The question How to get photos off iPhone 4 wirelessly has generated controversy about whether it is on topic. Is it?


2 Answers 2


The question is more important than the device. If it was a question about taking the pictures, it would most likely be on-topic, regardless of the device.

In this case the question is not about photography or photo editing at all, which places it in a grey zone at best. It might barely pass for on-topic just because the files to transfer happens to he photos, but in this case I think it would be better to transfer the question to superuser. There it can actally be a clearly on-topic question, and you are more likely to find users that is able to answer the question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I was the original poster. I think my question is on topic because it deals with photographic workflow. The iPhone is much more useful as a photographic tool if one could automate getting photos off the camera, rather than having to wait to use a cable to do so. Moreover, it's not merely files being transferred, but photos with metadata, to be placed in appropriate folders, perhaps uploaded to photo sharing sites, to be done automatically in background. As it happens, before the thread closed, I got the correct answer on it, to use the Eye-Fi app. So, the process worked ... \$\endgroup\$
    – bshor
    Jul 21, 2010 at 3:38

Here's my point of view. Yes, it's on topic, because the distinction between "camera" and "device which takes pictures and also does other stuff" is blurring. So whether the camera is the first feature listed or the last is not relevant.

Thought experiments:

  • What if the question were about transferring photos from the Nikon D90?
  • What if it were about transferring photos from some other DSLR that had wireless connectivity?
  • What if it were about a Pentax K200D, which presents as a USB Mass Storage device just like a hard disk?
  • What if Ansel Adams were asking how to transfer photos from his iPhone?
  • What if the question were about transferring photos from a newly announced Canon G99 high-end P&S and the trendy feature du jour was that the camera could also make phone calls?
  • What if the OP had said he wanted to transfer the photos so he could import them into Lightroom and do fancy things with them?

Now if the question were about general iPhone file transfer, I would agree that it's off-topic. But it's not, it's about photos specifically. We don't know whether the OP is going to just shovel them onto Facebook or do something more sophisticated.

Keep in mind that books have been published containing "serious" photos taken solely with the iPhone.

I think that by saying that this question is off-topic here, we would be treading dangerously close to saying that the iPhone can't be used by "serious" photographers, which is a value judgement IMO we shouldn't be making.

Final notes:

  • I agree that it's also on topic on Super User.
  • I don't believe it's a particularly exciting question, but that doesn't make it off topic.
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think anyone would try to make the distinction that iPhones can't be used by "serious" photographers...I use my iPhone all the time. I think the simple point is that the question pertains to a fundamental technical operation of the iPhone, and while photos are the subject of the transfer, the answer about "how" is something the person asking the question is much more likely to get an answer for at superuser.com. The goal here is to get the asker help. If the question was "can I import photos from my iPhone directly into Lightroom", I think thats a much more on-topic question here. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Jul 19, 2010 at 23:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Agree on the goal. But supposing that the OP would get better help at Super User, does that make it off-topic here? That seems orthogonal. \$\endgroup\$
    – Reid
    Jul 19, 2010 at 23:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ What if Ansel Adams were asking about how to ride a bike? I think that the profession of the one asking the question is totally irrelevant. \$\endgroup\$
    – Guffa
    Jul 19, 2010 at 23:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Guffa, the point is that AA is obviously a serious photographer, and the purpose of that thought experiment is to demonstrate that the "seriousness" of the iPhone user should not be relevant. \$\endgroup\$
    – Reid
    Jul 19, 2010 at 23:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am not sure whether it is off-topic or on-topic here...thats what Guffa's thread is about. ;-) I don't think it really fits just because the word "Photos" was used. But on/off topic aside, I do think the question is more relevant at superuser, and as such, I think the asker is likely to get more answers with more relevance than here. I would have the same questions about someone asking something like "How can I connect my Nikon D90 to my computer?" Sure, its about a Nikon D90, but this site is "Photography and Photo Editing"...and such a question still fits better at superuser. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Jul 20, 2010 at 0:00

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