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05-10-2019, 03:01 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
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 - 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"...
Thinking further on this, I'm reminded of the humorous advertisements of the 1970s for the Olympus Trip 35 with David Bailey, taking wedding photos alongside a guy shooting a (I can't remember... medium format? large format?) "professional" camera. In quite specific circumstances, the little Trip 35mm fixed lens camera could give a very good account of itself (I own two of them myself and love them, for what they are), especially if the field of view of its fixed lens was appropriate to the situation. But there were many applications where other cameras of the time, with interchangeable lenses and bigger film formats, were better suited. They were more versatile. And so it is with smart-phones vs DSLR and MILC cameras...

In my opinion, it's the very versatility of a camera that can make it a great choice for "general photography", if we take "general" to mean a wide range of situations and subjects... and smart-phone cameras don't strike me as especially versatile. Find their sweet spot and, yes - they can be decent. Otherwise... not so much.


Last edited by BigMackCam; 05-10-2019 at 03:54 PM.
05-10-2019, 03:51 PM - 1 Like   #32
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I have a Google Pixel and played with a Pixel 2 (decided to wait for price to come down on Pixel 3 or something better as the improvements are not huge between these models). Granted there are better mobile cameras available already (have compared images with a number of friends phones) but its far from night and day and I don't think they would change my current viewpoint.

Mobile cameras are certainly handy to have around and they now probably fill 100% of the needs of over 80% of people - the demise of compact cameras should not be a surprise. And personally I like the convenience of always having a mobile camera on me.

But for me comparing my pixel to say the K-1 is like comparing the merits of chalk versus cheese:
1. Personally I'm struggling to think of a single mobile shot that I would be happy to print in a bigger size - as soon as you start to play with the images in PP, there are considerable limitations.
2. Comparatively mobiles, although improved, still suck in low light - something I do quite a bit of.
3. The K-1 is enjoyable to use - its a tool focused solely on photography
4. Depth of field control. Yes many modern mobiles have creative background blur affects, but currently the results are pretty average - will be interesting to see where this goes though.

The other point to note is, as good as a modern micro 4/3 is these days, there is an even bigger difference between mobile and modern APS-C or FF.
05-10-2019, 04:35 PM - 13 Likes   #33
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This really reminds me of Life of Brian. "All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?"
05-10-2019, 04:36 PM - 2 Likes   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
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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.
Wouldn't that list of 20 conditions encompass a good 90% all enthusiast, pro, and fine art photography?

I have an iPhone X and would agree that it takes great, high-quality pictures comparable to something maybe between the K-10D and K-5. However, the iPhone is only "acceptable" within in a very narrow range of shooting conditions (normal focal length, normal shutter speeds, fixed deep-DoF aperture, low ISO, sporadic/casual use). That narrow range does make the camera acceptable for a lot fo social media type photography but that's a niche.

The iPhone X can't cover the 12mm-600mm range of the kit that I hike with, nor provide the subject isolation of any of my full-frame lenses, nor handle long-shutter & high-ISO scenarios (it's night 50% of the time on this planet!), nor macro, nor fast configuration changes, nor comfortable high-volume shooting, nor..., nor..., nor, etc.

Sure, the iPhone can offer a decent "keeper" rate within it's sweet spot but it also suffers from an unacceptable 90% "could-not-taker" rate for me.

05-10-2019, 05:50 PM - 1 Like   #35
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I canít hold my current smartphone, so I donít imagine I could hold the super duper new smartphones. But I can surely hold a giant-sized FF dSLR.
05-10-2019, 06:02 PM   #36
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I'm with monochrome, my smartphone is too small and my hands shake enough as it is, so I can't hold one still to get a decent shot with one but I sure can hold either of my DSLRs long enough to get a good bird or flower shot.
05-10-2019, 06:15 PM   #37
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Dslr has shake reduction also.
In the sun I can't see my cellphone screen but I can see through my ovf. I can also control my dslr remotely with my cell phone.
05-10-2019, 06:48 PM   #38
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I've been in photography since the 1970s, used many different cameras, some rudimentary, some very sophisticated. I have an iPhone 8, and can't (won't?) use the camera on it. The user interface is horrible, and unintuitive, and I'm damned if I'm going to take the time to figure it out.
For instance; to take a picture, I need to push a button, the only button on the phone takes me out of the camera mode when I push it. This to me is a major flaw in logic, ergonomics and user interface.

I'm a Mac user from way back, and generally like the way they do things, but that part of their phone is lost to me. I don't care how good the camera is if I can't use it.

05-10-2019, 07:54 PM - 2 Likes   #39
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Smartphones take a picture of what you CAN see. A good camera lens combination takes a picture of what you WANT to see.

Smartphones have a field of view very similar to your natural eye sight. The pictures are heavily processed to be pleasing to the viewer, compressed dynamic range, saturated colors etc. And people complain about the Pentax use of the accelerator chip.
Our brains compensate for our eyes which is why we can see into shadows on a bright sunny day or why the beautiful colors of a bird can sometimes be hard to get right in a photograph. Smartphones try to re-produce our brains interpretation of our vision. I know there can be many other settings on smartphones, even a raw image setting on some. But how many people use anything other than 'Auto"?


A lot of testing has gone into a smartphone camera to produce photos 'as if you where there'. Great for when you are on holidays and you want to text message the picture back home to friends, "this is where we are today"

Suppose you are photographing a church in Rome, you can stand outside with your smartphone snap whatever fits into the field of view of the phone. But the picture you really WANT is of one of the stained glass windows high up on the church.
Your choices are, the two finger zoom on the smartphone picture with the associated comment about 'it's a bit grainy but you can still see how beautiful it is, you should have been there' or take the picture with a proper camera zoom combination and get a full resolution 24-36mp photo and say ' look at how beautiful the detail in that window is'

For most people the two finger zoom in good enough because photographs have become throw away items since becoming digital.


