The conquering nature of the smartphone camera (with interview)

I talk about smartphone cameras being a viable replacement for professional cameras a lot on the blog. The simple fact is that the average user is more than comfortable enough to sacrifice photo quality for convenience and portability of the camera. No matter how great and small professional cameras become, there’s no beating the fact that I can draw my phone from my pocket and have the camera open, ready to take photos in under 2 seconds. That’s a mind boggling thing to think about. Remember that cameras used to require you to sit still for several minutes.

For the past two years, the photo sharing website Flickr has shared the top cameras its users are using to take photos with. And consistently, for the past two years, the iPhone has held the top spot. Higher than any other professional, semi-professional, or even point-and-shoot camera.

Apple leads while popular DSLR manufacturers Canon and Nikon steadily decline.

I recently interviewed a young woman named Aleks, who is not interested in photography but who is able to take and share good quality photos with her smartphone. “I use the Samsung Galaxy S4 to remember everything,” she told me, “When it behaves like it’s supposed to it takes very good pictures.” Aleks told me that her favorite camera is a Canon DSLR that she’ll occasionally borrow from her friend for more professional photo taking needs, but the her Galaxy smartphone is by far the photo-taking device she uses most often.


If you’re interested to read about my effort to reverse my personal gravitation toward my smartphone camera, I recommend reading my first impressions post for my new Fujifilm X100T.

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