Point and Shoot vs iPhone Camera

zachlegomaniac

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Original poster
Sep 20, 2008
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Hi there,

We currently use iPhone 7’s and 8’s for work and take a lot of pictures of our work. Could someone here let me know if there are any point and shoot cameras for $250.00 USD or less would take much improved photos over the iPhone 7/8? I imagine we will be upgrading the 7’s during the 2020 iPhone cycle.

I also have a Sony a6000, which takes vastly superior photos than the iPhone, but we do some rugged work so I only take that out when we have arranged to take photos of our work in advance. I’d like something one of my employees could slide in his/her pocket, but I only want to spend the money if there is a clear advantage over the iPhones. Taking photos of our work is an important piece of what we do for marketing purposes, yet sometimes the people actively working in the field are the ones who have the best chance to capture a great photo during an impromptu moment.

Right now I’m looking at the Cannon Elph 190 and 360.

Google searches don’t seem to give me a clear cut answer one way or the other.

Thank you,

ZLM
 

Darmok N Jalad

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As good as smartphone cameras have become, I think your real advantage to a dedicated camera at that price would involve something with a zoom capacity, but that is only if you need such a feature. The sensor size is probably no larger than an iPhone, likely 1/2.3. If your smartphone works, then I probably wouldn’t change much, especially if it adds steps in pulling images from your device in order to share them. There is probably a big convenience factor that you will be losing by going to a dedicated camera. If nothing else, there are some really good smartphone cameras out there too.
 

Somepix

macrumors regular
Apr 7, 2008
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Beauce, Québec
May I suggest to invest in a rugged phone case. Something water resistant and shock absorbing. No point and shoot in this price range will beat this.
 

smirking

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Aug 31, 2003
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I'd say that even if an iPhone 7 has superior specs than a cheap point and shoot, I'd go for the point and shoot if it's even close. I say that because it's just a lot easier to point and shoot a camera instead of a smartphone. How often do you see people fumbling with a phone at a public event trying to get it to take a photo when they want or get frustrated because they can or can't turn off the flash? On a good dedicated point and shoot that's designed to just do one thing, it's just easier to operate for a novice photographer.

There's that old saying that says a skilled photographer can get a good photo with any kind of camera. Well, you make the gear challenging enough and it'll flummox even a skilled photographer so easier to use gear ought to help novices.
 

zachlegomaniac

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Original poster
Sep 20, 2008
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Thanks all. I run a small ecological restoration business @akash.nu . I like to take pictures of our projects as they progress, and then again years later when the area has matured.

I noticed the discrepancy last winter while having displays made for a trade show. The a6000 pictures were all good for use. Some of the iPhone photos looked good only in certain light and/or when smaller in size - so we couldn’t consider them for marketing material.

My plan is to skip the point and shoot, continue to be diligent with keeping the a6000 around for photos and when we get a good one with an iPhone that will be a bonus. Maybe someday we’ll be able to hire someone..
 

tizeye

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Jul 17, 2013
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Orlando, FL
I just picked up a Sony w830 which is the competitive equivalent of the Canon elph 180. It was difficult but the downside of the Sony was the flash on the opposite side and could be covered by fingers when holding (noted in some reviews), the advantage was eye autofocus tracking which felt would be good for active grandkids. both have lousy 230,000 dot LCD and the reviewed image looks weak, wash out...but pleasantly surprised when actual file is downloaded. Both physically smaller than iPhone...including wife's SE. Quality - OK, they and the iPhone (I believe) uses the 1/2.3" sensor, so very similar.

For better quality would move up to the 1" sensor but there goes the $200 budget. Canon G7 ($649) and G9 ($429) use the 1" as doe the Sony RX100 series II through VI ($598-$1198) and Panasonic ZS100 ($497). Both the Sony and Panasonic have a physical viewfinder in addition to a LCD screen and both were rated #1 sony, Runner up Panasonic in a DPReview comparison of "Enthusiast Cameras" which also included the canon model. For reference, their LCD dot range is in the 1,160,000 range, displaying a far better picture on the camera.

Actually, I am in the return period for the Sony w830 and tempted to return and try the Panasonic (or the longer zoom ZS200) with upcoming trip but wife doesn't want to play that game and wants to keep is.
 
