“The best camera is the one you have with you.” – Jay Maisel
More and more, I have opened up my mind and philosophy towards any and all cameras being the ‘right’ camera for me.
There was a time several years ago where I scoffed at the mere thought of using a phone to take photos, whether for a professional job or simply my own amusement.
In my mind, a phone handset cheapened the overall photography experience. It removed the pure aspect of setting the camera on a tripod, adjusting dials and knobs, making sure everything is to your liking and then taking the image.
Boy, was I wrong…
Here we are in the year 2020 with phones being ubiquitous with photography, the simplicity of less control over settings and more emphasis on composition.
My handset of choice is a Samsung Galaxy S10, which has improved my phone photography experience tenfold. Your phone may be different although most modern smartphones have the same or similar capabilities.
While this isn’t a Samsung ad, I will say the device has a stunning set of lens-based optics. In total there are four lenses on the phone, three rear and one front.
Why so many lenses you may ask? Well each one fulfills a different focal length. Some are for standard viewing while others harbor a wide angle perspective.
Touch focusing is a breeze, using the big screen to act as a live-view mode like on a DSLR.
One of the lenses is a panorama lens. Instead of stitching panoramas on a computer and hoping all the different files are leveled and aligned, now I can simply rotate myself around a landscape to make a quick panorama with the device. To be frank, these phone panoramas are some of the best photos I’ve taken and are one of my favorite features to employ when out in the field.
Auto HDR will expose for sky and ground details in a single image, creating a bold and moody overcast day instead of blank overexposed lighting overhead.
Better yet, there is even a “Pro Mode” that simulates the actual exposure settings on a DSLR! Features such as shutter speed, aperture and ISO plus many more are available at your disposal. Phones didn’t nearly have this much in the way of features even a couple years ago.
All of the images you have seen thus far have been taking with that S10 phone. If you like to see a curated feed of my portfolio, check out my Instagram below.
Rest assured, these were taken with an actual DSLR (either a Canon EOS 80D or Rebel T3)
And so to answer my initial question that which is the title of this blog entry.
In short, phones make photography a lot easier without removing the need for skill and technique. You still have to have knowledge in order to make a great photo under great light.
Phones make photography better, and to think that 2015 me would probably laugh at that statement is very telling of my growth. Further improving, never regressing.
Yes, phone cameras are the future, and the future is now.
Are you a hobbyist or professional photographer? Do you use a traditional DSLR or a phone for your picture taking? Let me know what you think in the comments down below. I look forward to hearing from you.