Modern smartphones have evolved to a point where images captured on them can rival those created with a dedicated point-and-shoot camera. It may not be a digital SLR, but your smartphone weighs heavily when it comes to photography.
That’s why a lens and sensor combination that spends most of its life in your pocket is probably your best bet. Don’t believe us? Here are six reasons why you should leave your old target and shooter at home.
1. Always on you
Many have said it, and some have even used it to sell books: The best camera is the one you have with you. This is true whether you’re using the most expensive SLR camera from Nikon or Canon, or the nostalgic Game Boy camera from Nintendo.
A smartphone neatly enters into this equation by virtue of the fact that most of us cannot live without one. They’re always in our pockets, on the desk in front of us, charging on a table, ready to give us information – when the opportunity presents itself – take that photo you wouldn’t have taken without a camera.
even if you were To bring the family a SLR and lens kit, most SLR cameras are expensive enough to warrant camera bags. Not everyone lives life with a big 5D fat around their neck that looks like a Flava Flav. When you need to take a picture in a hurry, reaching into your pocket and activating the camera mode wins a lot every time.
This is also evident if you are watching the news. Smartphones are no longer used simply to call emergency services or send messages about loved ones, they are used to capture news. Some of the most notable news footage was filmed with a smartphone – from the Paris attacks on Charlie Hebdo’s head office to the worsening Ukraine crisis.
2. Size and discretion
Certain types of shooting require certain types of equipment. Street photography is fun and the results can be great, but for many, it’s also a source of anxiety and worry when standing on street corners with a chunky DSLR and a long lens. paying off Hannibal Renberg’s Instagram feed To see his impressive street photos on iPhone, and get some inspiration.
Compared to an SLR camera, your smartphone is small and harmless. This may be the perfect starting point for shooting street portraits with larger gear, and it may enable you to capture moments you wouldn’t have if you were busy fiddling with camera settings or changing lenses.
The size of your smartphone is also easy to use in a tight space, where traditional SLR cameras do not fit. Consider shooting through fences, with small gaps barely larger than the surface of the lens. You can also cram your camera into dashboards, lockers, and even bushes to get a different perspective.
Secret photography (the art of taking pictures and videos where you shouldn’t) is also possible with a smartphone. The temporary pocket camera you see above was VICE used it in a 2015 documentary It was created using a cigarette case, a lighter and duct tape. We’re not suggesting you break any laws, but if you need some shots for your investigative journalism article, this is one way to do it.
Finally, your smartphone’s camera makes taking selfies much easier and more convenient than using a professional camera – and you can do it in a fraction of the time. This applies to taking individual and group selfies as well.
3. There is an app for that
Our smartphones are being revived by our choice of software, and if there’s one type of app that many new users are looking for almost immediately, it’s a better camera app than the one on their device.
Although it is not yet possible for iPhone users to replace Apple’s default display, there are some viable options when the time comes. Camera + is one of the most user-friendly combinations, with separate focus and exposure points, scene modes, and other aids including a horizon level.
Download: camera + for iOS ($4.99, offers in-app purchases)
ProCam 8 takes things to the next level and includes manual control of everything from shutter speed to white balance, plus lossless TIFF image support as well.
Download: ProCam 8 for iOS ($9.99, offers in-app purchases)
There are also apps that challenge you, like Carbon, which is a black and white photo editor that offers a myriad of features. Some of these features include support for raw images and a tonality splitting effect for some filters.
Download: carbon iOS (Free, offers in-app purchases)
On Android, the plain old Google Camera app is one of the best options, just make sure you get it on your phone first – here’s how to get Google Camera on your Android phone. If you crave manual control, the FV-5 has been billed as a shutter dream, offering features like exposure brackets typically only found in digital SLRs.
Download: Camera FV-5 for Android ($4.99)
One app we can’t help but mention is FiLMiC Pro, which allows you to shoot incredibly high-quality video at higher bit rates than Apple’s stock camera app allows. There’s also full manual control over settings like exposure, focus, white balance and an amazing array of other settings – perfect for anyone who wants to get serious about mobile video.
4. Many accessories
Anyone with a digital SLR habit will tell you, in no uncertain terms, that it’s an absolute financial hole. You’ll be throwing money at new lenses, filters, batteries, SD cards, tripods, and ball heads – the list is nearly endless. That’s all part of the fun, of course, which is why there’s a growing market for smartphone camera accessories to choose from as well.
There is plenty of room to expand the capabilities of your smartphone. From simple tripods you can make your own, to a set of lenses that attach to the back of your device, to purpose-built tools like Camalapse Mobilewhich allows you to capture 360-degree time-lapse movies.
You can even attach an LED light unit, like Ulanzi VL-49 RGB Pocket LampEspecially for those dark people.
If you’re interested in amateur underwater photography, you’ll find that underwater cases for your smartphone are much cheaper than SLR cases, which can cost as much as a brand new SLR body.
For videographers, there are mobile-ready dolly systems like iStabilizer and a suite of tools designed to help you get the perfect still shot, like the most advanced SwiftCam M4s +—which uses a motorized pivot for ultra-smooth results.
And when it comes to audio, the iPhone in particular is compatible with a growing array of high-quality microphones.
These accessories can outfit your smartphone to handle just about any situation, although most cost a fraction of what you’d expect to pay for SLR equivalents. You may not get quite SLR-quality results, but you won’t be spending anywhere near SLR money.
5. You are always in touch
Our smartphones make us feel connected, especially in the sense that you won’t have a moment’s peace; But when it comes to photography, immediacy is a blessing.
There are no SD cards to unpack, and most smartphones actually start transferring your photos automatically without any input on your part. If your smartphone is not, installing Dropbox adds this functionality.
If you’re an iPhone user and have a Mac, your photos will be automatically sorted and scanned for recognizable faces before they magically appear inside the Photos app. But who said anything about sharing your photos from a computer? These days, it is much easier to share your photo directly on the sharing platform of your choice. And if you are inclined to photography, this is likely to be either Flickr or 500px.
Whatever your social network – Tumblr, Instagram, Oggl from Hipstamatic or old Imgur and Facebook – sharing your booty has never been easier. Of course, you should be careful not to over-share and saturate your high-quality collection with mediocre uploads.
6. Makes you a better photographer
In many ways, smartphones are taking photography back to its roots. You have to learn to do what you have because, while there are hundreds of apps and aftermarket accessories available, you are more likely to be caught taking pictures on your smartphone in an instant, rather than doing a pre-planned shoot.
There is usually no optical zoom, forcing you to change the composition directly by moving yourself. The lack of lighting solutions means that you will have to be more creative when it comes to portraits, and take advantage of the light from the windows.
Smartphone photography pushes you out of your comfort zone. You may need to rethink your approach to certain situations, and you won’t always get the shot you want. However, if you use a few basic smartphone photography tricks, you will not only impress yourself, but you will develop as a photographer.
Take amazing photos with your smartphone
Technology is constantly improving. Our smartphones are no longer good for staying connected. When it comes to photography, it can produce better results than a professional camera. It is also more convenient.
If you are new to photography, smartphone photography is an easier and less expensive way to get started. And if you’re a professional photographer, this is a great way to turn things around and challenge yourself. Never underestimate the power of smartphone photography in the hands of someone who knows how to use their mobile camera.