Monday, August 24, 2015

Lens Cameras are your Smartphone's best Friend

Here is another nail in the DSLR coffin. Lens Cameras have been making their way into the mainstream while promising and delivering the imaging quality that is above that of smartphones. Ok, it really depends on the smartphone you are using but this can't be far off the mark.

Why Downgrade to a smaller Camera?

This question is bound to crop up. Big is beautiful. Having a large big camera is also a calling card of sorts to tell people that you have arrived in the photographic world bearing weapons to wipe the smiles off those iPhone users. But the the truth of the matter is that most people will be astonished as the DSLR is a conversation piece. Besides that, I can't think of anything a casual photographer would get excited over.

The past, we often talk about, clarity, dynamic range, color accuracy, ISO handling and such but we don't really rely on them for day to day photography.

Often we can even count the times where a camera would be real handy at night or low light situations and that doesn't happen often.

Then there is the trouble of carrying a separate camera that performs better than your smartphone. The DSLRs have the muscle for everything you need here but it's hardly practical.

Making Sense out of Lens Cameras

Since we carry a smartphone, the next thing we probably tow along is a battery pack. Once you have that, then it won't be long before you start thinking of having a camera that pairs with your smartphone since you already have the battery juice covered.

Battery power is one of the downsides of using your iPhone or Android device. The screen takes up all the power and this is where camera companies like Sony and Olympus have reasoned that if you want a cheaper camera, why not have your mobile phone do some of the heavy lifting.

The logic is simple. You already have an LCD screen with you all the time so why not create a camera that uses a smarphone screen instead of reinventing the wheel?

Make that with an Interchangeable Lens 

Here's a secret. Camera companies make more money selling you lenses that you upgrade to than cameras. They have to realize that the camera you have, 24 megapixels and below, is actually pretty decent for everyday use. Only the Pros want more pixels.

This started to set people thinking about making the jump to a interchangeable lens camera because you already have....say a M43 Olympus system or a Sony NEX lens lying around the house, you can of course add a lens camera module to make use of that lens which you don't use anymore with your camera. This also locks you into that lens platform, in this case, either Sony or M43 lenses from Olympus and Panasonic.

Camera companies can then invest even more time creating more lenses for you to buy and that's what you are after in the end....a camera system which you can upgrade lenses.

The Cons of Using Lens Cameras

AF isn't going to be as fast and battery life, well, you need a spare battery nonetheless for that Lens Camera. The set up is pretty flimsy too as there is no physical bracket that offers a snug fit.  But comparatively speaking, the imaging quality you get out of it will always be better than your iPhone with a lens attachment.

In the end, it makes no sense to buy these sort of gimmicky lenses if the quality is subpar. The Lens Camera makes this very clear with the results.

The Lens Camera is here to stay, be it with interchangeable or non-interchangeable lens capability. The idea here is to have an attachment which you can carry with you that performs better than your smartphone camera and cost way less too. The QX1 retails for about US$500 while the Olympus Air retails for the same ballpark with a lens.

Whatever money you save from this can go into your next savings account to get a better lens. Now that makes a whole lotta cents for me. 


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