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Old 05-03-2018, 09:28 PM   #1
tekra
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Cameras - smartphone versus standard.


My question is best suited for another forum, but I'm not sure which. I've posted it here because it's "Linux relevant" and probably of interest to others in a community in which I feel at home.

I have a Galaxy 7 "Smartphone" and an aging Olympic camera which shoots good quality photos at pretty severe costs (by today's standards) in Li battery discharge. I also have a webcam, but nobody takes them seriously these days other than for home selfies - a pity, IMHO.

What I'd like to know is how today's ordinary cameras in Camera Shops - ranging from $100+ up to several hundred and perhaps a thousand dollars - compare with the cameras in smartphones.

Expensive lenses are exempt: those who use them know what they're after. I'm just an average Joe wanting the best quality pix for the best price for ordinary use.

All replies and comments gratefully received.

Last edited by tekra; 05-03-2018 at 09:35 PM.
 
Old 05-03-2018, 10:10 PM   #2
frankbell
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It really depends on what you want to photograph.

The cameras in smartphones continue to evolve. Each generation of phones seems to have greatly improved cameras.

For snapshots, you may find them sufficient. If, however, you need certain features, such as optical zoom (far preferable to software zoom) for photographing close-ups or objects at some distance or automatic rapid-fire shots to try to catch a sequence of events, a nice mid-grade camera would likely be useful.

I do a bit of nature photography, nothing fancy, just flowers and bees and butterflies and birds (many of which I post to my blog). There's a wonderful botanical garden in the next city over and I never tire of taking pictures of the flora and fauna when we visit it. For that I always bring my Fuji camera with 32x optical zoom. I've even managed to get a couple of good pictures of the moon with it, but that takes a tripod and much care.

My brother lives on a creek with a lot of wild life, including eagles, otters, ducks, and other creatures. He has a very nice digital SLR with a long lens, longer than my forearm, so he can get good "close-up" shots of them. He's taken some marvelous pictures of eagles in flight that he could never had captured with a smartphone.

A web search for "choosing the right camera" will turn up many useful links.

Last edited by frankbell; 05-03-2018 at 10:12 PM.
 
Old 05-03-2018, 10:50 PM   #3
syg00
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Personally, I believe the best camera is the one you have on you. I saw this on one of my stumbles through the net. Pretty impressive, and I'm sure the opposition are at least as competent as cameras.
When I travel these days my Nikon DSLR and lenses tend to stay home - I carry a small pocket camera and my phone (not a latest-and-greatest). Does the job admirably most of the time.
 
Old 05-03-2018, 11:01 PM   #4
fido_dogstoyevsky
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You're asking for peoples' prejudices, so here are mine.

The limiting factors of phone cameras are their small sensor size and fixed lens (digital zoom is to be avoided).

Any of the entry level Nikon, Canon etc point and shoot cameras for $AU100-150 will give better* results than a phone camera; the trick is to remember to take the camera with you. Fortunately these cameras are almost as pocketable as a phone.

If your budget extends to about $500-600 (new, less for careful second hand buying) consider an entry level DSLR - not for the "SLR" part, but because they're about the cheapest way of getting a reasonably sized sensor. They can be set up to be as easy to use as a point and shoot camera.

Hope this helps.

*If you want more than looking at photos on a (smallish) screen.
 
Old 05-04-2018, 12:38 AM   #5
tekra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
It really depends on what you want to photograph.
web search for "choosing the right camera" will turn up many useful links.
Thanks for the reply: it's helped me narrow down my question. Your comments are insightful and apropos. I'm shooting staged shots of electronic hobby projects and assemblies, and have a webcam that's useful for most.

I'm egregious in that my "smartphone" (good quality Samsung) sits on the shelf stuck in "stupid mode" (ask if you don't know) and I never take it with me, so it's really a waste. I've been thinking of buying a "dumb 3G/4G" phone to do the necessary so that I can use its features more productively, hence this post.

I suppose I'm really asking for an insightful technical comparison between smartphone cameras and the standard ones that cost as much or more than a smartphone.
 
Old 05-04-2018, 04:15 AM   #6
TenTenths
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Top end smartphones will rival or exceed "proper" cameras in terms of sheer number of pixels, however, like many things in life, size matters. Smaller pixels have less ability to capture light and thus the image quality will be reduced. The larger the physical sensor, the larger the size of the pixel for the same given resolution. That said, it all depends on what the use case for the images are. If it's purely for web page / social media then you generally don't need an image greater than standard "HD" size (1920x1080).

From what you're describing as your needs you'd probably find that a mid-range compact or mirrorless would do the job for you. I'd certainly suggest something that can be tripod mounted as that will probably make taking pics of assemblies etc. easier. Mirrorless will also generally have more control over things like aperture, shutter speed, etc. and will let you be more creative in terms of shallow depth of field (if that's important).

If the items you are shooting are small then consider something like this https://www.amazon.com/LimoStudio-Ph.../dp/B00DOGIED2 which will let you have your items against a plain background easily.

