Why do you buy fast lenses/cameras?

Started 3 months ago | Polls thread
Michael Fryd
Michael Fryd Forum Pro • Posts: 11,606
Re: Why do you buy fast lenses/cameras?

sportyaccordy wrote:


Cameras are the main if not only reason people are upgrading their phones these days, which is why phone companies are pouring so much R&D money into them. Performance otherwise is more than good enough and has been for years.

Do you have a source for this claim?

Off hand, none of my friends who have upgraded their smartphones have done so in order to get a better camera.

While a better camera is certainly one reason for upgrading a smart phone, it is not the only reason.

Newer smart phones have

  • Faster network connections
  • Faster processors for better gaming experience
  • Bigger screens
  • Better and easier security (i.e. fingerprint sensors or face ID)
  • More storage
  • Better battery life
  • Better cameras
  • etc.

While it may be true that better cameras are the primary reason most people upgrade, I would be surprised if that's the case.

My guess would be that most people upgrade because their old phone broke, or no longer seems to work well.  The vast array of new features make the high price easier to tolerate.

Remember, not all smart phones have the same camera systems.  If cameras really were the primary force in phone sales, we wouldn't expect to see very many sales in any model that didn't have the latest and greatest camera.

I get it- you hate cameraphones and want them to go away. But don't confuse your wishes with facts. Even if cell phone sales cut in half, that's still a hundred million iPhones and 500 million phones in total- orders of magnitude higher than the 5-6 million or so ILC sales the industry will probably settle at. If you really think people are going to stop taking pictures with phones you're either crazy or completely clueless.

I don't think we have heard from any one who hates cell phone cameras, although there have been some accusations of that.

The modern smartphone has placed a capable camera into the pocket of the average consumer.   This has pretty much eliminated the market for low end, stand alone,  consumer cameras.

What is left is the market for high end cameras.  This market is looking for more functionality than a smartphone can provide.    Physics tells us that larger sensors generally have a larger shooting envelope than smaller sensors.  That gives an advantage to larger cameras.

It is certainly true that computational photography makes it possible to get images from smartphones that were not possible in the past.  Keep in mind that "a rising tide raises all ships".   Computational photography is also applicable to larger cameras, and can produce even more amazing results when starting with better data.

The smartphone market will continue to grow, as it becomes capable of filling in additional segments of consumer demand.  However, there will always be some sort of specialty market for higher end cameras that can do tasks the typical consumer just doesn't need.

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