I finally got it

Started 1 week ago | Discussions thread
fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 3,077
Re: I finally got it

Marty4650 wrote:

I am one of those grumpy old men who always said that smartphone photography was just a fad. Something that is only good enough for selfies and photos of your lunch to post on twitter or facebook. For anything else, you absolutely needed a real camera.

Well, it seems I was wrong.

I recently replaced my four year old Motorola Moto X Pure with a brand new Google Pixel 3a, and was shocked at how good the Pixel camera was. It seems there has been so much improvement in smartphone cameras, that they are now useful for more than just documenting where you parked your car.

I still don't think anyone will be using a smartphone to shoot a wedding, for commercial photography, for sports/action photography, or for fashion photography, but this device is now the ideal choice for travel photography, vacation photography, family photography, or for casual snapshots. And lets be honest, those subjects are around 90% of what amateur photographers shoot.

Last week I drove 600 miles to NYC to visit family for Thanksgiving. Since I has my car I could bring all the luggage I wanted. This meant I brought 3 cameras and 12 lenses. You know, "just in case." But none of them were actually used, as the smartphone was good enough and much more convenient.

Three weeks from now my wife and I are flying 3000 miles to Seattle to visit our newest grandson, and luggage restrictions being what they are today, I just might not bring any camera with me. If I do, then it will just be my Panasonic LX100.

I think the real "revolution" here is that people stopped buying more camera than they really needed once the smartphone camera became good enough for most everyday uses.

The dedicated camera has left the mass market and become a specialty device. And a very good one at that, but one that most people don't need very often. And that is a problem that the camera makers may never be able to solve. And this also explains why the overall market for dedicated cameras keeps shrinking, despite the fact that they keep getting better. In some ways.... quite a bit better.

People really didn't want better. They just wanted more convenient, with sufficient image quality for the task. So much so that they were willing to sacrifice versatility, best image quality and ergonomics to get it.

You may not agree, but the fact remains... a lot of people are perfectly happy with their smartphone cameras, and new camera sales are feeling the pressure of that.

This post is very interesting, because it took so long to get it, and had to had one phone with a good camera. No amount of showing great photos from phones would have changed this view. One simply doesn't want to believe in what one has alredy made their opinion. It's Thinking Fast mode.

Those having a the latest Pixel or iPhone, and a camera, know they are not like the polaroids of before. They actually replace the mid market cameras. Same with GPS, it did not kill the map, it killed the separate GPS. Of course, for vessels and many other specialized uses a phone is a waste of money, or too imprecise. But for moving around? It's not just that the mapping features of phones improved enough, but that they actually can use the GPS sensor into a whole new range of use cases.

The cameras in phones can be used for a million things. The computer married with the sensor is here to stay, and will continue to expand. The "non wired camera" to get nice colors of landscapes and people, is largely and forever will be a super niche market. it's like carrying a portable GPS of sorts to drive around. Really, that's what it is.

Unless you are into something specialized (like Astro, ultra Macros,Infrared, Drones, etc) then much sooner than later, the phone will catch up. Right now the line is drawn into: 1) Bokeh 2) Long Tele. For wide angle, Panorama software is now amazing already and a phone can do it well and easy. And 1 and 2 are weak arguments because phones increasingly will feature tele, and better isolation as well.

So, the next stage in photography can only come from imaging needs, what's arond the camera (eg. why did drones explore in sales? In very very large part to take pictures from the skies) and the post processing needed to render the final "product" (making 3D landscapes, mapping static objects in 3D to do virtual tours "Inside the photograph", image what we could not image before (the inside of things without using X-rays? I am just inventing situations)?.

I don't think the market will "recover". It needs to evolve. And in the meantime, there will always be some need for more professional cameras and lenses, and just higher resolution displays will drive some need for better image quality.

What is also true is that anyone sticking to a M43 or small sensor format or pocketable, maybe not now, but soon, will have to confess they like it more mostly due to nostalgia or melancholy.

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