iPhone camera vs stand alone digital camera

Samtb

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Original poster
Jan 6, 2013
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Why is it that my old 4mp canon digital camera still seems to take better photos even compared to the 8mp camera on iPhone 5 or iPhone 6.
 

ZEEN0j

macrumors 65832
Sep 29, 2014
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Probably a bigger and better lens and it's not about the megapixels.
 

yjchua95

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Apr 23, 2011
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GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
So phone cameras will never be as good as stand alones?
Depends on what standalone, but definitely not a DSLR.

However, photography is all about composition. What makes a good or bad picture all depends on the guy behind the viewfinder or holding the camera.

I'm a freelance photographer and some of my best work were shot on my iPhone and not on my 5D Mk3.
 

Samtb

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Original poster
Jan 6, 2013
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Depends on what standalone, but definitely not a DSLR.

However, photography is all about composition. What makes a good or bad picture all depends on the guy behind the viewfinder or holding the camera.

I'm a freelance photographer and some of my best work were shot on my iPhone and not on my 5D Mk3.
I don't know much about photography but I do like taking artistic photos and I just find my canon camera comes out with better quality pictures than the iPhone. Its one of the first Powershot elphs. I thought the iPhone camera would be far more advanced than a 10 year old digital camera.
 

I7guy

macrumors Core
Nov 30, 2013
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Gotta be in it to win it
This is statement is very true. The Iphone may not be the best camera, but you always have it with you and it's a pretty good one.:)
While that statement is eminently true and certainly thrown around the internet I've missed a lot of "keepers" with my iphone. Snaps that my Canon DSLR with some good L glass would have captured without sweating.

I've also captured some great snaps with my iphone and at times, elected to leave my bulky equipment home in favor of my iphone.
 

FieldingMellish

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Jun 20, 2010
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The rare iPhone shot taken in favorable light worth keeping unfortunately winds up a baked JPEG that I can't do much with. So it being the camera I have with me never amounts to much.
 

boast

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Nov 12, 2007
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Phoenix, USA
While that statement is eminently true and certainly thrown around the internet I've missed a lot of "keepers" with my iphone. Snaps that my Canon DSLR with some good L glass would have captured without sweating.
No worse off than not having any camera in the first place, right?
 

Samtb

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 6, 2013
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It's almost universally true.

Unless you walk around with more than one camera then capturing the moment with what you have is better than missing out.
Professional photographers will always use DSLR.
 

wproct

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Dec 4, 2014
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Iowa
My wife and I are senior citizens and we each have a nice Canon SLR and various lenses and we also have a couple of powershots, so I do understand the difference in capabilities between these cameras and an Iphone.

Most of our photography involves our grandchildren and their activities, and we have lugged camera equipment around to countless events. The cameras on our previous flipphones were essentially worthless, so we were just amazed at the quality and convenience of the cameras on our new Iphones. I realize that they can't replace a good quality camera, but they sure do offer a good alternative to packing the equipment around.:)
 

Bearxor

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2007
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Professional photographers will always use DSLR.
I was a professional photographer. I didn't always carry my DSLR.

I took pictures with my iPhone when something happened that we would air.

If I purposely went somewhere to shoot something, sure. But if you're carrying your DSLR and lenses with you all the time, I kind of feel sorry for you.
 

The-Real-Deal82

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Jan 17, 2013
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Why is it that my old 4mp canon digital camera still seems to take better photos even compared to the 8mp camera on iPhone 5 or iPhone 6.
The easy and obvious answer is your Canon has a much better lens than your iPhone. Its a lot bigger and doesn't have to be squeezed into the top corner of the device like the iPhone. The glass can therefore be of a much better standard because it is optical rather than digital.

I am still shocked people believe more megapixels means better photographs! Marketeers love people like that. :rolleyes:

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I thought the iPhone camera would be far more advanced than a 10 year old digital camera.
There are cameras out there on 35mm that take better quality pictures than some of the most expensive and up to date DSLR's on the current market. Age has nothing to do with it.
 

scaredpoet

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Apr 6, 2007
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I guess for amateurs, that is true.
Actually, for any true artist it's true. Celebrated photographers have repeatedly managed to take great photos with non dSLR equipment, and even downright lousy gear. It's all about knowing the limitations of the camera you have and working within those limitations.

In fact, some photographers would argue that leaning too heavily on the features of an advanced camera, is something only an amateur would do.
 

I7guy

macrumors Core
Nov 30, 2013
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Gotta be in it to win it
Actually, for any true artist it's true. Celebrated photographers have repeatedly managed to take great photos with non dSLR equipment, and even downright lousy gear. It's all about knowing the limitations of the camera you have and working within those limitations.

In fact, some photographers would argue that leaning too heavily on the features of an advanced camera, is something only an amateur would do.
Correct, except when you can't take a picture because the intended snap exceeds the capabilities of the iPhone. No amount of working within limitations will get you that shot.

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The easy and obvious answer is your Canon has a much better lens than your iPhone. Its a lot bigger and doesn't have to be squeezed into the top corner of the device like the iPhone. The glass can therefore be of a much better standard because it is optical rather than digital.

I am still shocked people believe more megapixels means better photographs! Marketeers love people like that. :rolleyes:

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There are cameras out there on 35mm that take better quality pictures than some of the most expensive and up to date DSLR's on the current market. Age has nothing to do with it.
Film is much more forgiving than a digital sensor. But the world has moved on, basically.
 

adamhenry

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Jan 1, 2015
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I have DSLRs and a pretty good complement of lenses. If I am going out to take photos I haul the gear to do the job. I always have my phone with me though and use it for photo opps. that pop up.

The problem with the phone is the lack of flexibility for focal length. If a tele or wide angle is needed the phone is lacking. It is also lacking in low light situations. Even with the limitations, a poor photo beats no photo.
 

FieldingMellish

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Jun 20, 2010
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Quality has been defined down. Millions choose to stream music, forgoing the sonic depth of CD quality sound. For the convenience. And it is good enough.

As well, millions choose to shoot all their pics with an iPhone, forgoing pre-shot control, physical buttons, optical zoom, large file size, tonal range, low light handling, manual focus control, room- illuminating flash, spacious sensors, etc. For the convenience. And it is good enough.
 

geoff5093

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Sep 16, 2014
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What model Canon camera do you have? Phone cameras have small sensors due to the small size that's required. You are going to have worse low-light performance, worse dynamic range, and overall worse quality than a dedicated camera, especially a DSLR. The biggest pro for DSLRs is the MUCH better lens that accompanies the camera.
 

bob24

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Sep 25, 2012
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Dublin, Ireland
Why is it that my old 4mp canon digital camera still seems to take better photos even compared to the 8mp camera on iPhone 5 or iPhone 6.
Better lens and larger sensor.

The sensor on your phone is smaller than the one of your camera and packs in more pixels -> each pixel is received a lot less light. Even though a sensor manufactured today will be doing much better than a 5 or 10 years old sensor with the same amount of light - it is not enough to compensate.

Lens technology doesn't evolve much (aside from new coatings) - so a tiny lens designed to fit a thin smartphone will always under-perform a larger one which was design with image quality rather the compactness in mind. Get any decent lens manufactured even 50 years ago and it will likely always outperform whatever Apple can fit into a phone.

Also, remember the camera is a fraction of the cost of your phone and thus has to be pretty cheap. Buy a dedicated camera which costs even a third of what your phone costs, and you will get more expensive and better photographic equipment.
 
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