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05-20-2015, 04:50 AM   #31
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The general public has already made the smartphone the family camera. We can all complain and offer proof that "real" cameras do it better but it should be obvious by now that the consumer doesn't care. Some of the better phones are capable of very high quality photos. All those fuzzy, poor quality shots littering the internet would look just as bad or probably even worse if they were shot on DSLR's simply because the people taking the photos put zero effort into even trying to take a good photo. For these people, the smartphone is the better tool. For my own uses, I find that my iPhone is a very good snapshot camera. The exposure metering is superior to any camera I have ever used. The trick is to keep it steady and to wait until the camera focuses, something most people are too impatient to do.

05-20-2015, 09:26 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Most negatives of cellphonescams are easily forgiven by answerring them with "...yes true, but it's here."
LOL, I was confused at first as to whether to read that as "cellphones' cams" or "cellphone scams". The former can be forgiven their limitations; the latter can go straight to Hell as far as I'm concerned.
05-20-2015, 09:43 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
The general public has already made the smartphone the family camera. We can all complain and offer proof that "real" cameras do it better but it should be obvious by now that the consumer doesn't care.
TV's are getting larger and less expensive for a given size every year. And super-high resolution 4K TV's are now making their way into many homes. I think there will be a day, maybe 10 years or more from now, when most people have super-larger 4K televisions. And when they view their old family photos on those super-sharp, super-large displays, they will be disappointed to see how bad they really look.
05-20-2015, 11:01 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
And when they view their old family photos on those super-sharp, super-large displays, they will be disappointed to see how bad they really look.
Similar to the way we cringe in horror at those old 70's family snaps today, perhaps? Oh yeah, definitely. And not even ten years; I give some of those images not more than ten MONTHS. Even on a tablet with a screen less than 8 inches, some of those cellphone snaps show their weaknesses with only a minimum of zoom. It's clear that some of them have been taken at factory settings and sent straight to Facebook with nothing in between - no high-res mode selected, no shake or noise reduction, nothing.

Let's face it, though - I reckon the majority of cellphone snaps will only ever be looked at on another cellphone. And even then, some of them are not all that great under harsh review.

05-20-2015, 09:05 PM   #35
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My mothers' husband recently passed away suddenly, and my mom had a photo of him and their dog on her Iphone6. I took it to Walgreens and had it blown up to 16x20 for the memorial service. The quality was so good, that she had it framed afterwards and it now hangs in her front room.

I was a bit dubious about blowing it up to that size, but I must admit, it looks darn good! (if viewed from a reasonable distance!)
05-21-2015, 03:07 AM   #36
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Most anyone who was satisfied with a Sony Cybershot or other point and shoot camera over time will be satisfied with the upper end phone cameras now. Other than the lack of optical zoom, there really isn't that much difference in actual performance (many of those cameras were pretty poor performers). For snap shots they work fine and they have the added benefit of being able to post directly to social media.

There is little point to post processing these files. I know people drop filters on them a lot, but I'm not a big fan of that. I have tried working on them and there is no detail in the shadows, even a little sharpening tends to make them really noisy. It just wasn't a fun experience.

(i phone 5 photo)

05-21-2015, 04:22 AM - 1 Like   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by K(s)evin Quote
My mothers' husband recently passed away suddenly, and my mom had a photo of him and their dog on her Iphone6. I took it to Walgreens and had it blown up to 16x20 for the memorial service. The quality was so good, that she had it framed afterwards and it now hangs in her front room.
A good cell phone camera can take decent shots, as long as it is not a challenging situation.

If lighting is sufficient to keep ISO at base level, if the scene is not too dynamic (really bright areas and really dark areas together), if strong light is not directly hitting the lens, if it's a scene that favors a wide angle lens, if the subject doesn't require robust AF performance, and the user doesn't shake the hell out of the phone while taking the pic, then it will look good and have decent sharpness. It's when the situation gets less-than-ideal that camera phones fall apart.



I remember reading an article in a major non-photographic publication (I'm thinking The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal) where the writer compared latest & greatest cell phone of the time (maybe an iPhone 4?) to a P&S camera, to a DSLR, and happily came to the conclusion that the iPhone had almost caught up to DSLR's.

The problem was, the test subject was a large building, like the capitol building, (so a wide-angle shot, which is all the phone camera was capable of) taken during the day on a partly cloudy day. So the test was a best-case-scenario for the camera phone since it was 1) a wide-angle scene, 2) taken using ample daylight at base ISO, 3) of a still subject, 4) with even lighting, 5) where control of depth of field and 6) AF performance were not relevant. If that's what photography was all about, then the best camera phones would indeed be viable alternatives to DSLR's.

Last edited by Edgar_in_Indy; 05-21-2015 at 07:08 AM.
05-21-2015, 04:23 AM   #38
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There are those who take cellphone snapshots and then there are those who make the finest efforts to take the best cellphone photo one can take. IMO these will always be worlds apart. There will always be damn fine photographs taken on iPhones which thoroughly outdo what some people regularly produce with their DSLR. As always, the determinant of a good or bad photo is the "nut behind the lens".

(Note: this text was typed out before Edgar's reply just above it had gone up. I concur with everything he has said.)

05-21-2015, 06:23 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by narual Quote
Does it matter? The technical quality was good enough for a magazine cover, which means it was good enough to get paid for. Maybe they couldn't print it to 60 inches wide and sell it as fine art... but that wasn't the goal.
The ads were for the smartphone or whatever with which they were taken. So a huge print and fine art sales weren't the point.
05-21-2015, 06:33 AM   #40
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I find shooting with my iphone 5s frustrating if I am shooting in less than optimal light with anything that moves (ie my kids).
05-21-2015, 07:04 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
TV's are getting larger and less expensive for a given size every year. And super-high resolution 4K TV's are now making their way into many homes. I think there will be a day, maybe 10 years or more from now, when most people have super-larger 4K televisions. And when they view their old family photos on those super-sharp, super-large displays, they will be disappointed to see how bad they really look.
That's true now on today's monitors but I don't think many people are looking at their snapshots on their large screen TV's but rather sharing them on social media and viewing them on phones and tablets. Most of the general public probably have a pretty decent digital P&S around the house but they no longer use it because the phone is more convenient and on the average, they get better results from the phone. My first digital camera, a 2.1 MP Fuji was pretty darn good and it was that camera that got me thinking seriously about a DSLR.

The real issue here is that the average consumer who takes snapshots on the phone aren't going to get better results on ANY camera because they are impatient, don't take any care to steady the camera (or phone) and put no thought into composition or lighting. They took crappy photos on their Instamatics, they took crappy photos on their digital P&S and now, crappy phone shots. The difference now is that the phone manufacturers are aggressively marketing to this crowd and improving the camera functions with each new model. The consumer gets this new phone every 2 years for a price between $99 and free because it is subsidized by the phone companies. Why would anyone spend money on a camera?
05-22-2015, 09:00 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
There is little point to post processing these files. I know people drop filters on them a lot, but I'm not a big fan of that. I have tried working on them and there is no detail in the shadows, even a little sharpening tends to make them really noisy. It just wasn't a fun experience.
Since you have an iPhone -- there are a small number of apps that will save a full quality TIFF from the camera. 645Pro was the first that I know of, but I think Camera+ has it now and maybe some others. That makes it a good bit more workable. It's still not as flexible as a 14 bit raw file, but it's considerably better than a lossy JPG from the default camera app.

If it's sometimes the only camera you have with you, no reason not to make the most you can out of it.
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