Smart Phone Killed the DSLR

Taking a photo of Christmas Tree by Takashi Hososhima

Taking a photo of Christmas Tree by Takashi Hososhima

Video killed the radio star. Reality killed the video star. Smart phone killed the DSLR.

Kudos to you if you sang that to the tune of either of the first two sentences. Yes, I had fallen victim to the last. For this former photography hobbyist, my iPhone killed my DSLR. The truth was that my old Nikon D40 died an unexpected technical death when the shutter became no more. Money reasons prevented me from sending my old best friend to the repairs right away. A few months later, an iPhone 4 would land into my hands and subconsciously came the official death of my D40, it never got repaired.

Across the sea, across mountains, across countries I brought my D40. Along with companion lenses, filters and other accessories, they traveled with me in my camera bag over my shoulder. We would pass beautiful mountains while on a boat and I would pull out my D40 against the salty sea. A picturesque landscape would have me switching the kit lens for the 250mm lens. Roll. Press. Pull. Stow in the bag. Place. Roll. Get back to the viewfinder! Flora and fauna that inspired curiosity would have me change to my macro lens. Oh, the sun is too high, must put filters! Dirty! Sea water! Dust! Give me the wiping cloth now! Looking back, I missed some worthwhile seconds (or more if accumulated) to just appreciate the beauty or the ugly of the surroundings with my own two eyes, all because I had to take a photograph. No regrets though. The photos I took were wonderful but sometimes I would ponder what it would be like to have most of your memories kept in your heart and mind over a terabyte-worth of electronic photos. I looked at most of the sunsets and sunrises through the lens. Perhaps I should have stared down against the sun instead while inhaling every breeze of sea air with much fervor. What a nice memory would that be?

Returning to civilization, the DSLR would be put to rest and recharge as the spotlight would turn to the memory card. Lightroom! Photoshop! And what have you! Each photo would be run through a set of filters to see what would look best. Should I go with crisp and vivid? Or do I sacrifice that for some style? There much better. Publish. Export. There would be two tasks to be done next. The first is to separate my picturesque shots so I could put a watermark on them before sharing them to the world. Second would be to compile photos with the friends’ faces, upload it to Shitbook (uhm, I believe you call it Facebook), and write the album’s name and description. One, two, three, uhm, five. Oh there are five photos with my face on it among a hundred. F*ck! My stupid friend even had the gall to block my chin in one of the photos. I can’t update my profile photo with a cool shot of me. There are not too many options. I guess I have to settle with this photograph of the lovely and unique, beautiful sky. 

Now I enjoy traveling without the weight of a camera and its fixings. All I need is my smart phone. I can tweet, read travel tips, and take photos. I can even take videos. My D40 could not. I have a plethora of apps for my filter needs. No more Lightroom. No more Photoshop. Now I have Path, Instagram, VSCOcam, and Landcam to name a few. I can easily share them with a few taps. And the best thing I love about this – selfies! I don’t have to go through the disappointments of finding only a fraction of photos featuring me. I’ll leave the technically beautiful, abundant in pixels photos for the pros and their DSLRs. This guy is happy with his smartphone.

Sorry D40, old buddy. I miss you no more.


Cover image: Taking a photo of Christmas tree by Takashi Hososhima