For those that don't want to record what just what they see, but want to record the detail in what they see there will always be more versatile photographic equipment.
05-10-2019, 08:25 PM - 1 Like   #40
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The pixel was the first phone camera that hasn't annoyed me into upgrading. I take at least half a dozen shots per day with it. It has replaced a note book for job details.

The dslr is for when a wide small sensor camera doesn't suffice. I recognize a 31mm limited shot from the colors and rendering. The 35mm limited has a quality that draws you in. Is it out of the ordinary to shoot in low light?

A < $1000 body with kit lens may lose the competition but larger sensor and high quality lenses have more than any phone camera.

I find it fascinating that it is the camera that is being pushed in the new models. I was very tempted by the pixel 3, but it is under powered compared to the pixel. They lost a sale. It is still a communication device, or that is how i use mine.
05-10-2019, 08:27 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
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Check out this article where a professional printer talks about how the latest smartphone cameras are making image files that produce surprisingly good 30-inch by 40-inch prints. Also, the latest smart phones have great HDR and Panoramic capabilities, and have larger 12MP sensors that produce RAW files that can be editied in Lightroom mobile.
I doubt any of you clicked on the above link. If you had, I expect you might have mentioned this eye opening article in your comments - but no one even mentioned this article. Have any of you ever seen a large print from one of the latest cell phones?

Obviously, most members here already have their minds made up regarding cells phones, and are not open to rethinking their position as cell phone cameras continue to evolve. I too thought the same, until I went on a photo safari with one of the latest models.

I have seen many camera for sale ads here and on Ebay where the elderly photographer was selling their big cameras because age or infirmity made it too large/heavy to carry. I would think all photographers would be excited about the incredible developments we continue to see in smart phone cameras. Everyone is aging all of the time, who knows when you or I might not be able to carry a big camera. It's nice to know when I'm disabled I can still shoot good images with a smart phone that's only a few ounces in weight. If you live long enough, I suspect many of you will eventually embrace smart phone cameras as a way to continue to practice your hobby long after you're no longer able to carry/handle your big camera.
05-10-2019, 08:57 PM - 1 Like   #42
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I did read the article, and yes, it's impressive that a pro thinks the photos are good enough to blow up. Having not seen a comparison in person, I'm not in a place to judge. I have a pretty good phone, a Galaxy S9+. Probably not as good as the very best now, but it was pretty close to the top a year ago. It takes good photos in good conditions. And it can shoot in RAW.
But there's a lot it can't do very well. And an iPhone XS Max is $1000+. So not cheap. You could get a K-70 and a couple of lenses for that. And cover way more use cases.

But while you'll never have as good of telephoto capability without a bigger lens...they are catching up on most other fronts.
05-10-2019, 10:17 PM - 1 Like   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
Obviously, most members here already have their minds made up regarding cells phones, and are not open to rethinking their position as cell phone cameras continue to evolve. I too thought the same, until I went on a photo safari with one of the latest models.
Personally I find taking photos with a phone to be awkward at the very least. A rectangular block is nothing like an ergonomically suitable arrangement for a camera. I have a Galaxy A7 which is probably a long way from the best phone camera, but the quality of the resulting images is still a long way short of even my first DSLR. While the latest and greatest phones no doubt have better cameras, as others have pointed out, they also have prices to match and they will still only suit certain types of photography. The sales of DSLRs have been dropping for years, and even the sales of point and shoot cameras have probably crashed because of phone cameras. The vast majority of people are happy with a reasonable quality of image at a screen resolution and don't need more than that. Most people are taking happy snaps of themselves, friends and family or holiday destinations.

On the other hand there's still plenty of good reasons to want to use a "real" camera with good glass, resolution, low noise and wide dynamic range as well as the ability to easily adjust the way you take a photo to get a good result. Many people have responded to say that they take photos where a phone camera won't work - like sports, wildlife, astrophotography, macro photography. So the answer to the subject line is that some people still buy a "big" camera because they want to take photos that a phone camera can't (or at least can't with the same quality of results). I don't think that means they are rejecting phone cameras out of hand. It's just that they're choosing the right tool for the need that they have to fulfil.
05-10-2019, 10:25 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-Three Quote
I've been in photography since the 1970s, used many different cameras, some rudimentary, some very sophisticated. I have an iPhone 8, and can't (won't?) use the camera on it. The user interface is horrible, and unintuitive, and I'm damned if I'm going to take the time to figure it out.
For instance; to take a picture, I need to push a button, the only button on the phone takes me out of the camera mode when I push it. This to me is a major flaw in logic, ergonomics and user interface.

I'm a Mac user from way back, and generally like the way they do things, but that part of their phone is lost to me. I don't care how good the camera is if I can't use it.

I am also not a fan of the ergonomics of the iPhone as a camera, but it is slightly better if you do this:

There isn't one button on the phone, there are 4 buttons. Hold the "camera" sideways, so the volume buttons are on the top. Press one of those to take a picture -- it's placed very similarly to the shutter button on a DSLR that way.
05-11-2019, 12:09 AM   #45
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I don't think you would ever hear someone wonder why they would ever use a different lens when they could use the 21mm limited on their k3 or why they would ever use f3.2 when you could use f8. Those limitations are huge deal breakers for most owners of ilc cameras.
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