GMC Terrain Photo Safari: iPhone Vs DSLR!

Can an iPhone Beat A DSLR? You Decide
By Imthishan Giado

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GMC Photo Safari
If you want to take a good picture, you need a proper camera. That’s the accepted wisdom, right?

You would never pay a professional photographer to take pictures of your wedding with his mobile, and you’d definitely never pay someone for cellphone pictures of your car.

Ah, but that’s old thinking, says MME’s Imthishan. Today’s cellphones boast massive megapixels, bigger sensors and clever software to produce incredible pictures. Not to mention, with all the editing apps, you’ve got a veritable photo studio in your pocket.

As house photographer, MME’s Shahzad disagrees. For him, it’s old school Canon all the way – multiple lenses, tripod and the only filters he knows screw onto the end of the lens!

Shootout!

Clearly, there was only one way to decide this. So with the help of GMC who provided a Terrain Denali, we’re going head to head: Shahzad’s mighty (and mighty expensive) 60D versus Imthishan’s pocket iPhone 6 Plus.

We shot the Terrain over two days around town and in our magnificent desert. The pictures we took are below – and YOU will decide who has the best shots. Leave your choice in the comments – one lucky reader will win a great prize from GM!

Guide: Each area will have two pictures; Shahzad’s DSLR pictures will be on top, Imthishan’s iPhone pictures below.

Watch our video below and then scroll down to pick a winner!

 

DAY 1: THE DESERT 

Our first challenge is to capture the Terrain silhouetted against the forbidding Khatim mountains.

GMC Photo Safari

Shahzad’s picture

GMC Photo Safari

Imthishan’s picture

Good pictures are defined by their composition, and making use of geometric structures. How will our two snappers make use of the pylon in the background?

GMC Photo Safari

Shahzad’s picture

GMC Photo Safari

Imthishan’s picture

Leaving the mountains behind, the Terrain journeys to the low hills of Wadi Showka. With the sun setting fast, the harsh light makes life difficult for both cameraphone and actual camera.

GMC Photo Safari

Shahzad’s picture

GMC Photo Safari

Imthishan’s picture

Sundown brings the “golden hour” – the sunlight becomes redder and softer, making nearly every photo pop with colour. Who wins the battle of the pond shot?

GMC Photo Safari

Shahzad’s picture

GMC Photo Safari

Imthishan’s picture

Imthishan hits the filters hard, while Shahzad chooses classical framing as his weapon.

GMC Photo Safari

Shahzad’s picture

GMC Photo Safari

Imthishan’s picture

Using the rugged natural scenery to their advance, both cameraphone and DSLR make the Terrain look tough next to this massive rock.

GMC Photo Safari

Shahzad’s picture

GMC Photo Safari

Imthishan’s picture

The duel comes to its peak – a final pair of shots from the same location as the GMC Terrain ponders the long way home.

GMC Photo Safari

Shahzad’s picture

GMC Photo Safari

Imthishan’s picture

Who emerged victorious on Day One – Imthishan’s iPhone or Shahzad’s Canon DSLR?

DAY 2: THE CITY

Taking great pictures in the wild is easy – you have full control of the environment, and time to set the car up the way you want. Shooting in the bustling metropolis is infinitely more difficult – you have traffic, harsh shadows, road debris and buildings cluttering up your frame.

For our first pair of shots, we begin on the Palm Jumeirah. Despite the iconic setting, both snappers admit they’re struggling to capture it all, producing only a single image each.

GMC Photo Safari

Shahzad’s picture

GMC Photo Safari

Imthishan’s picture

Taking the GMC Terrain down to the other end of Dubai Marina shows more promise, with both snappers choosing to frame the Terrain against the bridges and the waterscape. But constant traffic and curious onlookers makes tempers fray!

GMC Photo Safari

Shahzad’s picture

 

GMC Photo Safari

Imthishan’s picture

If you’re willing to explore off the beaten path, the Terrain’s full-time 4WD system can take you to more interesting locations. On the other side of the breakwater, the shots start to take a more artistic bent on the iPhone. With his wide angle lens, Shahzad can capture far more of the scenery.

GMC Photo Safari

Shahzad’s picture

GMC Photo Safari

Imthishan’s picture

Mere inches away from busy JBR beach, the photographers produce some of the best work in the day.

 

GMC Photo Safari

Shahzad’s picture

GMC Photo Safari

Imthishan’s picture

Back in town, the crowds make shooting challenging, yet there’s always interesting architecture to frame the Terrain, like this curious set of townhouses in Satwa.

GMC Photo Safari

Shahzad’s picture

GMC Photo Safari

Imthishan’s picture

And it comes down to this. A final  shoot with the magnificent Burj in the background, the golden hour in full effect and a frontal shot of the Terrain.

GMC Photo Safari

Shahzad’s picture

GMC Photo Safari

Imthishan’s picture

Both cameras are pushed to their limits to capture the fading light quickly.

