DSLR cameras should become iPhone docks

“If you just want to take a picture, you use your iPhone. But what if you want great quality? Not ‘great for a phone,’ but plain great? You shoot with a DSLR camera,” Ilya Birman blogs.

“Unfortunately, DSLRs are painfully outdated. With them you can’t tweet or email photos, you can’t crop or adjust them and you can’t organize your library. And to get your photos anywhere, you’ll need a cord or a compatible card reader,” Birman writes. “This is ridiculous given that it’s 2012.”

“Adding all these features to cameras, on the other hand, seems unrealistic,” Birman writes. “It will take years of work and the UI will be terrible. Doubt it? Just look at your current camera buttons and menus and imagine setting up a twitter account on it. It’s crazy, no one would ever do this even if they had the feature.”

Birman writes,” The solution: remove everything from the back side of the camera and make it an iPhone dock.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward Weber” for the heads up.]


  1. Different tools, different jobs. All that is needed is the ability for a camera to have bluetooth or wi-fi capabilities to transfer images out of the camera memory card wirelessly. It’s a TOOL, not a toy.

    1. memory card with WiFi exist – but: I can connect my Canon EOS 450 by USB to my Mac and fully remote control it from there… So, why not make an app using this functionality, connecting the SLR to the iPhone or iPad by the USB camera adapter? I will buy the first one!

    2. The wi-fi option exists – it’s called Eye-fi.

      I don’t have one, and I have read conflicting reports as to how good they are, but the basic technology exists.


  2. If you understood the properties of light, focal length, f-stop, CMOS capture surface area, you wouldn’t write such fanboyish nonsense.

    If picture quality is of no concern to you and you value convenience over quality, by all means be my guest and use an iPhone to take photographs.

    If you feel creativity, picture composition, low light photography are important, then a DSLR is the perfect tool for the job. How difficult can it be to transfer photos across to your computer or iPad?

    1. It would only use the iPhone as the user interface and it’s advanced electronics, not the camera itself.
      Smart phones are mini computers far more capable than the electronic guts inside DSLR cameras.
      Maybe for economical prosumer cameras, but I cannot see professionals having any interest in this.

    2. Spoken like a true non-photographer.

      With an iPhone, you can take pictures at a party and post them while you’re still walking around in it. With an iPhone, you can capture a news event and send the images anywhere while it’s still happening. With an iPhone you can emulate countless effects and styles with a few swipes.

      There is no reason that DSLRs should still be so antiquated. There’s no reason for that stupid mirror flipping around. There’s no reason for such a giant, blocky body. DSLRs are still trying to be SLRs, and that’s the only reason they still look the way they do.

      1. Totally. How many times do I wish my 5D had the touch screen capabilities built in. However, I saw a prototype of a future Canon DSLR, white in color, with exactly the features the iPhone carries today… touch focus, touch zoom and wifi. All controlled comfortably by your thumbs. Canon says the unit release is about 3 years away.

        1. Canon and Nikon are going to be caught flat footed if they don’t put a wiggle in it. They still want to sell 20th century tools. As soon as an electronics company like Apple can lure away a few great optical engineers, it’s going to be all over for the old guard. Unless they can innovate.

      2. Absolute NONSENSE. That mirror flipping around provides the FASTEST autofocus system possible. NO mirrorless camera has autofocus speed that comes close to a top notch phase detect autofocus system. Fact.

        1. Exactly. Slrs are professional tools. Canon and Nikon don’t have mirrors and a chunky body to look cool or retro; they’re there for a purpose. iPhone cameras are great for what they are, and dslrs need interface work for sure, but they are absolutely better at taking high quality photos. I would never dream of doing pro work on a point and shoot like an iPhone. The results would be embarrassing.

  3. NO!!!!!

    Idiots running the media..

    Simpler solution, apple licence AirPlay/airdrop for dslr to iOS.
    Some cameras already have wifi built in, for ad-hoc.

    Next thing they will want all dslr to have a USB port.

        1. So instead of taking a picture and doing whatever you want with it on the spot with the iPhone+DSLR dock, you suggest we take the DSLR, take a picture, wait a second or two for it to transfer (they are big, you know…), put the DSLR away, take your iPhone, AND THEN use it?

          Read The Fucking Article [2]

          1. yeah… Cause EVERY pic you take you want on the iPad etc.

            Go to the pics on the camera, select the ones you want to send.

            Your way, all the iPhone becomes is a memory card… With a touch screen.

      1. one more thing, the airplay the article speaks of.. Is sending it FROM the iPhone with AirPlay.
        I’m talking sending the pics/video TO the iOS device with AirPlay/airdrop. No cables required, no physical dock either. (the article wants an actual dock.)

  4. Oh dear, that is not a good idea.

    1. Mid to high end cameras have fairly good weatherproofing. The iPhone is not weatherproof.
    2. The iPhone changes design every couple of years. If you don’t want to update the camera every time you updated your phone, you would need to rely on adapters similar to BMW Snap-ins. They are often expensive.
    3. Touch screens are not great in extreme conditions and a good photographer knows how to set his camera up fairly quickly. If you find the controls / menu difficult then it’s not the camera for you.

    Although I can see where the author is coming from, DSLRs and iPhones are really not a good match.

    1. Exactly. The simplest solution would be to just have a dock connector to micro/macro USB cable that would let you download the pictures onto your phone directly from the camera. Anyone that uses a DSLR for serious photography wouldn’t worry about any of the benefits that this writer lists. They’re more worried about composing the shot than whether or not they can upload it to Twitter.

      And can you imagine if you’re trying to photograph a sporting event and you’re about to shoot a spectacular play that’s unfolding in front of you….and you get a phone call. Whoops.

      1. “They’re more worried about composing the shot than whether or not they can upload it to Twitter.”

        Of course, moving photos off the camera is of no concern to a real photographer. There’s no reason the person shooting that sporting even would want to get a shot directly to the paper. Of course not.

  5. There’s a tool for this…it’s called eye-fi…it’s a wi-fi transmitter on the memory card.

    Unfortunately it is an incredibly poor product. It simply does NOT work. Or rather is poorly designed, slow, lacking in support, and has an incomplete and confusing UI. It’s chock full of half baked and oddly labeled elements and looks simple but drops the ball several places in the explanation of how it works..literally suggesting steps that don’t exist or don’t show up in the sequence it recommends. This is an opportunity in the market …big time.

    1. The eye-fi worked extremely well under snow leopard. Grabbed the photos, put them where I wanted them and transferred to Aperture all hands off. When I downgraded my computers to Lion I never got it to work correctly with a MAC ever again. It is great with XP, however.

      Apple – It’s just FUBAR!

  6. I use DSLR’s and iPhone. The answer is simple. Provide the DSLR with the ability to be seen on the wireless network your computer is on. I am sure it wouldnt take that much more space on the camera. A RAW file might take a while to transfer, but I still wouldn’t mind the option.

  7. There is a tool for this.
    It’s called a Birman.
    Since he can’t do any of what he complains about, he should remove his shorts, bend over and get docked.

    DSLRs forever.

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