Do you prefer to use your phone's camera, or a dedicated device?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
Over the holidays I know of a couple people who received cameras under the tree. I know they were pretty excited to get them, too, because it was something they had been asking for, for quite some time. But, as they pulled out their cameras and opened up the box, eventually even started taking pictures, I remember thinking back to an article I had written near the middle-part of the year. I had asked you, dear reader, if you are someone who prefers to have multiple dedicated devices, or if you don’t mind consolidating all of your uses into one device. Obviously our phones have made it a lot easier to consolidate if that’s something you like to do. While I prefer to have multiple devices in particular situations, I think a camera is one of those things I prefer to have tagged along with my phone, rather than have to carry one around. And I think that has everything to do with ease of use.
I prefer a specific device for my music player, and that’s about it. And that has a lot to do with the fact that I love a specific way to get my music, and I hate ruining my phone’s battery because I am listening to music. When it comes to playing games, I would much rather use my phone than have another portable gaming system to carry along. But when it comes to a camera and taking pictures, I believe that part of the fun of taking pictures is that you get to share them with people. And sharing pictures with your phone is so easy, while sharing a photo from a conventional camera isn’t easy at all.
I’ve been seeing reports scattered around the Internet that photo uploading services, where people go to store their photos in the cloud, are seeing a lot more traffic from smartphones rather than conventional cameras. That isn’t surprising to me in the slightest, but I don’t think it’s because those point-and-shoots that companies like Canon and Sony are producing are bad or anything. I just think it boils down to ease of use. After all, some of those cloud services, like Picasa for instance, are connected to our phones, and uploading right to the cloud has never been easier. Who wants to go home and upload images from their camera, to then upload them to the cloud? Why not do it all right from your phone, right when you take the picture?
The answer to that question is pretty simple, of course. Die hard photographers may use their phone’s camera from time-to-time, just to get some candid shots of family or something, but when it comes to serious photos, a dedicated device will never be replaced. And that’s probably the way it should be. Of course, with camera technology getting better and better, it may not be the case forever. But, for now, it certainly is.
I use a dedicated camera for work, and that’s it. While the camera itself isn’t big or heavy, and it would probably be pretty simple to take it with me when I leave the house, I am perfectly content snapping photos with my phone when the time arises. Even if I know the quality would be better from that dedicated piece of technology, it’s all about the ease of use. I don’t have to reach into a bag to pull out the camera, as I normally have my phone in my hand. I don’t have to worry about remembering to upload images, because I can do it right from the phone, right after I take the photo. In fact, sometimes it’s instantaneous.
The accessibility and ease of use of our smartphones, and the fact that the technology within them is becoming so advanced, means that consolidation isn’t something that people need to be second-guessing. It’s easier than ever to have everything we need in one device, and that’s probably one of the greatest things to look forward to in the future. It will only get better, and someday pulling out our smartphone to get everything done may not be a thing we only dream about.