HOW GOOD is a camera if you use it mostly to text? In the past decade, as smartphone camera tech has improved exponentially—better lenses, higher resolution, the ability to zoom in to identify a ballplayer’s sneakers even from the nosebleeds—the devices they are attached to have gained power over our lives. Some might say these cameras offer too much utility, since it is far too easy to pick up your phone with the intent to take a cute photo of your lounging dog only to find yourself halfway through the Wikipedia page for the “Neolithic Revolution” 20 minutes later.
When you shoot with a dedicated camera, by contrast, the possibilities are decidedly limited. While they better equip you to literally focus on photography, and so have earned legions of new fans, they have their own downsides. Mirrorless cameras are sleeker than a DSLR but bulkier than your phone, and instant cameras can be entertaining but often render subjects dull and colorless.
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