We tend to nerd out about every last aspect of camera performance around here. After all, it is our job. But, Photographer Lee Morris was sick of readers on his site, Fstoppers.com, complaining that their lack of a high-end camera was preventing them from capturing great images. In order to quiet the complaining, he set out to make pro-quality images using the “worst camera” he could find. That just happened to be attached to his own cellphone, Apple’s iPhone 3GS.
Of course, as a professional photographer, Lee has a few advantages over the rest of the cell phone snapping public. His subject was a professional model and the light was provided by hot lights (modeling lights from Dynalite strobes) equipped with enough light-shaping accessories to make an aspiring studio shooter green with envy. Once the photos were captured, they were sent off to a professional retoucher in order to draw every last bit of quality out of the iPhone’s 3-megapixel camera. While it’s entirely impractical to expect anyone besides a pro shooter to be able to recreate this kind of result, it does take an interesting look at the boundaries of what can be done with a camera that’s intended primarily to take pictures of funny signs on the street to amuse your friends on Facebook.