A photo that seems to have been taken by an amateur photographer may be a result of a system error.
But how do you determine if the photo is real or a digital creation?
That’s what photographer and award-winning photographer Bruce Weber hopes to find out.
“I think the best way to tell is by seeing what happens to the pixels, because if the pixels are erased, it’s a false result,” Weber said.
“So the best I can do is go in and check the pixel count on the camera.
If it’s in the 0s, it looks like it’s real, but if it’s 1 or 2, it doesn’t look like it.”
But what if the pixel numbers were wrong?
That would mean the photo wasn’t taken by a professional photographer, it was taken by someone who had made an artistic choice to include their own digital image in the photo.
That means if the camera is faulty, you may have to rely on Weber’s own experience of how to troubleshoot problems with the digital image.
“We’re not in the business of buying new cameras, we’re in the game of finding the best cameras for you,” Weber explained.
“If the camera isn’t working, then we’ll have to look at the firmware on the phone or the software on the computer.”
What I like about digital photography is that it’s very transparent.
You can see what’s happening with the pixels.
The Sony X 100 camera is the best camera for this kind of work. “
I didn’t want to go down that path,” Weber says.
“The Sony X 100 camera is the best camera for this kind of work.
The firmware is very simple, you can just get the firmware update and get the camera working.”
Werner’s smartphone is a Sony NEX-7, with a firmware version that’s just a bit different from the NEX7 in the above photo.
“It’s very similar to the Nox, it has a different firmware,” he said.
“But the Sony X-series is very powerful, it gives you really good control over the exposure.
You get very good control of the ISO, you get good control when you take your exposures in the low-light.”
Wendy Taylor, a photojournalist and author of The Photo Keeper, agrees.
“The Sony Nox is the only camera that’s very powerful for this sort of work,” she said.
The Sony PX-E, a Samsung smartphone, is also a capable camera, but it also has a firmware that’s slightly different from what Weber’s using.
“With the Sony Nex-7 you can do a lot more control than with the Sony Px-E,” Taylor said.
Taylor says there are plenty of reasons to buy the best smartphone cameras.
“There’s very little reason to buy a phone that’s not going to work,” Taylor explained.
“Because the hardware and software are very easy to troubleshy, you don’t need to worry about it.”
The Sony NX600, the Sony A6000 and the Samsung NX1000 all feature powerful cameras.
But what about a smartphone camera that can do better?
“If you want the best quality camera for your job, you want a smartphone,” Taylor added.
“There’s a lot of work that happens with the camera, so it’s worth investing in a phone.”
There are plenty that are well known for their image quality, but what about those that are just as good?
Taylor points to the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Nokia 710, which are all excellent smartphones that have great image quality.
“Those are very good phones,” she explained.
Taylor believes the best smartphones are also the best for a photographer, and that the most reliable smartphones are those that have good firmware.