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05-10-2019, 12:25 PM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
Have you ever shot one of the latest smartphones? How does it's images compare with images from your big camera? What makes a big camera's images better than images from one of the latest smartphones?
I use Samsung S9+, so probably it does not qualify as 'latest and greatest'. For me, 'big' camera offers mainly more convenient controls, better control of depth of field and exposure parameters, and ability to use tele or macro lens. Having said that, I really see no point in using 'big' cameras in general photography - smartphones are so good that for 99,9% of people who take picture the gear is not a limitation at all. In other words, for many people smartphones are so easy to use, and produce so good results, that idea of getting 'big' digital camera became pure nonsense (film is entirely different story).

05-10-2019, 12:31 PM   #17
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A very good question that I think more and more shutterbugs are wrestling with every day.

Recently my wife got a new cell phone, it's an Apple 8 and she has taken a few pictures at family birthdays over the past couple of weeks. As it happens I've taken a few pics at the same events with my K1 and 28-105. I'm sure if we blew our pix up to 8 X 10 my K1 would walk all over the Apple 8, but maybe not by a whole lot....we haven't enlarged any so I don't know.

But I'm impressed with the quality of pix the Apple 8 can produce and the video is really good. So the answer for the great majority of people, is with excellent quality produced by the Apple 8...and it's ilk...why would you bother with the expense and effort of getting a big camera ? I've got the answer...95-99 % of people wouldn't and don't...IMHO.

So fellow photographers...we're one percenters...

About a month ago I got a new Ricoh GR ll...'big' ASP-C sensor (think it is the same as my K5's), wonderfully sharp little F 2.8 28 mm, all sorts of features...great contrasty (almost film noirish ) B+W...if you adjust it so...small, small as a cell phone. I think enlargements from the GR ll would beat even a very good cell phone...but I don't know for sure.

When I take pix in public many probably assume I'm using my cell rather than an exceptional little camera...therefore unobtrusive.

In answer to your question, I continue to use a big camera...or even a small, exceptional camera...because I always have for 50 + years and old habits are tough to break. I'm a photo enthusiast...I like using manual...setting F stop, shutter speed, light metering...figuring out photo problems on the run, composing, setting bokeh...all that stuff and I love using a real camera like my K1 or GR. I know that the great bulk of the population wouldn't and probably regards me as 'eccentric'...kind of like guy with the metal detector at the beach.

But.... be that as it may, I'm one of those that does see the world through the lens of a camera...mostly a fast 28 mm. At my advanced age, I don't think I'm going to change and I really don't want to. I use my cameras for photography...and only still...and my cell for calling my wife to see what she wants me to do or pick up on the way home.
05-10-2019, 12:38 PM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
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As far as I can see, unless your are shooting wildlife, fast action, LONG shutter speeds, bokeh, low light, doing HEAVY editing in post (e.g. lots of layers) or making GIANT sized prints, I see little advantage to shooting a big camera over the latest smartphone. Are there any other photographic styles or applications that the latest smartphones can't adequately capture and require you to shoot a big camera?
Add macro and flash photgraphy to this list. Asking this question also is answering it: you want a camera because you want to do some or all of what is on this -already pretty long- list!
05-10-2019, 12:39 PM - 6 Likes   #19
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My reasons:

- Image quality... the gap may be narrowing, but even the best phones are a *long* way off DSLR quality when images are viewed at 100% reproduction (see attached comparison from DPR of iPhone X vs K-3... we would laugh this result right out of town if it were another DSLR rather than a GBP £1,000 smart-phone)
- Creative control over depth of field (real, not synthesized with software)
- Huge choice of focal lengths so I can work at the distance I want, with the field of view I want, and - hence - the perspective distortion of the subject I want, covering everything from super-wide-angle to long telephoto
- Availability of many lenses with different rendering characteristics, from super-wide to long telephoto
- Genuine long exposure capability (rather than multi-image blending)
- Ergononmics of shooting with a real camera body, versus messing with a touch screen
- Battery life for a whole day's shooting
- Keeping my photography separate from my communications (generally, I like dedicated single-purpose devices)

These are just some obvious reasons... I'm sure I can think of others.

Today's camera-optimised smart-phones are incredible photographic tools, but I see them more as an additional piece of one's arsenal rather than a complete solution (which they're certainly not). When they're suited to a situation, they can be really useful and produce decent results depending on the users expectations and requirements. When they're not suited, they can be pretty awful

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Last edited by BigMackCam; 05-10-2019 at 12:50 PM.
05-10-2019, 12:46 PM   #20
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Just as people negative and slide film, color and b&w, there will always be a role for the cell phone and dedicated ILC.

