Enough Comparisons And Jumping Ships. Just Shoot Some Photos Already

The recent forum discussions on smartphone cameras can get even more dramatic than the most extensive "equivalence" argument on DPReview forums. It is true that in terms of smartphone wars, it is no longer just about specifications or what the smartphone itself can do (everything is about the same, having powerful processor with fluid, smooth operations, long enough battery life and beautiful, large responsive touch screen capabilities). The war centers on the camera prowess and feature sets, plunging smartphone photography right at the center of the most heated debates everywhere.

Pandan Soda. 

The popular topics being how the newer smartphone cameras can finally take photographs at night (as if the older ones suddenly stopped functioning) and that the newer iterations are replacing actual dedicated cameras. The brand wars can get quite aggressive with camps from Huawei championing their multiple camera module setup versus other alternatives out there, while Samsung claims that their physical aperture changing on the lens is a next huge thing. The cringe-worthy moments happen when I started reading comments or argument put forth by people who clearly are not photographers and have very little interest or understanding on how camera actually works. They were fed with marketing and advertising junks and when you start to believe that today's 40MP smartphone can be a as good as today's 40MP DSLR, something got terribly wrong somewhere.

I have used some of the "flagship" smartphone cameras over the years. Let's not name brands as I do not intend to get caught in the middle of the war. To me, as always, what matters the most is you going out there actually using your camera and actively make new images. Shoot and shoot and shoot, stop caring about what your phones can or cannot do, and just take more photographs. You may spend the rest of your waking hours obsessing about the lack of megapixels or wanting better low light performance but those things mean nothing if you never had a meaningful photograph to begin with. The more you shoot, the more you will realize that the features and functions of the camera were there to serve you, and you have to be the one to create the images. If that is true, should you not be spending time being out there shooting instead of worrying what others may reply to your latest defense on why your smartphone camera is better than others?

Instead of using a highly ranked smartphone for my mobile photography, I am now using the Motorola G5S Plus, a budget-friendly smartphone that never oversells itself. No over the top "super high Megapixels claim", no "see in the dark" slogans, etc. Just a plain, straightforward, simple phone. And you know what? I love it. I found myself shooting more and more with the Moto G5S Plus.

Got new spanking red casing for the phone, to match al-cheapo red in-ear headphones that I have. 

 The Sunset that almost could happen

Portrait of a friend. 

Leaves and Windows

Expensive Sandwiches

Lanterns and Fabric

Yes, the smartphone camera may not perform too well when the light drops. Focusing can be a problem in some difficult conditions, and the wide angle fixed focal length is not really that flexible to work with. The tiny image sensor has very little recoverable headroom when it comes to dynamic range. All the above were true, but if you care so much about photography and if you want to get the images, don't be lazy and pick up that camera. I am sure that camera will solve all your issues in your rants. 

To me, the smartphone works well for very quick snaps and moments when you know you can shoot away without having real consequences. For a photographer, the limitations on a smartphone can prove beneficial as a training ground to improve certain skill sets. For example, not being able to change lenses and being stuck at a wide angle focal length allowed me to improve my wide angle game. I have to pay more attention to what goes into the frame of my wide shot and use more creative means to isolate my subjects. I also have to be more mindful about perspective distortions that can render unnatural and ugly looking results. The basics of photography have become more important than ever: careful and smart compositions, creative play with lighting and finding visually appealing subjects. 

Photography was never about point and shoot. Anyone can do snapshots. You do not need the best smartphone camera to produce high grade image output. Have you looked into your own specifications/skill sets as a photographer before upgrading to that new smartphone with better camera?

My usual hangout location

An unholy combination of Green Tea and Lime

Mount Santubong in the background


Not sure if those plants are real

Floor, Patterns and Shadow

Overpriced Coffee


  1. ...And the sad thing is that if you ask to the forum dwellers about their photos, they answers that they don't have time to shoot. But they have time to post tens and tens of comments on an argument.

    1. Always shoot more! and lets the photos speak for themselves!

  2. Oh no, not you too! LOL Yes I agree, smartphone cameras are great for a quick shot or social media. The divide between the artist and blogger is still there, it just depends on your purpose.

    1. Hah, I don't see myself as an artist, but yes I am a blogger and a photographer! And any tool is a good tool, if it fits the right purpose. Smartphone is always there!

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