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Thread started 01 Mar 2018 (Thursday) 14:04
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The Eos dslr vs the high end phone camera

 
Frodge
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Mar 01, 2018 14:04 |  #1

I’d like to start a discussion about this topic. I just bought an IPhone X and other folks I work with have similar phones like Samsung 8+ etc. I had a discussion today on how the cell phone camera can’t compete with a dslr on every level. I’d like your opinions on the subject and whether or not you think the cell phone camera will ever be on par with a dslr. One argument that was made, was that only a $5000 current body and above could compete with a cell phone, I heartily disagreed. In fact, I think my T3i used properly is better than my IPhone X.


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Charlie
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Mar 01, 2018 14:17 |  #2

there is image quality and there are features. Iphone X will have more features due to apps, but it cant match IQ. That fake bokeh doesnt work really well. Images viewed on full screen are generally very poor in IQ although they may look nice on a small phone.


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Snydremark
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Mar 01, 2018 14:19 |  #3

Frodge wrote in post #18575285 (external link)
I’d like to start a discussion about this topic. I just bought an IPhone X and other folks I work with have similar phones like Samsung 8+ etc. I had a discussion today on how the cell phone camera can’t compete with a dslr on every level. I’d like your opinions on the subject and whether or not you think the cell phone camera will ever be on par with a dslr. One argument that was made, was that only a $5000 current body and above could compete with a cell phone, I heartily disagreed. In fact, I think my T3i used properly is better than my IPhone X.

You have to qualify and quantify the comparison a little bit more, especially around the type of shooting, subject, framing and use of the output. For *some* things, phones are pretty damned competitive now days. Family/event shooting (indoors/low light) where pics are simply shared and viewed electronically on small(er) screens, it's very hard to argue that there's a gap.

If you want to take a full frame shot of a Bald Eagle sitting in a tree, the phone can't even be considered competition.

There's plenty of room for overlap in the space left between those extremes. Phones still have difficulties in harsh conditions or shots where you want something other than wide angle shooting.

The smaller pixels still give inferior results when viewed at 1:1 but at normal viewing sizes, these differences are WAY less than they were, say 1-2 years ago. It certainly is not a cut and dry scenario either direction any longer. However, there are still plenty of areas where the dslr/mirrorless is the better option.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
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apersson850
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Mar 01, 2018 14:26 |  #4

Phones are typically also inferior for fast action shooting. They have too long reaction time.


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Frodge
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Mar 01, 2018 14:29 as a reply to  @ Snydremark's post |  #5

Well generally speaking. I said “compete with a dslr on every level”. One thing that I do, is print my photos. Mostly on 4x6 with an occasional larger print. I feel like once you start zooming with a cell phone, it’s oretty much all over. Will there be a point, do you think, where enthusiasts like ourselves will ditch the dslr? Part of me just thinks the phone has become the easy way out for most people. It’s like the Swiss Army knife. It’s a good tool, but not great at each individual task.


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Frodge
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Mar 01, 2018 14:30 as a reply to  @ apersson850's post |  #6

Even the iPhone X is inferior for action shots.


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Wilt
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Mar 01, 2018 14:38 |  #7

A camera phone has no optical zoom, it has only 'digital zoom' which decimates the available resolution as you zoom in.
A camera phone has a very limited ability for precision of focus; you can get focus on one head vs. another, but you cannot get focus precisely on the eyes...the camera might actually focus on the nose and you do not realize it.
A camera phone has limited ability for the photographer to choose shutter speed and aperture, you only make the photo 'brighter' or 'darker' but no means to control exactly how that is achieved, and what you choose to sacrifice (vs. not) in achieving 'correct exposure'
A camera phone provides no ability to control what fraction of the exposure is from flash illumination vs. from ambient illumination
A camera phone has no inherent means to mount on a tripod to steady your shot and eliminate the motion of the human holding the phone camera.


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Charlie
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Mar 01, 2018 14:39 |  #8

apersson850 wrote in post #18575311 (external link)
Phones are typically also inferior for fast action shooting. They have too long reaction time.

I sorta disagree

you can time a shot well before action starts and hold down the shutter. It can burst shots WAY faster than most DSLR @ 10 fps silent shutter. Problem is that who knows what the shutter speed is  :p


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Snydremark
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Mar 01, 2018 14:42 |  #9

Frodge wrote in post #18575315 (external link)
Well generally speaking. I said “compete with a dslr on every level”. One thing that I do, is print my photos. Mostly on 4x6 with an occasional larger print. I feel like once you start zooming with a cell phone, it’s oretty much all over. Will there be a point, do you think, where enthusiasts like ourselves will ditch the dslr? Part of me just thinks the phone has become the easy way out for most people. It’s like the Swiss Army knife. It’s a good tool, but not great at each individual task.

