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Calling all photographers!

KeromeKerome Lovingness is the wayThe Continent Veteran

I was wondering if there are any photographers on the forum? I’m very much an amateur, I just dabble with my mobile phone and sometimes take some fun compositions. I’ve had my moments taking a few decent ones...

But I was wondering what you all think of the state that photography is in? Smartphones are getting better and better cameras, is it worth getting something like an iPhone 12 Pro just for the better camera — it’s like 300 euro’s more but you do get an extra lens and some nice features. With a DSL camera an extra lens will quickly set you back a few hundred euro’s.

Perhaps I should take a course, it would be good to develop my eye and sense for what makes a good photograph. But I have no idea if it would be worth it...

Anyway what are your experiences with photography like, casual or expert?


  • If you are an amateur, as am I, much better to spend the €300 on a kwanon Cannon Bridge Camera

    You can set the camera to auto, which I do and take zoom shots that are not possible with an iPhone. If you wish you can then also familiarise yourself with DSLR settings for more control.

    DSLR or the new mirrorless cameras do not take better pics. Photographers do.

    It is a bit like thinking better brushes will make you an artist ... B)

  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran

    That’s exactly right, I have been researching a bit on the internet how to take better pictures and a lot of it seems to be about being there at the right time of day so you can catch the light, and getting the composition right.

    It’s one thing in favour of doing a photography course first to see if you like it. You might want to find out all the arcane secrets such as your f-stops and your shutter speed and your exposure characteristics, which is one reason for doing such a course, but that’s only really useful if you have the camera to go with it.

    A friend of mine is just selling her Canon 4000D DSLR camera second hand, which usually retails for about 400 euro’s, but she was telling me about the fact that the auto-focus doesn’t always work correctly. You do get access to many of the more expensive zoom lenses for that, but you still have to buy them which drives the price up further.

    The reason I am tempted by the iPhone 12 Pro is that it does what you want automatically, things like portrait mode and night mode, has three lenses, a 2x zoom, a 1x normal and an 0.5x wide, AND crucially that you always have it in your pocket. I like just taking photos occasionally and rarely go for hikes where I would take a dedicated camera with me.

  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran
    edited November 2020

    I’ve taken a trip down memory lane, thinking of the times when I used to own a camera... there were a few, I had a simple point-and-shoot mechanical camera with film, then I had a digital camera for a number of years which was one of the early Canon Powershot models, and then I started to use my first iPhone.

    The trouble I always had with my digital camera was you had to charge it up and take it with you, it was not light, and so I would only take it on dedicated photographic expeditions. It took some preparation, and you were always carrying the thing and the accessories. I used it some on holidays, but rarely at home.

    My iPhone I tend to use whenever I see something worth photographing. I’ve made some nice pictures of the beach, the forests, on walks and from the windows of my home. It’s always surprised me how you can make some quite beautiful photos with simple equipment. The one thing that I really miss is a better optical zoom.

  • The one thing that I really miss is a better optical zoom.

    Understood. B)

    A DSLR that does not work properly for you is not worth much. Is it worth €200 to you? Probably not right now ... You would be better off learning how to take photos with your friend ... B)

    You can get a compact bridge camera or mirrorless camera if you really need it ...

    You clearly want to justify buying a new phone. So do it. Take photos and share occasionally ...


  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran

    It’s not so much that I want a new phone, but that I now realise that my patterns in life are such that I wouldn’t get much benefit out of a camera. I have to be in the mood to photograph stuff, and it often arises spontaneously when I’m out and about.

    I probably won’t buy a new phone for another year or so. I still get plenty of joy out of making photos with my current phone.

  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran

    I’ve been reading some reviews and I find it fascinating that a lot of the software process in taking a photograph on a smartphone is doing things that just aren’t possible on a camera. It’s things like Apple’s Smart High Dynamic Range 3 feature, it takes multiple exposures at different settings and blends them to preserve detail in shadow areas and prevent areas of high brightness from whiting out, giving a final image which a lot of real cameras can’t achieve.

    In order to do that sort of processing you need to have a powerful CPU and some sophisticated machine learning tools to create the segmented image. Most cameras don’t have that hardware on board. Similarly focussing assist hardware such as a lidar.

    So this article I was reading was of the opinion that smartphones can do a lot more to make images look good, which in proper photography is dependent on the photographer manipulating his tools to get the best result. Which is interesting to me, because it allows me to concentrate on subject and composition.

  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran

    I was looking at this, from the perspective that if you examine great photography then you also learn to improve your eye for artistry.

  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran

    I’ve been watching more videos on YouTube about how to become a better photographer, especially the art side of taking a photograph, how to develop a good eye and see what speaks to you. Some of it has been really interesting.

  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran

    I really enjoyed this professional photographers breakdown of the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro camera systems, and a lot of the pro-level features. The brief look into how Apple’s new ProRAW photo format preserves the processing that the smartphone CPU is doing on the image in near-real-time is very revealing... it’s like a professional photographer’s pipeline of making a final image, all done automatically by machine learning algorithms.

    There is one comment in the comments section on this video which says it all... an older photography pro selling his equipment for an iPhone 12 Pro, after noticing that his son’s photographs on an IPhone 11 Pro of their recent Montana trip were way better than those from his expensive DSLR camera.

  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `   South Carolina, USA Veteran

    I've studied photography on the Great Courses. But when I pick uip my Canon Rebel I sometimes can't recall in time how to adjust certain features. So I tend to take my self-adjusting Nikon with me more.
    But a smartphone is so much cheaper if you need, or just want, the GPS to identify when and where the picture is taken. This feature, I think, is essential in travelling, and the cost for a GPS-enabled DSLR camera like my Canon would be prohibitive for me.

  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran

    Yes that’s right. They are packing so much stuff into these phones, the guy in the video I linked above tried to find a Cannon lens equivalent in specs to the wide angle lens in the iPhone 12 Pro, and he found it on Amazon costing 2299 US dollars. If you buy a photography focussed smartphone there is a lot of capability there.

    But what I find amazing is that so much of the work of making a photograph technically good is done for you by smart software. Exposure, ISO, white point balance, colour mixing, it’s all part of the software and you don’t have to worry about it or even know that it’s there. All you have to focus on is composition and framing and the subject.

  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran
    edited November 2020

    It seems Google Photos is stopping with its unlimited online storage plan, The Verge have an article on how to find an alternative.

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