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Images arranged using Layout app
For many people the quick answer to this is "yes".  With smartphones now equipped with cameras that resolve north of 8MP, the picture quality is getting pretty good.  Yes, the size of the sensor is tiny and the grain in the image if low light images can be distracting, but since most of us will not be making large prints, the results can be quite good. 

The advantage to these cameras is that they are always with us so the chances of "capturing the moment" are very good.  Without an optical zoom, you are not going to use these for hunting land animals or birds, but for people pictures and landscapes they preform quite well. 

It is now possible to download a number of very good apps which will improve the photos you can capture.  Some even help you with the presentation of your final images.  I have been playing recently with:


Simply B & W: an easy to use program that lets you convert your camera or photo library images to very credible black and images.

Layout: an great way to, ah - layout your images with good looking frames around them.  Display individually or in groups as seen above.

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Panorama image taken at Joshua Tree National Park with Pano Camera app on iPhone 5
Pano Camera: a very simple to use app that will create panoramas up to 360 degrees wide.  Simply take your first image and then line up the automatically generated targets for the next shots.  The final image is pretty good considering it takes next to no time to do and doesn't require a tripod.

Whether you use your camera in "plain vanilla" mode or tarted up with an app or two, smartphones today provide a great alternative to a compact digital camera.  If you don't need a telephoto, if you aren't using it in exceedingly dim conditions and if you don't make large prints, this may be all the camera you need.  If you haven't tried some of the photo apps out there, treat yourself, they cost very little and can add a great deal of versatility to your photography.
 


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