Well, it’s not really dead. But it might as well be. It sits next to my desk in a LowePro camera bag waiting for the next planned photo shoot that never seems to come along. It’s easy enough to carry around, and weighs no more than a couple of pounds. It’s the best camera I’ve owned.
But it has one major flaw.
It doesn’t have built-in Wi-Fi or 3G or even Bluetooth. That means it doesn’t have a way to connect directly to the internet. Not that those were features I looked for in a camera when I purchased the Nikon two years ago. Today, I can’t imagine purchasing a camera that ignores the internet.
I used to make fun of camera phones. They were a joke. And then I bought an iPhone. It didn’t (and some would say it still doesn’t) come with a great camera. But it continues to improve with each iteration. Best of all, it’s always with me.
The old adage is true: the camera you carry beats the fancy model at home.
All four of these pictures were taken with my iPhone at times I wouldn’t have thought to carry my Nikon. Had I taken them with my Nikon they would have looked better, especially at higher resolutions. But they look good enough to share with friends and post to Facebook. Even a lower quality pictures trumps no picture at all.
Yet, I doubt Nikon or Canon care about people like me. Instead they focus on selling to professionals who will, in turn, purchase expensive lenses and accessories. Then again, when I see these same Nikon and Canon models sold at Costco I wonder if their customers will eventually force them to acknowledge the existence of the internet.
Once I owned a phone with a camera, I began looking for reasons to take pictures. Like the time Kim sent me to pick out a dress for Luca’s baptism. When I found two that matched the description she gave me, I took a couple of pictures and sent them to Kim’s iPhone. The ability to snap a couple pictures took only a few seconds but saved me a return trip to the store. The iPhone was the first camera phone I owned where the pictures looked “good enough”. The apps made them easy to share. That was the tipping point feature for me.
I have over 15,000 pictures of my hard drive. Many of them are better quality than what I can create on my iPhone. But they take greater effort to share. In the time it takes to launch Photoshop on my desktop PC, I can run a picture I took on my iPhone through a filter and post it to Facebook. Speed matters. Ease of sharing matters even more.
The gap between what I can create on my Nikon compared to my iPhone is shrinking with each phone Apple releases. Of course, a digital SLSR will always take better pictures in the hands of a professional. But for many casual photographers like me, the iPhone (or Android or WP7 phones) are plenty good for the majority of shots.
How about you? Are you taking more pictures these days with your camera phone, or are you carrying your favorite camera around?