Many people are in for a nasty surprise

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
ultimitsu
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Many people are in for a nasty surprise
8 months ago

People are taking a lot less photos with stand alone digital cameras, and a lot more with cellphone cameras. We knew all that already. Several of my family and friends have now abandoned their cameras and use smartphones for all their photography. the cameras left behind include DSLR, ultrazoom, compact P&S, premium P&S.

A nasty surprise awaits them. While these photos look vibrant and sharp on the tiny but high res screens, they look very flat and smeared on larger computer monitors, probably even worse on l;arge print. I recently created and ordered several photo books, so I gathered some photos taken with iPhone4s and 5 from my family members, as well as DSLR photos I have taken over the past year, on a normal 24in monitor the difference is massive. on high quality A4 print, I can only image the difference will amplify.

Personally, I dont think photography is about seeing what now is, It is about seeing what now was, years from now. Cellphone cameras are popular because instant sharing, and instant sharing is mostly about inducing envy. But for memory preservation, cellphone images are too inferior compared to what you can get with some very affordable cameras. Unfortunately most people have not realised this yet. By the time they do realise, many precious life experiences have past.

Your thoughts?

tjwaggoner
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Re: Many people are in for a nasty surprise
In reply to ultimitsu, 8 months ago

ultimitsu wrote:

People are taking a lot less photos with stand alone digital cameras, and a lot more with cellphone cameras. We knew all that already. Several of my family and friends have now abandoned their cameras and use smartphones for all their photography. the cameras left behind include DSLR, ultrazoom, compact P&S, premium P&S.

A nasty surprise awaits them. While these photos look vibrant and sharp on the tiny but high res screens, they look very flat and smeared on larger computer monitors, probably even worse on l;arge print. I recently created and ordered several photo books, so I gathered some photos taken with iPhone4s and 5 from my family members, as well as DSLR photos I have taken over the past year, on a normal 24in monitor the difference is massive. on high quality A4 print, I can only image the difference will amplify.

Personally, I dont think photography is about seeing what now is, It is about seeing what now was, years from now. Cellphone cameras are popular because instant sharing, and instant sharing is mostly about inducing envy. But for memory preservation, cellphone images are too inferior compared to what you can get with some very affordable cameras. Unfortunately most people have not realised this yet. By the time they do realise, many precious life experiences have past.

Your thoughts?

My thoughts are that people will make images with what they enjoy using. If they enjoy using an iPhone, they will have many memories recorded. If they listen to people telling them they have to use a bigger camera, well then they just won't take pictures.

You can make a suitable wall mountable print from an iPhone 4S/5. Billboards? maybe not.

If a print looks good today, why won't it look good years from now? If a camera meets ones needs today why won't it years from now?

Would you take as many pictures if I asked you to lug around a 8x10 view camera to capture memories? It's much much higher quality than your dslr. This is my point: they aren't your memories, just be glad someone captured them and that they mean something to those people. Everything in photography sing distilled down to the technical capabilities of one system vs another.

Most people who perpetuate this "DSLR is the only way to take great pictures" seem to forget that there are vastly superior image making equipment available if ones only goal is ultimate technical quality.

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Constructive Criticism is always welcome, however please understand that I am not a pixel peeper.

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57LowRider
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Re: Many people are in for a nasty surprise
In reply to ultimitsu, 8 months ago

I've seen a number of iPhone 5 images taken in optimum light by competent people which are actually very good. However, the vast majority of smartphone images are pretty grim; I have a friend with a cheap Nokia mobile who thinks his images amazing when he looks at them on his phone. I've seen a few on my NEC 24" monitor and by and large they're bloody awful.

Do they really care? For most of them, no.

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brianj
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Re: Many people are in for a nasty surprise
In reply to ultimitsu, 8 months ago

ultimitsu wrote:

People are taking a lot less photos with stand alone digital cameras, and a lot more with cellphone cameras. We knew all that already. Several of my family and friends have now abandoned their cameras and use smartphones for all their photography. the cameras left behind include DSLR, ultrazoom, compact P&S, premium P&S.

