Are smartphones killing cameras?
We all love to take photographs. It's a simple way to capture a special moment, an amazing view, or just to show off your artistic skills. And it's great to look back through your photo albums and share your memories with friends. In essence, they show a snapshot in time. This hasn't really changed since the invention of photography in the 1830s. But one thing that has changed, is the equipment we use.
For many years, we have used traditional cameras to take our pictures with. Our images were captured onto camera film which was then processed into negatives from which photos were printed - a lengthy process. And we've have had a range of cameras to choose from - from the simple compact camera to more sophisticated single lens reflex, or SLR cameras.
But the biggest change has come with the development of digital technology. This has made taking photos quicker and easier. It's enabled us to take a snap and review our pictures instantly. We've been able to manipulate them in post-production, using software on our computer. And of course, we've been able to share them like never before - particularly on social media.
Of course, now we have the smartphone - a phone that is, well, smart because it can take photos and sometimes very good quality ones, and we can share them easily. So does that mean the traditional camera will eventually become obsolete? Figures from Japan show how the market is shrinking: shipments of compact digital cameras from companies like Olympus, Canon and Nikon were down 39% year on year.
But Phil Hall, editor of Tech Radar magazine thinks there's nothing to worry about. He told the BBC that while people are swapping their compact cameras for smartphones, "manufacturers are looking at the more higher-end premium cameras, high-end compacts, DSLRs, which are the ones you can attach lenses to, mirrorless cameras."
Certainly, the growth of the smartphone means more and more of us are taking photos and it opens our eyes to the creative possibilities it can provide. And for some, it can be a first step into getting into serious photography and pushing their creative skills. But whatever camera viewfinder we end up looking through, it's important to remember the basics of focussing, good lighting and framing - and getting your subject to say 'cheese!'