I had to do somethings, at least something, even if I am far, far, far from being anything that could remotely be called “rich” 🙂 It’s not easy, because everything costs more and I had to make some not easy changes in my life for accomplishing this, but I am glad that this beautiful 2 yo baby won’t have printed in her little mind the fact of living in a war country, and they all have everything they need when they need it. I hope this crazy invasion will end soon, that the war will end, and their beautiful country can be at peace and with a growing economy.

  10. Great article. When I read it I agree with almost all the points made but the photos seem to make the opposite argument. Even when you describe the phones shortcomings in most instances it would be close to a draw for me or maybe the GR would be slightly ahead. The difference would certainly not worth carrying another device in my mind. That said I’m walking around with a backpack stuffed with an R6 and a bunch of lenses. Still, I do believe I get much more separation from my iPhones quality there. The GR just seems slightly better to me. Not enough difference for me to carry it.

  11. iPhone 11pro is obsolete in 2023…
    It seems that my new iPhone14 finally caused me to stop using my cameras for anything casual (except planned photoshoot or events)

    1. Hi Sagi! I compared the GR II to the iPhone 11 Pro because it is still a very good camera phone and above the average in terms of photo quality. I know the iPhone 14 Pro quite well and tested it extensively, and most of what I wrote in my post still applies to it. That’s why I decided not buying it and waiting for the iPhone 15 Pro, even if I don’t have much expectations in terms of photo quality. I will probably get it for the video though.

  12. Congratulations for the work done and your generosity. There is also a comparison online between the images taken with the cheaper Canon S95 and the iPhone 12, the same considerations apply and evidently it is also a matter of taste. It is certainly too easy to shoot with a smartphone, while shooting with a camera requires knowledge of photographic technique to get the best results. Not only will photo acquisition software evolve in the future, giving more or less questionable results, but also post production software applications that will allow you to obtain great results with everything. The trouble is that today only expensive, high-end cameras are sold, whereas the cheaper but more valid ones would still have made sense to be widespread on the market.

    1. Hi Dominic, thanks for your comment! Your last sentence is quite true indeed. There is a sort of collective hallucination saying that smartphone took the place of everyday compact cameras, and so only expensive high end gear makes sense. In reality, a couple of tests prove that smartphones are not replacing compact cameras, they are just a different kind of compact camera, a kind that sacrifices image fidelity and quality for the sake of comfort. Camera brands are supporting (creating?) this hallucination, hoping to sell more high end gear, even to people that would have been happy with a good pocket camera. There are many ways the market could evolve, but right now this seems to be the one chose by brands. We will see! Have a great day.

  13. I appreciate all of the good observations on using IPhone and a DSLR camera together. The phone camera does well in situations where security is involved. I have moved to DSLR cameras in more open sites and fast moving sports events. Although if I had the disposable funds for developing film I would keep using my several solid, substantial SLR film cameras. I learned photography on those over 30 years ago. They just bring an aura of seriousness and professionalism to taking pictures.

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