Ugly Hedgehog® - Photography Forum
Camera Phones Performance
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Dec 5, 2019 15:17:52   #
aellman Loc: Boston MA
 
Jersey guy wrote:
Yes, and it irks me no end. I have been one of those who have raised this issue on more than one occasion and inevitably the responses have poohed poohed the rising competence of cell cameras.

There is no question that a DSLR can outperform a cell camera when a serious photographer puts his skills to the camera. But we're not out trying to produce a salon print every time we push the shutter button. I have said this before and will again....all products go through an improvement curve that exploits all the unique characteristics and capabilities of that product until the curve plateaus off. You can push mother nature just so far with improvements to the sensor, lens, etc.

Cells, on the other hand, have a lot of room to grow. My DSLR zoom, which at best is f 4, cannot possibly deal with lousy lighting when my cell can make an image at f 1.8. Do the math....that's a 5X advantage in light gathering. On top of that have also bristled at the better white balancing (sometimes) of most cells when my Canon gives me crap. I have learned to use my 18% grey card to create a custom white balance on many occasions.

Bottom line: the best camera is the one you have with you when the opportunity presents itself. Not the one back n the closet.
Yes, and it irks me no end. I have been one of th... (show quote)


So true. My phone is always in my pocket. If it hadn't been, I would have missed many great photo opportunities. I have beautiful 8x10 prints in my portfolio that were taken with the iPhone 5
(8 mpx). Now I have the iPhone 6s with 12 mpx. Seems pretty great to me. (BTW, I own 2 Sony DSLR's and several lenses that I use for times when I want the creative controls they afford.) >Alan

Horseneck Beach. Westport, MA. Sept 2019. iPhone 6s.


(Download)

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Dec 5, 2019 15:40:42   #
Delderby Loc: Derby UK
 
aellman wrote:
So true. My phone is always in my pocket. If it hadn't been, I would have missed many great photo opportunities. I have beautiful 8x10 prints in my portfolio that were taken with the iPhone 5
(8 mpx). Now I have the iPhone 6s with 12 mpx. Seems pretty great to me. (BTW, I own 2 Sony DSLR's and several lenses that I use for times when I want the creative controls they afford.) >Alan

Horseneck Beach. Westport, MA. Sept 2019. iPhone 6s.


Are you suggesting that one of your Sonys could not have done better?

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Dec 5, 2019 15:59:15   #
aellman Loc: Boston MA
 
A thoughtful question. Sure they could have done better, but the quality of the phone camera in this case was 100% satisfactory. As mentioned earlier, the best camera is the one you have with you. The Sonys were resting comfortably in their camera bags at home. I have a personal policy of never taking a "real" camera to the beach. Too much risk represented by sand and salt water. Call me cautious. >Alan

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Dec 5, 2019 16:04:17   #
JohnSwanda Loc: San Francisco
 
Delderby wrote:
Are you suggesting that one of your Sonys could not have done better?


It looks to me like the type of photo that wouldn't benefit that much from a "real" camera - static subject, lighting isn't too contrasty.

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Dec 5, 2019 23:17:22   #
aellman Loc: Boston MA
 
JohnSwanda wrote:
It looks to me like the type of photo that wouldn't benefit that much from a "real" camera - static subject, lighting isn't too contrasty.


Agreed. Here's another one from the earlier iPhone that didn't require the creative controls of a "real" camera.

Scituate, MA. August 2016. iPhone SE.


(Download)

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Dec 5, 2019 23:42:32   #
aellman Loc: Boston MA
 
Jersey guy wrote:
Yes, and it irks me no end. I have been one of those who have raised this issue on more than one occasion and inevitably the responses have poohed poohed the rising competence of cell cameras.

There is no question that a DSLR can outperform a cell camera when a serious photographer puts his skills to the camera. But we're not out trying to produce a salon print every time we push the shutter button. I have said this before and will again....all products go through an improvement curve that exploits all the unique characteristics and capabilities of that product until the curve plateaus off. You can push mother nature just so far with improvements to the sensor, lens, etc.

