In this linked video I talk about using the right camera for the task at hand. I made it mostly on a whim with the help of two older average specification smartphones. There are a few similar videos on the channel.
I get a lot of questions like: “What is the best camera?” without any context about what the person is trying to do. Without knowing, I can rarely give any type of useful answer because most gear these days can work well enough. The line between what can work fine and what can work really well is thin.
It’s the details and subtle features, or ways a feature is implemented, that can make a world of difference in a photographic tool. The topic is important and I was also able to give everyone that watched it a better idea of what I’m trying to do with this channel. Here is my slightly enhanced list on that…
- To be a facilitator of photography and videography.
- To promote casual photography. Though, I do mix things up with videos and articles that touch on the professional side when I’m able.
- Using photography as therapeutic. Using it as a means to get out there and do things. It’s a great hobby for that.
- Focus on gear aspects such as ergonomics. I consider that one of the most important aspects of a piece of equipment. Even if a camera has amazing specifications, it’s not worth fighting with the interface and wasting time trying to find a hidden setting.
- I want to somehow reach that feeling in my videos like I’ve gotten throughout my life for PBS or related shows like the “Joy of Painting”, “Mr. Rogers”, “Yan Can Cook”, and others. I’m not sure how to get there, but I want to keep iterating and producing work that’s enjoyable, fun, educational, and thoughtful for viewers. Again, to facilitate others.
I’m about casual enjoyable photography, but sometimes I’ll get more serious when opportunity arises. That’s the great thing about photography. It can be the spark of motivation to get out there and create something or go somewhere. My goal when I started getting serious about photography wasn’t to produce the skills needed to get paid work in photography. My true start was with wanting to do cosplay photography and it grew from there.
My main plan for the day I made this video was to work on talking-point notes for a hands-on equipment video. After a hint of this vlog idea, I switched things up. I also was able to get a really enjoyable, yet cold (~19 F), walk in at the same time.
With the two smartphones, I use my main one that has a data connection to type out notes and a second older phone to display footage I had recorded. It’s a nice mobile way to get some casual work done while I have lunch or dinner out at a restaurant. I had brought along a flexible tripod just in case I decided to do any type of filming that day. So there was definitely some intent to avoid the more menial task at hand, haha.
The idea came while I was driving to the restaurant! So instead of working on the other notes, I wrote down a few topics to talk about in this video. This flexible way of doing work is enjoyable and can be productive if it’s managed well (yeah, I consider it work now. Though, sad to say, I’m no where near having a survivable income from all of this… yet).
Part of the point of this video is to show that you don’t need some special expensive gear to make something. I used two old phones here. Not amazing quality, but the audio turned out okay and the photos did too. I think the tools were able to get my point across well enough.
With my LG Stylo 3 phone I use the Open Camera application. It allows me to record the photos in DNG RAW format. That gives more flexibility to edit the photos.
Transcript of the related video
Hey, this is Scott of Photography Banzai.
Today we're going to talk
about using the right tool for the job.
A lot of people are critical of things
like phones. It's understandable if
you're super into photography. But in my
case a lot of my channel, a lot of what I
do is just casual. Trying to enjoy
photography. Trying to enjoy going out...
Just doing something, so if you have
phone on-hand it works out. I have been
critical of cameras where they have
small sensors and small aperture lenses.
Like those big bridge cameras. Super
zooms, so I'm really just critical of
those because I try to understand or
think about what a person expects from
spending a given amount of money. So if
they're gonna go buy a dedicated camera
and they are probably expecting it to be
better than their phone in a number of
ways. Now, it will be. Especially with the
long zoom lens, but they might not be
thinking about other things that someone
that has spent more time learning about
it might know. And might expect from a
given camera. So when I'm critical of
those type of things, that's really where
it's coming from. I do think they are
useful cameras in many ways. Some tasks
require higher-end gear. If you're doing
things professionally, of course, you'll
probably want to use high quality
equipment that you can expect a certain
level of quality from. So your lenses,
larger aperture maybe. That way if you
use a smaller aperture you'll probably get
higher quality from that lens. Or a
larger sensor. Just things like that
where it does make a difference. You just
have to know and learn what will work
best for the given situation, for what
you're trying to do. Let's talk a little
bit about a phone as a camera. What does
it give you? It gives you a small size
most likely. It gives you a touch
interface. so with that ergonomics are
important in a camera, in my opinion. I
think that's one of the most important
things. If you're looking for a camera,
try to get your hands on it. Try to
Ergonomics in, my opinion, are not good at
all with phones for photography. You have
the touch interface, but it's difficult
to use. Especially in cold situations
like this in the winter. The phone is just
gonna be really challenging to use. Your
gloves might have the touch capability
to them like these. But still it's
difficult. So that's a big drawback for
phones is that ergonomics. You look at
the bridge cameras. They're
all-in-one. The drawbacks would be the
small sensor size. Because if you want a
huge zoom lens on a bridge camera you're
not gonna be mounting a large sensor in
there. Because it's just... the lens will be
much larger as well. So those are the
drawbacks or something like that. I think
one of the main skills to learn with all
of that is understanding what will work
best for what you're trying to do. Ice is
super-crunchy loud... One of the things I
do with my youtube channel is I try to
promote casual photography. If you'd like
walking around. Take a camera out with
you, and get some photos in. Enjoy that
along with it. Doesn't always have to be
focused on professional stuff. I don't
see anything wrong with photography as a
hobby, as a profession, as anything... It's
really up to you. The main thing is
finding out what interests you the most.
Finding out what your goals are. And with
equipment, trying to find something that
works best for what you are trying to do.
So if I see someone say: "What's the best
came out of A or B???" You've got to give me
some context, because I can't answer it
There might be some features that work
better. Are implemented better in one
camera or another. But besides that
generally anything out these days is
good enough for most use cases. When
we're talking like a full camera,
decent size sensor... You can go and take,
like I used the M50s at a wedding. I think
photos turned out okay. It isn't the best
thing to use in that situation for sure.
Because there's a lot of challenges with
a camera like that. It's missing stuff.
But it can work. Trying to decide what's
best out of A or B camera, you got to
really think about it. And think about
what you're trying to do. See, with phones
I'm struggling to press the record on
there. There we go!
So I've got my little B camera going. I
keep tapping on the screens they're just
not registering anything.
Having a camera,
almost any dedicated camera, but
especially ones with a lot of nice large
buttons.. dials.. where having gloves on is
so much easier. Another important aspect
of the channel I'm trying to push and
promote is using photography as
therapeutic. And it also gets you to go out and
do things if I were not making videos
and not doing photography, I wouldn't be
going out in this cold weather...
to make a video about this. So finding a
goal, finding a reason to get into
photography or videography or anything
that has even just a slight interest to
you at the start is good. Try to embrace it.
Try to go for it. Little things just
to test it out and see if it connects with you.
So with these videos that I do, I try to
show you what I'm interested in. What I
do. What I focus on, and it's up to you to
decide if it's something that has a
similar interest to you. Or something
that won't work out. You'll see that.
You'll see me do the things that you
don't like, and you just take it for what
it is. Move on, find you something that
does connect with you. Anyways, hope you
enjoyed this little talk. My opinion on
photography and trying to find the right
type of gear for what you're doing.