Smartphone camera vs. DSLR

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Joseph Camuso 3 years, 6 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 25 total)
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  • #16503

    Joseph Camuso
    Participant

    Hey everyone!
    I’m sure most of you have seen some of the new smartphones that have really good cameras, so I was wondering if anyone had any input on getting a smartphone vs. a DSLR?

    #16504

    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    It all boils down to: “What is your intended purpose for buying a camera?” If you’re wanting to do landscape, portrait, sports, etc, you’re likely going to want a real camera. (DSLR) πŸ™‚

    On the other hand, if all you want is something that’s always with you to document your life with pictures, then a smartphone might work just as well.

    There’s a saying among photographers that says, “Your best camera is the one you have with you. If you buy a DSLR, and it sits in it’s bag 75% of the time, then your phone will likely get used more, just because you always have it with you. Having a “real” high quality $600 camera will not get you good pictures if you leave it at home, and use your phone instead!

    There are all kinds of arguments in both directions; it will help us a lot if you let us know what you plan to use this camera for.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by  Ezra Morley.
    #16507

    Mr. Quebec
    Participant

    I guess that one of the biggest advantage of the smartphone is its size, which makes it really great to carry everywhere.
    What I like also from my smartphone over my camera is all the little gadgets that my DSLR doesn’t have (HDR, panorama, editing right on the smartphone, etc.) Of course that’s pretty relative, since many modern cameras have improved on such features.

    Perhaps the two biggest advantages of the DSLR over the smartphone are the sensor and the lens. DSLRs can produces nice, clear subjects over a blurred background, which is harder to do with a smartphone. Also, the variety of lenses available can adapt a DSLR to a multitude of purposes. I sometimes miss greatly my focus ring when using my smartphone. It can be quite annoying when you just wait over the smartphone to start focusing, or that it focus at the wrong place! Also, when you zoom with a smartphone, you actually use a digital zoom. ( at least mine, I don’t know all the models of smartphones πŸ™‚ ) That means that the smartphone crops the picture, thus meaning a loss of quality. DSLRs, however, can use optical zoom, which use lenses to zoom and therefore is not diminishing picture quality. (Well, in some case they can do, but it’s nothing compared to digital zoom.)

    But just as @buddingphotographer said, it really depends on what are your purposes and needs. DSLRs tend to be by nature much powerful, but smartphones have the huge benefit of being easier to use and easy to carry.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by  Mr. Quebec.
    #16509

    Abbie Camuso
    Participant

    Smartphones are really handy, but if you’re going into professional photography, I’d go with a professional camera. πŸ™‚

    #16510

    Joseph Camuso
    Participant

    @buddingphotographer, Thank you for your imput. I would be using my camera for both landscape and close-up photography. One of the things that I really like about the smartphones is also what @mr-quebec said – the size.

    @mr-quebec, thanks for what you said about focus on a smartphone. That is something I have definitely thought of. I think there must be a way to get a nice blurred background, but I’m not sure πŸ™‚ Do you have any special camera apps on your phone or do you just use the default?

    #16511

    Mr. Quebec
    Participant

    I think there must be a way to get a nice blurred background, but I’m not sure

    At least on my smartphone camera app, I have to touch the subject to direct the focus. One way to have a nice background is to photograph things closer (macro) but even that isn’t near of what a DSLR can do. Honestly, I think that P&S and smartphones would make a better comparision. P&S market may have a hard time with all the nice cameras offered in smartphones.

    Do you have any special camera apps on your phone or do you just use the default?

    I just have the default app.

    #16515

    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    I think there must be a way to get a nice blurred background, but I’m not sure πŸ™‚

    On a little tiny-sensored phone camera, the answer is No. At least not without digital manipulation, which would definitely decrease the quality somehow. Or, as @mr-quebec said, get closer. But even then, you’re definitely not going to get DSLR-like “bokeh” Try this with your smartphone! πŸ™‚
    EJM_6928

    Honestly, I think that P&S and smartphones would make a better comparision. P&S market may have a hard time with all the nice cameras offered in smartphones.

    You’re exactly right! There are a couple of points in which point-n-shoots are still ahead though.

    • Optical Zoom – Want 83x zoom? Got it | Nikon COOLPIX P900!
    • Image Stabilization – Actually, phones are on the verge of catching up here, Apple’s newest iPhone 6 Plus was the first phone to have “real” OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), [not just digital stabilization]

    I guess I was wrong, a quick search shows that there are several phones now that boast IS, so chances are, if you buy a smartphone, you’ll get IS!

