iPhone > Nikon?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by krause734, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. krause734, Apr 14, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012

    krause734 macrumors 6502

    krause734

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    #1
    One of the biggest selling points for the iPhone is the quality of it's camera. I hope that apple continues to focus on this in the iPhone 5 and onwards. I am somewhat surprised that Nikon or Canon has not come out with a phone that focuses on having a quality camera first and phone second. I know many people that no longer use a camera because smartphone cameras have gotten so good, but there still is a lot of room for improvement.

    I was looking to buy a new point and shoot such as the Canon ELPH 300, but instead I am waiting for the iPhone 5 to see what it has to offer. The convenience of being able to send photos directly from the iPhone is a huge bonus. Serious photographers will probably continue to use DSLR cameras, but they are really bulky. It's much easier to pull out your phone and take a photo.
     
  2. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

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    Oct 9, 2007
    #2
    Most of the improvements - a much bigger lens with optical zoom, room for SD card, real flash - would cause the cPhone to be much larger than an iPhone.

    It also isn't like it could sell in quantities and at a price point that would make it profitable for the manufacturer.
     
  3. GeorgieAcevedo macrumors 6502a

    GeorgieAcevedo

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  4. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #4
    IMHO the iPhone 4S camera already is good enough to replace most point and shoot cameras. It really is very, VERY good. I would expect the next camera to be at least as good, or better. The Achilles heel is optical zoom, but to be honest, I don't find myself needing that for most situations. I suppose it depends a lot on what you take pictures of mostly.

    Yeah... I sort of agree... not the best title.
     
  5. mrbutters macrumors regular

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    Apr 12, 2012
    #5
    As a professional photographer, I find this post quite interesting. Why would Canon or Nikon come out with a phone? Neither have any interest in entering that market. While I agree that my iPhone 4s does take nice photos, its extremely limited in settings. You cannot even change the resolution or zoom much less change the white balance, ISO, scene modes and many other options found on point and shoot cameras or even high end Android phones. You also get much less noise (graininess in an image) with a point and shoot camera in low light because it has a larger image sensor than the one in an iPhone. As I said, the iPhone's camera is nice but its nowhere near the quality of a Canon or Nikon point and shoot camera.
     
  6. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #6
    With smartphones replacing point and shoots for more people each day, I don't think it so far fetched that companies like these might be looking at other ways to tap the market.
     
  7. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #7
    Agreed, and if anyone wants to know why you'd have to understand the science behind it.
    An excellent site about just such stuff http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/
    Read about Airy Disk or Circle of Confusion to get a better idea why it's not simple or even possible to simply shrink down the optics and sensors.
     
  8. scott craft macrumors 6502a

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    Louisiana
    #8
    The Nokia Pure View is a pretty impressive camera for a phone. It is bulky and might not come to the US.
     
  9. DanteMann macrumors 6502

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    May 23, 2011
    #9
    iPhone > Nikon? Ummm....NO. Maybe should have said, Sony > Nikon? At least that would have been palatable.

    First off, many consider the cellphone cameras good. But keep it in perspective please. Some reviews have the camera in the SGS2 better than the Sony in the 4S, others consider the Sony better. But guess what? Most people don't care for much more picture quality after the picture quality can be considered good or good enough. That's why you see more and more people using their cellphones. Cellphone pictures quality is good enough. But in more challenging conditions, a decent point and shoot is better.
    Have you ever seen the Nokia Pureview? Now that's a phone camera.
     
  10. cynics macrumors G3

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #10
    I think my 4S takes great pics however it's not a total replacement for a quality point and shoot.

    Hanging out with my friends yeah the 4s is great for not needing a point and shoot. But say going to a wedding or something? No way.

    My gripe with the 4s is the lack of functionality/settings for like white balance, ISO, quality exposure lengths, etc. even apps like camera+ only add features like a timer.

    None the less it's the best smartphone camera I've used.
     
  11. pdqgp macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

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    #11
    The 4s is certainly a nice phone with a decent camera, and while even I use it quite a bit out of convenice and I suppose that said, it has replaced my typical carry around P&S, I will also be the first to say it's not nearly as good though.

    I shoot professionally with Canon equipment and also enjoy a slew of P&S that I tend to buy and play with like a child does lego's. I enjoy shooting around their limitations and getting to know what those are. Including the camera on my 4s.

    In the end, the iPhone is a good camera but one that lacks in the optics area, has a very limited dynamic range both in part to the sensor and the processing that limits us to jpegs and also one that has horrible bokeh when it's even present in shots. Honestly, a sub $100 6yr old P&S Panny with a Leica inspired & designed lens will out perform the 4s any day.

