Chances are, you have heard of a DSLR camera, and you have already heard someone say “I do not need to hire a photographer, I have my iPhone that does the same exact thing”. In today’s world, smart phone cameras have really evolved from the standard cell phone camera from just a short time ago. No longer do you have to worry about pixelated images being produced from your smart phone camera, you can edit you photos right from your phones camera app—the possibilities are almost endless.
Today’s smartphone cameras have gone as far as adding “filters” or “AR stickers”—both really fun spins on the world of taking pictures. Filters are used commonly, especially amongst social media platforms. AR stickers are fun for decorating your pictures and adding something extra to them.
With the takeover of smartphone cameras, you do not hear much from those who are going about different ways of taking photos. One of the biggest ways to take photos in the photographic industry today is a DSLR camera.
A DSLR camera has the potential to create high quality, vector images that are as vibrant on the computer screen as they were when the photographer snapped the photo. DSLR cameras are much different than digital cameras, for many various reasons (a different topic for a different day). There are some relatively inexpensive DSLR cameras on the market to this day, but most of them do cost a pretty penny. Which is probably why smartphone cameras are gaining much popularity.
There are positives and negatives to both types of cameras, DSLR cameras and smartphone cameras, but let’s go ahead and compare the photo quality of each.
Smartphone camera quality
For this section we will compare the quality of the Samsung Galaxy S8, and the iPhone 7—two smartphones that are extremely popular on the cellular market.
The camera on the Samsung Galaxy S8 has the following specs:
- Front camera: 8mp, F1.7 aperture, 1.22 micrometer pixels, 1/3.6” sensor
- Back camera: dual 12mp, optical image stabilization, F1.7 aperature, 1.4 micrometer pixels, sensor ½.55”
- Bonuses: front camera can take selfies, and back camera has the option to save a file as RAW.
The camera on the iPhone 7 has the following specs:
- Front camera: 12mp, F1.8 aperture, 5x zoom
- Back cameras: 12mp wide-angle lens, F1.8-F2.8 aperture, 10x zoom
- Bonuses: exposure control and 6 element lens
In case you were wondering, a RAW file is basically when your camera does not lessen the amount of light that produces your pictures. There is many more photographic specifications for this explanation, but that is what RAW means in laments terms.
Both of these smartphones produce amazing, high quality photos that can be edited simply with the camera app. These photos produced can also be edited on a computer program if you wish. Meaning that the photos from smartphone cameras have close to the same benefits as the photos off of a DSLR camera.
DSLR Camera Quality
For the DSLR we will compare two DSLR cameras, from 2 of the leading DSLR camera brands: Nikon and Cannon.
Some camera specs from the Nikon D5600:
- adjustable aperture
- interchangeable lens for various zoom capabilities
- 23.5 x 15.6 mm CMOS sensor
- 24.78 million pixels
Some camera specs from the Cannon EOS 6D:
- Adjustable aperture
- Interchangeable lens for various zoom capabilities
- CMOS sensor
Obviously if you are not into photography, or just not a photographer, period, you are unsure what all of these random facts means. If you click on the source links for these random facts, you will learn a lot more about each camera and what they can do. These are just some of the major factors that go into camera production.
The major difference between smartphone cameras and DSLR cameras
There are many differences between smartphone cameras and DSLR cameras. The major difference though? You have a lot more creative options with a DSLR camera than you do a smartphone camera.
Smartphone cameras give you the ability to edit your photos right there on the phone screen, add extra effects—they are truly fun and usable cameras. DSLR cameras, on the other hand, have less extra effects, but more photograph taking abilities. Which camera you decided to go with, is entirely up to you with what you want to accomplish with your photos.
If you want to take great photographs that are used in magazines, on professional websites, and to build your portfolio, it is probably best to go with a DSLR camera. If you want to be able to snap photos quickly and want to take them for personal reasons, then yes, a smartphone camera will do the trick. The camera you choose is entirely a personal choice based on your photo taking goals.
That brings me back to the infamous saying “I don’t need to hire a photographer, I have an iPhone”. You iPhone photos will turn out great, but you will not be able to get the same product as you would as hiring a photographer with a DSLR camera. This saying is like saying you do not need to hire a mechanic to fix your car because you can fix your engine yourself.
A great photograph depends on the photographer just as much as the camera. The camera is simply the tool, the photographer produces the photograph. Now, that is not saying you cannot get great photos without a photographer—of course you can! That being said, your iPhone takes great photos, but does the person behind your iPhone? If they do, is that enough to trust them with photographing a wedding, with an iPhone?
The camera quality of the smartphone versus the DSLR camera is quite different, but also quite similar. Your smartphone camera has come a long way in the past years in terms of photo quality (anyone remember small flip phone cameras?!), and their quality is only expected to continue to grow. The same goes for any camera in general. The world of photography has many different potentials, and it is best to make sure to do your research on as many of them as you can.