The iPhone giveth and the iPhone taketh away!
With an older smart phone there wasn’t as much logic in the phone, not as much computational wizardry on call with every photo, so if, for example, you took a picture of Christmas lights at night and moved the phone during a longer exposure of several seconds, you could get some interesting light trails. If you wanted nice, pinpoint lights with perfect Normal Rockwell focus, you needed a tripod or a miracle.
Now, with the camera smarter than you are, if you wiggle during that five or ten second low light photograph, the camera will turn it into dozens of much shorter, sharper, in-focus pictures and then align the bits and integrate and stack it all, giving you pinpoint lights.
But if you should WANT to get blurs and trails and foggy focus and something that might be more fun, more different, more froo froo, more artsy fartsy? That’s a problem, since you’re not in control any more and you can’t override most of those settings. So it might take a dozen or two photos before you get anything like the effect you want.
It occurs to me that, while I love and use the crap out of my iPhone 13 Pro Max and am yet disappointed with this facet of its design, I do still have my iPhone 8 and my iPhone 6 which may not have SIM cards to turn them back into phones, but they’re still perfectly functional as cameras. Most importantly, stupider cameras. It might be necessary to pull them out and charge them up for some ‘sperimentin!
In addition, while the world may be moving toward little bots and devices with “FULL AUTO MODE!” everything, the DSLR world, while containing modes in which the smart camera does most of the work, still has “off” switches for almost every one of those modes. More ‘sperimentin!
For tonight, enjoy a couple of quick shots of the lights on the rose bushes next to the driveway.