We do a lot of talking around here, so once a week it’s nice to shut up and let you lot have your say in our opinion polls. Jon Stapley looks at some of the year’s notable results
We asked: Has your opinion of smartphone cameras changed?
A. No, I don’t think they should be considered true cameras – 31%
B. No, I have always considered them to be a useful tool – 19%
C. No, as they get better they will be fantastic but they aren’t there yet – 16%
D. Yes, they have become serious tools – 15%
E. Yes, I was excited at the prospect but have so far been unimpressed – 7%
F. None of the above – 12%
At first, it seems that those who disdain smartphone photography have the largest share of the vote, but this isn’t quite true. If you count the ‘not quite there’ respondents as optimists (which makes sense, given the line ‘they will be fantastic’), those with positive things to say about smartphone cameras reach 50%!
We’ve featured plenty of photographers doing great things with phones, from landscapes to reportage, and in the future we’re only going to see more. Glad to see some of you on board.
We asked: Are you impressed or appalled at the idea of using 4K video for stills photography?
A. I’m sold – it will be a useful tool that could transform my photography – 13%
B. I’d give it a go if it was available, but I can’t see a regular use for this feature – 23%
C. I’d try it, but I’d feel a little like I was cheating if I used it for stills – 7%
D. I’ve no interest in it as it is of no benefit for the type of photography I do – 38%
E. Although it would make my photography easier, the quality isn’t good enough – 7%
F. It’s cheating. I’d never use it and don’t think other photographers should either – 12%
We braced ourselves for a storm of outrage on this one, but were actually rather surprised by the results. While the general sentiment on the idea of using 4K video for still photographs was negative, about the same number said they were completely sold on it as decried the notion as unspeakable heresy.
It’s a thorny debate, but we were pleased to see a decent number of people who were at least curious about the idea.
We asked: When was the last time you shot a roll of film?
A. I always shoot film – 48%
B. In the past month – 24%
C. Earlier this year 6%
D. 1-5 years ago 6%
E. More than 5 years ago 15%
F. I’ve never shot film 1%
Well, that was a turn-up. Apparently almost half of all the photographers out there exclusively shoot film! Someone should probably tell Canon and Nikon…
This was by quite some way the most popular poll we ran this year, accruing a total of 2,414 votes. For context, the previous week’s poll on photographic history garnered 320 votes.
Now, I wouldn’t want to suggest that parties with a marked interest in promoting film might have drawn attention to this poll online, nor point out how many people we spotted doing exactly that on Twitter with the hashtag #BelieveInFilm. Therefore, I will say nothing else about this poll. Well done, film.
We asked: Do you think taking pictures of a place gets in the way of enjoying the experience of being there?
A. Yes, often – 11%
B. Yes, sometimes – 37%
C. No, not at all – 52%
It’s easy to shout a knee-jerk ‘no’ to this one, but thinking about it, there are plenty of situations where having a camera pressed to your face might detract from an experience. Records of family are wonderful things, but do you want your children and grandchildren to grow up exclusively thinking of you as some sort of glass-nosed robot who spends Christmas insistently clicking at them?
And surely we’ve all met iPad Gig Idiot, who spends his evenings ruining concerts for everyone by holding up a bright tablet screen to capture unwatchable footage (does he watch it later? No one knows).
In truth, though, I find myself agreeing with the 52%. Although it can be a pain to be fiddling with settings while wonderful things unfold in front of you, having a record of them in the form of a great photograph makes it worth it. Obviously.
We asked: How many years have you been reading Amateur Photographer?
A. Less than one year – 52%
B. 1-5 years – 11%
C. 6-10 years – 11%
D. 11-20 years – 7%
E. 21-30 years – 11%
F. More than 31 years – 8%
When we unveiled the biggest redesign of AP in more than a decade, we couldn’t resist finding out how long some of you had been with us. It was great to see such a mix of responses, especially the huge proportion of you who have joined us in the past year – encouraging news for the future! A special shout-out goes to our readers of more than 31 years (!), whose loyalty is at least seven years older than our two youngest writers.
Thanks to everyone who voted on our AP reader polls. We’re excited to hear much more of what you have to say in 2015! If you want to see more of this year’s results, take a look at our poll archive.