Are mobile phones good for landscape photography?

28 November 2016

SIG: Landscape

Image (c) Michael Bonocore from A Colourful Journey Through Morocco With An iPhone 7 Plus at Resource Travel


Let's face it, good landscape kit is heavy!  Even those photographers who, like me, have traded in their top-of-the-range Canons or Nikons in favour of the excellent mirrorless Fujifilm cameras still can't always be doing with carrying the whole rig around everytime we go out for a walk. So it is inevitable that sometimes we resort to using our mobile phone cameras to capture those unexpected can't-miss scenes.

But is that such a bad thing?  Good quality phone cameras are now capable of producing excellent quality results and better ones now give photographers increasing degrees of control in place of just fully auto modes.  I have been using Sony Xperia phone cameras for several years and have frequently been delighted with the results I have been able to achieve.

Granted, there aren't any (are there?) which give control over aperture but it is certainly possible to control ISO and exposure compensation and, hence, shutter speed.  Some cameras - or camera apps - also enable mimicing of shallow depth of field through a bit of electronic wizardry.  

Getting the best from mobilephonography takes a bit of practice, not least because the very wide angle associated with most phone cameras often requires getting very close to whatever foreground interest is to be included in the scene, but once mastered, this can be used to create dramatic results.

All of that said, few of us would probably set off on a significant holiday or journey without our "proper" gear.  But that is exactly what US photography writer Michael Bonocore did on his recent trip to Morocco.  Taking only his iPhone, he catalogued his trip with some excellent results.  Okay, these aren't all landscape images, but nevertheless, I thought the article at Recource Travel would be of interest.

The article can be viewed at


As it happens, writing this blog post inspired me to add a gallery of some of my own mobile phone pics.  It can be viewed here.


(c) Mark Reeves LRPS


Mark Reeves LRPS

Landscape Group web editor