Clandestine Cameras

Great article on the benefits and limits of Smartphone photography. The part that caught my eye was this bit:

We’re not all professional photojournalists working in warzones of course, but wherever you are, you might sympathise with Winter’s argument that sometimes snapping pictures with a smartphone is much more practical than it would be with a DSLR. A common complaint amongst photographers all over the world, peaceful and war-torn alike is that police and security officials, as well as ordinary people regard them and their equipment at best with suspicion, and sometimes with open aggression. In this environment, the cameraphone comes into its own. Small, discrete and connected, it can send photos and video around the world in seconds, from places where pulling out a DSLR or compact camera might just create unwarranted attention.

I frequently go to concerts where professional photographers with large DSLRs are roaming around, but the way people react when they see the photographer is different and unnatural to the way they act when enjoying the concert. Alternately the smartphones are everywhere; there are so many out that people treat them like they’re invisible. Unfortunately the tricky low light situations of a concert are where smartphone perform the worst.

I’ve liked what I could do with my little mirrorless camera where the low light performance is good and the size is small enough not to be noticed. But there is definitely a place for the phone camera.


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