This is an honest to goodness question and let me tell you why I’m asking. I was having a conversation with my friend yesterday about why I like shooting with my iPhone…
Me: Because it’s convenient, lightweight and takes a great photo.
As soon as I said that I realized that it’s not just having something with you all the time that makes it more convenient it also needs to be less bulky and lightweight (again the iPhone delivers). However, I would like to have some of the features and lenses that are available to the (Pro) DSLR user but I’m not willing to pay the heavy price of bulk and weight and that set me off on a mission to find out what the heck is inside those things (bodies and lenses) that they still need to be so darned heavy.
I watched manufacturing and design videos and read (a few) articles so, I am nowhere near an expert on this subject. I am also not an engineer, camera designer, manufacturer, or anyone any of those people would ask for advice on this subject but from what I could see I still have to ask, in 2017, is it really still necessary for camera bodies and lenses to be so heavy and bulky? Because if it’s not necessary and they could all be much lighter and less bulky — why aren’t they?
…is that they’re still calling them phones.
Bear with me for a minute because I don’t limit this to just a problem with the new iPhones (or any recent iPhones) but also any recent Android smartphones too, like the Samsung Galaxy Note8. The problem is that we’re still using the term “phone” when we talk about them and especially when price becomes part of the conversation it can get silly — fast!
By far the typical comment for smartphones upon a new release is, “That much — for a phone?!”
I think any reasonable person would agree that spending $700 to $1,000 for just a phone would be ridiculous. In fact, $500 or $300 or maybe even less would also be ridiculous because a “phone” is simply an electronic device that is meant to transmit sound or speech to a distant point. I think the conversation needs to change because the “phone” sure has. These smartphones like the iPhone X have now become our:
- Cameras. And what a wonderful world it became for me when the first iPhone came out with its camera. Honestly, it changed my life. It helped me be a more creative person, a more spontaneous creative person and allowed me to capture moments that I would never have been able to capture before its invention. Then they introduced Portrait Mode, and now they’ve made it better. For the technical reasons why visit the specs page at Apple.com
- Lighting. There is a flash and a flashlight built right in.
- Post Processing. Don’t get me started. Hahaha! One of my favorite things to do is the post processing of my images on my phone. So many, incredible, apps that make it easy, fast and fun!
- Theatres. This is big too. We watch movies, sure, but we live-stream TV, YouTube, and Training — we learn and improve our lives with these devices.
- Communication. Finally, we get to the phone part of our “phone.” We can make a call, video chat or text someone. Although it really can be frustrating to get interrupted with a call when I’m trying to take a picture. Hahaha! The fact is that most of us are using our phone for an actual phone less and less. We do use it for all the Social aspects of communication like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and GooglePlus.
- Work. This one gets overlooked by those who don’t use it for their work, but I do a lot of work on my phone because a lot of my work is communicating (with my office and with others). I need to write, edit, read and sign documents and contracts, and collaborate on projects. Sometimes, I’ll even take and edit photos for work. Using this device means I don’t always have to lug around a laptop or even a tablet and that is glorious!
- Play! Here’s one I don’t use it a lot for but there are loads of games, and now with the addition of the augmented reality, it’s about to get nuts!
- Banking. Some do all of their banking on their phones. I know people that haven’t been to the bank in forever because they bank from their phone.
- Reading. Every day we read the news, books, novels, devotionals and more on our phones.
- Sharing. We share our lives with others through the images and videos we’ve taken and keep on our phones.
I could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it up by reminding us not to forget how these devices inspire our sense of design and technology (inspiring companies and products to try and match or outdo one another — and that’s a good thing)! These pricey “phones” really are giving us some of our glimpses into the future. Just the camera advancements alone are amazing. I know a lot of photographers that would like to see cool things happen as often with DSLRs. I can’t help but be reminded of a Louis CK comedy routine about people complaining about flying. He talks about how their drink doesn’t get there fast enough, the wireless on board isn’t working, the fare is too high, and then he cleverly reminds everyone that they’re in a chair, flying through the air! Hahahaha! Sorry, as a pilot, that one always gets me. Somewhere along the line, we stopped being amazed at what these things are capable of, what they add to our lives, how much research and technology goes into them. Add to them that they come water resistant while charging wirelessly and it makes me wonder if our expectations haven’t gotten just a tad too high.
At 64GB the iPhone X lists at $999. For the same 64GB, the Note8 lists $929.99. I do prefer the iPhone. I enjoy its experience and am most comfortable with it. I have friends who feel the same way about their Galaxy phones, and none of us have an issue with what we’ve spent because none of us feel we’ve spent “That much — for a phone?!”