    Also remember that tiny sensors just cannot pack the same punch as a sensor that has more than 10x the sensor area of a little phone sensor. Here’s a comparison to feast your eyes on: http://j.mp/1TCJVxf The little tiny sensor on the left is from Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, their latest and greatest smartphone camera. The next up is a sensor from a typical entry-level DSLR, the last is the sensor from Canon’s high-end professional camera.

    We’re talking about much less dynamic range, much higher noise, and less color bit-depth, among other disadvantages of tiny sensors. πŸ™‚

    Attachments:
    #16522

    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    I love my smartphone for sharing pictures online immediately after taking them. It’s usually days, if not weeks, before I take the time to process and share my artistic or business-related shots from the DSLR.

    Smartphones weren’t designed for photography. The camera is just a feature. Like @buddingphotographer said, it has everything to do with how you’re going to be using your pictures. If you’re looking for convenience and compactness, consider the Sony Alpha A7 mirrorless. If you can afford the latest and greatest smartphone with the latest and greatest features, then it would be a much better option.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by  James Staddon.
    #16528

    Mr. Quebec
    Participant

    At least on my smartphone camera app, I have to touch the subject to direct the focus.

    Sorry, I wrote this one wrong. I does focus by itself, and I can change the focus by touching the screen.

    Does someone knows a good app where I can have a manual mode on it? Would it be possible to change exposure and aperture, or it is technically impossible?

    Optical Zoom – Want 83x zoom?

    What does this mean on a crop sensor (in mm)? I red that it would be equivalent to 2000mm, but it looks too exotic for a DSLR. πŸ™‚

    #16532

    Joseph Camuso
    Participant

    Hey guys! Thanks for all your imput, I really appreciate it!! Yesterday I had the privlege of testing out a Samsung Galaxy S7. My first though was to test focus on the camera, so here are the unedited results πŸ™‚

    #16533

    Joseph Camuso
    Participant

    Opps sorry I had to reduce the image size! (sorry the pictures are of such random things! πŸ˜‰ )

    Attachments:
    #16538

    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    Smartphones weren’t designed for photography. The camera is just a feature.

    Hey, that’s a really good way to put it! That’s definitely one of the major reasons to argue against a camera phone. Ditto what you said James, about sharing pictures from your phone. However, there are technologies that let you do that from your DSLR now too. Ever heard of Eye-fi cards? Actually, most cameras nowadays have built in Wi-Fi so you can access your pictures moments after snapping them with your DSLR!

    @mr-quebec,

    Does someone knows a good app where I can have a manual mode on it? Would it be possible to change exposure and aperture, or it is technically impossible?

    I don’t own a smartphone, but I’ve heard good things about 645 Pro, and it’s lite version called PureShot. Unfortunately, it looks like they are iPhone only apps, so for Android you’ll have to try something else. For Android there are Camera FV-5, and Shot Control. Keep in mind that I haven’t actually used these, so take my recommendations at your own risk!

    What does this mean on a crop sensor (in mm)? I red that it would be equivalent to 2000mm, but it looks too exotic for a DSLR. πŸ™‚

    From Nikon:

    • 4.3-357mm (angle of view equivalent to that of 24-2000mm lens in 35mm [135] format)

    Multiply 2000mm by a 1.6x crop factor… and you get 3200mm!

    You’re right, it is too exotic for a DSLR. You can’t get a 2000mm equivalent without spending $10,000’s (or $100,000’s) of dollars. You can get real close, 1200mm x 1.6x (1920mm) with this lens on a Canon crop sensor like the 7D MkII but that would cost you nearly $200,000!!!!!! Sorry though, it’s already sold… πŸ™

    Hey guys! Thanks for all your imput, I really appreciate it!! Yesterday I had the privlege of testing out a Samsung Galaxy S7. My first though was to test focus on the camera, so here are the unedited results πŸ™‚

    Nice! Looks pretty good for a phone camera! πŸ™‚ Actually, a phone camera comes really close to doing just about anything you need to do nowadays. If you don’t need to do high-quality printing and stuff, there’s no reason that you couldn’t get by just fine with a phone camera.

    #16540

    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    The S7, eh. Sweet!

    Does someone know a good app where I can have a manual mode on it?

    I know @elizabeth-lindsay‘s father has an app for his iPhone that he uses to get great shots with his iPhone. Would you happen to know the name of that app, Elizabeth?

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by  James Staddon.
    #16541

    Joseph Camuso
    Participant

    Thanks everyone!! I also wondered which would be a better investment price-wise (smartphone vs DSLR)? I know that Apple’s latest the iPhone SE is $399.99 but the Galaxy S7 is much more πŸ™‚ . However, I don’t know much about DSLR pricing.

    #16542

    Joseph Camuso
    Participant

    @mr-quebec,

    P&S market may have a hard time with all the nice cameras offered in smartphones.

    B.T.W. What is the P&S market?

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