All I need is my phone to take pictures!

Camera phones are becoming the most popular way of capturing the moment for most people today.  This is primarily because nobody leaves home without their phone.  When we buy a new phone, most of us ask about the camera capabilities as one of the deciding factors in which phone to choose.  "Does it have a flash?"  "How many megapixels?"  These are probably the two most common questions.

Taken with my HTC Inspire (Bellagio Fountains - Las Vegas)
Websites like "Instagram" have been born from the desire to share our photos with the world.  Some phones have been built with a "Facebook" button on them to instantly post the photo to our walls.  Is there no end to all of this?

In short, the answer is no.  As technology continues to evolve, so will the web, our dependency on it, and the equipment we arm ourselves with to "fit in".

Are DSLRs going the way of the dinosaur, like the film cameras before them?  Absolutely not.  While the point and shoot camera that has been the average person's "go to" solution is going to become less and less available, it should be noted that I can (and do) still walk into any WalMart or CVS and buy rolls of film for my "Old faithfuls".  Why am I so sure the DSLR isn't going anywhere?  Optics.

Covered bridge take with LG Optimus Pro-G
Even with a 13Mp camera in my new LG phone, the only way to get closer to the action is just that.  I can not take a picture of a bird in a tree 100' away and expect to get any kind of quality.  Sure, I could buy a special lens and adapter to mount on the back of the phone, but watch me put it in my pocket then!  Everything has it's limits.

There is nothing that can replace a good zoom lens for for the average photographer, and certainly nothing in the immediate future that is going to replace a good piece of glass.  Shooting with a long lens requires a monopod or preferably a tripod, but the quality of the image can not be matched by anything else on the market.

Same bridge taken from same location with Nikon D200 @ just 28mm
When considering a new camera, do your research.  If you are interested in something to carry on you at all times, the certainly make the phone your first area of interest.  In addition, I always have a Canon SX-10 beside me in the car (It has 10Mp, but 20x optical zoom).  A good point and shoot with 10x or better optical zoom can be purchased quite economically that will collapse within themselves to be no larger than a deck of playing cards. 

Of course, the bags in the back seat or trunk hold the "Big guns".  My Nikon family just loves to go out with me for walks.  My normal walk around lens is a Tamron 28-300 due to the flexibility it provides.  There are certainly better lens choices for specific shooting, but this is my preference for that "incredible snapshot".  To paraphrase a credit card commercial, "What's in your bag?"

Julie is on the bridge taking a photo of this bridge on the left.
The picture below is from the same location, shot with
my D200 and 500mm lens. Both shots are straight from the camera.

Try that with your camera phone!

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