I’ve never been a member of the “Team iPhone”. But for quite some time I’ve been a fan of the iPhone Photography Award. Every year, I’m impressed by the incredible variety of breathtaking pictures you can take with an iPhone (and of course, with other smartphones as well). No matter if it’s spectacular landscape images, street photography, artistic portraits and atmospheric momentary shots – the Award shows us the possibilities the technology of smartphone photography offers. You almost always have it with you and have the chance to capture every moment, and sometimes you manage to capture very special moments in a photo.
Since a few days it seems like everybody is talking about the new smartphone by Kodak. As many of you might know, it’s not the first try by the photography giant to establish itself in the Smartphone business. Back in 2015 Kodak introduced the IM5, but it wasn’t a success. The second try, with the “Kodak Ektra” seems to be more successful right from the start. At least it’s already getting a lot of media attention. The Ektra resembles a camera like no other smartphone before and Kodak clearly aims to reach all the photography souls out there. For many of us, taking photos with our smartphones and most of all the quality of these photos makes up a big part in our decisions to buy or not to buy a smartphone.
The new Kodak phone is definitely eye candy for everybody who loves photography. The retro design resembles the old Ektra camera from the 1940s and when it comes to the cameras performance, Kodak scores with a 21-mp camera and its own photo-app.
I read a couple of reviews about it already and most of them are pretty good. For me, a passionate photographer, the new Kodak smartphone-hybrid is of course very appealing and I’m really thinking about getting myself one, especially because I constantly stumble across great photo motifs, but I don’t always have my camera on me, the Ektra might be the solution for that.
If the pictures taken with smartphone-camera hybrids can really keep up with pictures taken with classical camera pictures, has to be found out. I’m also not quite sure if smartphone-camera hybrids like the Kodak Ektra are going to establish themselves. What do you think? Will cameras in the original sense soon be obsolete or will true photographer always opt for the real thing?
Would you consider getting yourself a smartphone-camera hybrid like the Ektra?
OK, I admit that there is definitely a difference in whether you shoot your photos with a DSLR or a Smartphone. Those who really devote themselves to photography will probably always prefer to have a “real camera” in their hands. But, no matter how much one belongs to “team DSLR”, there is no question about some advantages of a smartphone when it comes to taking pictures. It is always on hand, convenient and briskly pulled out of your pocket or purse when needed. There is no denying it, most of us, if not all of us, use their smartphones for taking pictures from time to time.
The newest invention when it comes to smartphone photography will therefore maybe delight you as much as it did me. Thanks to a team of creatives, who are working on the Fojo project for more than two years now, there is now a darkroom kit for smartphone photos.
Zoom lenses are useful, but they need a complex optical formula, which means, compared to prime lenses, they are pretty big and heavy. That’s the reason why they aren’t used that often, and if, in a simpler and more basic version (with a small zoom range and/or slow speed) in smartphones and in compact cameras.
Corephotonics, an Israeli company aims to change that with its latest zoom approach. Instead of a zoom lens and a sensor there will be two camera modules, one with a wide-angle prime lens and another with a tele prime lens. An innovative software calculates the missing focal lengths between both ends of the “zoom”. The zoom lens doesn’t require any moving parts.
This approach was first demonstrated two years ago, back then with only a 3x zoom. The newest model “Hawkeye”, which was presented a few days ago at the Mobile World Congress 2016, comes with a dual 13-mp-camera, 5x zoom, improved noise performance and an enhanced optical image stabilizer. The following video by CNET gives you a little insight into this new, exciting technology.
The market for photography equipment has been shrinking continually and across all areas for the last years. The decline in sales in low-priced compact cameras is easy to explain: for many, smart phones afford a sufficiently good image quality, are more readily available for snapshots, and, most importantly, people actually carry them with them constantly as communication and networking devices. And it is a truth universally acknowledged that the best camera is the one that you always have with you. 😉
Compact cameras might come with zoom-lenses, stronger flashes, and, in most cases – thanks to actual buttons – a better/ more intuitive controls, but this does not necessarily tip the scales in their favour. The target group does not seem to consider these advantages to be as important as the “always there” factor and the great potential for snapshots afforded by smart phones. It is therefore not surprising that “Super zoom compacts” and “premium compacts” were the only product categories still selling well on the German photo market in 2014.
In contrast, the ailing of the system camera segment remains a mystery for most. Neither analysts nor photographers can explain the phenomenon – after all, DSLRs and EVILs speak to a different, more “ambitious” target group than smart phones; however, I believe that they should not be competitors at all. Maybe, as the following graph by Mayflower shows, the market might be simply sufficiently saturated?
According to Cipa, the interest group of the Japanese photo industry, 14 mio cameras have been delivered worldwide in the first quarter of 2013. Compared to the previous year, when 25 mio were shipped, this constitutes a sharp decline of an alarming 40%. Especially the demand for compact cameras has heavily decreased. While 21 mio could be marketed in the first quarter of 2012, only 11 mio could be sold during the same time frame in 2013.