Imagine that you are in a minor car accident. Are you going to use your ILC? Probably not. Your phone will work. So for documentation, a phone is pretty reasonable.

ILCs will be like sports cars or frame on body SUVs. There will be the satisfaction of manual transmission or superior handling and drivability or extended capabilities that aren’t needed on a day to day basis like fast AF or low light performance.

As “true” photographers, when we see people shooting with a phone we shouldn’t poo-poo them. We should encourage their love of photography. Instead of spray and pray, maybe they should try to look with a photographers eye. If they like a photo, encourage them to make a physical print. If we help cell phone photographers learn to become better photographers, it helps keep photo labs (print houses) alive and they will reach the ceiling effect earlier where they NEED to make the step up to a DSLR.
05-10-2019, 01:10 PM - 1 Like   #21
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Why I keep shooting a "big" camera (although, actually, a K-3 is anything but a big, honking camera)? Well, for starters, because I can't afford both: a capable and versatile DSLR kit and the latest-and-greatest-built-in-obsolescence smartphone. Also, because I like to be in control of all the basic parameters when I do photography and want to get the best possible result under the given circumstances (which, for me at least, includes the possibility of meaningful post processing). Then, quite literally, I find it an ergonomic pain to shoot photos with a phone. (Admittedly, in part that may be a matter of practice, but a smartphone is a jack of all trades, whereas a camera is just that, a dedicated photographic tool, and that shows.) Ultimately, perhaps, because it would suck much of the pleasure out of my photography if I was just reduced to using a phone, rather than shooting the wonderful kit I've spent so much time and resources to build over the years.

Bonus: Try doing something like this with a phone camera - it's not gonna happen:

See full-res image here: https://needacreate.smugmug.com/Zoom-Erlebniswelt-Gelsenkirchen/i-XzdNTW6/A
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Last edited by Madaboutpix; 05-10-2019 at 01:40 PM. Reason: Image attached to illustrate point
05-10-2019, 01:19 PM - 5 Likes   #22
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  1. Interchangeable Lenses!!!!!! (need I say more?)
  2. Means versus ends: Why does someone walk, run, or bike when they could get to their destination much faster in a car? Sometimes the end result is NOT the point. It's the process and the exercise (mental & physical) of optimizing focal length, shutter speed, aperture, etc. matter more than just getting the shot.
  3. Ergonomics: If you want a few casual shots, a smartphone is fine. But if the plan involves using the camera for hours on end and getting hundreds of shots per day, smartphones suck suck suck.
  4. IQ: Big pixels are better for bokeh, DR, high-ISO, etc.

Last edited by photoptimist; 05-10-2019 at 02:22 PM.
05-10-2019, 01:37 PM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Today's camera-optimised smart-phones are incredible photographic tools, but I see them more as an additional piece of one's arsenal rather than a complete solution (which they're certainly not). When they're suited to a situation, they can be really useful and produce decent results depending on the users expectations and requirements. When they're not suited, they can be pretty awful
Just one very obvious example of when a smart-phone camera simply isn't suited to a task...

The other day, there was an unusual bird call from the rowan tree at the bottom of my garden. I could see the bird, but couldn't identify it without getting so close I'd have scared it away. Using my humble Panasonic DMC-FZ62 bridge camera, I was able to capture a reasonable shot (I'd have preferred to use my K-3 plus DA*60-250 plus HD DA 1.4x converter - or maybe just the HD DA 55-300 - but the bird would probably have disappeared by then). Turns out, the reason for the unusual call was he / she had a mouthful (and probably throat full) of food!!

Do this with an iPhone XS, Huawei whatever, ... ? Impossible...

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Last edited by BigMackCam; 05-10-2019 at 01:51 PM.
05-10-2019, 01:43 PM - 1 Like   #24
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For landscapes, a phone can do well - as the OP relates. But there are lots of applications where an interchangeable lens camera works better. Sports, wildlife, macro, low light, bokeh, et cetera.


Here is an example of what I consider photography on the ragged edge. Low light, high ISO, bokeh, the lot. I am quite sure that a phone lens and sensor cannot do something like this, but I may be wrong about that.


I have never owned a top of the line, latest and greatest phone. I would rather waste money invest on in camera gear than phones. The camera in my Huawei P10 Lite is not too bad but I seldom use it. If I am going to invest my time in taking pictures, I want to get results that make it worthwhile. For that I use the best gear that I can lay my hands on.
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05-10-2019, 02:26 PM   #25
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I previously said - "As far as I can see, unless your are shooting wildlife/fast action, LONG shutter speeds, bokeh, low light, doing HEAVY editing in post (e.g. lots of layers) or making GIANT sized prints, I see little advantage to shooting a big camera over the latest smartphone."

