...Because smartphones and cellphone cameras are eating away at the camera industry from the underside. Like a rampaging cancer, they're relentlessly destroying the health and vitality of the photographic products and services industries—and anything that affects the health of popular consumer products from the companies we depend on also eventually affects us.
ADDENDUM: A number of commenters to these last two posts, on both sides of the issue that isn't there, seem to be under the impression that I've said cellphone pictures are not good or that cellphone cameras are inadequate for serious photography. Not the case.
You'll recall that one of our most prestigious Print Sales, by Paul and John Paul Caponigro, featured a beautiful collaborative composition that included an iPhone photograph. Also, my consistent, longtime position is that both good and bad photographs can be made with any kind of camera...and I mean any. There exist fine photographs taken with pinhole cameras made from cardboard oatmeal cannisters; with homemade cameras; and I wrote a cover feature for the old Camera & Darkroom magazine about a photographer (Mary Kocol) who, for one project, used a "Sunpet," which was a plastic camera she got by sending in $1.99 and five comics from Bazooka bubblegum. (Mary also has some Diana pictures on her website.) And anyone who uses the finest cameras ever made will of course have made some perfectly bad photographs with them. That's not hard.
So—some commenters on both these posts have made sweeping characterizations of the content and quality of cellphone images, which is of course their prerogative. Just please don't think I would. —MJ
Original contents copyright 2014 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Stephen Schaub: "Kinda like what digital photography did to film!"
Mike replies: Kinda like that, yes. Or what Netflix did to Blockbuster and online streaming is doing to Netflix. Live by the tech, die by the tech, right?
Mitch Krupp: "It looks to me that cellphones are doing to photography what MP3s have done to music. We have a whole generation of people that don't really know what good music sounds like and we're going to end up with a generation of people that don't have a clue what a good photo looks like, let alone know what goes into creating one. It's just all being dumbed down for the sake of gizmo sales and convenience."
Malcolm Leader: "Maybe some phones are better but the images from mine are so poor that I usually don't bother if I don't have a real camera with me. In my opinion, digital was a huge step up from film. Not only is the image quality superior (to me) but I still shudder at all the chemicals I exposed myself to in the 'olden' days."
Paul De Zan (partial comment): "The image capture of my iPhone 5 is so good that I seriously doubt anyone currently under about 20 will ever be in the market for a point-and-shoot camera."
Robert: "And yet, the other day I saw a tourist take a photo with his smartphone. Nothing new, but he had big DSLR with big lens on one hip and a camera bag on the other."