With the newest flagship smartphone cameras taking huge leaps in sensor and software technology, are we seeing the beginning of more professional usage in the commercial market?
The smartphone camera is a part of everyone's day-to-day life. If nothing else, it has proven to be an invaluable tool for so many professions. It documents our lives in more detail than any previous camera ever did. To top it all off, there is no denying that companies like Apple and Google are continuing to push the hardware and software capabilities beyond what most would have ever thought possible. Smartphone photography is an ever-growing genre in our photography industry, and the reality is we can all benefit from its rise.
For me, my smartphone is a tool of convenience and one that has become a huge part of my mobile workflow. I edit my photos in Lightroom Mobile, I use apps like Photopills for location scouting, and I even have a digital clapboard for small video projects. Although I take a lot of photos with my smartphone and occasionally a few I’m proud of, I never use them for anything and have yet to really embrace the full value it holds.
All that being said, I can’t deny that in the right hands, smartphone cameras can create beautiful images or tell amazing stories. Here at Fstoppers, we write all the time about how amazing the tech is getting, how you can get better quality images, and all the creative ways artists are utilizing smartphones. I am continually envious of how effortlessly some can capture epic moments. Even beyond the average user, smartphones do have a place in our professional world, and more and more companies are springing up to facilitate that need.
Recently, Olloclip, one of the larger producers of smartphone lenses and accessories, announced a partnership with the very talented and popular adventure photographer Chris Burkard. This endorsement by Burkard is a pretty interesting sign for the professional side of smartphone photography. Every major camera company and so many different manufacturers have pro shooters representing their brands. It makes sense if more and more pro photographers are utilizing their smartphones to help tell stories in this new social platform conscious commercial market that brands like Olloclip would want to capitalize on this.
Photographers building a career off of smartphone images on Instagram isn't a new thing. Neither is the occasional wedding or fashion shoot being shot exclusively this way. There have been plenty of magazine covers, advertisements, and even parts in blockbuster films shot on smartphones. We have pushed past the gimmick and novelty of it and started to find ourselves in a place where we can really think about using these devices seriously.
Our smartphones are incredibly powerful devices with much more computational processing than the average camera. Right now, better glass and a wider choice in lens selection is the best way to improve upon the high-quality tech and software we already have. Similarly to how the evolution of lenses and filters for drone and GoPro cameras, both of which have dominated their niche for pros, in the commercial market, I think we are seeing the first steps to a more open acceptance of utilizing our smartphones by pro photographers.
I’m very interested to see how both the cameras and lens accessories from brands like Olloclip improve and what talented artists like Burkard can do with them. It is true that sometimes, the best camera for a job is the least intrusive or the one you always have on you, and I think this will only become truer for professionals.
What do you think about Chris Burkard's collaboration with Olloclip? Do you see more pros embracing their smartphones or are you utilizing them in your work?