Two million people visit a top mall in Africa every month, on average. They take countless photos, using smartphones with incredibly powerful cameras. Some use two or three rear cameras to assist with depth of field, etc. Focus uses accurate laser technology. Wide-angle lenses on 24mm sensor, f-stop of 2 or 1.8 not uncommon.
Pretty. Impressive. Powerful.
I have yet to see a security officer reprimand anyone for taking photos with a smartphone. However, they do see danger in a little Canon Powershot A810 compact camera, which is by no means a match for the cameras found in higher end smartphones. To the management and security staff alike, a photo taken by a smartphone poses no security threat but o e from any form of conventional camera, from compact to DSLR, have them rushing to restrict any tourist camera and not a smartphone.
Please look at the incredible specifications of the camera built into this Sony Experia XZ smartphone. It should really scare the security officers out of their wits, yet the form factor consoles them.
We need to learn to see things for what they are, not as we perceive it.
If you were confronted in a mall for taking an innocent tourist photo, please do comment below.