Part 2: iPhone vs. Instagram vs. Full-Frame DSLR vs. Medium Format (Retro Oklahoma City)

Recently I explained the goals, equipment, and process behind my most recent personal photography project, images of retro signage around Oklahoma City. One of my intents was to study the differences in quality among various camera formats.

So,  – here we go! Which of these four images, taken at the same time and location but with different camera formats, is your favorite? Which is the “best camera?”

(Note: all of the images from this project are on my website, where you may view, compare, and study all of them more closely, and buy prints. For signed versions, please contact me.)

iPhone 4

When I noticed this old bank drive-up depository on Classen shortly after moving here, I knew one day I had to photograph it. It’s not functional – the building it sits next to isn’t a bank anymore – but it’s well-preserved, and how cool is that retro modern gold pattern and the 1″ blue tile?

iPhone 4, With Instagram Filter (Including Tilt-Shift)

I love the color in this scene – the lush and slightly overgrown, unkempt foliage in the right background added so much.

Full- Frame D700 with 24-70 f/2.8 lens

I timed each shot in between cars passing on the street to the left to minimize distractions.

Medium Format Rolleicord

So, what’s your verdict? Which is the “best” image? Which has the best sharpness, color fidelity, interest, composition, depth, detail, dynamic range? Which tells the best story?


P.S. My favorite is the … I’ll tell you in Part 3. I want to hear your opinions and don’t want to influence them. 😉


About Mosaic Collective, LLC

I am Holly Baumann Ambuehl, founding member of Mosaic Collective, LLC, which was founded in early 2017 and is based in Central Illinois. I own and operate Mosaic Collective with my partner in business and life, my husband, Nathan. Mosaic Collective, LLC houses our rental property, my consulting contracts (with the nonprofit and public sectors on various work), and also my commercial and portrait photography business, which has been doing business as Holly Baumann Photography since 2008 long before the formation of our LLC. My blog posts feature client work, but I just love to write, so I also write about owning a business, food and drink, travel, and sometimes, my personal life! I am always honored when clients trust me to capture their vision, and equally so when my readers converse with me about what I've photographed or expressed here. I hope we'll have an opportunity to collaborate professionally and/or become friends. I'd love to hear what you think! - Holly
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3 Responses to Part 2: iPhone vs. Instagram vs. Full-Frame DSLR vs. Medium Format (Retro Oklahoma City)

  1. john chilton says:

    Can’t go wrong with medium format in this case. No blown highlights, less unimportant frame space and no peculiar plane of focus (tiltshift). Of course those are my opinions 🙂


  2. Heather Kau says:

    What a fun thing to do! I like the Rolli- it looks old, without looking like it has been edited. Remember the old Valley Bank dad worked in that had that giant ugly bird tiled on the drive thru wall? 🙂


  3. Alissa says:

    I like the angle of the d700 but the color of the rollei, the gold! and the blue tile looks glittery! Awesome picture 🙂


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