How the iPhone revolutionized photography

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iPhone photo shoot
Fashion photographer Georges Antoni uses the iPhone 7 Plus on Portrait mode to photograph Margaret Zhang for the June cover story of Elle Australia.
Photo: Bauer Media Australia/YouTube

iPhone turns 10When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, no one imagined that in 10 short years it would become the world’s most popular camera and herald a new era of visual communication.

Yet we are witnessing the death of point-and-shoots, the explosion of massive social networks devoted to pics and videos, and the rise of perhaps the most popular photo style of all time — the selfie.

Just consider that we are expected to take 1 trillion pictures this year alone. That’s a million million photos.

Here’s a brief overview of some of the ways the iPhone was transformed photography forever.

AI-powered iPhone photo storage device never forgets a face

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No Wi-Fi, no cloud with this iPhone photo and video storage solution.
No Wi-Fi, no cloud with this iPhone photo and video storage solution.
Photo: Fotofami

You’ve heard my speech from the soapbox: Backup your iPhone photos. A little device called Fotofami couldn’t make it easier.

In fact, it’s shaped like a little thin box that will travel well in a pocket. It works by getting to know the faces of family and friends in those pictures while fiercely defending them from the reach of hackers.

This case adds more lenses to the iPhone 7 Plus

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The iPhone 7 Plus plus six more lenses with the SHIFTCAM.
The iPhone 7 Plus plus six more lenses with the SHIFTCAM.
Photo: SHIFTCAM

Maybe the iPhone 8 will be great. But a product called SHIFTCAM has six reasons why you should keep or maybe upgrade to the iPhone 7 Plus.

The SHIFTCAM is a protective case for the 7 Plus that claims it is the first to feature a 6-in-1 dual lens, greatly expanding the view of the 7 Plus’s wide angle and telephoto lenses.

This rugged case turns your iPhone into a GoPro [Review]

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The Hitcase Pro 2.0, shown with a super-wide lens, is now available for iPhone 6, 6s and 7 on Kickstarter.
The Hitcase Pro 2.0, shown with a super-wide lens, is now available for iPhone 6, 6s and 7 on Kickstarter.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Yes, the iPhone can shoot pictures in the same places as many pro-level cameras. But because the iPhone lacks pro-level durability, you may not bring it on your most rugged adventures.

Hitcase’s latest product should ease your mind and let capture your most extreme imagery ever.

How to shoot iPhone video like a pro

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iPhone video tips
Learn all you need to know to get the most out of your iPhone's camera.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

While iPhones have pretty much replaced standalone video cameras, they don’t offer the same level of polish that a dedicated video camera or DSLR produces. It’s true that “the best camera is the camera you have with you,” but you can almost always spot a video shot on a phone.

The quality gap isn’t purely due to the lenses and tech within our phones, though. Bad habits make plenty of iPhone videos look lackluster. To show just how good an iPhone video can be, I put all my filmmaking knowledge to use for the montage below.

Instead of using my $3,000 video camera, I picked up my iPhone. With a minimum of accessories, I managed to produce what I think is a pretty cinematic video. You can see the results below — and then I’ll give you some useful tips and tricks for shooting iPhone videos like a pro.

New iPhone 7 case makes ZEISS lens super-convenient

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This case by ExoLens will protect your iPhone 7 and sport a ZEISS lens.
This case by ExoLens will protect your iPhone 7 and sport a ZEISS lens.
Photo: ExoLens

Many photographers have been impressed by the picture quality from their iPhones when paired with the mobile camera lens attachments crafted by legendary optics manufacturer, ZEISS.

But some of the compromises can be daunting. The brackets, made by partner ExoLens, used for mounting meant being in the field without a protective case. With that, combined with a rather hefty chunk of glass, the handset suddenly becomes something difficult to stuff in your pocket.

Using these pro-grade lenses are now easier, at least for shooters carrying the iPhone 7, after ExoLens announced Tuesday a protective case with a quick-and-easy lens mount was available for purchase.

Aukey lenses good for iPhone photogs on a budget

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The Aukey PL-A8 Ora lens kit for iPhone 7 features both wide-angle and telephoto lenses.
The Aukey PL-A8 Ora lens kit for iPhone 7 features both wide-angle and telephoto lenses.
Photo: Aukey

Mobile photographers itching to expand their view beyond the fixed lens of the iPhone can find an assortment of attachments that vary in quality and price. And like their camera and lens forefathers, a high-quality lens generally comes with a high price.

There have always been exceptions to that rule and in the case of mobile photography lenses, the tech accessories company Aukey stands out as the best of the budget lenses for iPhone.

iPhone photog shoots gritty street scenes ‘from the hip’

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Shooting from the Hip is a collection of iPhone street photography by San Francisco's Scott Strazzante.
Shooting from the Hip is a collection of iPhone street photography by San Francisco's Scott Strazzante.
Photo: Scott Strazzante

Scott Strazzante may have named his upcoming coffee table book of iPhone photos, Shooting from the Hip, for the way he holds his camera near his waistline to surreptitiously photograph people.

But the title is also apt because his love for shooting with the iPhone began with an itchy trigger finger.

Lightroom Mobile’s new HDR mode means even better iPhone photos

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Lightroom Mobile from Adobe now has HDR to balance shadows and highlights in contrasty settings.
Lightroom Mobile from Adobe now has HDR to balance shadows and highlights in contrasty settings.
Photo: Adobe

Your iPhone photos can look more spectacular than ever, thanks to an update to Lightroom Mobile that brings an HDR mode capable of capturing three RAW DNG files.

We’ll explain all the acronyms in a bit, but here’s the gist: Adobe Systems’ popular image processing app can now capture the kind of rich photographic details you previously could get only with a conventional digital camera.

These iPhone lenses work the corners to deliver super-sharp images [Reviews]

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The OOWA Pro Kit for iPhone with case and two lenses, a 15 mm wide and a 75 telephoto.
The OOWA Pro Kit for iPhone with case and two lenses, a 15 mm wide and a 75 telephoto.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Screw the 15 mm wide-angle lens into the case, point your iPhone at breathtaking scenery and snap the shot.

If the experience made you say “Oo-Ah,” you will then know how to pronounce the name behind a pair of new lens attachments for the iPhone created by Singapore-based DynaOptics. The OOWA wide-angle and telephoto lenses for the iPhone 6 and 6s series were designed to create that kind of wonder, both in image quality and the sound your mouth makes while looking at your photos.