No, not that thing that’s built into your cell phone. I’m talking about the real fucking deal that is a point-and-shoot camera.
Those who have declared that the “camera-phone” has trumped and made “obsolete” of the actual camera are as foolish as those who excessively use their camera-phones to take pictures/shoot video without realizing how crummy and average their captures look. Of the few times I dared to look at footage shot from a cell phone on, say, YouTube, I’ve come away with a reaction akin to me seeing yet another nuisance hashtag. Then there are the pictures it takes. Makers of cell phones (and for the 1000th time, I will NOT refer to them as “smart phones”, OK? If it was really smart, it would get me a hot date that will put out for Saturday night) say that the quality of the camera in the phone has been improving with every new model that comes out. Higher megapixels, extended ISO settings, HD quality, etc. But what about those who don’t want to buy a cell phone every year? (Six months for you iPhone owners, haha.)
Cameras, too, suffer from the draconic cycle of modern technology where what you get now will be old in a year. But even with the new models, the features that produce a high-quality result can be still found in some of the “older” models. Take the Sony cameras, for instance. I currently own a Cyber Shot DSC-HX20V, which is a 3-year old model. I’ve tested out some of their newer models and, save for built-in WiFi and extended zoom in the lens, they still got the same features and end result I currently have with my camera.
To be fair, it’s not in the design of the camera or the camera-phone that may make one difficult to take pictures. Maybe it’s their hands that are a bit shaky. And I have a feeling that today’s cameras in cell phones now have the “timer” feature; most of them probably don’t use it/don’t know it’s there/don’t care about it, thus the reason why their pictures look part-decipherable, part-blurred, all-laughingly average. Nonetheless, despite everything cell phone makers are doing to make things more intuitive for shutterbugs, the end result still sings the same tune that, like the music of Rihanna, doesn’t appeal to me.
To wit, here are the quality differences between what my camera captures, compared to what my cell phone takes (and there are now watermarks on my pics, for those trying to steal my shit):
*from my Samsung Galaxy 3*
*from my Sony Cyber Shot DSC-HX20V*
(Yes, I went to that outdoor hockey game between the Sharks and Kings Saturday night without telling you guys here. There will be more of that later.)
There may not be that much (if any) difference, although if it matters to you, the small details such as the haze of the lighting and the audience sitting far across from me are more visible in the camera pic than in the cell phone pic.
When it comes to zoom, my cell phone just can’t cut it. It can zoom for me, but I lose quality. Plus, I only get 4X zoom on it.
*from cell phone*
*from camera (which has a clear 20X zoom)*
And when it comes to night pictures, oh man…it’s the one thing a camera phone has yet to do right. Not even C-minus average-right.
*from cell phone (despite me adjusting it to the correct ISO)*
You don’t know how hard it is for me to hold back laughs when I see some poor sap taking pics of a city at night with their cell phone.
Call me a camera snob, but, for me, I’m more about quality than, oh, trying to get my pictures out there onto social media to show where I’m at/what I saw. I may not be the best shutterbug out there, nor do I have the best camera, but when I want to capture something, and my trusted Sony Cyber Shot is with me, I know I’ll feel good about the end results of what I shoot with it. (And for the record, all those pics above that I took have not been re-touched by Photoshop, filters, or any of that shit. I’m too much of a purist with my captures; what my camera shoots is what I have no problem showing to others.) Don’t forget that if you want to print your pictures, hands down, the camera does a better job than your phone. Fuck, a $125 simple camera can take better pictures than a $250 camera-phone with all the bells and whistles. And on top of that, there’s the stand-out factor of having a camera in a sea of those using their phones to capture action, as it is these days. Oh, look at those kids taking pics of the Giants’ parade with their phones and then uploading it all to their Instagram accounts…good pictures, nice pictures.
Besides, what looks classier?
I know, it’s not a fair fight. But given the exponential rise of inane, trite, predictable cell phone selfies and slow decline of actual camera use by our youth, I’m not sure if this current crop of youngsters would know what “classy”, let alone “trite”, means, even if its definition was fully defined and etched onto the back of their phones in sparkly rhinestones. This is also the same generation that thinks sheer tights are pants, so bless their little hearts.
Bottom line: the camera isn’t dead, will never die, and trumps that camera on your cell phone. If all you have to take pics is your phone, fine. But don’t tell me the quality of the pics from your phone bests that from an actual camera. You might as well tell me Lil’ Wayne is a better lyricist than Tupac. I’ll try to hold back laughs on that take, too.