A nasty surprise awaits them. While these photos look vibrant and sharp on the tiny but high res screens, they look very flat and smeared on larger computer monitors, probably even worse on l;arge print. I recently created and ordered several photo books, so I gathered some photos taken with iPhone4s and 5 from my family members, as well as DSLR photos I have taken over the past year, on a normal 24in monitor the difference is massive. on high quality A4 print, I can only image the difference will amplify.

Personally, I dont think photography is about seeing what now is, It is about seeing what now was, years from now. Cellphone cameras are popular because instant sharing, and instant sharing is mostly about inducing envy. But for memory preservation, cellphone images are too inferior compared to what you can get with some very affordable cameras. Unfortunately most people have not realised this yet. By the time they do realise, many precious life experiences have past.

Well the last generations didn't care, for example I had a box full of old slides taken with a kodak instamatic camera of my children when they were babies and todlers, which were faded and not very sharp, but I wanted to preserve them so I digitized and PP them, and had them printed into small color prints (they were square), and gave an album of the relevant ones to each child.

They were over the moon and thought they were fantastic, no one ever mentioned that they weren't perfect.  My prediction is that the average person in the street is still the same today and wouldn't know or care about IQ.

Brian

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Mike CH
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I think you are right (but...)
In reply to ultimitsu, 8 months ago

Regarding the quality your experiences match mine.

On the other, perhaps many people are quite satisfied with the 'now' aspect? We do not all share the same expectations regarding longevity and quality...

Regards, Mike

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Wait and see...

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D Cox
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Re: Many people are in for a nasty surprise
In reply to brianj, 8 months ago

brianj wrote:

Well the last generations didn't care, for example I had a box full of old slides taken with a kodak instamatic camera of my children when they were babies and todlers, which were faded and not very sharp, but I wanted to preserve them so I digitized and PP them, and had them printed into small color prints (they were square), and gave an album of the relevant ones to each child.

They were over the moon and thought they were fantastic, no one ever mentioned that they weren't perfect. My prediction is that the average person in the street is still the same today and wouldn't know or care about IQ.

I agree.

People were quite happy with the results from their Box Brownies, or their original Kodak cameras.

If you read a biography of some famous person from the 20C, it will be illustrated with photographs of extremely poor quality, typically of a group of people sitting or standing staring at the camera.

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steephill
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Same here
In reply to D Cox, 8 months ago

I am going through all our old family photos at the moment and there is no correlation between image quality and "memory quality". Just be grateful that there is a record to enjoy.

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MoreorLess
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Re: Many people are in for a nasty surprise
In reply to D Cox, 8 months ago

D Cox wrote:

I agree.

People were quite happy with the results from their Box Brownies, or their original Kodak cameras.

If you read a biography of some famous person from the 20C, it will be illustrated with photographs of extremely poor quality, typically of a group of people sitting or standing staring at the camera.

Will it? I'd say often just the reverse, once you get past the real dawn of photograpy into the early 20th century what really stands out is how good the image quality often is due to the larger formats used.

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Mark B.
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Re: Many people are in for a nasty surprise
In reply to ultimitsu, 8 months ago

ultimitsu wrote:

People are taking a lot less photos with stand alone digital cameras, and a lot more with cellphone cameras. We knew all that already. Several of my family and friends have now abandoned their cameras and use smartphones for all their photography. the cameras left behind include DSLR, ultrazoom, compact P&S, premium P&S.

A nasty surprise awaits them. While these photos look vibrant and sharp on the tiny but high res screens, they look very flat and smeared on larger computer monitors, probably even worse on l;arge print. I recently created and ordered several photo books, so I gathered some photos taken with iPhone4s and 5 from my family members, as well as DSLR photos I have taken over the past year, on a normal 24in monitor the difference is massive. on high quality A4 print, I can only image the difference will amplify.

