Recently I took a trip to Islands of Adventure on a mini-vacation, and if there’s anywhere you’ll see cameras, it’s there.
I saw digital cameras. Lots of them. Were I to hazard a guess, around 90% of the people I saw using cameras were point-and-shoots and the other 10% using DSLR full-bodied type.
I was also specifically looking around to see if anyone was using a smartphone to snap photos with. Nope. Other than myself, I saw nobody using a smartphone’s camera. In a Florida theme park of all places.
In the back of my mind I thought that everyone would have dumped digital cameras for smartphones by now, because after all, smartphones are cheap these days and not everyone is a photographer. Wow, was I wrong. Very wrong.
If you were to ask me which brand I saw the most, I can’t say because it was all over the place. Casio, Panasonic, Nikon, Olympus, Sony, etc. You name it, and it was there. All the brands were represented in just about every color you could think of.
Why do people hang on to digital cameras so much?
There are a few good reasons.
True optical zoom
Even a cheap 50-dollar digital camera has optical zoom these days. Smartphones as far as I’m aware at best only have digital zoom, and as anyone who’s taken photos is aware, digital zoom sucks compared to optical.
When the phone’s battery runs down, that’s it. Most people don’t carry around spare phone batteries. With AA-powered digital cameras however, it’s a quick run to the gift shop, buy some AAs and you’re back in business. Yeah, you spent way more than you should have for batteries at the gift shop, but the point is you can do it and keep snapping photos.
Smartphones are not known for taking good photos no matter how ritzy they are. Those tiny lenses have a difficult time capturing proper light and color, whereas with a cheap digital camera it’s easy.
A dedicated platform for the task
This is probably the best reason of all. Digital cameras are meant to do one thing well – take photos. Yes, they do video as well, but the primary purpose is photos. A smartphone’s primary purpose is not photos but rather communication via text and voice. Photos from a smartphone at best are a tertiary consideration behind communications and apps.
Will smartphones ever be able to take a photo as good as a true camera?
A good lens is an absolute requirement when it comes to photos. Given that even the cheap digital cameras blow the doors off smartphones in that department, I don’t ever see phones taking better photos than real cameras.
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