    I too hope the iP5 improves upon it, but in regards to Nikon, Sony and Canon, etc...I don't expect them to do anything other than OEM technology and developments to Apple an others.

    Just my two cents.
     
  12. BiggAW macrumors 68020

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    #12
    I'd kind of disagree. I think the iPhone is starting to take away the market from small point and shoot "pocket" cameras. It works just as well, the downside is it's just not set up well for taking huge amounts of photos, ergonomically, or in terms of storing and transferring pictures.

    However, my iPhone is never going to touch my new Nikon D5100. They are just two totally different animals. Shooting 16MP RAW images through Nikkor glass is a completely different ballgame than a point and shoot "pocket" camera, or the teeny tiny little camera on the iPhone.
     
  13. labman macrumors 604

    labman

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    #13
    my iphone 4s is nice and handy for taking many nice photo's I don't carry my camera every where but i do my phone. So my iphone is handy in many situations. However my 4s or any iphone will never replace my camera. But like everything it's all the user. If you don't demand much and want to truly point in shoot the 4s is great. I used a dslr's and point I'm shoot. My current point and soot is 40 times optical and tons of custom features. It goes from 28mm to 840mm optical and 4 times digital. A iphone will never compete with that.
     
  14. nilk macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 18, 2007
    #14
    The iPhone 4S camera is very good for a small, cell-phone camera, but it doesn't really compare to even a decent point-and-shoot camera. I use my 4S camera more than any of my cameras, because it's the camera I always have on me, and I can quickly upload pictures straight from the device. But both my point-and-shoot cameras takes much better pictures most of the time. This is mainly because you just can't get good low-light or even moderate-light performance out of a small lens.

    I recall Sony making a camera phone that had a decent camera with a big enough lens, but it seems in general cell phones have small lenses. I've heard that in Japan there are more phones with good cameras with bigger lenses, but even if that's the case I don't think people in the U.S. can use those because the cell phone portion will not work here.
     
  15. pdqgp macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

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    #15
    All cell phones are cutting into the P&S market, but it's not because of quality, but rather convenience. There are very few fixed focal length P&S cameras on the market. Most are at least 3x yet phones still win out, proving people will sacrifice some reach in order to just carry one small device.

    The 4s is actually on par with lower end P&S cameras in the low light dept. It's not so much about the aperture of the lens but the sensor and processing of the images. That processing is both a strength and weakness for the iPhone though. ISO's aren't selectable, but even at it's highest, ISO 800, its usable for prints.

    Simple Test shots for you:

    http://www.pbase.com/timothylauro/image/139457129/original
    http://www.pbase.com/timothylauro/image/139457130/original

    The reason you see better P&S results is the dynamic range of the sensor and the processing of those images too. The iPhone has lower DR and the processing is for more sharp images with punch which tends to clip the images on both sides of their histogram.

    Hopefully Apple will release updates that include better jpeg processing of the images, but I doubt it.
     
  16. PNutts macrumors 601

    PNutts

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    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, US
    #16
    Agreed. I see discussion from serious amatures that the iPhone quality is reaching the point where more post-processing is an option. But don't ask for RAW format in these forums. That guy got eaten alive. :D

    When I go back and look at the photos I've taken with a critical eye, the quality isn't what I want it to be (I upgraded to the 4S solely for the camera). But my good camera is with me zero percent of the time unless I'm going somewhere specfically to take 14MB pictures. All of my pictures now are spur of the moment (two girls, 6 and 8).

    Out for a walk in the rain. I didn't know the flash was on but it came out good enough to not delete.

    IMG_0689.JPG
     
  17. DodgeV83 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    #17
    While apps like TopCamera allow me to change exposure and temperature...etc during the shot, I find myself using HDRPhotoCamera for most of my shots nowadays. I takes three shots in the span of about a second, each at different exposures. If I'm not using that, I'm using SlowShutter or NightCap for my low lightshots.

    Combined with apps like BigLens (adds depth of field) and iPhoto (and the 60+ photography apps on my phone), I end up leaving my DSLR and thousands worth of equipment at home most days.

    Check out iphoneogrqphy.com to see what some people are making, there's a whole community out there for iPhone photography!

    http://www.iphoneography.com/journal/tag/through-the-lens-of-an-iphone
     
  18. BiggAW macrumors 68020

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    Location:
    Connecticut
    #18
    True, the iPhone doesn't have optical Zoom, but IMHO, the quality of the iPhone is just as good as a P&S camera. The iPhone also has a larger "viewfinder" than P&S cameras.
     
