iPhone and Smartphones as the New Point and Shoot Digital Camera

In the past a lot of photographers would look down on point and shoot cameras and on photographers who used more “newbie” cameras.

But why this snobbery?

My theory is that insecure photographers are always trying to prop up their legitimacy as photographers by purchasing big/expensive/uncommon cameras, and they feel more powerful and legitimate by disparaging “lesser” photographers who shoot with “worse” cameras like iPhones, smartphones, or point and shoot cameras.

The new frontier of point and shoot cameras

A random thought:

Perhaps now, iPhone (or any other smartphone camera) is like the new digital “point and shoot” or “snapshot” camera.

Why point and shoot (compact) cameras are the best:

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
  1. Always with you, thus you shoot more, see more, experience more, and live more!
  2. Image quality isn’t the best; but perhaps this is the point. The tradeoff is portability and compactness for size, weight, and cumbersomeness. Perhaps the point of a point and shoot ISN’T to replace your “standalone” digital camera, but perhaps be your daily/everyday shooter.
  3. In terms of image quality, you can always improve the aesthetics of your images by using VSCO presets (a6 for color) and post processing the contrast, and exposure. Or you can use the default Apple Photos app, you can use Google Photos, or use Lightroom CC. It seems if you want a stronger aesthetic “punch” from your images, it is a good idea to spend extra time post processing your photos.

When does image quality matter, and when doesn’t it matter?

Anthony. Washington DC, 2019
Anthony. Washington DC, 2019
  1. Of course if you look at an iPhone or smartphone camera made full screen on a huge laptop or screen it isn’t going to look as good as your standalone digital camera. However if you’re the type of person to only look at photos on your phone, technically shooting photos on your phone is fine!
  2. Determine the purpose of why you make photos. Sometimes we shoot snapshots to remember lovely moments; so image quality isn’t so important here. If your photos have the ability to spark joy in your heart by reminiscing on past experiences, any quality photo is fine!
  3. If you plan on printing your photos super huge, or desire the most archiveable photos, then don’t shoot with a phone. Use a standalone digital camera for this.


Some concluding points:

  1. To shoot a “low quality” photo on your phone is better than no photo!
  2. Determine whether you’re making photos for smartphone screens or to be presented super big.
  3. Consider a RICOH GR II isn’t much bigger than a phone, but probably has 10x better image quality. But in terms of ease of sharing and processing photos, of course phones are easier.
  4. Perhaps the point isn’t to maximize image quality or to use the “best” or the most “optimal” camera in certain situations. It is to allow ourselves to utilize ALL types of cameras (point and shoot, digital, film, medium format, phone, etc) and to just remain prolific by shooting lots of photos!

Or to conclude:

All photos are good photos.