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Friday, 16 March 2018


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"They" used to say the same about 35mm cameras. And I bet I'm not the only one with this comment.

It may be laziness but it's also the best compact point and shoot I've ever used.

From the several photos of yur fallen tree, it looks like an aborial time-bomb - that's a lotta rot in there, pardner.


My first micro 4/3 camera, surely one capable of producing quality images, was an Olympus E-PM1, 12 mp with only an LCD, no viewfinder. That was a "real" camera.

And you and others are big advocates of one camera, one lens photography, with say a 28mm FFE lens. So we could also take something like a Ricoh GR as a starting point.

My current iPhone 8 is a 12mp camera with only an LCD, no viewfinder, and a 28mm FFE lens. Only when the light is seriously diminished does it give up anything significant to the Oly or Ricoh. And even in those circumstances it is still capable of taking interesting photographs.

I think we need to embrace the miracle of the phone instead of continuing to resist it. Among younger photographers (i.e. the future of photography) the phone is used to make all kinds of excellent photographs and videos, that many of us could only dream about.

The real laziness is being complacent with what one knows instead of adapting to what is obviously the future. Learn to use your phone instead of spending time demeaning it as not a real camera.

Moment is a company that makes excellent accessory lenses for phones. Go to its Web site and look at the photography and videos featured there.

[I have been learning to use my phone, Terry, as I detailed in the posts previous to this one. Did you miss those? --Mike]

This is exactly why I carry my Fuji X100F with me everywhere, all the time.

It's the perfect "Decisive Moment Digital", a camera you frequently waxed eloquently about several years ago. I'm a bit surprised you never got on with your X100T.

I think the X100F is one of the best cameras at doing what it was designed to do that I've ever used.

With all due respect to Mr. Roberts (and to you), no, I don’t see that as a “danger” at all. The real “danger” is that older folks, who may have waning energy or ability to carry dedicated camera gear, will not learn to use their smartphone’s camera apps to their fullest abilities due to largely unjustifiable and outdated bigotry against phone cameras. If you want to promote a “one camera one lens” program that can make a truly positive difference in folks’ casual photography, mastering the current crop of iPhone or top Android phone cams would be the best choice.

Yesterday about 5:30 pm I looked out my living room window to see a gorgeous adult red-tailed hawk perched on our garden swing about 20 feet from the window.
I have a 500 mm f:4 lens....which was upstairs. I also have a 100-400 mm f:5.6 lens...which was in the trunk of my car. What I had on me was my cell phone. Sigh.
I was almost happy when the hawk noticed my movement as I got out of my chair and took off before I could raise the cell phone.

As penance for carrying only my smartphone yesterday I sourced an ancient Nikon D2Xs and an even more ancient and heavy 35-70mm f3.5 and I am carrying them with me all day long. By tomorrow I hope to have learned my lesson and will allow myself to default to my Panasonic G85 for subsequent walks...

You raise a good point, Mike, but what is a real camera? 1" sensor? MFT? APSc? Full Frame? Hasselblad?

BTW, Welcome back, and glad to know that you are feeling okay.

I got a dumb phone- have enough of computers while inside. But I always carry a GR, approx the same length and width of smaller smart phones, about twice the depth. And when the moment does come up and I snap the shutter, I can examine the result and not have to bemoan the fact that- I didn't have a "real camera."


On the other hand, for me, because I don’t have a car, I walk everywhere (within reason), a good smartphone camera means that now I *have* a camera with me always. Before I usually didn’t, because I prefer to carry as little as possible.

The camera I go out the door with most often is a Sony RX100. It is the first model and I bought it used from B&H for $300. I got the cool leather case that Sony sells to go with it. Sony's 1" sensor and Zeiss lens is a really nice combo. It is very small, protected in its case and doesn't get in the way. Imagewise, it is so much more than I expected. My other camera is a K-1 and Pentax primes.

The trick is having a bag which carries your tablet/book/other necessities of life *and* accommodates a camera, so you never leave home without it.

It is indeed odd. Probably due to my age, 71, and my dislike of the idea of always being reachable, I seldom turn my iPhone on and never think of it as a camera. Possibly due to the fact that 95% of the time I have a camera with me. I even have a tiny Lumix micro 4/3 camera in my glove compartment for when I don't have a different camera.

When I got my first camera phone in 2004 the idea of having a camera with me at all times was exciting. However it wasn’t until 2012 until I was comfortable with the quality of my phone photos - and that was just for black and white. This year I finally became comfortable with the quality of my color phone photos.

It wasn’t because of a new phone - I’ve owned my iPhone for quite a while. It wasn’t the introduction of DNG on iPhone - I have been shooting DNG for a year and a half. What put me over the top was new Camera Profiling software called Lumariver Profile Designer.

I think my current iPhone workflow gives images as good as enthusiast grade shirt pocket cameras of the past like the Canon S100, Nikon P330, Fuji XQ1. I have owned and used some of them.

The point I'm making is that if iPhone cameras are just as real as most small enthusiast cameras sold X years ago, where X is a number less than than 10, and decreasing every year.

I find Terry's comments of interest and useful for consideration. As I mentioned in another post, I use my iPhone for shooting short videos of the kittens playing or my watch for the day for Instagram, but for "real photographs", e.g. those taken during the golden or blue hour, I find the picture quality breaks down pretty darn quickly, especially with today's Retina displays.

The Fuji X100F, on the other hand, is a magical beast, even better than it's predecessor, the excellent X100T.

