There is a saying in photography that the best camera to have is the one that is in hand. Right now, that is really hitting home for me. My Canon 5DIII is at Canon Professional Services for some needed repairs, which leaves me with my iPhone 7 as the only camera I have in hand.
I was talking with my friend, the other day, about my photography. While the statement about the best camera is the one in hand certainly has truth to it, I mentioned that I am not that great with taking photographs with my smartphone. There are several reasons why.
Smartphones are too automatic. I know that sounds a little funny, but I like to have buttons and dials to change settings. For example: if I want to get a certain look by changing the aperture, a smartphone does not allow for me to make that change. Long exposures at night are also more difficult with a smartphone.
There are apps out there that expand the settings of the camera on a smartphone, but there are also limitations caused by the physical components of the camera. Again, there are attachable lenses and components that create the illusion of getting high quality photos with a smartphone. Example: I can hold my phone up to the eye piece of my spotting scope to take a photo.
However, if I compare the quality of images taken with my smartphone to those taken with my DSLR, the DSLR wins. So, the convenience the smartphone provides is outweighed by the quality of the image created by a real camera in most cases.
This image was taken with an iPhone 7 back camera shooting through a Celestron C5 spotting scope. Post processing completed with Adobe Lightroom Mobile including cropping in.
This image was taken (the same night) with a Canon 5DIII mounted on a Celestron C5 spotting scope. Post Processing completed in Adobe Lightroom CC including cropping to a square (crop does not match the iPhone 7 image).
If all I had on hand was the iPhone, then, of course, that is the camera I will use. However, the camera that is going to give me a higher quality image is the Canon 5DIII. I understand the limitations of the equipment and know when it is appropriate to use each for certain situations.
I used a point and shoot digital camera for awhile. There were certain photographs that I wanted to capture that influenced my decision to step up to a DSLR. Again, I understood what the limitations were for the equipment. So, while I do agree with the statement that the best camera to have is the one in hand, I also understand when the equipment is limiting me from capturing an image. If there is a situation where I do not have the right equipment, then I simply do not try to capture the moment.
My tip for this week is to use the camera in hand. I also want to emphasize that equipment has limitations. If the camera is not capturing the scene, perhaps a different piece of equipment is required.