Ex-Google exec: People who care about photography own an iPhone

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iPhone 7 camera
Vic Gundotra thinks Apple did a "great job" with the iPhone 7 camera.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Every year, we see some fancy new Android handset try to challenge the iPhone camera, whether it be in sheer number of megapixels or some smart AI image processing technology.

However, Vic Gundotra, Google’s former senior vice president of social, says there’s only serious contender when it comes to making him replace his DSLR: the iPhone.

photos
A contender for Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” campaign?
Photo: Facebook/Vic Gundotra

iPhone camera: A DSLR replacement

In a Facebook post Sunday, Gundotra praised the iPhone 7 as “the end of the DSLR for most people,” and credited Apple with doing a “great job” delivering “stunning” images. If you think he wasn’t making a direct comparison to Android, think again! When called to defend the iPhone 7 against the Samsung Galaxy S8, Gundotra wrote this:

“Here is the problem: It’s Android. Android is an open source (mostly) operating system that has to be neutral to all parties. This sounds good until you get into the details. Ever wonder why a Samsung phone has a confused and bewildering array of photo options? Should I use the Samsung Camera? Or the Android Camera? Samsung gallery or Google Photos?

It’s because when Samsung innovates with the underlying hardware (like a better camera) they have to convince Google to allow that innovation to be surfaced to other applications via the appropriate API. That can take YEARS.

Also the greatest innovation isn’t even happening at the hardware level – it’s happening at the computational photography level. (Google was crushing this 5 years ago – they had had “auto awesome” that used AI techniques to automatically remove wrinkles, whiten teeth, add vignetting, etc… but recently Google has fallen back).

Apple doesn’t have all these constraints. They innovate in the underlying hardware, and just simply update the software with their latest innovations (like portrait mode) and ship it.

Bottom line: If you truly care about great photography, you own an iPhone. If you don’t mind being a few years behind, buy an Android.”

The idea that Apple is leading the way with its camera technology isn’t new. Nor is criticism of Android’s toxic hellstew of fragmented technologies. But when the criticism/praise (depending on which company you are) comes from a former senior Google exec, it’s probably worth listening to.

More upgrades on the way

For what it’s worth, the iPhone 8 is likely to get considerable camera upgrades. According to rumors, instead of positioning the iPhone 8 camera’s dual lenses side-by-side (as in the iPhone 7 Plus), Apple might move the zoom lens below the wide-angle lens. Well-known leaker Sonny Dickson’s alleged iPhone 8 schematic has shown the flash LED will be placed underneath both lenses. A previous leak suggested it would be positioned in between the two lenses.

Apple has also used machine learning to help improve photography through smart software, without requiring major hardware upgrades.

What’s your assessment on the state of smartphone cameras in 2017? Leave your comments below.

Via: Business Insider