GMC Photo Safari

Shahzad’s picture

GMC Photo Safari

Imthishan’s picture

Verdict

Who has won the battle of the cameras?

YOU decide! Let us know in the comments below. A lucky commenter will be chosen at random and win this GMC clock! (Collection at GM headquarters in Dubai World Trade Centre).

GMC Photo Safari

So let us know now: who won? iPhone or DSLR? 

42 responses to “GMC Terrain Photo Safari: iPhone Vs DSLR!”

  1. Mohamed El says:

    FYI, iPhone 6 has 8MP (6s has 12MP) whereas DSLR camera has 20MP, it means that iPhone gives less photo quality. However, Imthishan is better for photography talent because he knows how to choose the best angles and zooms of photography! Sorry Shahzad! But some of Shahzad’s city photos are excellent. In addition, some of Imthishan’s filters are not good except B&W. Therefore, My opinion is that Imthishan should have DSLR instead to be hired talent photographer. So, DSLR won!

    • admin says:

      [Shahzad] Okay – we’re very confused. What you’re saying is that I should give Imthishan the Canon and let him do the photography from now on? But that the DSLR won?

      • Mohamed El says:

        My bad! To explain as simple I posted, the best talent of photography but not including the quality of camera is Imthishan, and the best camera for photographic quality is Canon. My point is that Imthishan needs to have a Canon to eliminate iPhone!…..But maybe, ask the experts of photography you know to see who win the best talent of photography and not the best camera, OK?

        BTW Shahzad, I always enjoy in viewing the photos you snapped in every article you post, 🙂 ! Continue your work but don’t give your Canon to him, 🙂 !……I said that DSLR won because of better image quality.

  2. Vinayak says:

    I prefer Shahzad’s pics. They feel more professional and more likely to be published. Imthi seems to have gone a little overboard with post processing of the iPhone photos.

  3. Zeeshan says:

    The Canon it is for me , no mobile can beat or almost get the precise quality of that from a professional camera and imthi great pics and don’t use HDR next time

  4. Daniel says:

    Shahzad!!! But the other cat is pretty solid too.

  5. Jameel says:

    DSLR all day everyday. The iPhone shots are way over saturated.

  6. Ahmad Shumayal says:

    There are good pics on both sides. I liked Imthishan Burj Khalifa picture and he had the advantage of the filters which makes judging difficult since Shahzad didn’t use any special effects. The DSLR won with the first Burj Khalifa picture while I liked Imthishan’s in the second Burj Khalifa picture set simply due to the angle.

    DSLR wins.

  7. MM says:

    I like both sets of photos. The iPhone photos are beautifully composed (in some cases way better) but sadly the excess filters take away from it. The DSLR photos feel far more ‘real’. Also, because of the heavy filtering, the car does not actually ever look its original colour in any of the photos, while the SLR brings out the pure white against the landscape. My vote: Shahzad and DSLR wins.

  8. Geraint Jones says:

    Old school the Canon wins every time. The depth and clarity of the photos are far superior to the iPhone. I shot a lot of rugby and motorsports and there is no way you could use an iPhone for that.

  9. Basheer says:

    DSLR’s photos are far better than Iphone’s

  10. BOB COLLIER says:

    i-phone. Always convenient and protable.

  11. Ali says:

    Shehzad pics were good. More depth and detailed. Plus wide range

  12. Azhar says:

    The phone is a better point and shoot camera and imthishan is better at setting the frame than shehzad ..give imthiahan a proper camera and just ditch the filters and use the in camera manual setting to get the required effects

  13. Azhar says:

    The phone is a better point and shoot camera and imthishan is better at setting the frame than shehzad ..give imthiahan a proper camera and just ditch the filters and use the in camera manual setting to get the required effects

  14. Vignesh says:

    I the photos taken in the IPhone looks a loot better and natural. I’ll choose iphone as the winner

  15. Djordje says:

    Too much post processing to decide.

    The camera always wins, except when you don’t have it and the phone is in your pocket always. But! Neither the camera or the phone take the photos by themselves! Frankly, the quality of the photos varies do much from one to another (the composition does not depend on the device), that the “competition” is pointless.

    If you took EXACTLY THE SAME photo with each, without any post processing or the filters, than there would be a point in this competition. Thanks for the nice set of photos of a boxy ‘mercan bus, and hope you created the traffic that you wanted to! 😀

  16. Abhay says:

    Imti really got creative with the Angles and filters but as sum1 said earlier when a lill overboard

  17. Mohammed Mohsin says:

    Shahzads DSLR pictures are better than iPhone 6 pictures.

  18. Ahmed says:

    The DSLR wins hands down. Maybe the iPhone pictures would look better without the HDR, or maybe less of it.

  19. Jason Saundalkar says:

    I think both of you guys did a fantastic job. Shahzad’s pics have nice composition and look very natural, Imthishan’s pics are more in your face with the HDR effects.