Then in your 20 posts, only four additional reasons to use a big camera were posted - 1. flash, 2. macro 3. ergonomics 4. to use different lenses.

So, in an attempt to summarize this thread - for "general photography" that does not require any of the above 10 bolded factors, the use of a late-model/flagship smartphone is just as acceptable as is using a big camera.
05-10-2019, 02:28 PM - 3 Likes   #26
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Other than the reasons cited by others concerning image quality and interchangeable lenses and all that, the main reason I don't like smartphones as cameras is they don't have viewfinders. I find shooting cameras without a viewfinder a very frustrating experience, not one that have any desire to indulge in. When my last cell phone went out and I had to get a new one, they offered me a phone that did not have camera capabilities. I told them that's exactly what I want. I have zero interest in taking pictures with phones.
05-10-2019, 02:35 PM - 3 Likes   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
.
I previously said - "As far as I can see, unless your are shooting wildlife/fast action, LONG shutter speeds, bokeh, low light, doing HEAVY editing in post (e.g. lots of layers) or making GIANT sized prints, I see little advantage to shooting a big camera over the latest smartphone."

Then in your 20 posts, only four additional reasons to use a big camera were posted - 1. flash, 2. macro 3. ergonomics 4. to use different lenses.


So, I guess I can summarize this thread by saying for "general photography" that does not fit into one of the above 10 factors, the use of a late model, flagship smartphone is just as acceptable as is using a big camera.
No, I'd respectfully disagree with that statement... though I guess it depends what you mean by "general photography", and your expectations around image quality.

Say you want to take a head-and-shoulders portrait of a friend, but they have quite pointed facial features. You want to flatten those a little - which means, you'll need to step back. With a smart-phone camera's already wide-angle fixed lens, that means you're going to have to crop hugely, which means challenging the already-questionable image quality. Or, you can fit a nice tele lens to your DSLR / MILC and get exactly (or very close to) the framing you want at the distance you've chosen - no need to crop, hence making the best of the already-way-better image quality.

But maybe that's not general photography in your definition? In which case, I'd turn it back to you and say, what do you consider to be general photography? The reason I ask is, we could probably go on all night adding to your bolded list. I'm sure I could And there comes a point where we've taken so many aspects out of the list of things a smart-phone camera is well suited to, it ceases to become "general" in any meaningful way. Quite the opposite, in fact... it becomes rather specific as to where it's well-suited.

I'd rather say, for applications where the lens and sensor specifications of a smart-phone camera are optimal, it can be just as good as - sometimes, even better than - a larger sensor DSLR / MILC. However, the latter offers far greater versatility over a much wider range of applications and with much greater creative control. Incidentally, this applies to any other device that we're comparing to a "big camera"...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 05-10-2019 at 04:24 PM.
05-10-2019, 02:42 PM - 1 Like   #28
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I own Nokia 808 which was the very best camera in phones for very long time with it's 41Mpix larger than typical sencor and Zeiss optics. Don't know if others have cought up with it in last few years. Haven't paid any attention. When I bought it I liked it a lot. I bought it to replace the need of P&S and used it when I didn't want to carry big camera with me. I always preferred to shoot with dedicated camera. Since then I've learned a lot about photography and upgraded my view to 4K. I don't really bother to carry it with me anymore. Haven't used it for a year now.

I've replaced it with better phone with weaker camera as it couldn't do anymore what I needed from mobile phone due to lack of support. I've noticed that even weaker camera is good enough to take a shot to post in whatsapp. For other I still prefer real camera. It's not just phones that get better

Was a list of reasons needed? Size, weight and price are the only advantages that phone has. For everything else camera is better.
05-10-2019, 02:46 PM - 1 Like   #29
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Phones are just the latest in the line of point and shoot cameras which started with cameras like the Kodak Brownie. Mainly suited for social photography then.

Real cameras are for people who take pride in their photography and want to expand their horizons. And of course for professionals.

And that's how it's gonna stay for quite a long time, no matter shrinking or expanding markets.

Last edited by mauri; 05-10-2019 at 02:47 PM. Reason: fixed mistake
05-10-2019, 02:49 PM   #30
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Just because I might perhaps get away with smartphone images under a number of circumstances, doesn't mean I feel compelled to use them for serious photography and leave my camera gear at home. But, as so often, people's mileage will vary.

BTW, I don't consider flash, macro, ergonomics, and the ability to use different lenses as somehow detached from "general photography". To my mind, those are an integral part of it.

Last edited by Madaboutpix; 05-10-2019 at 03:08 PM.
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