Best camera for street photography? It’s in your pocket

If you polled the world’s best street photographers and asked them to name their favorite camera, you’d hear a lot of Leica endorsements, some passionate Fuji X100s testimonials and votes for everything in between.

The truth is, you can take compelling street photos with your camera phone. It’s always there and most people won’t give you a second glance if you’re out taking pictures with it. I took the two photos in this post with my iPhone5.


Waiting for the subway / Photo by Joe Newman

Yet, for all its great features, the iPhone is still in the Stone Age as a camera. It lacks the manual controls that are critical in less than ideal light conditions. And its 8 megapixel sensor is some weak sauce compared to what else is out there on the market. The Nokia Lumia 1020 packs 41mp!

However, we all know that while a camera may take a picture, it’s the photographer who makes it. Give Chase Jarvis a cheap camera (like they did here) or Bruce Weber a Nokia Lumia (like they did here) and they’ll out shoot you or I any day of the week.

Michael Bonocore, a SmugMug staffer, proved this point recently with a Samsung Galaxy 4. Some of the photos he took in India with the S4 are as good as any you could take with a DSLR. He also gives some good tips on  how to make the most of your camera phone.

Image of woman on bicycle by Joe Newman.

Joe Newman

I'm Joe Newman, multi-media story teller, non-profit do-gooder, international street photographer, serious poker player, intrepid traveler. Bourbon drinker.

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