Over the past few years, the mobile phone camera has made tremendous improvements. Gone are the days of grainy or flash-lit scenes at night, replaced by properly white-balanced and processed images produced by an engine that is often powerful enough to produce acceptable results.
Surely, from an optics and sensor design, mobile cameras will never fully be able to replace dedicated cameras. For an ordinary traveller who is looking to shed weight, however, there is no longer an urgent need to pack a DSLR with multiple lenses and a tripod, which is what I often find myself doing.
During my last year's travel to East Asia, I not only brought a DSLR with 3 lenses and a tripod, but also a GoPro, and a laptop for post-processing, hauling 2 backpacks totalling over 100 litres.
The first time I took out my DSLR was on my way to Chihiro Art Museum in Nagano prefecture of Japan, when I came across a beautiful landscape in the distance with colourful flowers within reach.
I thoroughly enjoyed the long walk from a train station to the museum, appreciating both the ruggedness and the lack of the bustle.