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akash.nu

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May 26, 2016
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Thanks all. I run a small ecological restoration business @akash.nu . I like to take pictures of our projects as they progress, and then again years later when the area has matured.

I noticed the discrepancy last winter while having displays made for a trade show. The a6000 pictures were all good for use. Some of the iPhone photos looked good only in certain light and/or when smaller in size - so we couldn’t consider them for marketing material.

My plan is to skip the point and shoot, continue to be diligent with keeping the a6000 around for photos and when we get a good one with an iPhone that will be a bonus. Maybe someday we’ll be able to hire someone..
Ok, given what you’ve mentioned there, most of the times the phone cameras struggle due to lack of lighting. I suggest, instead of buying a point and shoot camera, buy an external LED light set. This would vastly improve the end result.
 

jagolden

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Feb 11, 2002
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So many choices, even in the price range and size you’d like.
I always look here when shopping for dedicated cameras:
https://www.cameralabs.com/camera-reviews/

As someone else pointed out, though, there’s certainly trade-offs whether you go with a dedicated camera or stick with a phone.
Dedicated point and shoot camera with great optical zoom is nice, but I see a lot of people get caught up futzing with the zoom too much. Also most of the screens are too small to do fine tuning on the fly. Inexpensive ones will probably not have WiFi capabilities.
Phone camera has limited zoom but usually a larger screen and more option to do on the fly adjustments. If the employee doesn’t know how to run a simple phone camera (I.e. flash on/off) they need some practice. Hint: keep it "off" as default. iPhone super easy transfers-email, WiFi, Airdrop.

If you need to be taking small to medium product shots you should use an inexpensive photo booth whether using a dedicated camera or phone camera.

If you go dedicated camera I’d suggest increasing the budget by $100 US.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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For better quality would move up to the 1" sensor but there goes the $200 budget. Canon G7 ($649) and G9 ($429) use the 1" as doe the Sony RX100 series II through VI ($598-$1198) and Panasonic ZS100 ($497). Both the Sony and Panasonic have a physical viewfinder in addition to a LCD screen and both were rated #1 sony, Runner up Panasonic in a DPReview comparison of "Enthusiast Cameras" which also included the canon model. For reference, their LCD dot range is in the 1,160,000 range, displaying a far better picture on the camera.
Sounds like OP may have made his choice, but the LUMIX FZ1000 is another winner in the 1” segment. It’s on the bulky side as a bridge camera, but it takes some pretty good shots and the up to 400mm end gives it some versatility. It’s actually fairly cheap too.
 

zachlegomaniac

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Original poster
Sep 20, 2008
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All great advice. I’m not dead set at $200. I just thought there was a chance an inexpensive point and shoot would outshine an iPhone 7/8 in many ways. If I need to up my budget to buy a camera with a 1” sensor to be able to get the pictures I need I’ll at least consider it.

Like I said, photos with the Sony a6000 are, unsurprisingly, far superior than the iPhone.
 

jagolden

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Feb 11, 2002
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All great advice. I’m not dead set at $200. I just thought there was a chance an inexpensive point and shoot would outshine an iPhone 7/8 in many ways. If I need to up my budget to buy a camera with a 1” sensor to be able to get the pictures I need I’ll at least consider it.

Like I said, photos with the Sony a6000 are, unsurprisingly, far superior than the iPhone.
As well they should be. Not going to fit that in a pocket, though.
But, since you already have it, I’d use it and save some money.
Good thread.
 
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zachlegomaniac

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The suggestions from @Darmok N Jalad @tizeye obviously beat up the budget I had in mind, but seem like a pocketable option @jagolden . I'm going to take a closer look at some reviews and the dimensions of those cameras. I appreciate the thoughtful comments by all on this thread.
[doublepost=1562592513][/doublepost]Is newegg a reliable vendor? I just found this a6000 at what appears to be a "too good to be true" price while looking at all of the aforementioned cameras. Still doesn't solve my pocketability need, but just curious as I look through the rest of the point and shoot options.

Thanks!
 
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Darmok N Jalad

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Newegg is good, though now they use multiple vendors like Amazon. Just be mindful of who you are buying from there. I’ve used Newegg for years. Back in the old Socket A Athlon days!
 
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