I write to you at the end of a horrible two weeks. Even in this position of privilege I have, my eyes have been opened simply by the fact I am not allowed to leave my house. In fact, if you read this on the day it is published, it is my last day inside, and I am just a few hours away from being able to leave the walls of my home — and what a privilege that will feel like.
Due to my father-in-law testing positive (and also being quite ill) we have had to self-isolate for 14 days due to close contact. They are part of our support bubble for Lucie and as such we could have contracted it too. I am glad to say we have been lucky to escape, my mother-in-law has not been so lucky, and everything is fine, but we went through our battle regardless.
Isolating is a weird thing to have to go through. On the surface if it, and indeed looking back at it, we will see that in the grand scheme of things it's not hard. You have to stay in a place of infinite number of entertainment possibilities. It’s warm, safe and filled full of creature comforts. Simply because you can't do that one thing, you realise how much you enjoy it.
The first few days are OK, you start to wonder why you wasted so much time with the big wide world when you can get so much done when staying in. DIY tasks are competed, jobs are done and things tidied up. Yet after a while it starts to drag, all I can think about is walking the dog with the wind in my face or the sun on my back. Enjoying the world, and doing nothing more than simply being outside. Tasks I need to complete cannot be done without a trip somewhere or another and the same walls become tiresome.
The garden just doesn’t cut it, I need space to walk and routes to take, I won't do nearly as much as I could do but simply knowing I can, is comforting. I start to think about how much I go outside, and how much I value but take for granted about it. I think about the liberties that are taken away by those that can't go out, either by punishment or circumstance and all the possibilities it brings. Many people go through much worse than I, and I am respectful of these situations, but it's been hard and I don’t want to do it again!
My shiny thing arrived on Friday. The new iPhone 12 Pro was delivered really early in the morning, and within minutes started to fill me with the feelings that I knew it would. It feels pretty much the same as the last one, and also the one before that, bringing such tiny updates that if they hadn’t changed the edges to flat ones you’d be hard pushed to tell the difference. Read more thoughts here
It doesn’t do anything new for me, apart from hurt my hands. Quite why Apple chose to move the design back to such an unergonomic one I will never know. Apple sold me a dream of owning a new thing that I really needed, but the effect too mere minutes to wear off. I have bought the new iPhone every year since the iPhone 6 and used them all the way through. Not because better phones don’t exist, but because iPhone suits me much better than anything else.
Undoubtably the iPhone 12 Pro is much better than anything else available, but I just don't enjoy using it. I am not a ‘power user’ — which is a euphemism for use your phone far too much — so I do not need top of the line everything. For the last few months I have been using an iPhone SE as my ‘home’ phone and it is one of the best phones I have ever bought.
At the age of 37 I have had to bump the text up on my iPhone to avoid headaches from squinting! I tried as long as I could not do it, but the new iPhone 12 Pro has for some reason exaggerated the issue and I’ve given in. I don't feel old though, I not sure if I should, but I am very much still a teenager in my head.
I always imaged getting older would make you feel grown up, and feel different somehow? Don't get me wrong I am amazed at the change in my thinking and reasoning even just 10 years ago, and cringe at what a dummy I was in my 20s but I just don't feel like I imagined a ‘grown up’ would feel.
Granted I am fitter than most 20-year-olds at this point, but by putting the text size up on my phone I feel like an old man! Perhaps it's time to get my eyes tested.
Phone Or Camera?
Every iPhone release time everyone starts focusing on the cameras in them. Loads of people go for photo walks and get great shots “with just a smartphone” and even more people start to question the role of a dedicated camera.
That's because for more than 10 years the smartphone has cannibalised the point and shoot camera market. The reason Apple worked so hard on the original iPhone was because they knew people didn't want to carry around a phone, iPod and camera, and even perhaps a PDA — and that is still true today.
The best camera is always the one you have with you, and its ability is very tailored to the type of images you are going to take, but also give you the flexibility to use it more in-depth. While phone cameras are great, I take the vast majority of my pictures on them, nothing beats a dedicated camera in my mind. Anything from a simple point and shoot to a DSLR camera will give you much better shots and enable you to do much more.
But the question really is, what do you want out of a camera, and most people just want a nice image they can lay a filter over and post to Instagram. Increasingly users are asking more and more from their cameras though, and the manufactures are needing to lean more and more on algorithms and computational processing to achieve things you can do easily with a dedicated camera.
There is more than a little bias here because I love my A7iii so much, but I don't think an iPhone will ever get anywhere near even an entry-level Alpha shooter. Couple this with the ability to wonder around somewhere completely disconnected from the world and look for shots means a camera always wins for me.
Despite it not quite being up to scratch, I managed to publish some thoughts on the Pixel 5 — its amazing — and I wanted to give a special thank you to people being supportive.
I struggle to press the publish button, and hearing words of encouragement keeps me making videos. I enjoy the process more than the finished product, thinking about the shots I want and writing the script, but with so many great reviewers and videographers making videos on Youtube it's easy to just not bother.
So thank you to those people that leave me a comment, or subscribe to see new videos. It means a lot to me to have some great people around me.
Before I Go
Having more subscribers to my newsletter than I ever did to my podcasts is both humbling and pressure laden. I am sure that it would be at this point that many would start to try and make money in some way or another, but I will just keep writing to you all like pen pals.
Thank you to those that have emailed me, or tweeted at me with feedback, follow-up stories or even just for a chat. I have enjoyed engagement with people through email so much, and last week I think I wrote more emails than I did in the previous three months. Email gets a lot of stick for various reasons, but sitting down to read an email from a friend is such a nice experience.
If you want to give, you can, but take the very best care of yourselves my friends.
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