Why An SLR Will Always Beat A Cameraphone

Bringing Back A Love Of Photography

The digital age is doing nothing for young photographers who are embracing classic SLR cameras to explore their art.

The compact camera market has been in decline for the past decade, but new figures reveal that sales are now rising once again. Since the advent of cameraphones, it’s understandable that consumers have been less willing to carry around both a camera as well as their mobile, when in many situations their phone acts well as a two-in-one device. So, it may come as something of a surprise that taking photos with an SLR camera is emerging as a favoured option, particularly by younger photographers. Here’s why they’re falling in love with film!

Convenience Isn’t Everything

The cameraphone is the epitome of the instant, on-demand digital world that we live in. It’s convenient of course, and we all love being able to reach into our pocket to capture a cute shot of our kids, a cheeky pic of a celeb sitting in our favourite coffee shop, or Friday night drinks with friends. But much has been lost with this type of photography. Where once, people would get excited about printing off their photos, going to pick them up and then proudly displaying them in an album, the cameraphone is all about taking digital photos in bulk in the hope of finding one in ten shots that’s good enough to share around on social media or a Whatsapp group.

It may sound like an efficient process; after all, it doesn’t cost anything to take all those extra shots, so long as you delete the rubbish images and don’t clog up your memory. But SLRs have much to offer over the efficiency of the digital cameraphone.

Bringing Back The Soul Of Film Photography

Young photographers are becoming increasingly bored with digital photography. Reflex is a crowdfunded project that has created a manual 35mm SLR with 5 lens mounts. It’s based on a traditional model from the 60s and 70s but includes a removable film back enabling the user to shift films in daylight. The process of printing these images in a darkroom, is part of why young photographers feel so connected to this style of photography – it’s about slowing down and understanding the relationship between you and the subject of your shoot. A digital photographer can become distracted, particularly when shooting with a cameraphone, where they can adjust the images either onscreen or in Photoshop later on. But the SLR photographer has a better understanding of composition and being able to line up all those crucial elements of the perfect picture before taking the shot.

The Future Of SLR

But SLR isn’t purely about art and nostalgia. Whilst there’s constant news about the development of phone technology, that’s not to say that other camera tech has ceased. UK-based Kodak Alaris is looking into bringing back two of its most popular colour reversal films – both Ektachrome and Kodachrome are synonymous with 20th century images and were particularly popular in Hollywood. Nikon and Leica are also still making SLR cameras, so if you’ve fallen in love with film, then they’re a great brand to start with. You can even sell your old camera as a way to afford a new SLR model.

SLRs are to photography what vinyl records are to the music industry – timeless and nostalgic perfection. Something that the cameraphone won’t be able to offer for decades yet.