Cells, on the other hand, have a lot of room to grow. My DSLR zoom, which at best is f 4, cannot possibly deal with lousy lighting when my cell can make an image at f 1.8. Do the math....that's a 5X advantage in light gathering. On top of that have also bristled at the better white balancing (sometimes) of most cells when my Canon gives me crap. I have learned to use my 18% grey card to create a custom white balance on many occasions.

Bottom line: the best camera is the one you have with you when the opportunity presents itself. Not the one back n the closet.
Yes, and it irks me no end. I have been one of th... (show quote)


My iPhone can make an image in near darkness.

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Dec 5, 2019 23:45:41   #
Robinbs Loc: Colorado
 
I don't know that a cell phone would be better than a DSLR full frame, but I had a Motorola Turbo 2 with a 21 mp camera. I could print the pictures at 8 x 10 and they were great.

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Dec 6, 2019 03:52:07   #
Delderby Loc: Derby UK
 
Robinbs wrote:
I don't know that a cell phone would be better than a DSLR full frame, but I had a Motorola Turbo 2 with a 21 mp camera. I could print the pictures at 8 x 10 and they were great.


So - what happened to it?
I can see that I'll have to retire my trusty old flip phone and subject myself to a continual bombardement of advertising amd other hype from the web etc like my wife gets on her smart phone.
At least real cameras don't fry our brains (or perhaps I should have said real toys). Anyway - I think the camera manufacturers make the best toys.

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Dec 6, 2019 10:03:12   #
BigDaddy Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
 
Kmgw9v wrote:
Totally wrong.
What doesn’t a cell phone do well?

After too many cell phones over the years, the one thing they all have/had in common is that they don't do phone calls well.

About everything else works great, particularly cameras and actual phone behavior has been improving somewhat.

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Dec 20, 2019 23:23:43   #
rcirr Loc: Gilbert, Arizona
 
Wow! 8 pages of responses...A lot of people seem worried about my skill with camera settings. I can assure you all that I am reasonably competent in all modes (auto, aperture priority, shutter priority and program). I am reasonably talented as an amateur photographer (although I shot a wedding professionally as well as a helicopter motor for marketing use professionally). My weaknesses in photography are speed and creativity, not controlling the camera as has been suggested. Hence my bemoaning the advancements of cell phone cameras. There has been some condescending remarks explaining to me "I think it simply means that you haven't learned to use your DSLR to its full potential." Another remark I spotted I don't think was meant to be condesending but came out sounding that way to me. The remark was "So, you are just a picture taker, not a photography! Sorry to say that! " Besides the fact that "photography" is an art and not a person, it still sounded a little aloof. Another goody was "The difference between a picture taker and a photographer is in the person, not in the equipment used ". So I guess a "photographer" is some special super important intellectual being. Funny, I looked up photographer for a definition and I found "a person who takes photographs, especially as a job".
Ladies and genltemen, I get the fact a skilled person can make great images with a relatively cheap camera. Do I believe that it's the equipment that determines the quality of a picture. No, but the camera is still a significant variable. I am good enough with any camera that in my circle of friends I am the person always asked to take the pictures. I am always asked to bring my camera to gatherings and I am the one they hand their cameras (and phones ) to to be taught how to use them. What I was talking about in my original post was simply how much camera phones have improved and how they can sometimes take pictures that are as good as or better than pictures with a DSLR. Sorry, but often people have taken 5 shots before I get my camera out of the case or adjust the settings. Also, my eyes aren't as good as they used to be so I have to depend on auto focus. In low ligh level that can be off or too slow. Closing your lens down under low light conditions to get greater depth of field means you will probably have to up your ISO which can cause noisy images. And if the scene is moving or changing adjustmens must be made fast. OK, I break down and use auto. Sorry, but I have had an iphone take a superior picture to my D5100 with me shooting both shots.
Two final thoughts. Sorry, but phone cameras have improved a lot. Yes, there are a lot of things you can do with a DSLR you can't do with a phone camera but they can take some nice images.
Secondly, maybe my post wouldn't have been so controversial had I qualified my last line. Maybe I should have asked...have the phone cameras surpassed the DSLR cameras for amateur shooting of social gatherings?

