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The Camera Most Often Carried

How often have you seen something you felt worthy of a picture but, darn it, you didn’t have your camera. If you haven’t, then you’re an unusual person.

For those who carry a smart phone, you might be surprised by the level of imagery coming out of these ubiquitous devices. My wife, Andrea, like to stalk flowers in our garden with her iPhone and post them on her Facebook page. Kent Barker, a wonderful photographer who has posted some of his abstract iPhone images on his Facebook page, recently posted a link to Emil Pakarklis’s video on iPhone photography tips. It’s over-long (almost 28 minutes), but I watched it and learned some things I didn’t know. Last night I received a follow-up, the winners of his most recent iPhone Photo Academy contest winners. I really had no idea an iPhone could deliver images like these.

Shot and edited with iPhone. Photo by Elina Mitsova

Shot and edited with iPhone. Photo by Elina Mitsova.

The Future of Cameras?

CanonFTMy first serious camera was a Canon FT. With the 55-135mm lens, it weighed in at about three pounds. In the years since I have carried both Nikons and Canons. Today my go-to camera is a Canon 5D Mark III, and with the 24-105mm lens, it’s a lot of weight to hang around your neck at more than four pounds. I do carry a Fujifilm X-T1 on my nature hikes. It’s a mirrorless camera and so is a bit smaller, at 2.25 pounds. With both the 5D and the X-T1, I download all the images to my desktop Mac Pro and post-process the raw files in Lightroom, Photoshop and On1.

Meanwhile, I also carry an iPhone 6 Plus, which weighs about a half-pound. Lately I have been shooting with the iPhone, experimenting with the built-in camera there, using Camera, Camera! and Camera+ then post-processing in the iPhone with PS Express. The photos from my phone are actually fine for web use, and most of my photography is seen on the web.


I’ve seen a lot of changes in photo gear since I purchased that first Canon SLR in 1967, and we are about to see even more…smaller, lighter cameras capable of shooting macro and telephoto. The mirrorless cameras are a big step in that direction, and we are about to see another major breakthrough with the Light 16, a camera that can shoot 52mb files, zoom from 35mm to 150mm, and will have 128GB of onboard storage. It appears to be about the size of my iPhone 6 Plus.

You can learn more about the camera and see sample images here.

“The Light 16 Camera is the first multi-aperture computational camera. The L16 makes it easy for anyone to take DSLR-quality images, and is small and light enough to fit in your pocket. Light’s technology combines folded optics with sophisticated computational imaging algorithms to deliver the highest quality images from the smallest possible device.”