Personally, I dont think photography is about seeing what now is, It is about seeing what now was, years from now. Cellphone cameras are popular because instant sharing, and instant sharing is mostly about inducing envy. But for memory preservation, cellphone images are too inferior compared to what you can get with some very affordable cameras. Unfortunately most people have not realised this yet. By the time they do realise, many precious life experiences have past.

Your thoughts?

I agree that cell phones are less than ideal for capturing important moments, but years from now, maybe that's what today will be remembered as.  Therefore it's our job as enthusiasts to preserve important memories with better quality

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Martin.au
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Re: Many people are in for a nasty surprise
In reply to ultimitsu, 8 months ago

I don't think so.

Most people's collections of old photos developed from film are also pretty dire.

In fact, I suspect the spontaneity and proliferation of phone photos will make for far more memories and many more potentially useful photos from the past.

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Toccata47
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Re: Many people are in for a nasty surprise
In reply to ultimitsu, 8 months ago

ultimitsu wrote:

.While these photos look vibrant and sharp on the tiny but high res screens, they look very flat and smeared on larger computer monitors, probably even worse on l;arge print. I recently created and ordered several photo books,

Personally, I dont think photography is about seeing what now is, It is about seeing what now was, years from now. Cellphone cameras are popular because instant sharing, and instant sharing is mostly about inducing envy.

My wife makes prints from her cellphone for cards and mailers regularly. She uses her phone to view her web-albums of our family photos almost everyday. The quality is fine.

We have family photos on our mantle that date back 130 years none of which are even as large as A4. What's changed within that span of time is that she can use her phone to snap moments we want to remember as they happen….while participating in them.

Studio portraits are great but they don't often do well in documenting a moment which is in large part what you want to recall in photos later in life.

In any event, I think it's impossible to ignore the fact that photography has changed and people take photos and view photos differently than they did a decade ago. The only people that complain are photographers (and printers, etc). My wife has never bemoaned image quality despite being surrounded by large format prints. Subject always trumps medium.

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Nigel Wilkins
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Re: Many people are in for a nasty surprise
In reply to ultimitsu, 8 months ago

ultimitsu wrote:

People are taking a lot less photos with stand alone digital cameras, and a lot more with cellphone cameras. We knew all that already. Several of my family and friends have now abandoned their cameras and use smartphones for all their photography. the cameras left behind include DSLR, ultrazoom, compact P&S, premium P&S.

A nasty surprise awaits them. While these photos look vibrant and sharp on the tiny but high res screens, they look very flat and smeared on larger computer monitors, probably even worse on l;arge print. I recently created and ordered several photo books, so I gathered some photos taken with iPhone4s and 5 from my family members, as well as DSLR photos I have taken over the past year, on a normal 24in monitor the difference is massive. on high quality A4 print, I can only image the difference will amplify.

Personally, I dont think photography is about seeing what now is, It is about seeing what now was, years from now. Cellphone cameras are popular because instant sharing, and instant sharing is mostly about inducing envy. But for memory preservation, cellphone images are too inferior compared to what you can get with some very affordable cameras. Unfortunately most people have not realised this yet. By the time they do realise, many precious life experiences have past.

Your thoughts?

Many images I've seen friends taken with SLR's are the same when viewed on a monitor, worse when printed.  I don't think it's much to do with the equipment, more about how people see their own work.

Experienced enthusiasts know what's wrong & can fix it, whereas snapshooters don't see anything wrong.

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cainn24
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Re: Many people are in for a nasty surprise
In reply to ultimitsu, 8 months ago

ultimitsu wrote:

I recently created and ordered several photo books, so I gathered some photos taken with iPhone4s and 5 from my family members, as well as DSLR photos I have taken over the past year, on a normal 24in monitor the difference is massive. on high quality A4 print, I can only image the difference will amplify.

