I’ve been keeping an eye on the development of the Kodak Ektra. If you don’t know, it’s an android smartphone from Kodak that has a stronger camera focus (pun not intended). This might not sound like a big deal (almost every smartphone these days has a great camera and the marketing departments make big promises about them. However, the Ektra sounds like it tackles a couple of my biggest complaints about smartphone photography.
My Big Issues with Smartphone Street photography
The biggest complaint I have is that it doesn’t feel as easy to handle a smartphone and shoot how I like. This is incredibly personal but I find it easier to hold a camera in my hand securely and quickly move around and take shots. Holding my smartphone feels like it may fly out of my hand at any moment.
Then there is the issue of the controls on a smartphone. While they can be great at just taking a quick automatic image, if you want to adjust the exposure, it can be a real pain.
Next there is the image quality. This is a tough one as smartphone photography has certain characteristics which can be really great for street photography like deep depth of field, low contrast, grain, and so on.
Finally there is the battery life which is always a concern when you are on the go and need to have a phone as well! You can supplement this with a portable battery pack (you can do this with some stand alone cameras as well, or just buy extra batteries to put in).
How The Kodak Ektra Solves these issues
In every area (except the battery) it looks like the Ektra deals with these issues thanks to it’s grip, control interface, and larger higher quality sensor and lens. With those obstacles over come, you get the advantages of smartphone street photography. It’s discrete, has editing tools built in, you can instantly backup your images to google drive (for free!) and it is SUPER portable.
So I’m interested in trying the Ektra and I could easily see this replacing my Fuji x100t. I’d still keep a stand alone camera but for taking more portraits and other shots.
[p.s. Kodak, if you’d like to send me one to review, I’d love to. Yes, I’d sell out for you]
What do you think about the Kodak Ektra? Do you know of something similar?
Also published on Medium.