Friday, January 18, 2013


A lot of photo professionals say: I will never use a cameraphone or a compact camera, those things are a joke. No serious, self respecting photographer will ever be caught with one of those contraptions, I mean, that would be ridiculous. 

This photographer says...You know what, I am ridiculously happy, to have fallen from grace. 

However, how is placing a SMARTPHONE vs a DSLR in a photo contest fair, now, that is nuts! Yes, I am LOONY over my discovery, and paraphrasing the english saying "To each his own", this is what it is all about. This is a fight, that has all the correctness of a handicaped contest, where the contenders are placed in the same competition but at different classes. However, both contenders have to face the same challenges.

In one corner there is the Cameraphone in its black and orange trunks and in the other the DSLR dressed in its ominous black cover, the middle weight champion one of the best know DSLR brands of the world. The The cameraphone is 8 MP and 2 years of age, the DSLR is 18 MP and two years older. Nevertheless, smaller may not be all that bad.

Let me start by saying, that to a pasionate image hunter, the possibility of making as many pictures as possible is Heavan, Paradise, Nirvana or whatever ecstastic feel my may think on your own. However, for the goal oriented, the argument may be, that toy cameras just don't cut it, for the assignment. Well, there is a globally used word this days, with its roots on a finger originated word, which prooves most of the diehards wrong... and the word is DIGITAL. It is one of the most used and least understood words of modern days. It is great to know, that if things are too small or too big, they can be digitized up or down at will, it really is up to you which way you go. So this is a hell of a game changer.

To make the argument better, the cameraphone and DSLR pictures were DIGITIZED to simmilar sizes. Between 1000 and 1500 pixels at their longest side at 72 DPIs for Internet use and the JPEGs were constrained to middle size, for the purpose of this publication. Please keep in mind these words: FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS PUBLICATION.

The first two photos are from the entrance to a neighborhood maintained PUBLIC PARK. No municipal or gorvenment money involved, just to show, that little people may do better than big brother in some things. One picture was taken by a cameraphone the other by a DSLR. You may tell which one is which, however, can they tell a story on their own if you were publishing them on a BLOG? We are! So, to each their own works with either camera so far. 

Its a tie! However, the cameraphone image, lets a few sun rays in, that a well coated lens of the DSLR will not show. Nevertheless, the picture does its job and gets the message away.


To a train eye there are clear differences in between the two photos, however, to the layman either picture will do to the advanced amateur and the pro, the cameraphones have incredible uses for pre poducction, on site light and composition evaluations, site inspections, face recognition of future service providers and whatever one can think to make our shoots easer.

If I had to do a pre-production of a park, in a place I did not know anything about, you can be sure that the use of the cameraphone would be "the thing" to do. Why? I could send via Whatsap pictures and videos for a inmediate response. The images could be saved into Cloud Storage Service or Dropbox for that matter, and my clients and staff, would have first hand information in real time. At the same time, I would be less conspicuous to both crooks and authorities while I get the job done.

However, how does one fare with the limitations of a cameraphone. Well, get to know it, run tests before using it for work and above all, learn the Applications Market that its really incredible.


In the " Silver Times" currently known as Analog Photography, when someone wanted to inssure the outcome of a photograph, a company named POLAROID revolutionized the market with instantly developed black and white photos. This was back in 1972. Later on, they managed to produce color pictures and the applications were hot for innovators. Soon medium and big format photographers were using Polaroids to see how to work the light and composition by placing "POLAROID BACKS" on tneir cameras and running trial photos before using film. Well, here is the cameraphone...

I messed up the cameraphone panoramic above. The bright grass area was blown out. Why? the meter failed to work well. As it turns out, I was ointing the camera focus to the trees in the back ground, and they were darker than expected. This fooled the samartphone camera into over exposing the middle ground. However, before I deleted the result, I had made a second shot pointing the foucus towards the middle right part of the picture and the expusure came well enough for a keeper. 

If you see the grey scale photograph bellow, you can see that the sky and the grass are within the same tonal range. And by pointing towards the middle tones I could compensate por the shadows at home.

Once the correct exposure was determined for the cameraphone, I knew what I had to work my pre-panoramic series on the DSLR to attain the desired results.

The grey scale shows how the Iphone prevented me fro doing a wrong series. I know that we can correct photos as we go by instant review, but if you do not have the DSLR with you, the cameraphone helps a lot.

Finally the last photo was taken with the DSLR. The midtones were quite good, and my picture for this article was just what I needed. So from now on, the cameraphone will be my pre-production camera, and in many instances it will have a place of its own in Digital Camera Adventures.

Here are a few facts that I like to share with you:

  1. Its not the camera, its the talent behind it!!!
  2. For internet publications any good photo will do, as its requierements are an universal equalizer.
  3. Cameraphones are here to stay, and they will make a big difference for first time buyers debating beween a compact camera and a more multifunctional device.
  4. The user friendly and practical capabilities of cameraphones, are and will make DSLR manufactures change paradigms or perish for their stupidity.
  5. WiFi enabled cameraphones are changing how one uses a camera and without a doubt mirrorless and DSLR that do not work with WIFI enabled applications have their days counted in the market.
  6. Newcomers into digital photography, will not have hangups about the type of camera they choose, they will go for the best for the money and those with the best applications.
  7. Professional Photographers have to run, keep up, or move out of the way as 6 billion digital photos placed in the internet every year are a clear sign of quantum changes in the business.
  8. At last, I like to ask you, how many people you see taking pictures with their camera phones and how many do you take each day...That is the question.

Best regards, please sign up and keep on following, there is more to come.

See you on the screen.

Leopoldo "Leo" Garcia
Naturalist/Nature Photography Instructor/Blogger

The articles in this blog are sponsored by Jardines Ecológicos Topotepuy
the botanical garden in the Cloud Forest
Telephones: 212-963-1242 / 212-961-6770 / 935-7755


Leopoldo "LEO" García 
Professional Naturalist Guide / Documentary Photographer and Writer / Bilingual Field Producer and Ecotourism Product Developer and Consultant 
Email: / Tweeter:@leogarber
Facebook: Digital Camera Adventures and VENEZUELA-DESTINO NATURALEZA
TELEPHONE: WORK: 0058-212-624-9019
MOBILE: 0058-414-246-2007


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Santo J. Goodman said...

Nicely driven photo. Looks awesome! The is up to the standard thanks for sharing. Hope to see new things more here.

Unknown said...

Step by step explanation and real pictures are increasing the beauty of your blog. I like your work and i hope in future you also update us about that.

Anonymous said...

The substance you are penning blows out my nous.15 inch digital photo frame

TakingGreatPics said...

Fun to read back on these older posts and think about how amazing this tech was at the time and how outdated it is just a few short years later