Remember the Chicago newspaper that replaced its photographers with the Apple iPhone camera?
To see how this experiment was faring, a Tumblr account was set up called SunTimes/DarkTimes to show how the paper's photographs had deteriorated since the paper made the change. But perhaps there is one quick and dirty example that shows what happens when you replace years of experience using professional equipment with someone whose photography experience is posting pictures of his lunch at Arby's on Instagram.
The other day, just days after Lebron, Dwayne and Chris hoisted the Larry O'Brien trophy for the second straight year, the Chicago Blackhawks lifted Lord Stanley's Cup. Take a look at the front page photograph in the next day's Chicago Tribune, which was snapped by a professional photographer using a dedicated camera. The picture is bright, full of excitement and shows why NHL players put their bodies through the punishment of a long season. It's all just to get the chance to touch the Stanley Cup. Now look at the Chicago Sun-Times. The front page picture, which was probably taken using an Apple iPhone by the reporter on the scene, is dull with no action and no excitement.
We would like to paraphrase Jurassic Park's Dr. Ian Malcolm once again. Just because you could fire 28 professional reporters with tons of experience and replace them with iPhone totin' reporters whose expertise is with the written word, doesn't mean that you should.
Comparing the work of a professional reporter with an Apple iPhone packin' reporter
source: Tumblr, DaringFireball via TUAW
1. FlushGordon (unregistered)
Even with heavy post processing, you can never improve the look of a smartphone photo....Sun Times must've received Apple money for this lame marketing stunt.
29. Mobilephile (Posts: 82; Member since: 25 Nov 2012)
Looks like somebody caught the Apple Ego syndrome, shame
2. FlushGordon (unregistered)
1st pic : Taken with a wide-angle lens, prolly used ISO 6400 to freeze motion under poor lighting OR used a strobe to offset the illuminating background (hard to tell)
2nd pic : AUTO MODE *clickity click* ....that's it LOL
This is just the epic -est FAIL decision ever from a publication company
3. xperiaDROID (limited) (Posts: 5577; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)
One word to describe Sun Times : UNPROFESSIONAL.
6. Timmehor (Posts: 599; Member since: 09 Mar 2013)
I think what they are trying to do is create an edgy and an "on the field", "there in the moment" look whilst reporting. It's a total fail.
4. alterecho (Posts: 1085; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)
why didnt they issue the 808 pureview for the reporters instead??
7. raunak (Posts: 505; Member since: 12 Oct 2011)
I don't think they even know what a 808 pureview is, but still, the main problem is that those reporters are not professional photographers and not iPhone is not good enough. But that would help, yeah.
5. Timmehor (Posts: 599; Member since: 09 Mar 2013)
Spot the difference. So stupid to replace pro photographers (I mean really?!) with iPhone 5 wielding reporters who have 5% of the knowledge of a pro photographer. iPhone 5 does not = pro journalist/photographer!
8. Sniggly (Posts: 7115; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Yeah, I figured that would be a bad move. I just didn't realize HOW bad.
9. MartianMe (unregistered)
10. Edmund (Posts: 656; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
If I'm not mistaken, the chicago sun-times is what people in the UK refer to as a "tabloid rag" (paper). In other words, cheap and nasty photos fit the sensational headlines.
11. Leo_MC (Posts: 551; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)
Well, if the pictures taken by iPhone - which is amongst the best camera phones out there - are so bad, every other phone-taken pictures are bad as well and one can conclude that a camera on a mobile phone is just a gimmick.
But that simply is not true.
15. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 864; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)
A camera on a phone is not a gimmick when taking pictures of your loved ones at the park. It becomes a gimmick when you're trying to pass it off as a professional piece of photography equipment.
For example: you take pictures of a wedding with an iphone to post it on facebook but you hire a professional photographer to shoot and make your wedding album. It's just unprofessional and insulting that the Chicago Sun-Times did this and thought their readers wouldn't care or notice.
23. Leo_MC (Posts: 551; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)
Isn't that the same with humongous devices like Note, One or Z?
It's OK to use them as toys but when in need of a phone - iPhone-size phones are better; when in need of a big screen - Surface or a ultrabook are better.
Your argument will be valid only when Playboy will use mobile phones to make it's pictorials; until then, a NEWSpaper is all about the news.
27. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 864; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)
I argued nothing about the size of the phone. Just because a phone is larger does not make the picture better. Which is why my biggest pet peeve in the world is people taking pictures with tablets when they have a phone in their pocket that takes the same quality picture. It's stupid and pointless. People like that deserve to get the tablet smacked out of their hands.
But I digress.. There is a whole field of study and a profession called photo journalism. A newspaper is about the news and sometimes a picture says a thousand words. Reading about the what's going on in Syria and Egypt doesn't give it the same impact and harder to imagine without the pictures behind it. The famous picture of Tienanmen square is 10 times more powerful than any words describing it.
If it really is about the news as you say I prefer having no picture than a badly taken one just for the sake of having one.
30. Leo_MC (Posts: 551; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)
I wasn't talking about the size of devices either, i made a parallel.
If you want good pictures, use a SLR; if you want big screens, use a effing tablet and stop asking for sh*t devices (like Note); a phone is to be fit inside a trouser's pocket not in a backpack.
12. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1627; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)
Well Chicago sun times I think we have successfully demonstrated you need to fire your director as well
13. Giggity (Posts: 147; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)
Meeting at Sun Times
Managements: What's the reception of our iPhone photography?
Staffs: Not good, boss.
Managements: What?!? Did you Instagram those photos?
Staffs: Um.. No
Managements: Well, from now on, for every photos taken with the iPhone, Instagram it !!! That gotta shut people criticism up.
14. Timmehor (Posts: 599; Member since: 09 Mar 2013)
Those sepia and vintage filters will sure clean up the crappy quality photos!
16. HASHTAG (unregistered)
This definitely made me Lol. Can't believe they actually went this direction.
20. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1242; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
This actually makes the iPhone look bad. Technically it makes any smartphone look bad. The camera modules in our phones are only a few dollars and is no replacement for professional cameras costing thousands of dollars. Let's stop pretending that phones can replace dedicated cameras. Nokia can pound their chest all day but if you want the best camera buy a dedicated camera made for the job.
Would anyone respect a professional photographer if they took pictures with a smartphone?
22. Whateverman (Posts: 3224; Member since: 17 May 2009)
It's funny how many fanboys here made this into yet another iPhone vs Android, vs 920, 925, 808 flame war, when it was never about that. It was about how rediculous the idea of replacing pro phototgraphers with a phone was. The first picture is something a kid would cut out and tape to their wall, the second look like a funeral. That would have been the case no matter what phone was used... Yes, even the EOS.
24. roscuthiii (Posts: 1838; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)
The reporter with the iPhone should have used the fish-eye filter.
"Everything looks cooler through a m@#$%r f!@#$%n fish-eye lens!"
25. Karriope (Posts: 95; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)
I believe the real problem demonstrated here is not that a matter of equipment, but that the Sun Times' reporters dim't know how to take a good photograph. At all.
26. GeekMovement (Posts: 1505; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)
They should have just closed the company when they realized that they couldn't afford the professiona photographers anymore.