Photography is not a matter of chance, but is a matter of being prepared. Some of the most iconic and inspiring photography was possible because someone was prepared for the moment in time when the opportunity arose.
Cell phones are now able to capture photos that were previously missed opportunities. That being said, dedicated cameras open up a much broader range of opportunities. The vast improvement of zoom lenses for SLR cameras has made it possible to capture images in precise detail that would otherwise have to be missed or captured in less than desirable formats.
The advantage of cell phone cameras is portability and availability. Carrying a full-sized SLR on a fishing or hunting expedition is not always easy. Around water, it requires a “dry” bag to assure the camera does not take a dunking. When I go fishing or even on hunting trips, it is easy to secure a cell phone in a Ziploc bag and carry it in a shirt pocket (buttoned, of course). When I carry an SLR camera, it means using a dry bag that is considerably larger and less convenient.
A good zoom lens or the longer focal length lenses assure a sharper, crisper and often larger image. At the time, it seems to be an unnecessary burden, but afterwards the result is a memorable image captured for future enjoyment.
A few of my favorites from relatively recent outings are attached to illustrate the quality of photos that a dedicated SLR can provide. Each one evokes a special second in time that might not be repeated in exactly the same manner. One of the photos is of a deer swimming in a pond where we were fishing. It was at about 200 yards and is not of the best quality, but provides a vivid memory of the occasion.
Cell phone cameras are excellent for portability, relatively close photos and ease of use, but it is usually worth the hassle to carry an SLR if you expect to capture images at a distance.
There was a time when most camera experts shunned zoom lenses and vowed that they did not provide the sharp images as produced by fixed power lenses. I remember vividly carrying a camera bag filled with lenses of varying power. When a photo opportunity occurred, it meant a scramble to attach the desired lens to capture the image.
Today, I use a Canon with a dedicated zoom lens that provides a wide range of zoom capability up to 65X. That makes it easy to capture subjects with the desirable panorama or background. The details are sharp, out to a reasonable range.
Don’t Leave Home Without It
Whatever your choice of cameras, be sure to have one close at hand. If not, be assured you will be disappointed when a special opportunity is presented and you are not prepared.