Former Google Executive Vic Gundotra: 'If You Truly Care About Great Photography, You Own an iPhone'

Google's former senior vice president of social, Vic Gundotra, recently made remarks on Facebook about the advantages of Apple's iPhone ecosystem, specifically pertaining to the iOS Camera app and the quality of photos it creates (via Business Insider).

Image via Business Insider

He said that the "end of the DSLR era" has arrived, and shared pics he took of his family recently with an iPhone 7 as an example.
The end of the DSLR for most people has already arrived. I left my professional camera at home and took these shots at dinner with my iPhone 7 using computational photography (portrait mode as Apple calls it). Hard not to call these results (in a restaurant, taken on a mobile phone with no flash) stunning. Great job Apple.
Gundotra's original post received a comment that said Samsung's Galaxy S8 was a better photography tool than the iPhone 7, to which he commented with a detailed response explaining why he believes that's not the case. Specifically, the former Google executive referenced Android's need to be "neutral to all parties" since it's an open source platform, making it difficult for Google to release hardware and software innovations at the same time.

He also mentioned that Google has "fallen back" recently in regards to its development of computational photography software. But where Android-backed smartphone innovation lags, Gundotra said that Apple is far ahead of the competition because it "doesn't have all these constraints," leading to the best smartphone camera system on the market.
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 iPhone 8 is expected to see yet another leap forward in the realm of smartphone photography, potentially including a VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) system for the rear camera, which would enable speedier autofocus when capturing an image. The vertically aligned dual-lens camera system will also help fuel augmented reality experiences on the iPhone 8, which we've already begun to see take shape in ARKit demos.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7


Top Rated Comments

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16 months ago
Reading the comments on Facebook is hilarious.

People just CAN’T accept the truth.
Rating: 28 Votes
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16 months ago

Et tu, Gundotra?

Tbh I understand what he's saying about Portrait Mode (and arguably Telephoto lens) but outside of that, the competition has overtaken Apple.

Samsung S8 and Google Pixel are the best all-round cameras in Auto Mode. I'm sure Apple will catch up with the next release but the Note 8 is out in 3 weeks and Pixel 2 soon afterwards.

As a consumer, I love this intense battle. The difference from 3 years ago is mindblowing.


No, they didn’t.

Stop spreading lies.

Those phones are way beyond an iPhone 7 plus.

They don’t have OIS for example.

No telephoto lens in any size.

No good “portrait mode”.

All I have seen from those phones are lies and numbers and BS.

iPhone 7 Plus camera is better because the PHOTOS AND VIDEOS are better.
Rating: 14 Votes
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16 months ago
Looking forward to all the mansplaining as to why he's wrong.
Rating: 13 Votes
Avatar
16 months ago
"End of the DSLR Era"? I wholeheartedly disagree. Point & Shoots are absolutely dead. Micro Four-third is certainly challenged as their ability to enable Optical Bokeh is certainly still a huge selling point but iPhone is coming for them.

No smartphone will be able to have the optical zoom of a detachable lens camera system (Sony, M43, SLR).

But as someone who uses a DSLR (Canon 5D M3), a Point & Shoot (Lumix LX-10) and an iPhone 7, I can say that iPhone has caught up with the brand new $500 Lumix in almost every way except optical zoom and optical Bokeh (shooting at wide open f/1.4) but it in no way compares to my SLR and I'd agree that the convenience of iPhone both in size & connected (ability to post immediately to Instagram) makes it the most appealing camera today, if I want high quality photos, I bring my SLR and I do..it's always in my bag.

Once a week, i batch process all of my photos and spam Instagram with "later-grams" that are easily 5-10x higher quality than every thing else on my Instagram stream.
[doublepost=1501510741][/doublepost]

Looking forward to all the mansplaining as to why he's wrong.


Would it help if I was a female? Why bring gender into this?
Rating: 9 Votes
Avatar
16 months ago
Reading the comments was hilarious.
I especially liked the guy who couldn't dispute Vic's claims and so he just started rambling on about how android is "better" because of oled, nfc and usb-c support... :D
Rating: 9 Votes
Avatar
16 months ago
Et tu, Gundotra?

Tbh I understand what he's saying about Portrait Mode (and arguably Telephoto lens) but outside of that, the competition has overtaken Apple.

Samsung S8 and Google Pixel are the best all-round cameras in Auto Mode. I'm sure Apple will catch up with the next release but the Note 8 is out in 3 weeks and Pixel 2 soon afterwards.

As a consumer, I love this intense battle. The difference from 3 years ago is mindblowing.
Rating: 5 Votes
Avatar
16 months ago
As others have said, the only advantage of a smartphone over a DSLR for high end photography is that it's more likely to be with you. Can't take a good shot with a camera that's in the closet back home.

As to the substance of the article, it's nice that Apple is doing well with smartphone cameras, but this still translates to Android providing the camera for the indifferent masses. When your photographic aspirations include what brand of selfie stick to buy, you don't care about things like bokeh or dynamic range.
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
16 months ago

You're missing the important bit "The end of the DSLR for most people has already arrived"

Not everyone, most. There will be those that need Trucks - their DSLRs - but I think Vic is right for most people (I'd argue it happened a while back).

Here's the thing though, the beginning of DSLR for most people never arrived. DSLR has never been the de facto choice for the masses. That's a specialty category. Before the ascendancy of cell phone cameras, the masses were using cheap disposables and point and shooters. Cellphone cameras chewed that market to hell and back.
Rating: 4 Votes
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16 months ago

Looking forward to all the mansplaining as to why he's wrong.

Two things:
1. Contextually speaking, you're using that portmanteau incorrectly.:)
2. He's not necessarily wrong. Neither is he right. He's expressing an opinion not a statement of fact. Being the former VP of Social doesn't make his opinion any more valid than yours or mine. Confirmation bias will determine whether or not people believe him. Those who want him to be right will make him right; regardless of any objective testing stating the contrary.
He doesn't present any facts. He has no photos for comparison. He uses unrelated information as part of his reasoning.



Basically his comment should carry no more weight that an anonymous Facebooker making the same comment.
Rating: 3 Votes
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16 months ago

"End of the DSLR Era"? I wholeheartedly disagree. Point & Shoots are absolutely dead. Micro Four-third is certainly challenged as their ability to enable Optical Bokeh is certainly still a huge selling point but iPhone is coming for them.

He said "for most people", and I agree. It used to be you needed a DSLR to get a halfway decent digital photo, but optical zoom and exchangeable lenses aside, that's not longer true.

Now, if you're serious about photography, you still need something beefier than a smartphone.
Rating: 3 Votes
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