is the one you have with you (or so someone once said that has been quoted over and over and I’m too lazy to look up the source.)
I’m seriously loopy tonight, so bear with me. A bad case of strep throat and an infant with a double ear infection isn’t showing off my dying neurons to their best ability.
For a while now, we’ve been meaning to upgrade our phones. What we had was more than sufficient for our needs, but we knew our needs were going to be changing. So, we waited until we knew exactly what the specifics were before we went out and upgraded. I am the lucky beneficiary of my husband’s work needs – we now have smart phones, 4G, and unlimited texting that I’ve been putting to the test. Yup, I know. We were SO far behind the times it was sad. Whatever.
Now, specifically, our previous phones had cameras. Sort of. They were really pathetic cameras and I laughed at the file size after playing around with it. After that, I resolved to use our infinitely better Canon for all our photo needs. And really, I didn’t truly need a phone camera that did a great job anyway.
Now, I’ve always kept an eye out on the growing Iphone photography genre. It fascinates me what a basic camera and a few fancy apps can do to an image – and some of them are quite lovely. A lot of good photographers out there are producing gorgeous photographs with just their phones. And as long as you’re viewing the image on something like…the phone….the image is super duper awesome. Problem is, as soon as you pop it onto a computer or try to print it out you run into the problem of file size. Yup, tiny files, relatively speaking.
Nine times out of ten though, who cares? Most of the images I take with my phone will never go larger than a 4×6 if they get that far. And I have to admit, having a simple camera (with a flash) that I can whip out of my pocket and capture spur of the moment images with is a handy thing.
Like this one. Thanks to a very gracious floral employee at our favorite grocery store, Corbin got to experience his first balloon. I know, I’m depriving the kid. He didn’t get his first balloon until he was 8 months old. It simply didn’t occur to me that he might actually like to have a balloon, since I’ve never been all that fond of them myself. Unlike bubbles, which he first experienced when he was old enough to move into the big bathtub (so we could avoid a huge mess.) Incidentally, he loves both – bubbles and bathtub.
Corbin wasn’t sure what to think of this balloon thing. It floated, and it followed him around the store the whole time we shopped. By the time we checked out he had decided it was a good thing to have around, and he talked to it as it bobbed around the back of the car on the way home. Daddy got him some fancy mylar balloons for Valentine’s Day and Corbin discovered the joys of balloon kickboxing. We sure got a lot of wiggles out of that child doing that. Gave him a good workout!
So. Good images aside (poor lighting here, with a deplorable noise situation still produced a decent image with even a hint of balloon movement) what’s the scoop on phone cameras? I was once asked how many megapixels my camera had, and when I replied with the number, the guy said in a pitying tone, “my phone has more than that camera does!” And I thought (but didn’t say) “uh huh, but how big is the sensor to capture those pixels?” Because when you’re talking size, that’s what really matters. Not the number of megapixels (although that’s important too) but the size of the sensor. Not surprisingly, the more expensive and “professional” the camera, the bigger the sensor.
Here’s why: that sensor is what captures the information. I’m a little fuzzy on the technical size of things, but I do know that when you’re talking images, the more information, the better. You can always edit down the info but you can’t add it back. Which, in a nutshell, is why I hate jpg files – they compress the image which loses little bits of information here and there.
I would absolutely love to have a digital back to go on my large format camera. Imagine a digital sensor the size of 4×5 film. I’m in awe. That’s what you see a lot of the serious studio photographers using, and if you’re ever bored enough to watch America’s Next Top Model (I watched pre-baby for some light-hearted fun – ostensibly photography research for the the photo shoots) you’ll see quite a few of the studio shoots are done with a large format camera tethered to a computer. I can’t even imagine the size hard drive you would need to store some of those images!
Not surprisingly, a digital back is massively expensive. Perhaps someday. For now, I’m happily taking quite a few decent baby pics with my small, portable phone. Things like Corbin’s first carousel ride, having his first egg (scrambled, he loved it) and catching that oh-so-cute face smiling. Which is a very difficult thing to do, I’ll have you know. The important photo shoots are still done with our trusty Canon for good quality images that I can tweak, but the random snapshots? The phone, and its 8 megapixel glory work quite well.
Note: I absolutely forgot to do any editing to this image. What you see is straight from the phone. Not too bad, right?