When I’m at House Park, the home field for the Austin School District, I’m in Photography Mode. I’m usually there with one camera, my Nikon D3300 with the 55-300mm zoom, ready to shoot high school lacrosse. It’s the only sports shooting I do. I’m there, not because I particularly like it, but I’m doing it as a parent documenting my son’s school life. But once in a while, for the short bits that I leave the field, I catch glimmers of worthwhile photographic scenes. The iPhone comes in handy for those moments.
While I understand technologically and from experience that smartphone photography has come a long way, I’m still surprised at what it can do. With the small sensor and JPEG, I thought the dynamic range in this scene would be too much to handle. Obviously I was wrong. I did a little post processing, but not much. The iPhone was smart enough to automatically shoot an HDR, but I actually preferred this regular view with more shadows.
Low light photography is still a challenge, but that too is changing. New models have image stabilization, which will only improve over time. The slow shutter speed tricks I do with the Olympus, might work on future phones, further increasing quality. Physics dictates that a larger sensor will always perform better (within the same technology generation), but small sensors will hit a level of sufficiency in which extra performance will begin to matter less.
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