The Elephant in the Room

Today’s Post by Mark Toal

Photography and the photo industry are a big part of my life so when friends and co-workers get together we naturally talk about cameras. What’s interesting is that nobody ever talks about cell phone cameras, but we all use them. We debate the megapixels and sensor size of our mirrorless or digital SLR cameras and never mention what’s inside our cell phone camera.

iPhone 6s PlusI’m as guilty as everybody, we don’t want this outsider that everybody can use threatening our business and industry. Well, it already has. The cell phone is the point-and-shoot camera for most people in the world. In the 1990’s I always carried an Olympus point-and-shoot camera with a fixed 28mm lens, the same focal length lens that’s in most smartphones. If I needed a wider or more telephoto lenses I would get out my interchangeable lens camera.

For the entire history of photography there have always been a large group of people who just want to record life’s events and a smaller group that wants to do more with their photography. I was one of those people that loved photography from the minute I picked up a camera and wanted something with more features than my Kodak Instamatic. Luckily my father was there to show me how to take and print better images.

Instead of sneering at cell phone photographers try accepting them and if you see an interest in photography help them make the move to a mirrorless camera with more creative controls. A lot of photo enthusiasts are older and have children and grandchildren. If you see an interest in photography help them learn about more advanced cameras and photography and please try to avoid saying “I remember when.”