I’d like to talk a little bit about cameras in the year 2023.
There are a lot of great ones being offered by Sony, Nikon, Canon and Leica (if you have a lot of money to spend).
These are all mirrorless cameras which is the way of the world these days. They get better and better to the point that the latest and greatest have features that only a few photographers need.
Unfortunately, because of the way that the bodies must be designed, lenses are getting bigger and bigger to the point that many of them are the size of DSLR lenses.
For instance, the 50 mm / f 1.2, which is a bread and butter lens for many people, has grown in length from about 1.5 inches to around 6 inches.
That doesn’t matter if that’s what you need, but it defeats the entire point of using mirrorless gear which is its smallness and lightness.
There is a way around all of this for more casual shooters who prefer smallness over the highest professional standards. You could use your smartphone which is a little handheld computer and camera. The phone itself is probably the least quality tool of the product.
Let’s discuss the camera.
I use an iPhone14 Pro. It produces a 36mp file which is bigger than many mirrorless cameras make. Is the file the equivalent of a camera file? Yes, through the black magic of computational photography.
It uses a number of onboard lenses.
If you set everything to manual you can make RAW file, you can set aperture and shutter speed, you can control the flash and a lot of things I haven’t yet tested.
Best of all it goes everywhere with you in your pocket.
One big point for people like me, nobody cares if you are taking their picture.
In fact, The New York Times photographer Tyler Hicks photographed soldiers in a battle and nobody blinked an eye, he says because they were all used to taking selfies and such with their phones.
In my past, I’d carry a camera everywhere because I never wanted a picture to escape.
I used to get some weird looks in grocery stores. Now I carry my phone. In situations like being in a grocery store I probably make better pictures because nobody takes me seriously. I don’t do that very often.
Now, it’s transparency time.
For the last few months, at least since we’ve been on the farm, I have only been using my phone. When we take our morning walk I don’t really want a camera hanging from my shoulder. We take the dogs and go.
Pictures like today’s was made after a storm, in a parking lot when we were buying specialty groceries (For most, we still have them delivered – a leftover from lock down, but certainly convenient.)
I don’t think the quality of my work has fallen. You may disagree.
However, the last few days worth of photographs are all iPhone pictures. The reflections picture, my best in a long time, was made with my iPhone. It might not have been made in the recent past because I probably wouldn’t have taken a camera there.
I posted it on Instagram which crossposted to Facebook, where I had “Likes” that were similar to the days before Meta adjusted things.
I think I wrote way more than you bargained for. Thank you for reading.
While I was editing the text I was thinking about the point of this post. I am being a smartphone evangelist. Go take more pictures, everyday, whenever you feel like it… with your phone.