    Gun to my head, I’d have to go with Imthishan’s photographs, really digging the HDR!

  20. Rob says:

    As a fellow motoring reviewer and photographer, my iPhone 5s is perfect for photos. I experiment with the filters and all come out fairly good (have a look at my site).
    I have to say, that it is hard to choose between the two… a good photographer will know how to maximize their tool of choice.
    I reckon I’ve fairly good with the iPhone – as the models have said after shoots with them and cars…

  21. Anonymous says:

    I have to agree with Mohamed El the first poster, the Canon in Imitishan hands would have won by a long shot.

  22. Sarthak Anand says:

    Best Camera – Canon
    Best Photographer – Imithishan 😛

    A little a hard to choose between the 2 sets of photos as there is a lot of post processing in the iPhone ones. But for it is , the iPhone photos are really impressive and come a close second to the canon.

  23. Dale says:

    The shots from the Canon DSLR for me got the most votes. In fairness there are some images which goes to the iphone. The DSLR images created a natural Feel while the iphone’s technology (post processing)went a bit too far making it artificial most of the time.
    KISS…keep it simple s…..

  24. Partha says:

    Call me old fashioned… but I prefer the classic and refined finish of the Canon – the filters on the iPhone pics really turned me off.. compositions wise the iPhone bearer had some great ideas.. and those grey scale images really are good.. but the canon had something better – consistency and reliability – in the hands of a good photographer, that is what you get…

    both are great photographers – but output wise, the winner is Canon.

  25. Mohannad Alchalabi says:

    The DSLR is clearly superior, less grainy and more natural but deep colors. In one or two pics the iPhone had taken a nicer shot but i bet if the DSLR took the exact same one it would look even better.

  26. Karl says:

    The winner is…. the SLR in Shahzad’s capable hands. The day the mobile phone camera takes over is the day I retire…

  27. Simon says:

    DSLR. The iPhone shots have been way over-filtered. They look like they’ve been taken from a 13-year old girl’s instagram account.

  28. Wouter says:

    Call it magic! Regardless the toy it’s what you create, how the image procokes and makes you think. Obviously seven layers of real quality glass will make a better quality image specially when blown up. But who looks beyond a handheld screen nowadays? Saying that, the iphone is a great tool for the (non commercial) easy days…click&share > bingo.

    Curious to see what the answer is in five years.

    Great conversation guys.
    Wk.

  29. Jennifer says:

    In my opinion, Canon DSLR wins here !

    Talk about image clarity, sharpness, contrast, saturation, capturing the essence of natural scenic beauty … DSLR did a far more superior job compared to the Iphone 🙂

  30. Lex says:

    Easy Canon DSLR – as a semi pro member of the Royal Photographic Society, i will have to opt for this, otherwise i wouldn’t be able to justify my sizeable investment in Canon ware to my husband…but i do like Imthishans photos, too.. smartphones also offer those who aren’t photographers by trade to enjoy taking great smart photos of everyday life, which is great!

    there’s a time and a place for both, there have been on recent occasion – much to the frowns of other less socially savvy togs out there – i have shoved both my 7D mk2 and Mk4 aside and grabbed my S5 samsung phone to take a quick video (4k) or photo, for speed to upload quickly directly to social media, (recent Dubai 24hrs race in pit lane example), as sometimes there isn’t enough time to set up the 7D for video !!
    but,

    i do want to say something about high resolution and pure quality at this point, because, it is important in other streams of media, ie magazines and print, we need that high quality noise free image in megapixels and you wont get that with a smartphone.

    also its worth pointing out you may as well put your smartphone in the bin at night time….a DSLR is the winner in low light…

    finally, some people are happy to drive a car because it simply gets them from A 2 B, but others want also go to C,D,E,F.. all the way to Z, and back singing all the way – so you will need a DSLR for that journey.. anyways both keep taking photos, they are all great, maybe spur of the moment and meritorious, x

  31. Nanda Kumar says:

    No doubt
    Shahzad’s DSLR pictures!

  32. Madana Gopal says:

    Shahzad’s DSLR is much more clarity,sharpness and natural

  33. Prasanna Devi says:

    I would vote for Shahzad’s pics (DSLR). They look like more professional and better clarity

  34. Subra Mani says:

    My vote is for Shahad’s DSLR Photos because of DSLR’s natural beauty 🙂

  35. steven caesar says:

    shahzad’s DSLR has the better edge over the iPhone

  36. rai ali says:

    Shehzad’s pics are better because you can clearly see the car’s designand beauty in those matching up the background also as a buyer you wont be able to decide much with those other ones.

  37. Ahmed Junaidi says:

    Great shots Shahzad! My vote – Shahzad

  38. Utheeksha says:

    I Would like to vote for Shahzad for the better clarity,sharpness and for capturing natural beauty over Iphone

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