I know I am tough on Cell phones as cameras. In part because they just don’t do as good a job as a stand along camera. In part because of the reality of where the pictures are. The likelihood of losing your pictures from your phone is higher than from your camera. Even if the camera drops and shatters you still have the memory card. The cell phone has the potential for being lost forever with one incident. Drop it into water, and find out your last cloud backup of your device was 40 days ago, or 22 days removed from your trip to a city where you took all those pictures. They, the pictures are now gone forever.
It is also true that the quality of cell phone pictures, while continuing to improve is just not quite as good as a physical camera. When you build a Swiss Army knife you can’t have it supremely functional for one feature. I see ads all the time talking about image stabilization and improved focus but the reality is a cell phone is an awkward camera to hold. I would even argue that digital cameras that don’t have view finders are tougher to use than the ones that don’t.
Holding a camera, cell phone or baby at arm’s length makes it really hard to take non-moving pictures. You hold babies at arm’s length when they have a diaper that needs to be changed and you can’t stand the smell. (Why do diapers say they hold 10-20 pounds? They actually start to sag with less than 4 ounces so in fact they do not hold 10-20 pounds). I can also tell you that in taking pictures of motion, holding the camera at arm’s length isn’t effective. It takes time when viewing through an eye sight to actually stop and move the camera, not your head. But when you learn that you can capture motion better with the camera held to your native spotting system than you can at arm’s length or holding it far or close enough to see the screen and the image being captured.
I understand that the reality of cell phones is you always have them with you. I use mine all the time to take pictures of non-smart whiteboards. I know how frustrating the lack of quality is with cell phone pictures of a whiteboard. It is why for years when I traveled overseas I always carried a higher quality point and shoot camera to take pictures of whiteboards. It is one thing to, the night after a meeting review the picture of the whiteboard. It is another thing when you need to write down what you remember a week or two weeks later and can’t really make out the details of the image drawn on the whiteboard.
That was why I carried a point and shoot when I traveled. I still to this day carry a separate camera. I do take pictures with my phone, but I try to avoid that. In fact, the pictures I am sharing with this blog all came from my cell phone.
You can easily print pictures from your cell phone, or digital camera. But the place where cell phone pictures fall short is detail. They just don’t capture as much of what is there at the time. So later as you sit back and review they aren’t as good.
Plus, you have that horrible risk of the pictures never coming off your cell phone. Even with the great features on Macintosh computers and Windows 10, that automate the syncing of pictures from your phone to your PC. How many people take the 5 minutes to set that up?
Is it wrong that every time I see someone using a tablet as a cell phone that I want to stop and give them a better camera? Digital memories are important. How many copies of your digital pictures do you have? On-line? On disk? On hard drives? How many copies of those pictures do you have. If you answer one and they are on my cell phone, you are bound to your on-line backup and one dropped wet phone. You may or may not recover from that…
digital camera fan