A Change of Focus Life with a Smartphone Camera, Six weeks on. It’s now about six weeks since I got my Samsung Galaxy Note 2. This is the first mobile phone that I’ve had that has had an acceptable camera. I had a Nokia E71 before, the camera was acceptable in 2008 when I bought it, but it was never more than an emergency backup. So, how do I feel, six weeks in? Surprised, basically. This phone has changed the way I think about photography, I’m shooting more colour, for sure, I’ve learned to accept that JPGs are ok. In fact, when the light is good and the phone has nailed the exposure and white balance, JPGs can be just as good as RAW files processed in Lightroom (for some types of image). Ah, there’s the rub. “for some types of image”. Those of you who’ve been following me for a while will know that street photography is high on my list of favourites. My trusty old (?) Ricoh GRD3 has served me well. From a control point of view, it is a street photographer’s dream. I can use hyperfocal settings, shoot raw, it’s discrete, almost invisible in fact. There’s just no way that I could contemplate using the Note 2 for street photography. It’s ungainly, awkward to hold (don’t even consider holding it like a proper camera, your thumb will immediately hit the back button and close the camera app). It really is an “arms length” camera. Focusing is slow, and there’s no way to set any type of manual focus distance. On the positive side, the Samsung has an incredible (for a phone and compared to my Ricoh) burst rate. You can see from my recent posts that I’ve been having a lot of fun with this recently and Google’s #autoawesome feature, flawed as it is. So, yes, I’m certainly having fun with my Galaxy Note 2 even if I feel a bit guilty about neglecting my ‘real’ camera. Maybe I need to think about upgrading to the new GR.