Despite takeovers and supposed improvements, Flickr hasn’t changed much for me in the last couple of years.
This is a good thing – if it ain’t broke…
But one thing they have just introduced is a stats review of the previous year.
Probably the main surprise for me was that my most used camera in 2021 was my Realme 6 Pro Android phone.
Now of course Flickr only analyses the pictures I uploaded to my profile in 2021, it can’t see all images I shot with all cameras and didn’t upload.
But in truth I think I only used about three, perhaps four different cameras anyway.
And because I use Flickr partly as a kind of online portfolio and back up for only what I consider my best photographs, it does tell a story that the camera I made most of these with was my phone.
Also, it doesn’t see any of my family photos, of which I probably made thousands last year (and deleted most of them to keep the very favourites), and 99% of these were with the Realme 6 Pro too.
So what does this mean? I should just face the writing on the wall, accept that my favourite camera is a phone and sell the other dozen or so languishing and neglected in shoeboxes?
Well, no, not quite.
The Realme is probably, in fact undoubtedly, the most capable phone camera I’ve used, with its fast 26mm f/1.8 lens and 1/1.7″ Samsung sensor – larger than in virtually all other compact cameras I’ve used, let alone phones.
Composition is a pleasure with the large 16.6cm screen, massively larger than any digital compact’s rear screen.
The standard colour mode is fine for those family photos and the b/w mode is pretty effective too, meaning no post processing is required, always a massive plus for me.
If I do want any enhancements, 30 seconds in Snapseed does the job.
But, as I always come back to, despite its talents, the Realme is pretty dull to use as a camera.
And the screen, like any touchscreen phone, is good for scrolling and zooming, not so appealing for making pictures with.
Think about it, when you’re with your lover, do you want to hold and stroke and squeeze them, or tap them repeatedly with a pointed finger? I rest my case.
So this lacklustre capturing interface, combined with its shape and handling, means photography with this phone never feels a connected, immersive experience.
Even some of the cheapest digital compacts I’ve used at least feel pretty good in your hands, and have a proper shutter button where you can feel the half press to lock focus, then the full press to make the photograph.
I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy shooting with a phone in the way I do with one of my favourite digital compacts, let alone a bridge or DSLR camera with their delicious contours and vastly superior handling.
Which means those currently rather underused “proper” cameras in my collection can still live in hope that they haven’t yet shot their final image in my hands.
It’ll be interesting to see what my most used camera is come the end of this year. I’ll let you know this time next year.
In the meantime, how about you? What do you think was your most used camera in 2021?
As always, please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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