Many of us have a lot of equipment.
Since I’m preparing for a trip, I may be a bit more aware of how much I have right now than other times of the year. On this trip, I’ll be carrying a primary and backup body, as well as a Micro 4:3 camera because it is small and easy to carry. My brother is coming with me, and for at last part of the trip, will be using my backup body as his primary. As a result, I’ll be carrying at least 8 lenses, vs the normal 3-4.
Sometimes, I just need a break from swapping lenses and use something that is as simple as possible. Enter the smart phone, something I carry with me at almost all times. It only has a handful of options, which means you don’t need to focus on if you should swap out the big lens for a macro because it is a bit annoying to swap with all of these people around and it is raining.
With a smartphone you generally only have a few options, 4:3, Square, Pano. And the entire device fits easily in a pocket.
When I first started using a smartphone, it was to get a quick picture on FB or for SMS to a friend or relative.
Or one of my favorites, “Here is my camera ready to take a picture tonight”.
And of course a “Well, that was dumb” type of image.
The entire camera is designed for much worse than this. It looks kind of bad, but, everything is weather sealed and I’ve had it in worse conditions.
For a long time, I never really thought of a smartphone as a real camera. Then I was out on a rooftop deck in Seattle during an amazing sunset, and my phone managed to capture this image.
Oh wow, that is actually really nice. I also enjoy wide angle photography, and, while I’m not totally certain, I think this image is fairly wide angle.
The real turning point for me was when I posted a photo from my iPhone and it was mistaken for a photo from my DSLR.
I got far too many ‘wow, but you only got this photo because you have a nice camera’ comments.
One thing that I really enjoy about the iPhone is the automatic panorama stitching. I’m sure it is available on Android, BB, WinPhone, etc, but I’ve only used the iOS version.
Yes, one could take a dozen photos with a DSLR and stitch them later, but there really is something amazing about the instant results. Plus, my phone handles ghosting really well.
After some practice, I took a quick panorama during my trip to a volcano and a beach in Costa Rica.
I really started to enjoy the panorama format. And I enjoy how easy and fast it is when using my phone.
This last fall, I was boarding a plane in Jackson, Wyoming, and managed to capture this photo on a very clear day.
This is by far my favorite panorama to date. I also would likely not have been able to capture it unless I used a phone. I doubt the people boarding the plane would have had the patience to wait for me to unpack my camera, swap lenses, take a series of photos, and repack the camera. But 20 seconds using a smart phone? Yeah, I definitely had that much time.
Like any camera, a smartphone is a tool to capture images. It is also a very light and simple tool which most people always have with them. I enjoy the simplicity of taking the photos as a change of pace from setting up tripods and carrying around heavy cameras with multiple lenses. Is the quality the same as my DSLR? Nope, but that’s ok.