Day 154: Hey Julia Gillard, if you’re still around after September 14, your next media scrum could be filled with people who look a little like this.

Day 154: Hey Julia Gillard, if you're still around after September 14, your next media scrum could be filled with people who look a little like this.

Day 154: Hey Julia Gillard, if you’re still around after September 14, your next media scrum could be filled with people who look a little like this.

Monday, June 3, 2013: Hey Julia Gillard, if you’re still around after September 14, your next media scrum could be filled with people who look a little like this.

I read a very amusing story today about how the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper has laid off all of its photographic staff, and is now training reporters in how to use iPhones to capture photos from the events, press conferences, court cases, car accidents and bank robberies they’re writing stories about.

No, this doesn’t look like a joke story.

I’m not going to go on some rant about the death of newspapers and journalism and whatnot – the industry is in a state of evolution and this decision appears to be primarily a financial one. But, if it’s a sign of things to come, then get ready to see some wacky images in your newspapers and their websites.

iPhones don’t have the shutter speed, nor the frame rate, nor responsiveness, nor the reach, nor the sensor performance to produce clear and usable images during anything but a staged, up-close, well-lit photo session. That’s why people rely on cute photo filters like the one I’ve got here, or software like Instagram, to make ordinary images look more interesting. Not that it’ll make a whole lot of difference, I suppose, given that newspapers already rely quite heavily on camera-phone photos from Twitter – but I digress.

But seriously, why iPhones? The latest point-and-shoots from Sony, Canon and even Samsung can run rings around the iPhone for performance and picture quality, and it would still be a considerable saving compared to arming a department of photographers with DSLRs.

Julia Gillard needn’t worry just yet. There’s a fair distance between Chicago and sunny Canberra. Oh, and she needs to win an election.

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