The best camera is the one you have with you, so the famous saying goes. Sometimes, that’s a smartphone in conveniently stashed away in your pocket. With smartphone camera technology getting increasingly better, most models today will give you some pretty decent results. If you have a flagship model, even better. That makes them good alternative cameras for everyday photography, and even some street photography.

In general, actual cameras still perform so much better than smartphone cameras in low light. But some of the latest ones like the iPhone 12 and 11 models boast of a night mode that takes impressive photos in low light. Curious about taking the iPhone 12 Pro out for a night shoot out in the streets? London-based photographer Samuel Bassett has a preview above for you to check out.

Vibrant shots even on cloudy days

In the POV video, Bassett first took viewers around a cloudy London just before it got dark. There, he first took some generic shots of the landmarks, to show how gloomy scenes would register on iPhone 12 Pro photos. They looked really nice and sharp for smartphone photos, and even better with his preset applied.

He also included a few shots at dusk, with the sky cloudy but still a little illuminated and the buildings already lit up. Again, he got a really great result, especially with the wide angle, the views from below and the unique details of the buildings he captured.

Impressive long exposures in night mode

What always piques the interest of many photographers about the latest models is how it performs for night photography. The iPhone 12 Pro (as previously seen in iPhone 11 models) has a built-in Night mode designed for shooting in low-light environments. One of the cool things you can do with this is shooting long exposures, as the Night mode allows you to extend the capture time.

I think this is where Bassett really made great use of the night mode. He propped the smartphone on a tripod and used the long exposure feature to capture the buses speeding past. When combined with the wide angle, the results look really striking. It’s interesting to see how these flagship features now make it possible to create results that were really difficult to achieve with a smartphone camera a few years back.

So, will the iPhone 12 models be replacing street photographers’ cameras of choice anytime soon? Most likely not. When it comes to pro image quality, versatility and features, nothing beats a real camera yet. However, flagship smartphone models like the latest iPhone can give you really great photos for posting on social media.

If you enjoyed tagging along this quick photo walk around London, don’t forget to check out Samuel Bassett’s YouTube channel for more of his street photography videos.

Screenshot images from the video