Baby Photography 101: 5 Key Differences Between an iPhone and a Professional Camera

Baby Photography 101: 5 Key Differences Between an iPhone and a Professional Camera

How will you capture the memories of your newborn as they grow more and more each day? You may have considered this question as you prepared for the birth of your new baby, and you may have been overwhelmed as you searched for the answer.

Between Facebook and Instagram, it seems like everyone somehow becomes an expert in baby photography as soon as their child arrives. Your feeds are filled with beautifully shot photos. Are they all buying a camera you just haven’t heard of yet?

There are countless cameras that seem ideal for baby photography. It’s hard to know which one is best for capturing images of your newborn. Are iPhone photos all you need to preserve lifelong memories, or should you invest several hundred dollars in a professional camera? We’ll break it down in this blog post.

Let’s review five differences between an iPhone and a professional camera

Portability

This difference seems obvious, but it is worth stating. Your iPhone fits in your pocket and is always on hand for documenting precious moments. You’re already carrying a newborn. Carrying a professional camera, as well as several lenses, is a lot to manage. It’s difficult to beat the convenience of an iPhone camera, so, for parents of newborns especially, it makes a lot of sense to rely on your smartphone for everyday photos.

Baby Photography 101: 5 Key Differences Between an iPhone and a Professional Camera

Ability to capture detail

From wisps of hair to tiny eyelashes to miniature nails, baby photography is all about the little details. For truly breathtaking portraits, you want a camera that has the ability to capture every aspect of your child. In photographer’s terms, you want a camera that takes high resolution photos.

iPhones cameras have come a long way. The latest iPhone even has a dedicated portrait mode. However, the resulting images still cannot compare to professional cameras. One photographer described the iPhone camera as “good enough.”  It’s perfect for documenting the beauty of the everyday, but not the right choice for documenting and showcasing the intricacies of a newborn life.

Aperture

The best photographers have an innate understanding of light and depth; their cameras are a tool for harnessing those elements. The aperture is the part of the camera that lets in light or blocks it out. Professional cameras have adjustable apertures, putting the photographer in charge of the richness of the photo. However, the aperture on the iPhone is unchanging. Users can try different tricks to create the appearance of depth, but they are ultimately are at the mercy of the iPhone.

Baby photography is especially dependent on lighting, using light to highlight and contrast all the features that make your little one unique. An iPhone could produce a wonderful shot in ideal natural lighting, but professional cameras are best when you desire more control over the photographic outcome.

Baby Photography 101: 5 Key Differences Between an iPhone and a Professional Camera

Image stabilization

Babies don’t often stay still, so image stabilization is key for baby photography. You want to avoid the blur of your newborn moving their hands and feet. Additionally, image stabilization improves low light photography–perfect for sneaking a photo of your newborn as they sleep! In this area, iPhone and professional cameras achieve at a similar level. The newest iPhones have optical image stabilization that, some say, rivals professional cameras.

Zoom capabilities

Zoom shots are the hallmarks of baby photography. We even have a photography product called Precious Little Pieces that is dedicated to showcasing hands, feet, and other adorable little parts of your newborn.  

Baby Photography 101: 5 Key Differences Between an iPhone and a Professional Camera

A professional camera can be outfitted with specially crafted lenses for taking zoom shots. That’s not the case for iPhones. One article described it this way, “The iPhone doesn’t actually have the ability to zoom, just the illusion of doing so. You’re actually just enlarging a portion of the image.” The photo gets grainier and grainier as you zoom in, which is probably not the look you want. Go with a professional camera when you want to capture your newborn’s little pieces in full detail.

So what’s the verdict? You don’t have to choose between an iPhone and a professional camera! You’ll probably be happiest if you use both to document your newborn’s growth. iPhone cameras are perfect for quick snapshots, but they don’t compare to the quality of a professional camera. That doesn’t mean that you need to spend your diaper budget on a fancy camera. Use your smartphone to capture everyday moments, and invest in the use of a professional camera for momentous occasions.

In fact, professional cameras produce the best results when they’re in the hands of a professional. Work with a baby photographer to get gorgeous photos that can be shared for generations to come– and all for less than the cost of buying a professional camera of your own.