With smartphone technology evolving at ever-increasing rates, the ability to produce simple photographs and video can be achieved with the latest handsets.
In an age where our whole economic infrastructure relies on information technology and the feeling of being connected, how we communicate with others is largely in the form of images. The ways in which we discover and make sense of the world heavily relies on our interaction with visual elements and so photo and video are essential forms of communication and storytelling – more so now than ever before.
Smartphones have become vital in making images and video more easily accessible, but they do have their limitations. Rudimentary time-lapse software can now be accessed on a range of devices, helping users to create and capture basic videos over a short-term period. Whilst this does have its benefits to hobbyists and semi-professionals, it does not replace the quality of work that is produced by professional time-lapse companies.
Firstly, the quality of images captured does not match up to those taken by market-leading DSLR cameras and bespoke set-ups. Although marketing campaigns for mobile phones are often lead by the handset’s camera capabilities – such as Apple claiming its iPhone 6 is “the world’s most popular camera” – they simply cannot compete with standalone, purpose built camera equipment.
The quality of image capture that professional set-ups can capture allow the subject to be viewed in optimum conditions and are therefore particularly beneficial for use in marketing campaigns.
Secondly, although smartphones are designed to be pocket-sized and easily accessible on the move their durability is ultimately tested in outdoor environments. And this is where custom-built professional time-lapse camera systems also have a huge advantage.
When up against problems such as bad lighting and extreme weather conditions, even compact devices like the GoPro do not have the required hardware or add-ons to produce quality capture while successfully combatting these elements. That is why many companies choose to outsource their work to the professionals, particularly for external projects, because they can be assured that robust camera systems they provide can withstand severe conditions without compromising on quality.
Thirdly, the length of capture that is capable using purpose-built time-lapse camera systems is also a major advantage over smartphones. Mobile handsets are only designed for very short bursts of low quality time-lapse, which have their place when capturing everyday scenes and ‘life’. Professional set-ups, however, can produce long term time-lapse with equipment that is safe and secure, enabling site monitoring and event management in busy, dangerous and inaccessible sites and environments without having to be manned.
Finally, professional companies are not only capable of capturing for long periods of time, but the images taken are also accessible remotely thanks to secure networking. Time-Lapse Systems provide clients with access to online viewers – compatible with smartphones, tablets and desktop computers – enabling them to remotely access to images of their project whilst work is ongoing. With remote accessibility available on handheld devices, this means that the results of professional routes can now be viewed and shared on the go as easily as those captured on the mobile devices themselves.
While we are certainly living in an age where advances in technology are evolving at ever-increasing speeds, and the capabilities of smartphones means that we are utilising them in more interesting and dynamic ways, there is still a clear divide in the target market.
On the one hand, smartphones continue to be utilised by hobbyists and semi-professionals in new and exciting ways, with emerging products and technologies changing the landscape of everyday photography like never before. On the other, companies and organisations who want to showcase their work in optimum visual detail, in a highly competitive commercial market, continue to outsource for time-lapse and site monitoring systems provided by professionals – where no compromises in quality are necessary.