Is JPEG the new MP3?

As good as smartphones can be at taking pictures, as good as they can render a certain reality, are smartphones just the new MP3 players? Is JPEG the new MP3? The fact is that most of those pictures taken by our smartphones are mostly consumed on the small screen. For the vast majority of people, it doesn’t matter if the censor resolution is “only” 12 megapixels. Pictures are rarely enlarged big enough to see their limited resolution.

Similar thinking was prevalent when the MP3 standard became popular. There was a debate about the quality of encoding music in MP3 format compared to CDs. There was a difference, but MP3 enthusiasts were quick to point out that people couldn’t hear the difference because of many factors like headphones quality, loud environment while commuting, etc.

Right from my new iPhone 11 Pro. Unedited.

For a photography enthusiast like me, the new iPhone 11 Pro is upping the game for sure. But many professional photographers will be doubtful about the real value of any smartphones compared to their expansive photography gear and for good reasons. But again, at some point, we are talking about edge cases addressability here. Photography as an art has become a commodity in most part because of smartphones somehow marginalizing the real artists at the same time.

What is your take? I would be glad to read your thoughts!

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