Can your iPhone 6s replace your DSLR? We took a couple of Instagram's finest photographers into the skies above London to find out. Here's what they snapped...


Can your smartphone replace a fully-fledged DSLR? It’s been a question on the lips of tech experts for years, but with the kinds of cameras found in handsets like the iPhone 6s, we may have arrived at that milestone already.

To push the theory to the limit, we gave Jacob Riglin a chance to grab some awesome aerial shots during a helicopter tour over London. The results are clear to see, but what did our seasoned pros make of the equipment to hand? Over to @Jacob to find out…

@Jacob | ‘A trip into the skies over this epic city’

My passion for beautiful landscape imagery has been there ever since I travelled as a child; whenever we would explore new cities and incredible vistas, I only ever wanted to see more. The colours, the textures and the vastness of some of the places we visited was mind-blowing to me. I’ve been lucky enough to continue the travelling with the work I do now, which means I’m constantly pushed to create new and fresh content.

I love the challenge of going to a new destination, not being familiar with your surroundings and then having to capture the best of that location. This always keeps me on my toes and makes me keen to experiment with new styles and techniques.

In that way, I feel very fortunate to have found Instagram. It wasn’t until I started my photography Instagram page two years ago that I really decided to focus all the creative and visual knowledge I’d learned from travelling into taking photos and sharing them. And before Instagram there wasn’t an easy way to do this: to share your photos with a huge community and connect with so many like-minded individuals. From the moment I set up my page I could see how powerful and engaged the platform was.


For me, Instagram is the best social platform out there. One of my favourite things about it is the instant feedback you get from your followers – they give you their opinions and thoughts as soon as you post, and this is such a motivator to get out and shoot more.

And London from above was high on my hit list.

I’ve done helicopter rides over many cities around the world, but London’s skyline was the big one. And now, thanks to Vodafone, I’ve had the opportunity to take a trip into the skies over this epic city. London from above is something I think everyone should get the chance to see at least once. The perspective is like nothing I’ve ever seen before – the flight took us over the most well-known landmarks, following the Thames from Battersea to Canary Wharf, and it gave us amazing, usually unseen angles of the city.

JACOB SHOT 1The aim? To capture the best pictures possible using the awesome iPhone 6s.

Some people may be sceptical about not taking their DSLR to such a great photo op, but since the start of my time on Instagram I’ve always used a mixture of iPhone and DSLR photos. Both have very different strengths, but I know from using iPhones for years that they’re well up to the challenge in terms of quality.

Ever since my first iPhone I’ve loved how quick and easy they make it to capture amazing content, especially on such a small and inconspicuous device. Of course, this has only evolved with the new iPhone 6s; the quality of the camera is really amazing now, while the burst mode option was perfect for the helicopter ride as it gave me the comfort of knowing I’d got a good shot despite the constant movement. Another great thing about the iPhone is the ease and speed when it comes to uploading to Instagram.

But taking the photo is only half the process in my opinion, because I’m a huge fan of the editing process that goes into perfecting a photo once you’ve taken it. This stage is where you can really make a photo your own. There are a couple of apps that I regularly use: VSCO and Snapseed.

VSCO is a filters app and gives you a range of beautiful filters that play with tones, contrast, whites & blacks and saturation levels. These filters can add a very clean look to your photos, and are perfect for architectural and street styles.

I’ll use Snapseed for its amazing selection of enhancement tools, and it can make colourful photos really pop and stand out on the page. Best of all, both of these apps are very intuitive and easy to use, which means they’ll always give you great results as you can see from the shots on this page.


At the end of the day, the fact that with just an iPhone 6s and an Instagram account you can get your work seen by thousands of people every day is amazing. The iPhone is more than good enough to artfully capture both landscapes and portraits, and when paired with some top editing apps, it’s easy to create something truly unique. So why not give it a try yourself?

You can check out more of Jacob’s work by following him on

Stay tuned for more… @Jacob was joined in our helicopter ride by @mrwhisper – keep it locked to Vodafone Social to discover his top tips for Instagram success.