iPhone camera vs DSLR

Freida

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 22, 2010
1,804
1,931
Hello guys,

just a note to understand this a bit better. The way things are slowly going look like soon we may not need DSLR at all? (unless you are professional).
I have D90 with 50mm 1.4 lens and kit lens and I enjoy taking it to weddings etc. to take awesome photos. For me its an occassional hobby but I wondered how long will it take for iPhone to over take it and I'll be fine with just a phone? I know that professionals will always have DSLR and will rely on good lenses but can iPhone soon replace DSLR for people like me who are not professional photographers? What do you think?
 

Meister

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Oct 10, 2013
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4,265
I have yet to see a cellphone that takes acceptable pictures.
A dslr from 1999 still takes way better images than an iPhone.
 

Jessica Lares

macrumors G3
Oct 31, 2009
9,200
722
Near Dallas, Texas, USA
It's going to get a lot easier to do certain things with the iPhone, but it's never going to replace a DSLR for serious hobbyists.

Saying that, I've never owned a DSLR in my life since I started doing photography as a hobby in 2002. But I've always had to adapt anything I've learnt about photography to my point-and-shoots and later iPhones. With the new camera stuff developers can implement, we're going to get a lot more classier apps for those of us who like messing with settings, and I'm personally excited at the thought that we might get presets we can setup and later use, but it's still a tool that isn't going to feel and work as well as the real thing.
 

MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,528
410
Atlanta
Many pros are moving from DLSR to DSLM bodies. So the moving mirror itself offers little magic. The key thing is lots of interchangeable lenses. Phone cameras are just one variety of P&S camera. Very,very limiting...but better than nothing. With my Panasonic P&S it does a huge optical zoom range, has wide ISO range, variable aperture, and shots in raw. I am not aware of any phone delivering a raw image.

If what you want is a snapshot...use a P&S that does jpg. If you want the potential to create artistic images, you want at least a series zoom range or interchangeable lenses.....and the ability to have a raw file output.
 

equilibrium17

macrumors member
Aug 20, 2007
61
0
I'm not a pro photog, but as far as I'm concerned the iPhone is nowhere near replacing my DSLR, yet.

Even my little old Canon T3i offers me far more creative control than an iPhone does, and what I can do in post processing with the RAW images from the T3i far exceeds what I can do with the iPhone 5S images. I just got back from a 2-week vacation in Indonesia, and the photos came back with of e.g., temples, island sunsets, komodo dragons, orangutans simply would not have been achievable with an iPhone (or any other smartphone camera, for that matter).

Not that I don't appreciate the camera capabilities of my iPhone; it's *great* to have a compact little photo device that fits in my breast pocket and is pretty much always with me, and I did get some very nice snaps with the iPhone on the trip during times I wasn't carrying the DSLR and also when I had a long telephoto on the DSLR and wanted to take a quick wide-angle snap of something without dealing with the hassle of changing lenses.

But for me at least, smartphone camera tech is still multiple generations away from being able to replace my DSLR. Not even on the horizon, yet.
 

AllergyDoc

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2013
1,550
3,401
Utah, USA
I recently sold my Nikon D 80 and bought the little Nikon D 3300. The pictures that come out of that little D 3300 are stunning. On the other hand, it doesn't fit in my pocket.

Sometimes the best camera is the one you have on you. It's like that old adage about f-stops: f/8 and be there. A so-so picture is better than no picture.

I take my D3300 when I think I'm going to be taking pictures. Other than that, I have my iPhone with me.
 

JDDavis

macrumors 65816
Jan 16, 2009
1,242
109
Different tools for different reasons. I don't think there will ever be a true all in one photography solution (I hope there won't be). Phone cameras are getting amazing in their own right but the longer I'm involved in photography the more I have a desire to try to capture images with different pieces of equipment for different reasons.
 

acearchie

macrumors 68040
Jan 15, 2006
3,276
103
Nonsense... it's what you do and how you do it.

There's a lot of tech snobbery and BS about.
Agreed.

Certain characteristics can't be created on a phone as they can on a full frame camera but they are still great tools.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
Nonsense... it's what you do and how you do it.

There's a lot of tech snobbery and BS about.
It might be snobbery if your standards are rock bottom.
Can you link an example of a phone taking a photo in natural low light that is usable outside Internet forums?
 

bhtwo

macrumors 6502a
Dec 31, 2012
874
526
Oxford UK
elaborate please.
No need... okay then...

Your original statement is a 'sweeping generalization' and is no help to anyone.

My DSLR is pretty long in the tooth now and only 4.5mp! It cost me the best part of £2500 back in the day... I used to shoot pro.

I try to shoot inside it's limits... it's part of the 'knowledge' for want of a better euphemism.

It's crap at low light stuff... which is ironic because that's the sort of photography I love.

My daughters iPhone5 on the other hand, takes some amazing low light shots.
She's not here at the mo and I'm not going to go through the rigours of transferring and uploading for the sake of argument.

As I said... it's what you do and how you do it.

I'm sure if you do an image search in google for iphone and low light you'll be suprised.

