I’ve read the latest article by JP Danko about why smartphone photography stinks. I disagree, and here is my response.
I do hate the term “tog”. I cringe every time I see or hear it.
Your definition of real camera does sound little bit pretentious to my ears as it leaves out pretty much all point and shoots and (however heretic it might sound) lofi/lomo cameras. Disregard the phone aspect for now. All the autofocus, auto exposure cameras with little to no control about anything are left out. This includes cameras like Olympus Mju, many Polaroid Land cameras, Instamatics and Brownies… why I mention them? Cause it seems like your generalization is presuming only digital media. These analog cameras I mentioned are directly comparable with some of the current phone camera offerings. Take Kodak instamatics and Brownies. Cheap, low quality shooters that were spewed by the millions yet they provided the public with much appreciated democratization of photography. Because of their limitations in exposure their photos looked very much the same, yet they defined the visual style and taste in such strong way, that most popular (and praised by you) app like Instagram and Hipstamatic base their success on this established visual style. Just look at the names. Our family memories are defined by low quality cameras yet we continue with this tradition even now, when the access to quality digital apparatus is easier than ever before. But people did not seem to mind the lens quality of the Instamatic or automatic land cameras. As those pictures were viewed as rather small prints today photography is viewed on small screens.