Cell Phone Cameras

What’s that? This thing we carry with us wherever we go has a camera? So we can never be caught empty-handed again?

Sounds good in theory, in practice…not so much. At least in my experience.

I’ve had a cell phone since they first came on the market but have never been impressed with the quality of the images coming out of the thing. My latest phone was an iPhone 6 Plus, and while it did capture the moment, the capture often wasn’t something I was interested in bragging about.

The iPhone died this week, a victim of the unresponsive touch screen disease. Time to do some research.

The House at Magnolia Plantation, taken with Google Pixel 3A.

I searched reviews for a phone with a camera that wasn’t going to break the bank. Ideally, it would be nice to have one that could suffice for the rare landscape/scenery shot I might take, instead of carrying an extra lens or camera/lens combination.

Crazy, right?

I came up with the Google Pixel 3A. While I’m not a big Google fan (still upset that I have to OPT OUT to stop you from sharing my images without my permission) the glowing reviews won me over.

Boat Tour at Magnolia Plantation.

The camera is a f/1.8 28mm lens with image stabilization that really works! 12 MP rear camera, 8MP front. 4K video. It is great in low light, and so far I have seen shutter speeds of up to 1/3000 of a second. The two features I like the best: In is capable of shooting in RAW, and the “Night Sight” mode lights the scene up, almost like day.

The above image was taken with the Pixel 3A using “Night Sight” mode. No flash, no artificial light, just whatever is streaming through one window. f/1.8, 1/5th of a second.

Total darkness, except for a couple of street lights.

I’m happy with it. I’m not a landscape photographer but once in a while I’d like to be able to take such an image without carting along more equipment than what I already have with me. This will do the job, for me.

Did mention? It has REALLY good image stabilization. 12mp rear camera is capable of 4K video.

Published by Larry Maras

Nature Photographer in Summerville, SC.

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