This is the impact of smartphone photography on society
The smartphone has become ubiquitous in our towns, cities, and other areas. There are now two billion people around the world who have daily internet access, and many of these people use their smartphones to access it. As smartphones have developed, so have the cameras that are a big part of them.
How Has Photography Changed?
There was once a time when photography was only for the person who had time and money. The best film cameras were expensive and hard to get and this meant that most people could only use small cameras that were inexpensive. As the web has developed and our mobile phones have become smarter with every passing year, something exciting has happened: mobile phone photography has become a global phenomenon.
Even though digital cameras created a revolution in how we take photos and how we engage with one another, it was not until the digital camera was included as part of most mobile phones that the revolution really exploded.
How Has the Imaging Revolution Happened?
What has happened is that the intersection of digital imaging and fast access to the web has created a type of photography that can be instantly uploaded to the rest of the world through social sharing sites and email. The beauty of digital photography is that it allows people to take as many images as storage allows for. This is a world away from the limit of 36 frames on a film roll!
On the one hand, we have digital sensors that are always improving and all for almost unlimited shots. On the other hand, we have fast access to the web where images can be instantly uploaded to the rest of the world. This combination of factors has really created the digital imaging revolution on mobile phones.
How Has Mobile Photography Evolved?
One of the most interesting aspects of mobile phone photography is how quickly it has developed and evolved. Early cameras on mobile phones were relatively simple in terms of their sensor. They produced crude images by today’s standards that were not especially high resolution.
What has changed is that digital sensors have improved drastically as manufacturers such as Sony and others have been able to squeeze more and more pixels onto the silicon chip. In some mobile phone models, the sensor size has also been increased and this has produced better quality images.
Interestingly, this evolution in digital imaging has proceeded hand in hand with faster access speeds for the internet. The net result of this is that people now have more photography power in their hands than any simple point and shoot film camera from the past ever allowed.
How Has Our Communication Changed?
The rapid development in mobile phone photography and web sharing has also driven the development of multiple social media sites where photography and other messages can be shared. Smartphones have introduced the whole concept of the downloadable phone application, and this has resulted in platforms such as Instagram.
Platforms such as Instagram feature visual timelines that are created as users upload photos from their phones. This phenomenon has spawned a whole slew of other similar social media sharing applications that place uploaded digital photos front and center of the user experience.
What Does the Future Hold?
Now that we have more photographic power in our pocketable mobile phones than even the best point and shoot film cameras could offer, what does the future hold?
Traditional camera companies such as Leica have been able to introduce their lens-making expertise to mobile phone companies and this has produced recent innovation in mobile phone technology. Furthermore, features such as dual lenses, or even triple lenses, have enabled some mobile phone companies to step up their game and rival even DSLR quality images.
Though it’s not possible to bend the laws of optical physics, the combination of smart hardware, advanced digital imaging, and AI-powered software is enabling a number of leading companies to produce phones that feature incredible imaging power. For the future, this may mean the demise of the DSLR, and at the very least the demise of the small digital camera.