A few years ago, average consumers ditched film for digital’s instant gratification, and it’s been nonstop megapixel mayhem ever since. Nearly everyone has some kind of digital camera now, and it seems like more people than ever are using professional digital SLR’s.
But do you really need all that camera? While everyone agrees gadgets are cool, there’s a case to be made for the simplicity of hauling less weight (and expense) from place to place. In fact, your smartphone may already offer all the camera you could ever need. Here are five reasons why:
1. You don’t shoot action.
Unless you’re shooting live action, there’s really no need for a clunky digital SLR. Examples of live action include baseball games and kids running around in the yard.
Besides action, the only other occasions for which you’ll definitely want a digital SLR are professional interior shots for real estate brochures or full-frame images of birds from several yards away.
Or if you’re an artist. For most people taking pictures of family and friends, the fast speeds and extreme focal lengths of digital SLR’s just aren’t necessary. The camera in your smartphone is already fast enough.
2. You only need a few megapixels.
Nowadays, megapixels are little more than a marketing ploy. Besides professional photographers, nobody needs more than three or four megapixels for high quality images.
My Android phone comes equipped with a 8MP camera from which I can make exquisite 12×18″ prints. When was that last time you needed prints bigger than that?
3. You can already change the white balance.
In case you’ve never heard of them, white balance settings let you change the overall tonality of your images according to your lighting situation.
A few years ago, you had to buy a fancy digital camera to modify white balance settings. Now even entry-level smartphones come equipped with a variety of ways for you to perfect the colors in your pictures.
4. Your camera is only a tool.
Cameras don’t take great pictures. People take great pictures because they point their cameras at things that look great. With a skillful eye (and some practice), you can take great pictures with just about any camera.
Think about it like this: I currently own a Yamaha keyboard that I bought on eBay for about $50. Now if Mozart were alive today, he would probably be playing a Steinway – not my plastic Yamaha. But if he did play my Yamaha, he would still sound like Mozart. That’s because the piano itself is inconsequential when it’s being played by a master.
Cameras are no different. In 2008, professional photographer Chase Jarvis published a book consisting only of photos taken with his iPhone. His point, of course, was that he could take great photos with any camera because he was so good.
And he was only using the iPhone 2G.
So, wouldn’t it be nice to save a few hundred bucks on a new camera? Take out your smartphone now and start shooting! You may already have all the camera you could ask for – you just didn’t know it yet.