YURI KOZYREV - ONE OF THE BEST MILITARY PHOTO JOURNALISTS IN THE WORLD
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SMARTPHONE AGAINST THE CAMERA INDUSTRY

In terms of its functionality, the smartphone is now more like a camera or PC. Some smartphones are large enough to have high-resolution screens, while others have two screens, immediately turning into something between the phone and the tablet.

Smartphone vs camera industry
New Zealand, South Island iPhone XS Max @ 4.25mm, ISO 40, 1/1000, f / 1.8

Why, then, those who want to take decent pictures prefer to spend decent money on photography equipment and hours of training on how to use the camera, process the images shot on it? Professional photographer Nazim Mansurov offers his analysis of this issue.

The problem of the complexity of a large camera

Smartphone vs industry kaSmartphone vs camera industry

Let’s look at a typical photographer workflow:

camera setup and image / video shooting;
transferring files to a computer with sufficient memory and processing power for processing images and high-resolution video;
import multimedia into photo / video application;
organization and sorting of images;
post processing;
media export;
backup creation;
print / publish.
The problem is not only the number of steps, but also the complexity of each.

Now contrast this with smartphone shooting:

capture an image or video with one button;
multimedia processing using embedded or third-party applications;
publication.
Smartphone vs camera industry
Faroe Islands iPhone XS Max @ 4.25mm, ISO 25, 1/150, f / 1.8

How is media consumed

It is clear that smartphones and tablets have already replaced desktop computers as web browsing devices. Add to that social networks such as Instagram, which now has over a billion active users. And they all look at images with a resolution of just 1.2 MP (1080 x1080 pixels for a square image)! Content is now mostly viewed on small devices with very low resolution. Since camera manufacturers use 50+ MP sensors and 4K + video recording capabilities, then for whom is this additional resolution?

For high-resolution cameras, there is a definite place among enthusiasts and professionals. But if most of your work ends on social media platforms, or you print very few photos and put them in photo albums, you potentially lose a lot of time and money chasing the best cameras.

Big Cameras = Big Problems

Smartphone vs camera industry
New Zealand, South Island iPhone XS Max @ 6mm, ISO 16, 1/610, f / 2.4

Choosing a camera system in itself is a big challenge. You have to go through many different criteria: camera brand, resolution, sensor size, autofocus system, ergonomics, build quality, weather protection, price, weight, etc. Lenses are a completely different story: focal length, sharpness, weight, quality, focus speed, price …

As soon as beginners get their first camera, they quickly realize that their expenses and time do not stop there. Suddenly, their computers are not fast enough for the subsequent processing of images and video with high resolution and off and on.

Digital photography has become too complex for most people. Even experienced photographers get tired of everything they have to do to stay relevant and competitive.

What will not save the industry

With the decline in camera sales, all camera manufacturers are suffering. Now that sensor performance has largely reached the limits of CMOS sensors, manufacturers are striving for higher resolution and camera capabilities. Obviously, this is not enough to increase camera sales.

Mirrorless cameras are the future for those of us who want to keep up with the latest technology and truly enjoy the benefits of high-resolution sensors. But for many photographers, all these achievements are simply not needed. Switching systems is a very expensive thing if you want to use lenses with a natural mount. And adapters will never be as good as native lenses – they are designed for temporary solutions and compromises.

For most camera manufacturers, it is too late to offer a product that a typical consumer would like. Their only hope for the future is to maintain their existing customer base. With all the technological advances, artificial intelligence and cloud computing, the digital camera market will unfortunately continue to decline.

How smartphones will capture most of the camera market

Until now, one of the main factors why reluctance to choose a smartphone among serious photography enthusiasts was: relatively low resolution, low dynamic range, lack of separation of objects / bokeh and the lack of specific functions that we usually see on mirror and mirrorless cameras. However, these are mostly temporary issues that are likely to be fixed.

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