About two years ago, when a busy downtown mall in Nairobi, which houses small stalls known as “exhibitions” in the city’s lingo suffered a massive blast, a curious thing happened.
True, the emergency services, mostly the Red Cross, paramedics and the police, responded, as they are wont to, and were among the first people on the scene. There was also a fair sprinkling of journalists and photojournalists at the scene. But there was also another group that stuck out like a sore thumb: that of ordinary citizens, capturing the incident on their smartphones either in the form of videos or photos.
It was this army of citizen journalists who intuitively posted the first images from the incident on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and youtube and not your traditional, newsroom-based journalist. They literally “broke” the story. But the army of cyber-reporters who descended on Nairobi’s Moi Avenue on that fateful morning has platoons all over the world. Of the billions of photos taken per day by smartphone owners today, about 1.8 billion end up being shared on social networks, up from 500 million in 2013.
Veteran Nairobi-based Ugandan journalist Charles Onyango-Obbo, would later remark. “I watched them. They were eating my lunch. And there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.”
With the ascendancy of smartphones in Kenya and as the gadgets become more affordable, a strong culture of citizen journalism is taking root in the country. In this realm, everyone is a journalist and a photo-journalist. No newspaper, TV or radio station today can claim that it breaks stories all the time. That is being effectively done by social media and its growing army of citizen journalists and bloggers. Traditional media outlets have had to be more content with the rather sedate and intellectually high-brow task of analysis and commentary, what is known in the trade as Day Two Journalism.
True, the advent of smartphone-based cameras has kind of “democratized” photography. Just like the traditional journalists and photojournalists, even this breed of practitioners requires the best tools of the trade, and that includes the best cameras. This is where LG smartphones come in, especially the G4, because they are not only user-friendly, but are engineered to ensure that even lay users get the best, professional quality results. It doesn’t matter whether they are taking a “selfie” or capturing a bomb blast, literally chronicling the first chapters of history.
Boasting a remarkable 16mp camera, G4 makes full use of its detailed display and instinctive operation to help users take professional-quality photographs. Expertly tailored to meet the needs of modern consumers, the user-friendly G4 is the perfect phone for today’s mobile photographers.
For the longest time, mobile cameras have lagged far behind more advanced digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) in their ability to capture photographs when there is little natural light. The G4’s camera lens boasts an aperture value of F1.8, making it the brightest smartphone lens on the market and capable of going toe-to-toe with lens used by professionals.
Apart from F/1.8 aperture lens, there are a number of other features that help to set the G4 apart from competition. For instance, in manual mode, the photographer can customize the level of white balance, ISO, shutter speed, manual focus and exposure compensation. When placed in the hands of an expert, these features allow the G4 to shoot capture striking images. Manual mode also gives photographers the ability to select RAW or JPEG as the format for their files.
Those features among others make it a joy to use, even for the non-professional mobile photographer, who just wants to capture moments of life for their own use or seeks to share the same with friends and family or even a wider audience. These include the brightest smartphone lens on the market that is at par with what top notch professionals use; a manual mode that gives the user a lot of control; an advanced color spectrum sensor to ensure no color is lost on “translation” and an advanced front-facing camera that efficiently feeds the growing “selfie” sub-culture.