Photigy : Studio Photography Where Passion Meets Profession

iPhone vs Hasselblad: Are you still thinking about buying a new camera?

One of the photos below came from a Hasselblad camera and medium format digital back and another from an iPhone 5S. Which one?

 

iphone-vs-hasselblad-studio-shot-example-2

iphone-vs-hasselblad-studio-shot-example-1

 

Now, watch this video:

iPhone vs Hasselblad, a studio photography joke:-) 

 

Here is the lighting setup for the iPhone:

iphone-vs-hasselblad-studio-phootgtrahy-1

 

and the Hasselblad H1 with Leaf Aptus digital back:

 

iphone-vs-hasselblad-studio-phootgtrahy-2

 

 

What is The Right Answer? Click here to see

This shot was captured with the iPhone:

 

iphone-vs-hasselblad-studio-shot-example-2
It had some post-production (a video will be posted later), it’s usual for any studio shots we do.
To make thing clean, here is the unprocessed, un-sharpened 100% crop of the iPhone 5s shot:

 

iphone vs hasselblad studio photography test
The iPhone has a wider lens than the one I had on the Hasselblad (120mm HC macro), and it is evident. However, the image quality at web size is almost as good as the one from the Hasselblad.

What is the conclusion?

Enjoy your camera and learn how to get 110% out of it’s capabilities before upgrading it :-)
~Alex Koloskov

 

If you want to check the original TIFF iPhone file yourself, you can download it here after login (it is free to register):

Download TIFF File

 

For the reference: this this below was done using Cambo Ultima D view camera with wide angle lens and Leaf Aptus DB. See how different this glass looks like, on the corrected perspective distortions with tilt/shift movements.

 

Product Photography Lessons: Smoke

 

 

 

More about this shot:

Getting Creative in Product Photography: Video Tutorial of how to photograph smoke

Lighting I’ve used for the shot:

Entry-Level LED Lighting for Studio

iPhone 645Pro camera application:

iphone-vs-hasselblad-studio-shot-645pro

 

Update:
Watch a post-production of this iPhone image here: iPhone in-studio shot: retouching in Photoshop (real image quality)

33 Responses on iPhone vs Hasselblad: Are you still thinking about buying a new camera?"

  1. udi says:

    Lol at so many negative comments. Nobody is arguing against the superiority of Hasselblad/Zeiss over an iPhone. What this exercise shows, is that the latest crop of smartphones can crate images with great impact. Does technical perfection matter more than the effect on the viewer? I doubt it.

    Sure, for that billboard or Gallery print or just for the fun of it, use some other equipment, do some serious post processing etc. The fact remains, that a phone can now produce some impressive results.

  2. Chet says:

    Alex,

    Great example. Except for the haters above, the example is perfect and gets your point across!! “It’s not the camera”.

    Two question regarding the view camera image: is that real smoke or Photoshop smoke and the other is the water line on the right, it first looks like the edge of the glass is tapered in as the real edge sort of disappears. Do you see that or is that just my iMac?

    Love your site…

    Chet

    • Photographer and Editor says:

      The differences between these two photos are night and day if you’re really looking for them.

      If all you want is a website usable image then you could probably get away with the iPhone image. If you want to use the images in print then the iPhone photo would need a LOT of editing just to make it usable.

      Easily seen differences:
      * The iPhone photo is taken from a different angle entirely.
      * The Different angles and light speeds cause noticeable light refraction
      * Banding and artifacts are clearly seen in the iPhone photo

  3. keith says:

    Yeh try printing both on A3 and see what comes up best then.

  4. Patricio says:

    Let’s not kid ourselves, we all know that iPhones never equal the quality of full frame or medium format sensors paired with best glass, no matter how good the photographer is. A picture is about 75% photographer, 25% equipment.

    I’m watching this on a 27 inch iMac screen, and the difference is huge between both shots. The top one has huge banding and artefacts, it looks at most made with a entry level DSLR with kit lens. The second pic looks far cleaner and sharper.

  5. Bryan says:

    I would like to know if it is real whiskey are the ice cubes made of glass? thank you for showing this interesting and simple setup.

  6. Seb says:

    Very easy. You can see lots of banding in the first one, the bassi wouldn’t do that. Also, its web resolution. Pretty much every camera out there on the market would look like the bassi in these resolutions .. Its starts to matter when it comes to print, and thats what counts.

  7. Hasselblad, iPhone, or any other brand of camera can be used for product photography.
    The wise words from Alex in the last part of the video make me believing that the secret is not the camera.
    A camera only freezes the image, and off course there is a big difference in quality, but the photographer makes the shot by a creative, original setup.
    Photographers choice for composing and placing the light-setup is the difference between a perfect and a good shot.
    Thanks for sharing this video Alex.

  8. JonathanWilson says:

    But to be fair, with so little dof in play the result is always going to be similar, at least for small web results. As you mention in one of your replies, its never going to scale to billboard sizes, but its quite amazing just how far it will scale in print with clever software (and to a lesser degree with all the hidden things most PC/Mac printer drivers do to “upscale” the final print) my old canon g2 (4 meg) could print quite reasonable a2 prints from the pc, but produced horible results with a professional print service and required pre-working the files to a larger size with special software to get the same “visually acceptable” quality of result.
    Worse still when I moved to SLR it took me ages to get used to the clarity of the results as it took time to get used to every error of composition, every slightly missaligned DOF, etc; which was shown in stunning detail and sharpness viewed “full screen…” there is something slightly comforting visually wise of lower end cameras causing a “soft focus” look when printed.

  9. Doktor says:

    Nonsense we are looking at a very contrasty image with only one very saturated colour. This proofs nothing.
    This is like playing one note or one beat with a stick on a trash can and say its the same as a 10000$ drum

  10. Cristi says:

    Why the iphone screen is off when you shoot?
    Unfortunately even if this image is real for studio, in real life situations iphone quality is crappy.

    • Cristi, it was not off, it was dimmed because it was dark in a studio (the only light I had was behind the phone), and brightness got adjusted automatically.
      Real life – what do you mean? Studio is a real life for me, I live there :-) As for outside, check my other posts about phone photography: http://www.photigy.com/iphone/

      • Cristi says:

        I see that you’re using 645pro which might help, but i was referring to those natural light situations (if it’s a little dark you can’t do anything anyway) when you don’t have a camera with you and you have to use the phone. Maybe the people from facebook don’t care about the crappy quality but you know that having a dslr was a different story. In my opinion the photos taken with the phone looks good only on the phone.

        I’m not thinking to buy a new camera because i have a 5D and the next major level would be medium format but i’m not thinking that iphone is good for photography either. I would love a camera that is small, good quality in any light, some decent dof, and always on.

        • David Swann says:

          Hi Cristi,
          I’m commercial/fashion/architectural shooter, and my wife, Susan R. Thompson does my post-production work. She also does pretty incredible iPhone work. Take a look: http://www.thezenofiphone.com/

          While she does her iPhoneography as personal work, she’s also had her iPhone images (both interpreted and realistic) used as full page magazine ads, as well as actual billboard images. some were studio images, but most were location shots. She has agencies calling when they want a “contemporary” look for a young market.

          Alex is still correct, and he admits the quality difference is obvious. But my point to you is the same as Alex has described: iPhone images aren’t always “crappy”. His work is far from standard also.

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