Cheap vs Expensive Cameras: iPhone XS v. $5,500 v. $600

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Photographer, Tony Northrup, looks at digital and printed photos and tries to guess whether they came from a $5,500 D850 camera, an iPhone XS, or a $600 D3400 camera.


Bruno F says:

I love it how Tony got into CSI mode and quickly found all the features to differenciate between the 3 photos. Good video!

Britton Woodruff says:

I would love to see this comparison done between three ages of camera like the Nikon d800, d810 & d850 with the same lens, a Sigma 85mm 1.4. I’d really love to know if a beginning portrait photographer can get good results with these setups. Granted, I understand photography, lighting and shutter v ISO v aperture trade offs, but I’ve not got much experience shooting. I can, however, edit pretty well. Thoughts?

James says:

Please test and review the new iPhone 11 Pro three lens camera .

Glenn Martinez says:

Outstanding! Worth content…l am working my way thru your course and love taking a break to watch your videos…keep them coming….

The Pondering Minimalist says:

Tony totally destroyed those pics..A smartphone snap always comes out over-saturated, blown out & smoothened..

confuzler says:

and this is for the case where you have great light conditions and a steady subject.
Include movement and low light conditions to the equation and all of sudden phones become almost useless.

Nicolas Martin says:

The best purpose for an iPhone cam is to take a panoramic in a bar to post to Google Maps. But the tech companies (including Sony) will pass the stodgy old camera companies soon enough.

longliveclassicmusic says:

Seriously? You could have AT LEAST chosen a picture taken on the $600 camera where you didn't miss focus. Don't blame the lack of more focal points. You missed focus because YOU missed focus. Entry level cameras are not THAT inaccurate with focusing. They may be slightly less accurate than a D850, but you can still get virtually tack sharp pictures relatively easily even with a 9-point AF. And if you actually USE an APS-C regularly, you learn your camera's individual focusing situation by feel and rock slightly backward or forward after focusing to get the subject dead center in focus. But don't take one photo with an APS-C, wildly miss focus, and try to tell me “it only has 9 focus points. 🤷🏻‍♂️” That is ridiculous.

Joachim Hennrichs says:

When I saw the sample pics I first thought the iPhone X(s) portrait was shot with the wide angle lens (although Chelsea said otherwise). Therefore I made the test myself (following @Stephan Wiesner's motto: "Do not believe – try it!" ;-)). And I apologize and confirm Chelseas findings: The iPhone portraits shot with the 2x lens are indeed distorted compared to 35mm and 50mm (AF-P 18-55mm kit lens) on a Nikon D5600. And much more detail and better skin tone with the Nikon. The iPhone Xs camera is really capable for a lot of situations, e.g. landscapes under good light conditions; also auto HDR does really work well when the contrast is difficult. But kind of comforting that a DSLR does still has it's advantages over the iPhone cam!


Before or after 60 minutes of editing?

Sör James ITS A CHOICE says:

Quality matters & and great gear makes Better pix ☑️

Admiral Akbar says:

That moment when even your sleepy teen daughter notices the iPhone is the worst lol. iPhones aren’t that bad if you’re not an actual photographer, they’re fine if you just want something small and portable to take decent pics with.

Mason Onemine says:

Always buy the gear you need. if you dont need a DSLR for your type of photography then do not buy it. however silly me is obsessed with the soft blur and the natural detail that you get out of a dslr, so much so that I can immediately tell if a photo is taken from an iPhone or a DSLR, even potrait mode. Just run and gun type of street photography will work great on your phone, maybe even better as it will be fast and convenient, but other than that DSLRs still take the cake. even that old ass D3600 was better than the iPhone in my opinion and that was just one category of photos and Just ONE photo and it was black and white. that said, I think this was a horrible comparison. you dumbed down the DSLRS by alot.

Michael Laing says:

Generally I think the lens makes more of a difference than the camera to most people. The sensor will make more of a difference in low light situations. The iphone was easy to work out, as was the D850.

One thing that would be interesting to see would be an older lens of a particular type vs a newer lens, of the same manufacturer vs the best in class. So a good example would be the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 ai-s, vs the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G vs Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 Otus (or you could do the 3 Zeiss versions the 85mm f/1.4 Planar T, 85mm f/1.4 Milvus, 85mm f/1.4 Otus, which would give an interesting result).

Hector Abreu says:

i noticed too 😂

Ron Scibilia says:

Give the iPhone the equivalent of a 50mm prime and then compare. Obviously a camera with a very wide angle lens is at a disadvantage shooting portraits; of course the Xs has a "telephoto" lens too, why wasn't that used?

Johannes Getzner says:

not even considering the image quality you can tell from the focal length alone, which photo was taken by which camera
pointless experminent if you ask me

jeffisso says:

The question (answers) "Which one do you like?" Is different from the question "Which one is the best?". I liked the D3400, I thought the D850 was best. The judging criteria for determining the answers is different. The answer to the first question is personal, The answer to the second question which one is best, is technical.The D850 Photo had much more detail but I didn’t like the lighting. On the D3400 I like the lighting better

2yoyodog says:

…..test was only for a head shot…..OK, if that's all you shoot

cedrix57 says:

To do awesome photos with 5500, do you have to be a pro and know how to adjust all settings or is it ok if amateur?

AJNAL777 says:

Yes do another. DSLR to Mirrorless

Marcus Antonius says:

Let's be honest, the iPhone portrait was garbage! The D3400 however was good enough imo.

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