When an iPhone does the job

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Shadow Grass and Gravel Road appear in a concert at The Floyd Country Store last year. Created with a Canon C100 professional video camera, a GoPro action cam and an iPhone 6S Plus.

Shadow Grass & Gravel Road appear in a concert at The Floyd Country Store. A compilation video shot with a Canon C100 video camera, a GodPro action cam and an iPhone 6S Plus.


For most of my professional life as a photojournalist, I usually always carried a camera — often  a 35mm film single-lens-reflex or, in the last 25 years or so, a digital SLR with a 24-70mm zoom.

Over the last couple of years, however, my “camera” is an iPhone, which can also shoot high definition video.

Increasingly, newspaper, magazine and web-based reporters also use their smartphones as a tool to capture news or feature photos and/or short videos.

Times have changed.

Photographers for the New York Times and National Geographic shoot entire photo spreads for their publications with iPhones.

In the last year, I have shot more than a dozen front page photos for news and feature photos with my trusty iPhone.

The current iPhone can zoom, shoot video in slow motion, and produce images that can be processed with Photoshop or current professional video software.

News documentaries often mix footage from an iPhone or a GoPro action camera  with scenes shot with larger professional cameras to produce a final product where the footage produced by a phone cannot be determined by the viewer.

In 2015, Tangerine, an indie film about transgender prostitute, was a surprise hit and winner at the Sundance Film Festival.  It was filmed with an iPhone 5s.

Television commercials now use iPhone footage, including this one for Bentley luxury automobiles.

I still use Canon digital SLRs with interchangeable lenses to shoot most of my assignments for news and feature use along with a Canon C100 video camera and/or a Panasonic newscam for video but footage shot by cameras for still use and other for video may also have shots from an iPhone or a GoPro or some other small, inconspicuous camera.Yes, times have indeed changed.

Yes, times have changed.

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