Guess That's Why They Call Them Smartphones

I won't be purchasing an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. My 5S is only a year old and running just fine.

But I'm not disappointed. iOS 8 essentially gives me a new camera for my existing hardware.

Now, if photo gear manufacturers are still wondering why so many people are using their smartphones instead of dedicated compacts, this is a compelling reason. In addition to all of the other benefits - such as portability and connectivity - with a single firmware update, Apple has dramatically improved photography on my iPhone 5S.

For free.

On the camera side of the equation, I now have dynamic exposure compensation. All I have to do is slide my finger up or down on the screen to adjust the brightness. Other goodies were included too, such as time lapse and single-capture HDR.

Plus, the Photos App was overhauled. Once I take a picture, I can quickly edit with tools such as shadows and highlights, then share my image with the world.

Seems like camera manufacturers are just now understanding the power of a firmware update. Recently, the Olympus E-M1 and the Fujifilm X-T1 received solid upgrades this way. As a result, I'm experiencing that same warm, fuzzy feeling about my E-M1 that I have about my upgraded iPhone.

We've had digital cameras for a long time. Why so late to the firmware party? Why ignore the digital aspect of the camera?

Software updates seem so, well, intelligent.

Guess that's why they call them smartphones.