The best camera is the one you have with you, my phone (S7 edge) gives good quality pics and comes in at 0.16Kg / 0.35lbs. My slightly tricked up Canon with lens and flash comes in at 3.4Kg / 7.5lbs. So I guess it's easy to spot which one I have most of the time!
 
Old 05-04-2018, 04:40 AM   #7
pan64
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yes, there are a lot of aspects, like: price, weight, resolution, battery, optical quality and for example temperature. You need to know where do you want to take photos (in a cave, church or family...). Also you need to know how do you want to use (and/or process) them.

All the devices have limitations, and - as usual - the cheaper one has less features, less capabilities.

I would suggest you to use what you have, and if you know what else do you need (=what are the bottlenecks) you can look for a solution, for a "better" camera.
 
Old 05-04-2018, 08:34 AM   #8
onebuck
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Moved: This thread is more suitable in <General> and has been moved accordingly to help your thread/question get the exposure it deserves.
 
Old 05-04-2018, 10:02 AM   #9
enorbet
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There is an excellent old adage in Ham Radio which states " One dollar worth of antenna is worth ten dollars of amplifier" and I quote this cliche because it applies to so many things comparing source to destination including photography where it translates into "A dollars worth of lens is worth 10 dollars worth of CCD/Electronics" Hopefully all have seen the articles that separate TV and Hollywood from reality regarding CSI type photo "enhancement". If the photons aren't captured they can't be enhanced, let alone recreated. There is no way to exceed resolution. It's either there or it isn't. Digital gives us the option of doing some of the work of contrast, brightness etc after the photons are captured, jobs that used to be strictly real time hardware adjustments, but still it is true that you either got it or you didn't.

Obviously phone cameras today have come a long way but they are still a compromise for convenience sake. That's the tradeoff. So what any photographer must consider is what are you after and what suits you best. For general photos of friends and family and possibly general landscape type photos, a phone camera isn't too bad. However if you need details at long range or at highly zoomed levels it really takes a DSLR and probably with a box full of specialty lenses for given specific tasks.
 
Old 05-04-2018, 03:53 PM   #10
ChuangTzu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tekra View Post
My question is best suited for another forum, but I'm not sure which. I've posted it here because it's "Linux relevant" and probably of interest to others in a community in which I feel at home.

I have a Galaxy 7 "Smartphone" and an aging Olympic camera which shoots good quality photos at pretty severe costs (by today's standards) in Li battery discharge. I also have a webcam, but nobody takes them seriously these days other than for home selfies - a pity, IMHO.

What I'd like to know is how today's ordinary cameras in Camera Shops - ranging from $100+ up to several hundred and perhaps a thousand dollars - compare with the cameras in smartphones.

Expensive lenses are exempt: those who use them know what they're after. I'm just an average Joe wanting the best quality pix for the best price for ordinary use.

All replies and comments gratefully received.
Considering that professional photographers generally use real cameras sorta answers your question. No matter how "good" the quality of smartphone cameras are/become, they will not match the depth and precision of a device dedicated to one single purpose. If you are just an average person wanting to take pictures then a smartphone may suffice, however, a decent camera would still be better for the hobbyist, and cameras don't track/tag/location all of your pictures either, so if you upload your photo it will not say "from The Association/London, UK" unless you explicitly type that. Damn, now you know where I am.

http://www.photographyontheside.com/...amera-do-shoot
https://photographylife.com/beginnin...aphy-equipment
 
Old 05-05-2018, 03:12 AM   #11
tekra
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Thanks to all for the replies. I've now got a much better idea of the benefits of a "real" camera versus the smartphone ones, which is what I was after.
 
Old 05-06-2018, 07:30 PM   #12
L4Z3R
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It boils down to how much creative control you need to make that picture.

I personally prefer a dedicated DSL camera because it gives you the ultimate of creative control especially if you have knowledge about photography like the manipulation of light and shadows, using the aperture and shutter creatively, lens types and focal lengths, scene composition, filters and more.

One caveat for this creative control is the lenses. They can be expensive, especially the prime lenses with wide apertures.
 
Old 05-07-2018, 01:11 AM   #13
TenTenths
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One caveat for this creative control is the lenses. They can be expensive, especially the prime lenses with wide apertures.
Yup! The lens I'm currently coveting is just under $2K at the moment!
 
Old 05-07-2018, 03:27 AM   #14
fido_dogstoyevsky
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Yup! The lens I'm currently coveting is just under $2K at the moment!
Which one?

I've just given Tamron nearly that much (one of the advantages of retiring is drawing on the previous five decades worth of squirrelled away 10c and 20c coins ).
 
Old 05-07-2018, 03:51 AM   #15
fatmac
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I used to be into SLR photography, but with the improvement of digital cameras, I now only have a pocket compact & a hybrid, these cover everything that I used my old SLRs for, & more.

My pocket compact is a Lumix (DMC-SZ7), has a wide angle & 10X zoom plus close focusing, important for those close ups of wild flowers when out on walks.

My hybrid, also a Lumix (DMC-FZ45), has near macro, a 24X zoom with a lense range from a super wide to a super narrow telephoto, more than enough for general photography, I think.
 
  


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