An old adage proven

A camera in hand is the best camera…

Toronto.. As the saying goes, “The best camera is the one in your hand…” For the first 70 or so years of photography the most important accessory was a good tripod! The sensitive media were so slow it was impossible to take a sharp hand-held image. Maddox’s dry plate technology and the later roll films helped of course. Maddox’s medium was fast enough to usher in instantaneous pictures. But no matter how good your camera was, it was utterly useless sitting on the shelf.

This hit home to me this past Monday when I woke to the bang and crash of the end of my driveway being torn up. Some weeks earlier I acknowledged to a city inspector that their contractor’s small back hoe’s blade had indeed put the three yard-long gouges in the bottom of my drive while it dug down to my water inlet valve. A skilled team descended on my now naked drive to add a few inches of gravel and ready it for asphalt.

Thinking I should record this event, I rushed outside. As I watched the team in action, I realized two things: first, my camera was indoors, and second, I had my iPod Touch in my pocket. I pulled it out and proceeded to take a dozen and a half shots over the next hour. My Sony would have taken sharper photos but it was in the house and in use it would have been obvious to all.

This example image was originally 2592×1936 pixels or about 5 Mp and reduced to 1296×968 pixels or about 1.3 Mp. It was shot with what would be a 35mm lens on a 35mm camera but was actually a 3.3mm lens. In the bright sunlight of the day, the tiny camera set itself to ISO 25, f/2.4 and 1/905 seconds speed. No wonder cameras are being seriously challenged now that every smartphone can take photos and easily upload them to the internet.

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