On Camera Phones…

It's seen better days, and I'm a terrible product photographer, but this little device has shown me the problems with being a film/large sensor "purist".

It’s seen better days, and I’m a terrible product photographer, but this little device has shown me the problems with being a film/large sensor “purist”.

I always railed against camera phones. I never saw the big issue with carrying around a regular camera or SLR everywhere I went, and the early camera phones left a lot to be desired when it came to image quality. However, as the inevitable march of technology moves forward, I think I’ve finally grudgingly accepted the usefulness of camera phones.

There is an advantage to having a camera everywhere you go, and quality is up there with some of the lower end compacts these days.

One of the best examples of where my camera phone has allowed me to get shots I would’ve missed otherwise, is when I’ve been driving around this great region of ours for work, and see something that would make a great shot… like wildlife:

A good example of a shot I wouldn't have got if it wasn't for a camera phone... found this little critter in the middle of one of our roads, so I stopped to try and move it.

A good example of a shot I wouldn’t have got if it wasn’t for a camera phone… found this little critter in the middle of one of our roads, so I stopped to try and move it…

…and it got ANGRY!

A rather impressive black headed python I found during a road inspection for work. If I didn't have my camera phone, I wouldn't have got this shot.

A rather impressive black headed python I found during a road inspection for work. If I didn’t have my camera phone, I wouldn’t have got any photos of this very glossy and pretty specimen.

Another thing that happens a fair bit when I’m travelling for work, is beautiful weather related scenery. Being out in the early morning, and even just being in different areas at different times…

I was on my way to training in Dysart early one morning when I saw these clouds "breaking" over Lord's Table Mountain. The convenience of always having a decent camera can't be over emphasised.

I was on my way to training in Dysart early one morning when I saw these clouds “breaking” over Lord’s Table Mountain. The convenience of always having a decent camera can’t be over emphasised.

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A lovely sunset when I was on my way out to go kayaking one afternoon. When I left Clermont it wasn’t this dramatic.

Not exactly interesting weather, but still a nice scene. My bike's in the work ute because I wasn't going to be back in town before the office and depot were closed.

Not exactly interesting weather, but still a nice scene. My bike’s in the work ute because I wasn’t going to be back in town before the office and depot were closed and locked for the day.

Further to unexpected subjects, there’s also the spontaneity of just having a camera one button press away. Like when one of your pets is being adorable:

My parents' dog, Pete, who was trying to convince me to part with my lunch for his benefit.

My parents’ dog, Pete, who was trying to convince me to part with my lunch for his benefit.

Our recently acquired bearded dragon being cute when we first brought her home. By the time I got the DSLR out she'd moved.

Our recently acquired bearded dragon being cute when we first brought her home. By the time I got the DSLR out she’d moved.

I also discovered the usefulness of a camera phone when I was going kayaking regularly. Eventually I’m planning to get a dive housing so I can take my proper camera, but for now, a basic waterproof case for a phone like mine didn’t set me back much at all.

Sunset on the water, taken from my kayak.

Sunset on the water, taken from my kayak. Maybe running a little bit late getting back to the boat ramp, since I didn’t have lights, but yeah… beautiful time of day.

Dramatic clouds whilst kayaking. These clouds formed whilst I was on the water, and by the time I got back to the boat ramp it was dark.

Dramatic clouds whilst kayaking. These clouds formed whilst I was on the water, and by the time I got back to the boat ramp it was dark.

Getting up close to water plants, which are mostly out of reach from the bank.

Getting up close to water plants, which are mostly out of reach from the bank.

In this case I was glad my phone has a decent minimum focus distance.

In this case I was glad my phone has a decent minimum focus distance.

Another good thing about camera phones is being able to take a photo as a note. For example, if you see something you’d like to shoot with your “real” camera, you can take a quick snap with your phone (with Geotagging on if you don’t know where you are), and then review it later when planning another outing.

One such planning shot. I've been meaning to shoot some photos of the big coal trains we have running around here, but I had no idea where along the track there was a good view with a decent backdrop.

One such planning shot. I’ve been meaning to shoot some photos of the big coal trains we have running around here, but I had no idea where along the track there was a good view with a decent backdrop. So, when I happened to be pulled up at this spot for work, and a train just happened to come past, I took a shot so I’d remember the place.

A piece of interesting track equipment that was in Clermont for a couple of days. I took this while I was out for a walk, and had every intention of coming back with my DSLR the next weekend. Of course then the machine was gone by the time I got back, but that's how it goes.

A piece of interesting track equipment that was in Clermont for a couple of days. I took this while I was out for a walk, and had every intention of coming back with my DSLR the next weekend. Of course then the machine was gone by the time I got back, but that’s how it goes.

All in all, I’m now well and truly convinced of the advantages of camera phones, especially now that the cameras themselves have become actually quite decent in terms of image quality and functionality. In light of that and the couple of experiments I’ve conducted testing the “status” post type of this WordPress theme, have given me some ideas…

Shannon Walters

An amateur photographer who also spends time making chainmaille and doing too many other things to mention.

2 Comments:

  1. Pingback: Day 1: A Flower

  2. I agree, often the best camera is simply the one you have on hand

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