After two and a half years, the GF1 was replaced by the slightly improved Panasonic GX1, which I brought on the six-day Kumano Kodo hike in October. During the trip, I alternated between shooting with it and an iPhone 5. After importing the results into Lightroom, Adobe’s photo-development software, it was difficult to distinguish the GX1’s photos from the iPhone 5’s. (That’s not even the latest iPhone; Austin Mann’s superlative results make it clear that the iPhone 5S operates on an even higher level.) Of course, zooming in and poking around the photos revealed differences: the iPhone 5 doesn’t capture as much highlight detail as the GX1, or handle low light as well, or withstand intense editing, such as drastic changes in exposure. But it seems clear that in a couple of years, with an iPhone 6S in our pockets, it will be nearly impossible to justify taking a dedicated camera on trips like the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage.
I know a lot of people hate this reality. But it is going to be a reality.
Why hate it? I took the last photo ever of my mother and her brother. His time was short. What did I have in my pocket? An iPhone 4S. I took a dozen photos of them sitting on the porch just click-click-click. Last Christmas I gave her a large framed print of the best shot. It was sad moment, but it’s still there on her kitchen counter.
The best camera is the one we have on us, it’s just beautiful that now it’s a great camera.
If this borks some entrenched companies I do not give a fuck.