Modern technology has incorporated a lot of conveniences for us now that we are an “on-the-go” society who always has a cell phone in our hands no matter where we go. As a result, someone thought it would be great to add a camera to our cell phone devices so that we would never really need a camera. However, from a photographer’s point of view this was a huge mistake. It is also why we never ever recommend using a cell phone camera for paranormal investigations. To understand this better, let’s take a look at what really makes a camera.
Optical zoom allows you to literally zoom in or out on a subject allowing you to get a truly closer view of the subject before snapping your picture. This is something cell phone cameras just cannot do with a fixed lens outside of the device. Sure you can put your fingers on the screen and “zoom” in for your picture but what you are actually doing is utilizing software built into the cell phone to enlarge the area, not zoom in on it. As a result we get blurry pictures and a lot of pixilation. And we all know what pixilation leads to – pareidolia.
Some folks like to think that the megapixel size of a camera is what matters to take good quality pictures. Wrong! It’s the camera image sensor that determines this. It is the size of the sensor that determines how much light it uses to create an image. These sensors consist of millions of light-sensitive spots called photosites that are used to record information about what is seen through the lens. A larger sensor can gain more information than a smaller one. Of course a camera will have a much larger sensor than your cell phone camera just given the size of the device.
Let’s face it folks, your cell phone camera only has one, small, flat lens from which to take pictures whereas your cameras have several lenses available to take better pictures. Any app downloaded to your phone is just more software added to your device that is still utilizing the same small lens but manipulating the image instead of actually capturing it which affects the picture quality.
Shutter speed is the time the camera’s shutter is open for to capture an image. Fast action pictures or motion pictures require a fast shutter speed and you’re just not going to get that with a cell phone device. If you’re looking to capture a spirit or apparition that appears then disappears quickly, it’s not going to happen with a cell phone camera because the shutter speed just simply is not fast enough. That’s not to say you’re going to automatically catch something with a fast speed camera but chances are your pictures won’t be blurry or pixelated, they will be clear and concise of the area you are photographing. The cell phone camera’s shutter speed is just too slow and will cause blurry pictures and a lot of motion blur as a result.
Shooting Modes and Manual Adjustments
You just can’t control a cell phone camera the way you can a real camera when it comes to taking great quality pictures. Cameras have the additional features built into them that allow you control white balance, autofocus, light, etc.
As you can see, there are some pretty major differences in your cameras versus your cell phone camera. At the end of the day, put away your cell phone and pick up your digital camera for picture taking on paranormal investigations. The quality of a cell phone picture is just not acceptable to be considered as any type of paranormal evidence.
Please visit the NPS Photography Department online for more articles regarding photography to further educate yourself on tips, techniques and information.
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