Smartphone technology drags Luddite into 21st century

While I may not have been the last able-bodied adult in the Western world to switch from flip phone to smartphone, it certainly seemed that way at times.

Mind you, this generally wasn’t perceived as a negative, at least by me, particularly when watching hordes of students wandering across streets oblivious to everything but the little toy in their hands, or witnessing families in restaurants silently engrossed in their individual phones rather than talking with one another.

But with a passel of children who don’t do email and prefer instead to text, it was becoming increasingly obvious that I would have to make the move at some point.

An example: in the time it would take me to poke out a finger-by-finger response to one of my daughters’ texts, three more would arrived. Recognizing that, due to some sort of logarithmic progression, I could only fall further and further behind, I would at that point simply pick up the phone to stop the madness.

But what finally convinced me to make the jump a couple of months back was the incredible quality of smartphone cameras.

The above photo was taken recently by Daughter No. 1 at sunset in Lexington County, SC. I have used a Kodak EX with optical zoom for the past 10 years and even compensating for operator error, there is no way my camera could have managed a photo as stunning as that above.

Even more remarkable is that she doesn’t have a state-of-the-art 2017 model, but one that is somewhere between three and five years old.

The technological advances made in smartphone cameras have been nothing short of remarkable over the past 10 years.

“The main technical difference between smartphone cameras and standalone digital cameras is that smartphones use tiny lenses and tiny sensors. The smartphone’s results ought to be much worse. They are not,” according to The Guardian. “Smartphones produce high-quality results by using their powerful processors and built-in graphics engines to process the image data and compensate for their technical limitations.”

Best of all, phones with high-quality cameras that were quite pricey two or three years ago are now very affordable. The same will almost certainly be the case two or three years down the road with what is cutting-edge today.

One supposes it has never been easier or more convenient to take high-quality images at any time in history.

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7 thoughts on “Smartphone technology drags Luddite into 21st century

  1. Yes, you’re right, it is easy to take stunning pictures, but you still need an eye for composition. I think your daughter has that skill. The question is though, can we be as satisfied, knowing that we have basically, just pointed and shot. No shutter speeds, no apertures to worry about. Kinda takes the alchemy out of picture making, doesn’t it?

    • You’re right; and while it may make good photographers out of many of us, it could well reduce the number of “great” photographers as people skip the steps you listed that are necessary to come up with beautiful art.

      Besides, I’m still staggered by the number of people, armed with smartphones, who are still unable to center images of people, cut off the tops of heads or have six feet of space over their heads while cutting them off at the knees, etc. The greatest camera in the world isn’t going to create an Ansel Adams out of Pugsley Addams.

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