When digital cameras first started becoming mainstream, pros were not impressed. I remember more than one experienced photographer back around the early part of the 21st century saying that digital would never come close to film.
That started to change with the advent of sophisticated digital SLRs and mirrorless cameras, which offered interchangeable lenses, large sensors, and other features resulting in high-quality output. They have all but replaced film cameras, with just a few outliers. And then, of course, smartphones came along, and their built-in cameras just keep getting better.
PCMag’s senior analyst for digital cameras, Jim Fisher, elaborates: “Digital versus film is no longer a discussion. When we talk about photography in 2018, we talk about digital photography. For the vast majority of professionals, there is no question, especially those who specialize in sports, wildlife, and event photography.
“Instant film, though—particular the Fujifilm Instax formats—has enjoyed a renaissance. It speaks to the younger generation, offering the instant gratification that they’ve come to expect growing up in a digital world along with the tactile feel of a real, physical print.”
I confess that I’ve been extra excited about this issue ever since we started planning it earlier this year. I’ve been an enthusiastic amateur digital photographer (and a fan of art photography) for a while now, and I jumped at the chance to produce some stories that weren’t just your average tech-magazine photo articles.
In our photo issue, you’ll find a feature story on computational photography, a technology that’s starting to make important improvements in digital image capture, in everything from AR and VR to smartphones. We also talked to two professional digital photographers whose journalistic and commercial work really stands out. And we decided to pit a D-SLR against an iPhone to see how both compare in taking indoor and outdoor portraits (the results may surprise you, just a little).
We’ve also included several tips and how-to stories from our experts that focus in on specific tasks: how to sell your photos online, transfer photos from your PC to your phone, and tips on fixing bad photos.
These days, just about everyone is a photographer—as a look at any social-media platform will confirm. We hope all you shooters enjoy our photo issue!