If you are documenting a moment, cell phones are the best camera hands down. But if you have a choice and care about quality, stop pretending they are equally effective.
There is an old saying I like to use. Good from far, but far from good. This applies well to photos taken with cell phones. They all look pretty snazzy on a backlit six-inch screen. They don't look quite as good on a larger computer monitor. And if you happen to actually practice in the ancient art of printing, you will quickly see that the tiny lens and sensor crammed into your smartphone are simply not in the same league as a full-size camera.
The same can be said for speakers. We have a Bose Soundlink Bluetooth speaker. It is heavy and built like a tank. The sounds is impressively loud for a battery operated portable speaker, but in no way would I argue that it sounds just as good as my Dad's old Radio Shack Realistic speakers hat come up to my hip.
Now I know a number of you are ready to tell me how wrong I am because I haven't tried this phone or that phone. I have tried them though. They are all toys. They may be quickly getting more capable and impressive, but space constraints will always limit the quality at the end of the day.
I recently fell in love with the Google Pixel 3 camera but I have to admit a lot of the fancy processing is far from perfect. The blurred background technique often has edges that look like they were done poorly in Photoshop with the magic wand tool with some subtle feathering thrown in. I understand this is done on the fly and presents very well on small devices, I'm just not believing the hype that cell phones have replaced real cameras.
The good news is that all of this engineering and tech making things smaller will have to eventually translate to lighter and more advanced professional tools without the restraints of racing to be exponentially smaller and thinner.
Lead image by Callie Morgan.