I find that the synergistic interaction between the 23mm low-contrast (but high dynamic range) f/2.0 lens, 24 megapixel X-Trans sensor and Fuji's wondrous X-Processor Pro III image processor to produce results where the total is greater than the sum of the parts. I shoot with my little X100F whenever possible, just because its so much fun, and I am consistently impressed, and sometimes, blown away, with the quality of photographs it produces; oftentimes some of the best image quality I've ever seen from any camera.

An iPhone camera just can't compare...

By contrast, Terry Burnes, I wonder how many people would decide that they like photography if the only images they could produce were wide-angle photos with deep DOF?

Many street photographers specifically shot with that kind of set-up using their dedicated cameras, so it's no surprise at all that they would be among the first to adopt smartphone photography. The incredible power of anonymity and discreetness while using a smartphone is probably an even bigger advantage for that genre.

But the 24-35mm range is probably my least favourite one for "general" photography. I like to have the ability to isolate subjects - compositionally, if not with depth of field - which is something that is frustratingly impossible in most circumstances with a smartphone.

And that's of course not touching at all on the ergonomic frustrations of a smartphone. Not being able to shoot with one hand is the cardinal sin, there...

I have an iPhone X. The dual lens camera is great in so many ways, but the deal killer is the skin tones. The standard iPhone color profile is over saturated and shifted to yellow. If they ever made a natural skin tone pre-set in their edit function, I would think about leaving my "real" camera at home.

I agree with Terry. I've recently returned (to the UK) from a holiday in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I took a DSLR outfit - body, a trio of f4 zoom lenses and a faster prime - and of course I had my iPhone 7 with me. I took the DSLR out with me on 'photo expeditions' and increased the exposure count by 800 while I was away. At other times when I was doing non-photo things, e.g. visiting the air-conditioned malls (it's hot & humid in southern Asia) I left the DSLR at the hotel, and of course, on some of these excursions I ran into photo opportunities, and was pleased that I'd got the iPhone with me.

Often the iPhone is the camera I'm carrying. As long as I stay within the parameters of what it can achieve I think I can get good images. Certainly better than not getting the image at all.

I bought a Fuji X-E3 about a month ago for exactly this reason Mike. I just don't get the same satisfaction from shooting with my iPhone as I do with a traditional camera.

I might be the last hold-out. I bought a 2nd hand iPhone 5 last year, usually leave it turned off because of high battery drain and have never taken a pic with it. Never even occurs to me. But I dislike telephones generally, prefer to email or text, can never think of what to say in real-time. I only have one in case the car dies and I need to call for assistance. I am on a contract-less deal, no data plan. Am I alone?

The phone is an increasingly awesome device and there are plenty of times it's all I have with me and all I need. Nevertheless, if I think there's any chance I'll need real, I'll take at least an X100 along. I spent last week at a trade show and the phone was perfectly fine for documenting our booth and such, but when an opportunity to take marketing portraits of colleagues I seldom see came up...boy, was I glad I had the Fuji.

I am a contrarian, I think, because I almost always carry a camera (Sony RX1) with me when I leave the house, but only occasionally carry a cellphone.

I find taking a high-quality photo is more important than making a phone call and I have limited carrying capacity -- I hate it when my pockets are full of crap! -- so I prioritize it accordingly.

I've often found myself thinking ' I wish I had a camera with me' and then realising I did. However, on realising that it's my phone's camera, I do nothing about using it and the photo opportunity goes begging.

I almost always shoot at f/8, f/11 or even f/16. I like deep depth of field. And I love wide-angle lenses (20mm FFE is perfect).

Personality is key—what works for me may not work for you. Orsen Wells said that you could tell the mental age of the shooter by what lens height he used. Wells like low camera angles, and said his mental age was 5 years old.

Citizen Kane
Touch of Evil https://tropicsofmeta.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/touchofevil_09762_rv_133_01-27.jpg
The Magnificant Ambersons

Well's work is definitely not same-old, same-old—I like that.

@ Robert Roaldi:

No, you're not alone! I still buy minutes for my phone and used a total of only 120-ish of them over the past year or so.

I might add that hiding in the iPhone menus are some neat stuff. The "Live" option on the iPhone is my latest discovery. I used it to create an animated GIF for a presentation that took me maybe 2 minutes but would have take an hour using my Pen-F, iMovie and GIF Brewery programs.
And I had never mastered panoramas until it showed up on the iPhone.

Another vote here for the Ricoh GR being the ultimate carry everywhere camera. Nothing comes close imo, thought the Sony Rx100 does sound good if you want a zoom lens.

I even found the Fuji X100 just that bit large to carry all the time. The GR fits in my hand so well that I can carry it all the time and slip into my pocket if necessary.

I recently finished shifting to Micro Four Thirds as my only camera system, finally selling off my last Nikon bodies and lenses. (Ummm, well...I looked in the cabinet the other day, and I realize that I do still have five Nikon lenses left.)

Micro Four Thirds started with an EPL2 and the 20/1.7 -- which was nearly as small as the Panasonic LX3 and much better in low light. In other words, it started as my carry-everywhere camera.

But it grew, and I expanded the lenses, and ended up not carrying it so much any more except when in photography mode. I now think of it more seriously, and don't feel comfortable taking it out with minimal lenses, I guess. (Also, my current body is much bigger. The system as a whole seems to have somewhat moved away from the smaller bodies.)

And now I'm more often caught with only my cell phone, again. And it's too slow for anything at all active. So I either need a better cell phone, or another, smaller, M43 body, I guess?

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