Lumia, Camera, Action
“Why is the LED screen so narrow…?” asked my 18-year old brother. “Look again dude!” I snapped back.
“OMG it’s not, the screen is just so black, I didn’t know where the edge was, is.. oh wow (sic)”
When you look at advertisements of the new Nokia Lumia 800 handset, chances are you are going to see the photos of device with the Windows Tiles on the home screen, and like my brother you may, or may not, think that the LED screen doesn’t go right to the edge. However, let me tell you it certainly does, the home screen is just beautifully spaced out, it may give that perception sometimes. In fact the screen on this mobile handset is so slick it is actually curved and finishes just a few millimetres from the border which 1. makes it a delight to hold (“it’s like a chocolate bar” – I’m sure you can guess who said that) and 2. it makes for a beautiful ‘sculptured’ looking phone. I am sure Nokia, and Windows, are glad first impressions don’t always last. And I don’t just mean that in terms of my brothers misunderstanding, I mean this as this both of their second chance at coming back in the smart-phone business after Apple’s assault with the iPhone and Google’s Android army.
What do I like about this phone you ask? Well let me ask you this…have you read my bio yet? Welcome back. You guessed it, the camera is definitely what I love about this, and of course worth mentioning the convenience of all the software I’ve known for years being built-in i.e. Microsoft Office, X-Box LIVE, SkyDrive, Nokia Music and Maps, makes it a very useful eco-system. Back to the camera, as a photographer, I like it, and I take a lot of photos, so I often get asked two contrasted questions. 1. Do I think SLR cameras are going to become redundant over-time? 2. Do I think camera phone are useless in terms of capturing good photos.
So, I am going to answer both of these questions for you (and them) below.
When someone refers to their camera as an SLR, it means their large professional digital camera, which has interchangeable lenses, attachable accessories, connectivity options to studio lights and computers/monitors for filming. SLR itself actually stands for Single Lens Reflex – more info here if you want it. A phone camera differs in terms of their size and features. They are built within the mobile phone itself, usually have fixed focus, with smaller sensors and in only in some cases have built-in flashes. They are most often used to take photos whilst on the move, and since normally connected to a mobile network, the device allows you to upload and share the photo instantly, which is great. The obvious difference between the two is the size and the quality of the output. Physically, the lens on an SLR is bigger, which allows more light to enter the camera through the lens, and as you would know, by definition (in-short) photography is actually ‘the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light’, so that’s why an SLR will take higher quality photos.
Which one is better? Truth is, neither one of them can replace the other, but together they make for an ideal experience. When I film urban and hip-hop concerts, I like to take high-resolution photos of the artists that are performing on stage. This is a no-brainer, so I use my Digital SLR Canon EOS 600D. With this I choose to go with my 55-200mm lens. This means I could be 10-15 metres away and zoom into the artists face on stage and still capture the photo in amazingly crisp quality. This makes the SLR photos best for large format printing and selling to magazines, because there is no blur, little to no-pixilation, and it’s a photo that most people from the crowd would not have been able to get.
On the other hand, having my mobile phone camera with me, allows me to take a photo of the whole stage (unless if I’m lucky to be on stage), but the beauty is that I can upload it straight away. So, instead of having to wait until I get home from the concert and upload the photos a few hours later, I can press the camera button on the side of my Lumia, and immediately choose from the options of: Share on Facebook, Send in a Message/Email, Upload to SkyDrive or Post to Twitter. Instantly my fans, (who are really just my friends and family) knows where I am, and which superstar I am recording at that exact point in time. For those advanced tech-heads, yes, Wi-Fi Integrated memory cards can and will change this, but that’s a discussion for a whole different blog.
So yes, SLR cameras are becoming more and more compact, and yes phone cameras are getting higher and higher in megapixels, (my Lumia sports a whopping 8 mega-pixel camera), but they will always fulfil different jobs and needs. The chances of you bumping into Justin Bieber eating KFC when you’re out for dinner one night and conveniently have an SLR in your back pocket is just as likely as getting a photo of Kim Kardashian pashing Karl Stefanovic across the street with your mobile phone, and selling it to Woman’s Day. So as my old friend Dimi Brkov always says ‘The best camera is the one you have on you”.
I’m off, Snap ya later!
P.S. 20th Century Artist, Thomas Wilfred coined the term ‘Lumia’ as ‘art by created by light’. Hopefully the title of this blog now makes more sense.