Mobile Phone Photography For Small Businesses: Lessons Learnt From Buying A New Phone
I’ve always had a keen interest in photography. However, over recent years this has become an essential skill to support my digital marketing activities. In particular, I take a lot of photos to post on social media for my Visit Broadway website.
Up until a couple of weeks ago, I’ve always been happy using my digital SLR camera for capturing such high quality photos. However, there have been times over the years when I’ve missed the opportunity to capture a photo as I’ve not had my DSLR camera with me.
The problem I’ve faced is that my previous phone simply wasn’t up for the job in terms of capturing photos that could be used for marketing material. I’ve been aware for some time that the quality of mobile phone cameras has been improving over recent years and I thought it was time for me to revisit this. My overall goal was to find a phone with a camera that could rival the quality of my SLR camera. This would give me more opportunities to capture images for social media on a more ad hoc basis.
I thought it would be useful to document my findings, as most small businesses these days manage their own social media channels. In my opinion, high quality photos are absolutely essential when promoting any business on social media. A lot of businesses don’t have the time to learn how to use an SLR so a good quality mobile phone is a great option.
Below I’ve broken down some of the criteria that I considered when researching what phone to go for.
If you’ve got an open ended budget, you could easily spend well over £1,000 on a flagship phone from some of the big brands. I personally didn’t want to spend this much and felt that I could get a phone with a good enough camera for between £500-£700. As a result, this is where I started my search.
Optical zoom function
I quickly discovered that most phone cameras don’t have the ability to zoom without losing quality. Ideally, I wanted a phone that could offer at least some optical zoom as this wouldn’t result in a loss of quality. This is particularly important for portrait photography. Without the ability to zoom, pictures of people can often be quite distorted as you have to get the camera fairly close to the subject’s face. Over the years, I’ve used the zoom on my SLR quite a lot to get the composition that I’ve wanted, so I felt that having a telephoto lens was essential.
I’ve always shot in RAW when using my SLR over the past 10 years. I thought it was important to find a camera that offered the same facility. If you’ve not used RAW before, I’d highly recommend it. In very simple terms, RAW captures far more image data recorded by the camera’s sensor. This basically allows you to change factors such as exposure, saturation, sharpness, contrast, and more after the photo is taken without affecting the overall quality of the image.
Phone cameras have traditionally been poor in low light situations. However, most of the more advanced phones have a night mode function these days. This was particularly important for me, as night time/low lights photos often get a lot of interaction on social media. This is especially true when I’ve taken pictures of the festive lights that line the High Street for my Visit Broadway website.
Which phone did I go for?
Taking all of this into consideration, I opted for the Samsung S20 FE. I compared the phone against many of its competitors. Reviews suggested it offered one of the best cameras on the market within a certain budget. I must admit, so far I’ve been blown away by the results. It takes stunning photos that get very close to the standard of my entry level SLR camera.
I’d certainly recommend it to any small business owners who are looking to invest in equipment to improve their on site photography capability. If you’d like to check out some of the results, feel free to check out my personal Instagram profile or the Visit Broadway Facebook page as I’ll be putting the camera through its paces for both accounts.