The Camera You Have With You
They say that the best camera is the one you have with you. I would venture to say that for most people and for most of the time that camera resides in your smartphone.
Because it is small enough to occupy a pocket or small area in a purse, the smartphone is likely to be with you almost always when picture opportunities arise.
If only that smartphone weren’t so limited in terms of the pictures photographers really want to take, one is tempted to say. We want to have manual controls for special lighting conditions, the option of shooting in a raw format for optional editing of images afterwards, the ability to mount the camera away from our hands for special effects, and to zoom into view objects at great distances from ourselves.
The good news is that currently smartphone cameras can provide almost all of these features. The last is the one challenge that remains largely insurmountable. The telescopic options remain rather limited for even add-on lenses for smartphone cameras.
As travelling photographers we tend to want to bring along several options for using our camera – things like tripods and extra lenses. Happily the smartphone can be mounted on almost any tripod with a little adapter, fired remotely with a Bluetooth trigger, and outfitted with a variety of special lenses.
Special add-on lenses can be acquired from companies such as Olloclip and Ztylus. These provide fish-eye, wide-angle, macro, and limited telephoto options for your smartphone.
Tripod options include a variation on the selfie stick that collapses into a small 6-inch bag. Bluetooth triggers allow you to fire your camera either on the end of the selfie stick or at the top of the freestanding tripod.
In my show-and-tell demo I showed how the tripod/stick and a set of 6 lenses could all be carried in a tiny bag to fit a pocket or purse quite easily, much like the smartphone itself.
My point is that we should not underrate the potential of that little camera we have with us almost all of the time.