• Andy Whysall

A thought about the phone in my pocket

I took some ad hoc landscapes on my phone while I was walking the dog this afternoon. One of those frosty post-foggy afternoons. Phone cameras are usually a source of frustration to me, but this one (Huawei P20, not the Pro one) takes amazing images as long as I remember to shoot RAW. The JPEGs are over-sharp and over-saturated, like these, but for web use they're still pretty good.

I keep reading stories in the photo press about how mobile phone cameras will eventually be the demise of cameras as we know them, and how production at Canon and Nikon is down with smaller demand. I wouldn’t want to over speculate, but I know serious photographers who pooh-poohed digital cameras (even at the point when the ugly-but-excellent 5mp silver-brick Canon G3 was big, around 2004) and who have obviously had to eat their words. I’m not going to say the camera will never become extinct, but nothing will surprise me in years to come.

If I were to complain about the phone as a camera, and not just this one, it would be because the stabilisation can’t deal very well with my ‘benign tremor’ (shaky hands) which gets worse. I’ve put up with it for a long time and am often having to lug a tripod for my cameras, where in the past none would have been required. I am in the middle of a big internal debate on whether to buy a camera body with built-in stabilisation. It’d need to be the new Fuji pro camera, X-H1, since my good lenses are all Fuji, just the little-used zoom has built-in I.S. I can see a day coming when I'm tripod-only.

Update: Fuji X-H1 since acquired.

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