While I do have an extensive back catalog of older digital and 35mm film photographs that I share here, I break out my “big” digital camera on occasion when I want images that I still can’t create on the iPhone. Cell phone cameras have certainly come a long way in a very short period. It seems like just yesterday – actually early January 2007 – when the original iPhone was introduced. That was only 14-½ years ago! Granted, there were cell phone cameras prior to that date, but they captured images that were small, grainy, and generally lacking all the way around.
Cut to the cell phone cameras of today, and some are really giving the big cameras a run for their money. Where cell phone cameras are still lacking is natural-looking bokeh – the out-of-focus areas in a photo that are a function of image chip size and large lens apertures. However, the computational post-processing used by all cell phones cameras of today is making huge leaps in image quality and capability – so I feel that it’s just a matter of time before cell phone camera images equal or exceed what big cameras can take.
Photo info: Flower blooms Brookside Gardens Wheaton, Maryland July 2021 Voigtländer 65/2.0 APO Macro lens Sony a7 III digital camera
San Francisco is one of my favorite places to visit, specifically for the weather and terrain. I’ve been there enough over the years to appreciate the good along with the bad, which is why I no longer want to live there anymore. A fine place to visit, yes; to live, no. I had some friends that were long time residents of downtown San Francisco – having been there since the psychedelic paisley days of the late 1960s –whom decided to shutter their businesses, sell their home, and relocate far away from all of the crime, drugs, and homelessness that have inundated San Francisco in recent years. Which is a crying shame because it’s such a stunning city to experience.
Photo info: Golden Gate Bridge Fort Point National Historic Site San Francisco, California May 2003 Canon PowerShot G3 digicam
Here is a comparison of two different images taken 24-years apart. The top image was taken yesterday, and the bottom image was taken back in 1997. The top image is digital, and the bottom image is a scan from a 35mm slide. They were taken an entire continent apart from one another, in different light, and at different times of the day. The top image I could see instantly and the bottom image I couldn’t see until the film was returned to me after processing a couple of weeks later.
As much as I’ve always loved the super-saturated colors of the bottom image – Velvia slide film is known for that – I feel that the upper image is more accurate in terms of color, saturation, and natural-looking bokeh.
Technology marches on. I imagine someday that I’ll be able to take a photo with a smartphone that will eventually equal or exceed the quality of either of these two images, both of which were taken with state-of-the-art camera gear of each era.
Photo info: Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia) Brookside Gardens Conservatory Brookside Gardens Wheaton, Maryland June 2021 Voigtländer 65/2.0 APO Macro lens Sony a7 III digital camera
Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia) Heisler Park Laguna Beach, California May 1997 Fujifilm Velvia 50 slide film Leica Noctilux 50/1.0 lens Leica M3 35mm film camera