IN MY LAST ENTRY, IN A COMMENT BY JULIAN BEHRISCH ELCE, he wrote:
I wonder if the latest phone still represents simple or minimal equipment, or if it’s actually another form or format of advanced camera now.
my response: I believe, without a doubt, that Apple ( and other smartphone makers) knows its audience quite well. And, in the case of a device's picture making capabilities, they are aiming to make picture making as simple and, ITh(eir)O, "picture-perfect" as it can be. In essence, they seem to be walking in KODAK's footsteps, re: KODAK's first slogan, You push the button, we do the rest."
In my experience with the iPhone camera module (various editions), I find no evidence that Apple is trying to make an "advanced camera". That is, from the user POV. Of course, the camera module is, behind the scenes, a very advanced device inasmuch as its AI is working overtime-almost completely independent of user input-to get things "right". The only picture making control I am aware of is lens selection, turning HDR on or off and tapping the screen to select focus and adjust and lock the exposure.
ASIDE: of course there are a number of camera apps which can give a picture maker a great deal of control-almost "real" camera like-over the camera module, to include the ability to make RAW files. I have a couple of those apps but I rarely use them because I am committed to, with my use of the iPhone for picture making, picture making simplicity. If I want lots of control, I have 19 "real" cameras I can use.END OF ASIDE
All of that written, just because the picture making is "easy", the story, for me, doesn't end there, as I am certain it does for the majority of smartphone picture makers. That is, for me, just as I do after making pictures with a "real" camera, I process my image files. As near to "perfect" as the out-of-the-iPhone files might be, I always do some fine tuning and, on rare occasions, a lot of "fine" tuning on my files.
In most cases, I perform that tuning either on the phone or the iPad (I like the bigger screen), primarily with Snapseed or some other processing app. In some cases, I download a file from iCloud and do the tuning in Photoshop. And, FYI, all file prep (not tuning) for display on this blog are performed in Photoshop. BTW, the picture editing function in the new 11-series iPhones is now quite robust. Not Snapseed robust but good for a number of image adjustment needs.
IN CONCLUSION: Apple sees its picture making audience as easy-peasy snapshooters and has designed the iPhone camera module to appeal / service that market. Consequently, it is not an "advanced" camera in the sense of user control over the picture making process. That written, have no doubt about it, it is fully capable of producing "advanced" image files / pictures.
As mentioned, if one wants to have more picture making control when using the iPhone (or other smartphone), there are camera apps for that. I am somewhat surprised by the fact that Apple does not have an "advanced" camera app of their own making. Although, why bother when the overwhelming number of iPhone-using picture makers would have no interest in such an app, making the market for it so small that, for the Apple Behemoth, it would not worth the development time, effort and money investment.