"It might be snobbery if your standards are rock bottom"
BTW... I find this comment and comments like it insulting.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
45,559
30,765
The Far Horizon
Sigh... exactly my point.
I am clearly missing your point, too, as I must say that I don't get what you are trying to say, or are implying, or busily hinting at.

Re the thread title, photos taken with mobile phones still come nowhere near (in terms of quality) photos taken with a proper camera. Yes, phones are convenient, yes, they can be easily carried and whipped out as needed , but - at the end of the day, while very convenient, they do not take photographs which would be regarded as quality shots.

For many people, that doesn't matter. But for some, it does.
 

bhtwo

macrumors 6502a
Dec 31, 2012
874
526
Oxford UK
I am clearly missing your point, too, as I must say that I don't get what you are trying to say, or are implying, or busily hinting at.

Re the thread title, photos taken with mobile phones still come nowhere near (in terms of quality) photos taken with a proper camera. Yes, phones are convenient, yes, they can be easily carried and whipped out as needed , but - at the end of the day, while very convenient, they do not take photographs which would be regarded as quality shots.

For many people, that doesn't matter. But for some, it does.
I was asked to elaborate... which I have done... read above post. I'm out.
 

Parkin Pig

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2009
659
109
Yorkshire-by-Gum
I have yet to see a cellphone that takes acceptable pictures.
Hardly a reasoned argument - acceptable by what standards?

It might be snobbery if your standards are rock bottom.
Can you link an example of a phone taking a photo in natural low light that is usable outside Internet forums?
Ah, so you were being specific about low light photography?

Sigh... exactly my point.
elaborate please.
I think he meant....

if your standards are rock bottom.
BTW, here's a quote of yours from the Mobile Photography thread...

This is pretty impressive. I tried to take some snaps with my new iPhone today and no luck :(
How do you guys focus on those things?
Impressive, but not acceptable? Or did your original message mean you've yet to see a cellphone that you can take acceptable pictures with?
 

peppespizzapie

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Jul 5, 2010
115
40
An Iphone never was a camera and never will be a camera. It takes snapshots, selfies, but not pictures of any quality.
 

Meister

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Oct 10, 2013
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4,265
No need... okay then...

Your original statement is a 'sweeping generalization' and is no help to anyone.

My DSLR is pretty long in the tooth now and only 4.5mp! It cost me the best part of £2500 back in the day... I used to shoot pro.

I try to shoot inside it's limits... it's part of the 'knowledge' for want of a better euphemism.

It's crap at low light stuff... which is ironic because that's the sort of photography I love.

My daughters iPhone5 on the other hand, takes some amazing low light shots.
She's not here at the mo and I'm not going to go through the rigours of transferring and uploading for the sake of argument.

As I said... it's what you do and how you do it.

I'm sure if you do an image search in google for iphone and low light you'll be suprised.
Let's be clear: In the right hands phone cameras can take some very nice shots as the forum members on here have impressively demonstrated.

You are right that the early dslrs performed pretty poor in regards to low light and resolution.
But your 4.5mp dslr will still outperform an iphone in many other regards.

I've looked at the low light images out of the iPhone6 and they are still unacceptably noisy.

Cellphone cameras are useless for most types of portait photography. (No background blur and "frog face")

They are equally useless for most wildlife, most sports and obviously low light.

This will only change very slowly, since phone camera shortcomings are caused by their tiny sensors and equally tiny lenses.

And this:
The key thing is lots of interchangeable lenses. Phone cameras are just one variety of P&S camera. Very,very limiting...but better than nothing. ...
If what you want is a snapshot...use a P&S that does jpg. If you want the potential to create artistic images, you want at least a series zoom range or interchangeable lenses.....and the ability to have a raw file output.
----------

Impressive, but not acceptable? Or did your original message mean you've yet to see a cellphone that you can take acceptable pictures with?
i am clumsy when it comes to cell cameras :eek: and it is indeed impressive for phone cameras!
But that is because the photographers know how to work around the shortcomings of the cameras.
It's still no comparisson to a dslr.

----------

Hardly a reasoned argument - acceptable by what standards?
Printing or other highres displaying.
And having the flexibilities as mentioned above.
 
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LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,366
119
Los Angeles
Hello guys,

just a note to understand this a bit better. The way things are slowly going look like soon we may not need DSLR at all? (unless you are professional).
I have D90 with 50mm 1.4 lens and kit lens and I enjoy taking it to weddings etc. to take awesome photos. For me its an occassional hobby but I wondered how long will it take for iPhone to over take it and I'll be fine with just a phone? I know that professionals will always have DSLR and will rely on good lenses but can iPhone soon replace DSLR for people like me who are not professional photographers? What do you think?
Without knowing what kind of photography you like to do and what your standards of quality are there's no way for anyone to answer when a cell phone camera will be 'good enough' for your needs.

I'll use myself as an example. I try to do photography as a hobby but it's very stop and start with me (I'll shoot a lot for a few weeks and then I won't pick up the camera again for 6 months). I used to carry around a digital P&S with me but that eventually got replaced by my iPhone because 99% of what I was taking were snapshots and the iPhone was good enough for that plus I always had it with me.

