If I were to have an iPhone Pro, this is what I would like as a photographer.
When Steve Jobs took the helm of Apple after his ousting, he made a four quadrant grid that focused on:
- Consumer laptop/ pro laptop
- Consumer desktop / pro desktop
Today, we got:
- Normal MacBook / MacBook PRO
- Normal iMac / iMac PRO
Why be a “Pro”?
Everyone today wants to be a “PRO”. It actually doesn’t mean we want to be a professional and make a living from what we like to do.
Rather, we want the status symbol of feeling empowered, and “pro”. To me, the word “pro” just means being great.
iPhone Pro dreams
I had the idea for iPhone Pro one sleepless night here in Saigon. It looks like MG SIEGLER beat me to the chase. But regardless let me share some ideas.
Why iPhone Pro?
Primo, the iPhone is the most popular camera in the world, and the most popular phone.
My prediction in the future:
Everyone will either just shoot with an iPhone, or a really high-end, expensive, digital medium format camera, or something like that.
Within iPhone, the rich are getting richer. I am one of the “new rich”– I can afford a $1,200 iPhone.
To be frank, I think dual lens is gimmicky. True innovation: fewer options. “Creative constraint”.
In photography, we are more creative when not using a zoom lens. A single (prime, Fixed focal) lens is ideal. For me, on a Ricoh GR II I use 28mm, the non-interchangeable lens, which promotes creativity. A wide angle lens (roughly 28mm default on iPhone) is good. Honestly, I think dual lens is gonna add a lot of anxiety to iPhone photographers, because they are always jumping between the both.
Don’t make it bigger
For iPhone Pro, just make one lens. No add ons. No silly case. Seek to subtract the superfluous, than add.
I’m not an engineer, but I wonder:
Just like the new MacBook Pro, can we make the iPhone Pro the same size and weight of the normal iPhone, but increase the image quality of the sensor, by not adding megapixels, kind of how Sony did with their a7s cameras?
Simplified UI for shooting (no RAW support)
This wouldn’t just be for iPhone Pro, but all iPhone.
The iPhone camera app is good, but can be simplified.
We don’t need a silly time lapse. Either hide that from the menu somewhere, or just eliminate it.
We don’t need a silly panorama thing– you cannot view a panorama nicely on a phone.
We don’t need slow-mo, another gimmick that distracts.
More powerful flash
iPhone Pro could benefit by having a more powerful flash. Personally I love my Ricoh GR because of the strong, integrated flash.
So maybe, figure out a way to increase the surface area and power of the flash for iPhone Pro.
Maybe increase the maximum brightness of the iPhone Pro display, so when you do a selfie and want to use a “flash”, you can make the selfies look better.
Instead of using software to emulate the look of “bokeh”– perhaps make the sensor bigger, to actually create more “depth of field”.
Color: Space Grey x Red Ring
To decrease “choice anxiety” for iPhone Pro, just limit it in “space grey”– the coolest color, and perhaps add a red ring somewhere (like what Canon does with their professional “L” lenses).
Kind of like a mashup of space grey and their limited edition “RED” iPhone.
Professional cameras are just black. And the pop of red would signify the iPhone Pro is different. And we all want to show that we are different and more legit.
To sum up, my modest proposal for iPhone Pro (from photographer perspective):
- Just one lens
- Keep it same size as iPhone
- Color: space grey + red
- Don’t increase megapixels, but increase sensor size/image quality
- Don’t add RAW support, jpeg is easier to use. Simplify camera shooting interface.
- More powerful flash
I think this is what Steve Jobs would have suggested.