The best camera is the one that you have with you… A phrase that has probably never been truer than in this era. Smartphones have changed the rules of photography and whether photographers like it or not, they are here to stay. Long gone are the days when to be a photographer you had to have expensive equipment and had to have studied it at university. These days anyone can capture great photos. Whilst smartphones are still some way behind DSLR and mirrorless cameras in terms of quality needed for large print sizes, smartphones have improved vastly over the last decade. It wouldn’t be completely ridiculous to suggest that in the years to come, they will replace traditional cameras completely. So rather than try to battle against it, you should embrace your smartphone as simply another tool for photography. In some ways, it might actually be your best camera. Here are 5 reasons why.
You always have it
Simply put, most people these days wouldn’t even leave a room without their phone let alone their house. So the fact that you always have a camera with you opens up endless possibilities that you won’t get with traditional camera equipment. Even the most dedicated photographer will leave their camera at home at times, but a phone is always with them. This means that when those unique photo opportunities arise when you don’t have your camera, your phone can come to the rescue.
Lightweight to carry
Even if you are happy to just carry basic camera equipment, it will no doubt weigh more and be much bulkier than a smartphone. The great thing with smartphones is that not only do they weigh a lot less than a camera, but you also don’t need backpacks to store them or their lenses in. So walking around a city all day, for example, will become easier with just a phone rather than a heavy backpack. It also means that you are not having to either store it in places that bags are not allowed in, but also it won’t get in the way in busy places like markets.
Somehow thrusting a DSLR or mirrorless camera in someone’s face seems to feel far more intrusive than taking their picture with a smartphone. It’s the fact that a smartphone is subtle and people are used to seeing them and using them. So naturally, people often feel less intimidated by them. The other big benefit of smartphones is that they draw far less attention. Pull out a DSLR and you might be approached by a security guard informing you that “professional photography is not allowed”. But you would rarely find the same issue with smartphones.
Do more with your photos
If photography is your hobby, sometimes you might actually wonder why you might be taking photos in the first place? For example, I recently came across an amateur photographer who told me that he has thousands of photos that he has taken with his DSLR but no idea what to actually do with them. So they all just sit on his hard drive never seeing the light of day. Whereas the photos that he takes with his smartphone, he shares on his social media channels or even gets prints of them. The accessibility of smartphones means that it is much easier to take a photo and do something with it. Sharing on social media can be instant rather than having to transfer the photo from your memory card to your phone. Getting prints can be done through an app with the touch of a button. Editing can be done whilst commuting to work. All of this adds up to mean that you will often find you do more with your smartphone photos than ones taken with a DSLR camera.
Easy and quick
Even though you are able to change camera settings using your phone, most people often just take the photo not worrying about the settings. This can make the whole photography process quick, easy and much less daunting especially if you are a beginner or newbie, without having to worry about settings. With a smartphone, you can just focus on ensuring that you find an interesting subject and work on your composition. This will help you if and when you decide that you want to upgrade to DSLR cameras as the creative element of photography is the same.
Beware of the limitations
Smartphone photography is a great way for anyone to pursue their interest without the need for expensive equipment. It will also allow you to improve your creative skills as a photographer which can then be applied to when you use DSLR or mirrorless cameras. But for all of the benefits of smartphone photography, there are some limitations that you should be aware of. The biggest downside of smartphone photography is simply the quality of the photo. For example, if you try to print a photo taken with a smartphone at large sizes you may find that it gets pixelated and so is not suitable for print. But the vast majority of photos these days are used online so there shouldn’t be any problems with that. It’s also worth remembering that different smartphones do have different quality cameras it’s worth doing your research.
Who would have thought that one-day digital photography would replace traditional film cameras? Now smartphones are slowly replacing the digital cameras. Point and shoot cameras are already on the decline and as the technology of smartphones improves, it is feasible that eventually, even the professional photographers will be using smartphones. So even if you are using a DSLR or mirrorless camera a smartphone can be a great addition to your photography.
NOTE: All photos in this article have been taken using a smartphone.
Photo credits: Kav Dadfar – All rights reserved. No usage without permission.