A couple years ago I wanted to have more control and flexibility when it came to taking pictures so I got a Sony NEX 5. The iPhone is still my snapshot camera but I grab the Sony when I put my 'hobby photographer' hat on. I tend to shoot a lot when I go hiking and recently I went on a hike with my Sony and took a fisheye lens and an 18-200 zoom lens. I've used my iPhone to take pictures on hikes before (typically harder hikes where I don't want to lug anymore weight than I have to) but the lens I have for my Sony allow me to take pictures that would be physically impossible to take with my iPhone.

So, for me, I think my iPhone and my NEX 5 are going to coexist for a long time.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
45,559
30,765
The Far Horizon
No need... okay then...

Your original statement is a 'sweeping generalization' and is no help to anyone.

My DSLR is pretty long in the tooth now and only 4.5mp! It cost me the best part of £2500 back in the day... I used to shoot pro.

I try to shoot inside it's limits... it's part of the 'knowledge' for want of a better euphemism.

It's crap at low light stuff... which is ironic because that's the sort of photography I love.

My daughters iPhone5 on the other hand, takes some amazing low light shots.
She's not here at the mo and I'm not going to go through the rigours of transferring and uploading for the sake of argument.

As I said... it's what you do and how you do it.

I'm sure if you do an image search in google for iphone and low light you'll be suprised.

"It might be snobbery if your standards are rock bottom"
BTW... I find this comment and comments like it insulting.

Your reply had not been posted when I composed mine in response to your earlier post.

Thanks for the clarification.

Myself, I don't use a phone (I have an antique Nokia) for photos - indeed, I don't know how to, and have not learned because the results, in general, didn't seem worth replicating. For that matter, I don't have a digital camera either - I still shoot with film, and yes, I like to be able to shoot in low light conditions.

 

Parkin Pig

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2009
659
109
Yorkshire-by-Gum
Let's be clear: In the right hands phone cameras can take some very nice shots as the forum members on here have impressively demonstrated.

i am clumsy when it comes to cell cameras :eek: and it is indeed impressive for phone cameras!
But that is because the photographers know how to work around the shortcomings of the cameras.
It's still no comparisson to a dslr.
I would never suggest for a moment that a cellphone is a match or even in the same ballpark as a DSLR. Heck, I recently ditched my DSLR in favour of M43 and there's still a void between the capabilities of these two classes (albeit gradually closing).

My point was that smartphones can take acceptable images, they just have very restrictive limitations which have to be worked within.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
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4,265
I would never suggest for a moment that a cellphone is a match or even in the same ballpark as a DSLR. Heck, I recently ditched my DSLR in favour of M43 and there's still a void between the capabilities of these two classes (albeit gradually closing).

My point was that smartphones can take acceptable images, they just have very restrictive limitations which have to be worked within.
You make a very good point!
My first statement might have been a bit too generalized.
 

VI™

macrumors 6502a
Aug 27, 2010
636
1
Shepherdsturd, WV
No need... okay then...

Your original statement is a 'sweeping generalization' and is no help to anyone.

My DSLR is pretty long in the tooth now and only 4.5mp! It cost me the best part of £2500 back in the day... I used to shoot pro.

I try to shoot inside it's limits... it's part of the 'knowledge' for want of a better euphemism.

It's crap at low light stuff... which is ironic because that's the sort of photography I love.

My daughters iPhone5 on the other hand, takes some amazing low light shots.
She's not here at the mo and I'm not going to go through the rigours of transferring and uploading for the sake of argument.

As I said... it's what you do and how you do it.

I'm sure if you do an image search in google for iphone and low light you'll be suprised.

"It might be snobbery if your standards are rock bottom"
BTW... I find this comment and comments like it insulting.

You're comparing a DSLR that's probably 10 years old to a new iPhone. Compe a DSLR that's 5 years old and it will have better low light quality and dynamic range. Compare a DSLR that's been released in the past year or two and it will definitely be better.

Now if you move in to almost any type of photography where you're using external accessories and the iPhone starts to really lose out. It would take some trickery to get my iPhone to work properly with my flashes and even then it doesn't have the control that my DSLR does.
 

Attonine

macrumors 6502a
Feb 15, 2006
711
43
Kent. UK
It might be snobbery if your standards are rock bottom.
Can you link an example of a phone taking a photo in natural low light that is usable outside Internet forums?
I can't be bothered to look for it now, but this subject has cropped up before. I posted a link to David Alan Harvey (Magnum photographer) going through his most recent book talking about the iphone shots in it. Magnum also have another photographer who shot the Libya conflict on an iPhone.

I guess these guys don't count as published pros on this forum though.

There are many, many big name and real serious pro photographers doing pro work with iPhones.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
32,821
22,656
Behind the Lens, UK
Personally I think an iPhone camera is fine for decent lighting, snap shots. In the right hands a good photographer can take a good photo with most cameras.
However what you don't get is a decent size sensor, interchangeable lenses (yes I know they are starting to make adapters etc.) control through a range of different settings, the ability to print an image at a decent size, the ability to shoot RAW.

Looking forward to the improvements my iPhone 6 camera will have over my iPhone 5 camera. About to ditch my DSLR? I don't think so.