  19. lilo777 macrumors 603

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    Nov 25, 2009
    #19
    Very few (and only the most expensive) P&S cameras have real viewfinder. Most of them now just use the screen (just like iPhone). Keep in mind that most Android phones have larger "viewfinders" than iPhone.
     
  20. pdqgp, Apr 14, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012

    pdqgp macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

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    Mar 23, 2010
    #20
    Opinions vary but facts still remain.

    Here are a couple from a circa 2001 Sony Camera.

    You won't get this kind of bokeh from a 4s

    [​IMG]


    Nor the dynamic range. Again, 5mp 11 yr old technology.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Macro Mode DOF from a 7mp $89 P&S Panny from 2007

    [​IMG]

    Good luck getting anywhere near the same DOF from the 4s, let alone metering accuracy in snow, not to mention the usability in freezing temps. The glare from the iPhone screen and lack of brightness make it difficult even during average days let alone bright days. The controls also don't lend themselves to the best handling devices for photography.

    Again, Sony P&S from 2001
    [​IMG]

    Let's not even begin to discuss the 4s's LED Flash. It most certainly doesn't have the fill flash capabilities of even a $100 P&S Fuji from 2006.

    [​IMG]

    And while the 4s does do decent up to ISO 800, you won't get nearly the ISO and associated dynamic range of today's P&S cameras. Here's an ISO 1600 from the same 2006 Fuji F20.

    [​IMG]

    Keep in mind, none of the above are even remotely current cameras either. Putting it's IQ and capabilities up against even a cheap P&S from 2011 or 2012 would be unfair.

    ISO 3200 via 2010 P&S Panny Notice the detail and dynamic range and colors. The 4s struggles on this at ISO 800.

    [​IMG]

    All this said, I do enjoy mine but am just pretty firm on outside convenience, it's not necessarily a great replacement for a P&S camera. It works when carry a P&S would be a PIA. However if it's even remotely an option, if the event is something more than just every day life, I'd still suggest carrying your favorite brand P&S Camera in your pocket.
     
  21. BiggAW macrumors 68020

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    Connecticut
    #21
    The quotes are there for a reason. :) I used to want an optical viewfinder, I don't find it that useful anymore. My D5100 even has live view on the screen that rotates, which is really transformative for DSLR photography.

    Those are great photos, but at this point, the quality difference between P&S and the iPhone is nonexistent from what I've experience. If I want to go out and do artistic photography, or get some absolutely amazing trip photos, I'm going to have the Nikon DSLR and Nikkor glass out there, not a P&S.
     
  22. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #22
    It's more of a leveraged thing. Say someone doesn't have their point and shoot with them, but they want to take a picture. They use the phone. At the point of good enough for stuff like facebook, you start to see people replace their point and shoots less often.

    Exactly... but you know I think some people wouldn't recognize the difference if they're not shown side by side. I mean they might notice that a photo reproduced well yet not make the distinction that it came from a camera with better optics than their phone.
     
  23. pdqgp, Apr 14, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012

    pdqgp macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

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    Mar 23, 2010
    #23
    Thanks for the kind words, but I guess we'll agree to disagree on comparing them as our experiences are no doubt different. The above are all fair comparisons as they come from P&S Cameras.

    Here too, feel free to disagree, but you don't need to pull out a DSLR to grab some artistic photos. Mind you, I shoot with several when doing most of my client work, but I also tote a number of cameras from $100 to $500 around with me too.

    Here are a couple that I enjoy and they all came from P&S cams.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  24. pdqgp macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    #24
    It seems you have grown to like the live view mode, but it's mainly there for the integration of video that is still in the "neat" new feature set for DSLR's. The downside to using live view on the 5100 and many others is that the focus speed suffers greatly thus I don't think you'll be shooting much action videos with it. Still shooting with it is really hampered by not having a live histogram. I still don't understand Nikon's thinking there. The whole point of live view is missed. Ironically, that 11 yr old Sony I used above, has live view with an active histogram. :)
     
  25. DodgeV83 macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 8, 2012
    #25
    I've both seen and taken photos that look indistinguishable from your example photos above. Considering the apps I use, I'd say my phone would have performed better in all of the above conditions.

    pdqgp, while I'm sure you mean well, showing us beautiful pics from a P&S and saying "The iPhone 4S can't do this." doesn't really show us anything. Put them both in the same position and take a side-by-side comparison (using the best app appropriate for the shot) if you really want to show us something.
     

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