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Dec 20, 2019 23:28:04   #
rcirr Loc: Gilbert, Arizona
 
Drbobcameraguy wrote:
The smart phone software is years ahead of DSLR software. Think about the DSLR that apple could make it they stepped into the market. Since their beginning they have concentrated on graphics. They have the best. If they put all that knowledge and experience in a DSLR it would be an amazing piece of equipment. Look what they do with a small sensor and software. Imagine a full frame sensor and their software. I don't use apple products but I have to respect their abilities.


Thank you. That's exactly what I was talking about!

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Dec 20, 2019 23:29:21   #
rcirr Loc: Gilbert, Arizona
 
You have expressed what I was thinking better than I did!

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Dec 21, 2019 08:54:48   #
BigDaddy Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
 
rcirr wrote:
Wow! 8 pages of responses...A lot of people seem worried about my skill with camera settings. I can assure you all that I am reasonably competent in all modes (auto, aperture priority, shutter priority and program). I am reasonably talented as an amateur photographer (although I shot a wedding professionally as well as a helicopter motor for marketing use professionally). My weaknesses in photography are speed and creativity, not controlling the camera as has been suggested. Hence my bemoaning the advancements of cell phone cameras. There has been some condescending remarks explaining to me "I think it simply means that you haven't learned to use your DSLR to its full potential." Another remark I spotted I don't think was meant to be condesending but came out sounding that way to me. The remark was "So, you are just a picture taker, not a photography! Sorry to say that! " Besides the fact that "photography" is an art and not a person, it still sounded a little aloof. Another goody was "The difference between a picture taker and a photographer is in the person, not in the equipment used ". So I guess a "photographer" is some special super important intellectual being. Funny, I looked up photographer for a definition and I found "a person who takes photographs, especially as a job".
Ladies and genltemen, I get the fact a skilled person can make great images with a relatively cheap camera. Do I believe that it's the equipment that determines the quality of a picture. No, but the camera is still a significant variable. I am good enough with any camera that in my circle of friends I am the person always asked to take the pictures. I am always asked to bring my camera to gatherings and I am the one they hand their cameras (and phones ) to to be taught how to use them. What I was talking about in my original post was simply how much camera phones have improved and how they can sometimes take pictures that are as good as or better than pictures with a DSLR. Sorry, but often people have taken 5 shots before I get my camera out of the case or adjust the settings. Also, my eyes aren't as good as they used to be so I have to depend on auto focus. In low ligh level that can be off or too slow. Closing your lens down under low light conditions to get greater depth of field means you will probably have to up your ISO which can cause noisy images. And if the scene is moving or changing adjustmens must be made fast. OK, I break down and use auto. Sorry, but I have had an iphone take a superior picture to my D5100 with me shooting both shots.
Two final thoughts. Sorry, but phone cameras have improved a lot. Yes, there are a lot of things you can do with a DSLR you can't do with a phone camera but they can take some nice images.
Secondly, maybe my post wouldn't have been so controversial had I qualified my last line. Maybe I should have asked...have the phone cameras surpassed the DSLR cameras for amateur shooting of social gatherings?
Wow! 8 pages of responses...A lot of people seem w... (show quote)

👍👍👍
Well said.

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Feb 15, 2020 08:52:26   #
raypep
 
I travel a lot and carried a Nikon 7100 with a 200 telephoto lens. Loved the photos but not the weight after 5 - 6 hours out. Also, frustrated when somewhere on the trip without my camera and a great shot arose.
Repeating what others have said the best camera is the one you have with you. This is now true with my IPhone X sm which is always with me when I travel.
Also someone said asked what if DSLR cameras kept getting “better” in terms of technology, greater pixels, sharpness and other elements but / but no one could see these improvements.
I at first took shots with my Nikon and with my IPhone but when I saw the marginal differences, I started traveling with my Iphone exclusively.

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May 4, 2020 18:14:26   #
rcirr Loc: Gilbert, Arizona
 
BrHawkeye wrote:
The difference between a picture taker and a photographer is in the person, not in the equipment used.


OK...fair enough but...if a photographer took the same photograph with a phone and a DSLR and the results were comparable, doesn't that say something about the equipment?

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