Hang around long enough on photography forums and you will come across more threads than you ever needed to read on the subject of whether phone cameras are as good as a ‘proper camera’. The arguments usually boil down to whether or not phone cameras are good enough and whether the benefits of always having the phone camera with you outweigh the disadvantages of lower image quality from the phone compared with something like a digital SLR. Of course, there are plenty of other spurious and ridiculous arguments along the way – photography forums are a great place to visit if you really feel the need to bicker and insult complete strangers on the other side of the planet.
From my perspective, I don’t expect my phone camera to ever beat my other cameras for image quality (leaving aside, perhaps, some of the really old digitals I still hang on to) but there are times when I want to take a photo and my phone is what I have. I don’t always go places expecting I might have a chance to take photos, but I go pretty much everywhere expecting I might need to use at least some functions of the smartphone.
Such was the case the other day when I had to do a quick half day trip to Melbourne for work. No time for photography on the ground, but it was a lovely clear day and I thought I would try some photos from the air. I did end up with some reflections from the window, which are annoying but unavoidable, and I had to add in some extra contrast on the computer, but being in a plane gives some pretty unique perspectives.
This is Lake Eildon, about 180 kilometres (a bit over 100 miles) north of Melbourne. The lake was formed by the construction of Eildon Dam and is a popular holiday destination. In the second photo you can see the big houseboats that are moored by the town of Eildon (there are other towns around the lake as well, even ones without Eildon in their names!).
Outer suburbs of Melbourne
Essendon Airport, located adjacent to Melbourne’s main domestic and sole international airport, Tullamarine.
The freeway network, part of which connects Tullamarine Airport with the central business district.
That evening, I left Melbourne as the sun was setting through gathering storm clouds.
Leaving the recently redeveloped Canberra Airport terminal, I passed by a very neat vortex water feature I have enjoyed many times. Except this time I paused to take some photos of it – I had my phone camera with me, after all!