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06-20-2018, 10:36 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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Samsung S9 camera vs Pentax K1

Recently I purchased a new mobile phone, the Samsung S9, choice was based on OS, CPU power, use experience and image quality comparison with some of the other best smartphones. Now, how do images stack up against Pentax K1? Interesting... At first, yes, the smart phone deliver stunning images when viewed on its own high res. OLED display, even zoomed in. Comparison with Pentax K1 images OOC Jpeg downsized to the same resolution as the phone and the phone images look as good as images from the Pentax K1. On the other hand, comparing the 36Mp output of the K1 to the S9, the K1 is vastly superior (K1 files are orders of magnitudes better than file from the S9). Also, the K1 is nearly unlimited with regards to the choice of focal length as opposed to the S9 being limited to a wide angle and a zoomed in option (not sure if this is a digital zoom or optical zoom). From that experience, I came to the conclusion that taking photographs with a smartphone is like digging the ground with a spoon while you could do it better and faster with shovel. There is a lot of advertisement for the Huawei P20 Pro, looks compelling at first, but to me it's more of a stretch of a phone into camera territory without quite reaching the capabilities of a true camera device. On the other hand, I find the software of my K1 rather rudimentary compared to the phone, and that doesn't mean I'd like to have my K1 bothering me with notifications and updates from the network coming all the time (annoying..). But it looks like the processing power of the snapdragon 845 is amazing.

06-20-2018, 11:24 PM - 1 Like   #2
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They say the best camera is the one you have with you.

Last edited by Paul the Sunman; 06-21-2018 at 07:28 PM.
06-21-2018, 12:10 AM   #3
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The smartphone advertising trying to peddle them as real cameras are so naive they almost manage to get a smile out of me...
There have been massive improvements, but everytime I see a portrait with fake bokeh, and bokeh-ized chin, cheekbones and hair as a result of bad detection, I still think of my fast fifties and how much better they are when I can bring them with me.

I like some "new" features, like shooting RAW on a smartphone, but for instance most if not all Android dual cam smartphone can only shoot RAW with the primary camera, and that's a huge bummer to me.
I'm not (we are not) the target market however, and I know it.
06-21-2018, 12:15 AM   #4
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Horses for courses, I'd say and indeed I agree with Paul, whenever you have a smartphone with a halfway decent camera around and the photo opportunity arises, that picture it always better than the one you never took because your big camera was at home. I'm now building a house and only take pictures with my phone simply because I don't want to expose the camera to a construction site environment.

06-21-2018, 12:50 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by HoutHans Quote
because I don't want to expose the camera to a construction site environment.
I totally agree but if it’s a Pentax you could


---------- Post added 21st Jun 2018 at 10:05 ----------

Smartphone cameras do have their (physical) limitations like sensor size etc. but I think in the long term software and processing power will help minimize or even overcome those limitations.

Last edited by alpheios; 06-21-2018 at 01:11 AM.
06-21-2018, 01:27 AM - 3 Likes   #6
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What I really want is a phone with a viewfinder instead of having to squint at a screen. Plus a couple of manual dials to adjust aperture and shutter speed, instead of needing to menu dive. Interchangeable lenses would be nice, but I'd settle for a high quality fixed lens with a manual focus control of some kind -- perhaps as a ring around the lens to turn? And I'd willingly give up the option to make phone calls, since I'd mostly be carrying a phone like that around with me just to take photos.
06-21-2018, 02:31 AM - 2 Likes   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
What I really want is a phone with a viewfinder instead of having to squint at a screen. Plus a couple of manual dials to adjust aperture and shutter speed, instead of needing to menu dive. Interchangeable lenses would be nice, but I'd settle for a high quality fixed lens with a manual focus control of some kind -- perhaps as a ring around the lens to turn? And I'd willingly give up the option to make phone calls, since I'd mostly be carrying a phone like that around with me just to take photos.
That sounds like my kind of phone

Ideally, I'd want to contribute a few of ideas to the design and specification. A larger sensor would be preferable, so that with appropriate glass it's possible to achieve real shallow depth of field without software trickery. Some sort of built in mount and interface for an external flash unit would be very useful, too. Firmware-wise, I'd like it to be totally incompatible with Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and other self-promotion social media platforms... and the in-camera corrections processing should, by default, remove "pouting" in self portraits (though with all the hoo-hah about noise reduction in the K-1II, I suppose this should be switchable)...

Yep, look out iPhone, we've got you in our sights
06-21-2018, 02:46 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Recently I purchased a new mobile phone, the Samsung S9...
Good post, with a balanced opinion. It's nice to read something that isn't completely polarised in favour of, or against, camera phones "vs" ILCs.

