Many would consider me a photography and camera enthusiast. I spend way too much time on camera rumor and news websites and, when possible, I also enjoy shooting photos with my Sony A7 III. Therefore, when I found out I was traveling to Sweden to check out a new mobile game, Legend of Solgard, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to put some miles on my new camera. However, I soon realized the Sony wasn’t going to get much use and that my iPhone X would become my camera of choice.

There is no denying that a full-blown camera will outperform a smartphone camera in pretty much every comparison. The 24-megapixel full-frame sensor of the Sony A7 III runs laps around the iPhone X’s tiny 12-megapixel sensor. But, that silly saying, “The best camera is the one you have with you”, perfectly describes why I used the iPhone X for the majority of my trip.

The itinerary included activities mostly involving water or potentially dangerous environments, which are not conducive to a big and bulky camera. With the iPhone X, water damage wasn’t a concern thanks to its IP67 rating. The iPhone X, even with its large 5.8-inch display, fits into most pockets making it easy to stow away. Also, the cost of replacing or fixing a Sony A7 III is far greater than the cost of replacing or fixing an iPhone X.

This was the first time that I used my iPhone X for more than some quick selfies or silly snapshots. During this week-long trip, I experienced firsthand some of the benefits that come with shooting on a smartphone. First, doubling your focal length for extra reach with a simple button press is so much more convenient than swapping lenses. Also, in public areas, the general public is much more tolerant to photographers using smartphones than they are to photographers using “pro” cameras. And possibly the biggest benefit, on the days where I walked 10-plus miles, the difference in weight and maneuverability was immediately apparent.

In this post, you’ll find some of my favorite photographs from my trip through Swedish Lapland and various parts of Stockholm. All of the images below were captured using the stock camera app on my iPhone X, which was running the latest developer beta version of iOS 12. Each photo was edited in Lightroom CC with custom presets directly on the iPhone X. If you’d like to see the untouched photos for comparison, check out the gallery below.

This is what the Arctic Circle looks like during this time of year.

Heading to a Legend of Solgard-themed dinner by the river. I was served reindeer stew.

A typical home in the small town of Jukkasjärvi. They had 548 inhabitants in 2010.

The first activity on the itinerary was archery. Surprisingly, I was a natural.

Next up, ice carving and axe throwing. This was not my forte.

The following day I went whitewater rafting on the Torne River. We also had a delicious lunch about halfway down.

This was basecamp. They had delicious muffins.

For our final dinner, we took a Viking-styled boat to a small restaurant. I was also served reindeer here.

The next day, I took a flight to Stockholm. It’s a beautiful city.

I saw several old buildings, an amusement park on an island, and a semi-abandoned lookout tower.

Explored the city on a boat via the various waterways.

The remainder of my time in Stockholm was spent exploring colossal churches and museums. I can’t wait to go back.