Episode 021: Photo Friday – Smartphones, Prints

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There are two things that I want to discuss today for Photo Friday, smartphones and prints. Smartphones are of interest because they tend to be our primary camera, even for serious photographers. They also tend to be where all out photos live. And prints, because there is a power in a printed image.


Should you spend more money on a smartphone to get the best camera you can at the time? What are the critical features you are looking for in a smartphone camera?

After the fingerprint scanner, the camera is the most important feature on the smartphone for me. While some phones manage great images in low light without Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) these are the exception to the rule.

The other features I am looking for in a smartphone camera are the size of the sensor. Bigger sensors have a larger surface area and can gather in more light. Also, I don’t need the highest megapixel count. Large, lower resolution sensors, the like 12MP one in say the Galaxy S8, capture much more light than a 20MP smartphone camera sensor would.

The size of the aperture (or f/number) indicates if the lens allows more light in it as well. So a phone with a f/1.7 aperture will let more light in than a f/2.0 lens would. Yes, this may seem backwards for some people, but the smaller the number the bigger the opening for gather light which is what we want.

Power of Prints

There is a great deal of benefit in a printed photograph particularly for children, who like my boys with my wife’s mothers day gift, cannot seem to put the most recent photo book of her Instagram feed down.

Photo books are less likely to be stolen, the same cannot be said for your smartphone, laptop or hard drive.

Sorting through images also helps for what to bring also helps you dive into your past memories and relive some of the moments in a year or two that you have forgotten about.

(Listen to last week’s Photo Friday episode here.)