In another recent thread, @RonHendriks1966 mentioned a Dutch professional photographer, Annet de Graaf, who uses nothing but her iPhone. Her work is excellent. And one of my all-time favourite photographers, Stephen Shore, almost exclusively shoots with an iPhone now. Good subject matter, story-telling, composition, lighting and technique will result in great photographs, pretty much regardless of a camera's limitations - I think we'd all agree on that. And camera phones like your S9 are impressive, highly capable photographic tools... but still have significant limitations in image quality and versatility compared to larger-sensor ILCs. Technology is amazing, but we're kidding ourselves if we think a tiny sensor and lens crammed into a pocket-sized device will produce equivalent IQ to an APS-C or full-frame ILC with a selection of well-chosen lenses...

That said, I agree with the "best camera is the one you have with you" notion to some extent, and if a good quality, modern camera phone is what we have with us at a given time, we can still take some fantastic photographs.

06-21-2018, 03:25 AM   #9
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Yep, the phone cameras of today do a great job with the stuff they're good at. I have a Huawei P10 (dual camera rather than the triple-cam setup of the P20). The P10 combines the output from a 20MP colour camera and a 12MP b&w camera to make an image with more detail and less noise. The CPU power allows for "computational photography" that (attempts) working around the weaknesses of a small lens and sensor.

QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
What I really want is a phone with a viewfinder instead of having to squint at a screen. Plus a couple of manual dials to adjust aperture and shutter speed, instead of needing to menu dive. Interchangeable lenses would be nice, but I'd settle for a high quality fixed lens with a manual focus control of some kind -- perhaps as a ring around the lens to turn? And I'd willingly give up the option to make phone calls, since I'd mostly be carrying a phone like that around with me just to take photos.
Yeah, the lack of proper controls make the phone less than a joy to use. The Ricoh GR isn't that much bigger than a phone, but it's so incredibly much nicer to use due to its excellent controls. And far better image quality, of course. The manual focus is rather fidgety, though.

No matter, I will use my phone if that's the only camera I have with me. But the GR is almost always in my pack or pocket.
06-21-2018, 03:49 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
I like some "new" features, like shooting RAW on a smartphone, but for instance most if not all Android dual cam smartphone can only shoot RAW with the primary camera, and that's a huge bummer to me.
Yes, that's annoying - but I guess it wouldn't be very "raw" if it was already a composite of two images

Another thing that annoys me with the P10 is that I can shoot raw only with the colour camera. The b&w camera will only give me jpegs - too bad when it's a "Leica Monochrom"

Edit: Installed FreeDCam to my phone, and it seems it is able to capture raw files with the b&w camera. Not viewable on the phone, though, so have to transfer them to a PC to check if it actually works.
06-21-2018, 03:52 AM   #11
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Maybe we can convince Pentax to make the worlds first smart camera. How hard could it be to add a cell phone to a camera. Add a few apps such as email, music and streaming video. E-mail or post to web directly from the camera. Then gold plate it so you can wear it around your neck like jewelry.

Last edited by steve_k; 06-21-2018 at 03:54 AM. Reason: Spelling
06-21-2018, 03:56 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
Yes, that's annoying - but I guess it wouldn't be very "raw" if it was already a composite of two images

Another thing that annoys me with the P10 is that I can shoot raw only with the colour camera. The b&w camera will only give me jpegs - too bad when it's a "Leica Monochrom"

Edit: Installed FreeDCam to my phone, and it seems it is able to capture raw files with the b&w camera. Not viewable on the phone, though, so have to transfer them to a PC to check if it actually works.
Yeah, I guess so too...
What I wanted was one 12-16 MP RAW, wide angle, and one 5-8 MP RAW, normal-tele.
06-21-2018, 03:58 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by steve_k Quote
Maybe we can convince Pentax to make the worlds first smart camera. How hard could it be to add a cell phone to a camera. Add a few apps such as email, music and streaming video. E-mail or post to web directly from the camera. Then gold plate it so you can wear it around your neck like jewelry.
They wouldn't be first, though

Samsung Galaxy Camera - Wikipedia

06-21-2018, 04:00 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Yeah, I guess so too...
What I wanted was one 12-16 MP RAW, wide angle, and one 5-8 MP RAW, normal-tele.
Yes, that would be nice - one click resulting in two (or three) raw files. Maybe send a request to the FreeDCam guys?
06-21-2018, 04:33 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
Yes, that would be nice - one click resulting in two (or three) raw files. Maybe send a request to the FreeDCam guys?
...I'd need a two- (or three-) cameras smartphone first
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