Friday, March 4, 2011

why your phone shouldn't be your main camera...

Ok, it’s a given. Mobile phones are awesome nowadays. And they’re awesome because they’re more than phones.  In fact more people talk less on their phones and use it for other forms of communication and entertainment.  We can email, browse the web, shop, do business, play games, watch movies, text, take photos and record video. Our whole lives revolve around these things. But my focus is on the camera part of these phones. Some of these phones have decent megapixel quality on them but beware, using your phone as your main camera is going cause a lot of frustration and sadness in the future. Here’s why…

Where’s the action:
Ever try to take a photo on your phone of movement or action. How about of a little kid…?? With a digital camera or DSLR your chances of getting those important and fun shots are greatly improved. If you want to shoot something when you’re in a hurry and it’s a still object, phones are convenient, but not realistic for movement or taking photos of babies or kids. The technology to support these “action shots” is improving greatly but until it’s up to par with camera standards, you should carry at least your point-n-shoot cam with you as well.

Some of these phones have a decent quality (they keep getting better and better!) but some are still pretty if-y and don’t have the quality and sharpness (or size/picture dimensions) as a digital point-n-shoot camera. A lot of people like to send and upload thru photos from their phone through facebook or twitter but what a lot of people don’t realize is that web quality is not print quality.  When you upload to the web (unless the site is meant for printing or stock photography), you’re cutting your quality in half (if not more).  Good quality photo size (for printing – the scrapbookers) are at least 300dpi and up and your standard web image (what you see on facebook and twitter) is around 72dpi.  Big Difference. If you want quality prints (and you do, to preserve memories in detail), you want to use a quality camera. 

Storage and Security:
Most phones have memory cards you can save your data/media to.  How often are you using that memory card? Or how often are you back up that memory card? You want to back up your phones media periodically, and do so on a computer, disk, external hard-drive, online photo site, thumb drive or a separate memory card stored in a safe place.  Memory devices can go corrupt for no reason, at any time.  Make sure if you want to keep those photos on your phone, you’re saving them and saving to a more secure place.

Say goodbye forever:
if you aren’t backing up or printing your photos from your phone, be prepare to say goodbye forever. I see so many people taking photos of their kids and posting the photos on facebook and twitter. What if your phone is lost or stolen? Your online accounts hacked or deleted? What if you drop your phone in the toilet?? You’re risking losing precious memories and moments by keeping them on your phone and your phone ONLY. What if you decide it’s time for a new phone? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost photos of things I wanted to keep because I didn’t back up or transfer it to another storage device.  But Shannon, they can back up all your phones content to your new phone nowadays! Most service providers can transfer just about everything from one phone to another, but sadly not everything gets transferred and not every phone is in a condition to do that. Always back up your media, especially your photos to something else other than that cell phone and its memory card.  

I’m not saying camera phones are all bad.  You can send funny photos or precious moments (like a newborn baby) immediately to all your friends and family right when it happens. Just remember to back them up if you want to remember them later in life. And always remember to bring a good quality camera for "life's big moments" and special events.

iPhone photo copyright Apple

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