I got an A4 print done and framed for my Grandmother recently. It was one of a series of images of her son (my uncle) and his girlfriend at a restaurant. And out of that series of shots, she chose a horribly composed out-of-focus capture as her favourite. I tried to talk her into getting one of the much sharper almost identical shots framed instead, but she wouldn't have it. Her favourite was her favourite. It reminded me that for most people, photography is primarily about eliciting emotional response. It's an extension (or manifestation) of our pack social mentality. And really, you need hardly any IQ at all to achieve the desired effect.

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chkproductions
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Re: Many people are in for a nasty surprise
In reply to cainn24, 8 months ago

cainn24 wrote:

I got an A4 print done and framed for my Grandmother recently. It was one of a series of images of her son (my uncle) and his girlfriend at a restaurant. And out of that series of shots, she chose a horribly composed out-of-focus capture as her favourite. I tried to talk her into getting one of the much sharper almost identical shots framed instead, but she wouldn't have it. Her favourite was her favourite. It reminded me that for most people, photography is primarily about eliciting emotional response. It's an extension (or manifestation) of our pack social mentality. And really, you need hardly any IQ at all to achieved the desired effect.

Exactly! For the great majority of people it is spontaneity and catching a moment in time that is dearest to them. It is not the premeditated process of recording composition, light and subject matter that will effect them. And it's certainly not the power of peeping pixels.

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jayrandomer
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I think the nasty surprise is for us
In reply to ultimitsu, 8 months ago

And it is that most people don't care about quality in the same way enthusiasts do.

It's the same reason Arrested Development was cancelled and Two and Half Men is still on the air, Thomas Kinkade was a multi-millionaire while more talented artists ended up quitting art and getting real jobs, or why Justin Bieber is universally known while Neutral Milk Hotel are three random words to most people.

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digitallollygag
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Re: Same here
In reply to steephill, 8 months ago

I am going through all our old family photos at the moment and there is no correlation between image quality and "memory quality". Just be grateful that there is a record to enjoy.

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I agree, there is no correlation, as people will view a technically poor image through the filter of their emotions related to their memories of that moment in time. However, the OP is right: I viewed an image on my computer that looked like utter rubbish, but looked great on my iPhone's display when I first took it.

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MoreorLess
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I think people are getting the wrong end of the stick here...
In reply to ultimitsu, 8 months ago

ultimitsu wrote:

People are taking a lot less photos with stand alone digital cameras, and a lot more with cellphone cameras. We knew all that already. Several of my family and friends have now abandoned their cameras and use smartphones for all their photography. the cameras left behind include DSLR, ultrazoom, compact P&S, premium P&S.

You see in this opening post the OP isn't really talking about "the average man on the street" who's never likely used a serious camera anyway. Yes these people won't really care about quality for family snaps but when have they ever?

The issue is as he mentions that some former users of higher end cameras have abandoned them for camera phones. I certainly think its questionable whether these people actually realise how much quality there giving up.

I think you could argue we went though a similar issue a decade ago when loads of people shifted from higher end film camera's to digital compacts. A lot of these people then shifted back to DSLR's and mirrorless in the years afterwards as the shortcomings of their compacts became more obvious.

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Lightpath48
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Re: Many people are in for a nasty surprise
In reply to ultimitsu, 8 months ago

Will future generations even care when print media will have disappeared? Probably not. They'll be too busy looking down at their mobiles.

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Sonyshine
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Re: Many people are in for a nasty surprise
In reply to ultimitsu, 8 months ago

I have produced some fine prints taken with my iPhone - like all photographs you need to be selective and apply a bit of editing but a good iPhone shot will print up to A4 perfectly well.

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Glen Barrington
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Cell pone cameras are no worse (probably better) . . .
In reply to ultimitsu, 8 months ago

than the simple box cameras from 100 years ago, and we still have MANY photos from that era. I'm no fan of the cellphone camera, but I'm too proud to practice FUD. Let't try to rely on logic and facts, shall we?

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