Sure..."can compete...on every level" is a wholely impossible scenario.

There is a future where plenoptic lenses are developed that allow a cell phone to have a competitive zoom capability and changes to sensors/recording medium are made to where similar capabilities are available that would allow enthusiasts to ditch the big, bulky cameras; but that future is still an imagined one and a long way off :)

I see a more realistic future where dSLRs go the way of the dodo in favor of advanced mirrorless designs...but, those will still be built around larger sensors, not smaller, with current tech. The pocket knife analogy is apt, in my opinion.


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Charlie
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Mar 01, 2018 14:45 |  #10

Wilt wrote in post #18575326 (external link)
A camera phone has no optical zoom, it has only 'digital zoom' which decimates the available resolution as you zoom in.
A camera phone has a very limited ability for precision of focus; you can get focus on one head vs. another, but you cannot get focus precisely on the eyes...the camera might actually focus on the nose and you do not realize it.
A camera phone has limited ability for the photographer to choose shutter speed and aperture, you only make the photo 'brighter' or 'darker' but no means to control exactly how that is achieved, and what you choose to sacrifice (vs. not) in achieving 'correct exposure'
A camera phone provides no ability to control what fraction of the exposure is from flash illumination vs. from ambient illumination
A camera phone has no inherent means to mount on a tripod to steady your shot and eliminate the motion of the human holding the phone camera.

no optical zoom, but having multiple focal length cameras makes up for that.

DOF is so massive, face detection nails it

Some apps allow you to control shutter speed, ISO, aperture.

phone holders to mount are easily accessible and inexpensive should you choose.

it's just vastly inferior due to the small sensors.

they do make fantastic tools for photography, photo pills for instance, you can plan complex shots without wait for the moment. Augmented reality is just awesome for visualizing.


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Mar 01, 2018 14:55 |  #11

Charlie wrote in post #18575333 (external link)
DOF is so massive, face detection nails it

And for when you very much want LIMITED DOF because the background it too distracting from the main subject?!


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Mar 01, 2018 15:23 |  #12

Cell phones make outstanding snapshooting cameras, they are the Kodak Brownie or Instamatic of our day. They easily fit in your pocket, are almost always with you, their portability exceeds even that of an Instamatic. Plus, they have an integrated cell phone modem allowing you to send your latest snap to the entire rest of the world (there are both pluses and minuses to this capability).

Given the difference in sensor size, they are not going to compete with prints beyond 4x6 or so. No serious RAW processing (which would defeat the portability and connectivity features). And they need better light than anything with a larger sensor, just simple physics.

Cell phone cameras have all but wiped out the inexpensive shapshot camera market. About the only dedicated camera market left are DSLRs.


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Mar 01, 2018 15:56 |  #13

My wife quit using her G15 and S100 when she got a decent camera with her Samsung cell phone. I'm happy with my 80D/glass, but would buy a 5D4 if money didn't matter. There's room for everyone in the photo world.


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Mar 01, 2018 17:28 as a reply to  @ Bassat's post |  #14

but would buy a 5D4 if money didn't matter.

Unfortunately, it usually does. Plus, if you switch from APS-C to FF (which I seriously thought about 6 months ago, and actually hired a Sony A7R2 + Metabones adapter + Canon 16/35 f4L for side-by-side testing) you will also have to make some changes in your lens collection if you want to fully utilize that 5D4. Further, it doesn't pay to pick up cheap glass in this case. So it isn't just the camera body, but rather the entire system.

The 80D, which I picked up refurb on Black Friday for $650, has an outstanding sensor at base ISO, and good enough AF system. Works well as a complement to the 7D2, which has the better AF system in my experience and the two are basically interchangeable after about ISO 640. Also a tad smaller and lighter than the 7D2. And... uses the same lenses.


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Mar 01, 2018 17:44 |  #15

This argument is as useful as comparing a cadillac with large trunk space to a full size pickup truck. Physical structures, optics, and other features don't have the same benchmarks for comparison. Both are tools that do similar things in their own way with their own results. It's unrealistic to expect them to be equal.


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