I used to hate taking pictures with the camera on my cell phone. The first flip-phone I had came with a measly 1-megapixel camera. I barely used the feature: back then, I only wanted a device so that if I needed to contact my wife for an emergency or call for help, I wouldn't be stuck. I didn't want to record video, or access the Internet, or play games. I wasn't on Facebook and Twitter was years away: my blog was the only form of social media, and even to this day I have to be pretty desperate to want to write a post on a smartphone.
When my flip-phone died, I upgraded to a phone with an actual QWERTY keyboard that slid out from the back of the device. I had graduated to using a phone to send text messages, and a dial pad wasn't cutting it for me. As a writer, I don't like to abbreviate words if I don't have to. I like full, grammatically correct sentence structure. On my flip-phone, that took forever.
The camera on this newer phone was much better than my old phone: I had 2 megapixels at my disposal. Still, I rarely took pictures with it, would do so only if I needed to illustrate a text message with an actual image.
Only once, when I had absolutely no other camera, I took a photo and used it in a blog post. And I kept the image small.
When I decided that I wanted a smartphone (notice how I don't say "needed"), I was awed by the quality of photographs that I was able to come up with. In previous end-of-year blog posts, where I shared my favourite photos of that year*, I would include some iPhone photos. Sometimes, I shot an image with both my smartphone and my D-SLR, and I'd actually prefer the outcome with the smartphone's 5-megapixel camera.
For a couple of months, I misplaced my battery charger for my Nikon. Because it is the only charger that I have that is dedicated to my D-SLR's batteries, I was beginning to panic: without the charger, once the two battery packs were dead, I wouldn't be able to shoot with this camera. So I've been sparing with this camera, using it only when I needed something more than what my Android camera could offer.
My Android has a 13.5-megapixel camera, but I wasn't about to use it for a model shoot, or night shots of the lights on Parliament Hill.
Still, it's handy to have and does let me get a little creative, as this Friday's photo shows. On my walk, Wednesday, from the office to my car, it was nice to pull my phone from my pocket and take this shot.
I found my Nikon charger. I can now resume carrying my camera bag around.
But it's nice to know that I'm covered.
* No photos in this year's best-of photo picks were shot with a smartphone camera.