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Strategy Session: Cameras of Convenience

With Easy Upload Capabilities, Smartphones Now Pose a Threat to Cameras

August 2011 By Jerry Grossman
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  get the sense lately that the premium picture takers used to put on image quality is fading fast. And that’s not good for our industry.

I’m not going to hearken back to the darkroom days, because they are long gone. But there was a time when most people took the time and effort not just to take a snapshot but to create a photograph.

Students learned about exposure systems, and depth of field. Different films were coveted for how they rendered colors. Macro lenses and portrait lenses were treated like pieces of jewelry—and were just as valuable.

For years, we’ve been used to people trading up their cameras so they could create lasting images. Point-and-shoot film cameras were replaced by point-and-shoot digital cameras . . . and the ultimate jump into digital SLRs was not far away.

Now, I fear people are starting to trade down again, as they get more and more comfortable using their cameraphones as their primary imaging device. I was always the naysayer who did not believe that cameraphones were a threat to digital point and shoots and DSLRs. But I’m beginning to understand the trade-offs. Case in point: I was recently on my annual baseball stadium tour with my son, Zach, and I wanted to take a few images and load them onto my Facebook page so my family could follow our trek. So here was my choice.

1. Pull out my digital SLR and take a great image.

2. Pull out my iPhone, take a “fair” image, and load it onto my Facebook page, practically in real time.


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