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A collection of photographs and stories by Invercargill photographer Rick Harvey

View throught the window of a second hand store in Invercargill

The Best Camera Is The One You Have With You

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What is the best camera?

The well known photography quote “the best camera is the one you have with you” is widely attributed to American photographer Chase Jarvis.

So I had that quote in mind when, a couple of weeks ago I had to  buy a new cell phone because I dropped my old one into a muddy puddle and it didn’t survive.  I know there are cellphones with cameras on the market that feature multiple megapixels, and now some can even shoot RAW files as well as jpegs…but these all come at a price more than I was prepared to pay.

I searched around for a mid-range smartphone with a half decent camera on board. I say half-decent because in my own mind I am sure that the capabilities of a smartphone camera fall well below the capabilities of a modern digital camera. So, after searching around a bit I settled on a Samsung Galaxy Ace 3, with a 5 megapixel camera, and a host of other bells and whistles, most of which I’ll most likely never use.

The camera has a handful of shooting modes – auto, sports mode, night mode, close-up, continuous shooting, and so on. It also has a panorama mode and a “best shot” mode. I haven’t tried either of these yet, but in panorama mode all you seem to have to do is hold the “shutter’ button and pan slowly; and in best shot mode, the camera take several shots and you pick the best one to keep.

Unfortunately there are no ISO settings, nor is their anyway to override focus unless the you consider the macro mode a way of overriding the focus.

Nevertheless it is a handy thing to have in my pocket, so I’ll never be caught short so to speak.

So how good is it? It’s, well, okay.

Certainly you wouldn’t want to enlarge them too much; and you’d always want to be taking pictures in the best light. But it’s amazing what a little bit of PP – in this case in DxO Optics Pro and IrfanView – can do to tidy up an image.

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