Traveling with only a phone camera Locked

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Sebastian Cohen Regular Member • Posts: 163
Re: Traveling with only a phone camera

timoteotresgatos wrote:

I have a new phone with a 12mp camera which takes great pics and it even does HDR well for those high contrast days. It even shoots raw+high.

I also have a nikon D7000 which takes great pics but weighs as much as whale and is incredibly bulky with my zoom lens.

I wondered how it would work out if I traveled with just my phone? The exposure of this point-and-shoot camera is almost always right on.

I have seen stories on this site and others about serious photographers traveling with only a phone to exotic locations and showing great results

Has anyone here traveled with only a mobile phone camera? How did you feel about the results? Did you miss your "big" camera?

I did the Camino de Santiago this way (no pun intended) in 2016. Sure, I had a great mobile camera, for that year. And the images are decent enough, sort of, today. But mostly for the memories they bring. Now 5 years down the line I wish I had a primary camera that was not my phone. I wish I had better looking versions of the great shots I took.

Granted, the Camino also requires a weight limitations. You are walking 800KM in 30-35 days and you have to carry everything. Yes, there is also transport services etc. But it requires more logistics, more things can get lost and it complicates a pretty strenuous partaking. Travel equals sacrifices.

Phone cameras today are GREAT. An iPhone 12/12 Pro is absolutely amazing. MOST top of the pops phones take great pictures. Today.

But those images I took in 2016 that looked spectacular on my phone, my iPad and also the 27" 1080 monitor when I got back? Well, today I look at those pictures on a 4K screen. They are, "mushy". I don't even have to be a Pixel Peeping Tom to notice.

Now, the best camera is ALWAYS the one you have. ANY camera is better than none at all.

Today my phone takes amazing pictures for, basically documenting everything about my life now, today.

But remember, traveling is special, it's a special occasion (or at least should be when you look at what it's doing to the planet). For traveling it is my humble opinion that you also need to look down the line. How will those files look on, hmmm say a 8K screen in 2031? That pizza and beer you had with your buddy after work taken with an iPhone 11 will still look good in 2031.

In 2016 the DSC-RX100 OG had already been out since 2012. When I did my Camino, the IV was "du jour". ANY if the iterations between them would have been WAY WAY better than what my phone could produce. I decided against getting one to save some money, but I could have afforded it. Today I WISH I had gotten a II or III.

Any phone today takes insanely better photos than any phone even just 2-3 years ago. And I have no doubt that eventually, they will get to near Nirvana in quality.

But ANY travel camera, especially of the RX100 type, take WAY better pictures than ANY phone today. It is that simple. What phones do is put everything into a neat package and it's so so so appealing.

Phones have democratized photography. We now document every aspect of our life and it's great. (I even have selfies getting a root canal...) Everyone now have awesome photos of their cats. But not many look at those photos after a couple of years.

For special occasions I think : quality today x time x most logical technological advances. Where do they converge for me? Do I want to still look at the pictures down the line? If so, always better than I need today.

1. Phone is my primary camera. I am never more than 2 meters away from it. You can today argue they are good enough for almost anything.

2. Travel/street. Light, high(est) quality, least movable parts. Extra batteries.

3. My very serious camera that everyone can tell I'm a serious photographer when I have it in my hands and I feel purposeful with but is also heavy to hold for prolonged periods of time. Jokes aside, it put's me into a different frame of mind. I plan more, I'm more structured AND I am out doing something specific. It is a camera for a task. It is more a tool. I try to accomplish things with this.

These three overlap somewhat. I use my phone to experiment with ideas, then I try to replicate it with my bigger camera. Sometimes I don't, but I like experimenting in itself. Sometimes the medium camera is up for the task as well and gives me great prints. But I always enjoy the better quality shots for longer.

IE...don't travel JUST with your phone, unless it's two weeks to Cancun or Ayia Napa or visiting your grandmother in Kentucky.

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