What’s the Place of a Phone Camera in a Photographer’s Life?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much I should depend upon my phone camera for my photography needs. I’m not sure if it’s laziness, or just convenience, but since I always have my phone with me, I find myself using it more and more for photography.

Maybe this is just a natural evolution of the technology, and phone cameras are getting better and better – so why not use them if it makes sense? Sometimes the ability to get a photo quickly can be important, and a phone may be the perfect camera for that job.

Now, that being said, I don’t think I’ll ever put away my “good” camera. My wife asked me the other day, “Why am I taking my backpack with me?”, and I replied, “That’s my backpack, where I go, it goes”. And that’s generally the way it will always be, my backpack and my cameras within will usually be with me. But, there are still times I find myself without my good camera, but I do have my phone.

I’ve recently been looking closely at some of my phone photos, and I can definitely tell a difference. There’s a difference in quality – the focus, the sharpness, the resolution, the colors – are all different than photos taken with my DSLR. They’re getting better though, and sometimes I’m impressed at how good the images from my phone look.

The times are changing. When I was living in Chicago, and doing freelance work for the Chicago Sun-Times, they fired all their staff photographers, and let their reporters take news photos with phones. For sports photography (like I was doing) they hired freelancers to do the work. So, maybe the phone’s camera has it’s place.

All this to say that maybe our phone cameras have some sort of usefulness. Maybe there are times when your phone camera will work for what you need. Maybe there are times that you will be able to capture an image that you might otherwise have missed. I nearly always have my phone with me, and have used my phone to capture images from time to time, but I also, nearly always, will have my backpack!

What do you think?