Saturday, September 29, 2012

Looking for a Good Point and Shoot Camera?

iPhone 4S

I just recently upgraded my old iPhone 3GS to the more recent iPhone 4S and I have to say, I am more than surprised at the quality of the photos from the built-in camera.  The reason I didn't upgrade to the iPhone 5 is that I'm a cheap bastard a bit on the frugal side and always look for the best bargain.  Since the iPhones have been around, I have always upgraded phones when the latest one comes out, going for what was previously the newest release.  This way, I feel like I still get a worthwhile upgrade, and still save a little money.

Back to the camera part.  If you're looking for a good, point and shoot style camera, why not consider getting yourself a nice smart phone with a quality camera?  Sure they still don't do *everything* that most quality point and shoot cameras do, but today's phones have amazing technology and produce photographs of superior quality compared to the early cell phone cameras.  Another reason to consider a smart phone as opposed to a point and shoot is that, everyone these days carries a phone and they are much more compact than most small cameras.  So basically, at least in my opinion, its just one less thing to carry around with you... which I'm starting to appreciate more and more these days. ;)

A photographer I really admire has said "the best camera is the one you have with you" -amen

The iPhone 4S has a 5 megapixel camera with HD video recording, 720p up to 30 frames per second, a built in LED flash and the ability to geo-tag all your photos and videos.  Its truly pretty impressive for a cell phone camera.  Another feature I have noticed (not by reading any specs) is that it also performs exceptionally well in low light with minimal noise.  I'm not familiar at this point with the ISO settings but so far, after quite a bit of field testing, I've been pleasantly pleased with the low noise results.

Another great benefit to the iPhone 4S (or any iPhone for that matter) is the thousands of camera apps available to edit and augment your photos with, not to mention apps like the ever-popular Instagram where you can share your photos on the fly with your friends.

Some of the apps I use on my iPhone are (in no particular order):

Dynamic Light (HDR)
PS Express (editing)
Snapseed (editing... and my favorite)

....I could honestly write a blog post on just the apps alone, so I'll leave it at these.  Many of the apps above are also available for Android users!

Also, with the latest iOS 6 update, the iPhone 4S and 5 now have one of the best, easiest to use Panorama apps I have seen, built right in to the camera.  There is also a new HDR option that comes standard with this update.  I haven't used the HDR option that much yet, but am looking forward to experimenting more with it.

For more info on the iPhone 4S, you can check out the technical specs here.

One last bonus to smart phone cameras are the cool lenses and accessories that are available now, like the new Schneider Optics iPro lenses ...drools.

So, long story short, if you're thinking about getting a point and shoot camera just to have fun snapping a few photos here and there, take the time to consider getting a smart phone with a good built in camera.  You'll be saving a little money, and its really cool to have a camera that takes phone calls too. ;)

To check out more about iPhone photography in general, check out the really cool blog: iPhoneography Times

If you'd like to check out some of my iPhone photography, check out my Tumblr Blog.

Also, if you're already snapping away, you can follow me on Instagram - jwaii

Happy shooting!

1 comment:

Sam said...

Good post but I still think a point and shoot camera is worth having as well as a smart phone.
I'm all for ditching awesome (but expensive) DSLRs and just getting back to what photography is all about - capturing a moment.

However, I still think the quality difference as of today between smart phone cameras and basic 'point and shoots' is too big.

I didn't have any inconvenience during my last travels from having my pocket point and shoot camera with me as well as my smartphone and got to take some photos I was really proud of as just an amateur photographer ( has some examples of the results).

Interesting topic and post though.