Wish to Replace My Point And Shoot Camera With The Iphone's Camera

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by beeinformed, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. beeinformed macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2010

    Is it possible to use the current iphone model and/or the next version as a replacement for a point and shoot camera (I have a canon 870is), since my canon camera is four and a half years old and I am sure the technology on my camera is woefully behind(technology-wise) the current P & S cameras that are on the market today?

    I would like to buy the current and/or future iphone model because of it's outstanding operating system as well as to use it to replace to my current p & s camera, so therefore I would have two excellent features for the price of one!

    Thanks in advance for any input on my question! :)
  2. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    I have completely replaced my Point and shoot camera with the iPhone 4S. In most respects it easily matches your 870IS.

    There are some things the iPhone won't do, like scene modes and face detection, but I for one don't miss those things, and you can probably get that and more with the Camera+ app.
  3. labman macrumors 604


    Jun 9, 2009
    Mich near Detroit
    depends on how you use your point and shoot. I still have a camera and a 4S the 4S is nice but no way will replace my camera.
  4. antman2295 macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2010
    Actually the iPhone does have face detection, it pops up on my camera all the time.

    @OP It makes a great point and shoot camera, I only use my phone, and I get great results.
  5. RotaryP7 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 31, 2011
    Miami, FL
    I've never owned a camera.. My phones have always been my cameras.. And the 4S is no exception. Honestly, why spend over $150 on a camera when your iPhone's camera is just as good.
  6. elfy, Feb 23, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012

    elfy macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2011
    Glasgow, Scotland
    The iPhone is a perfectly adequate camera, in the right conditions. It really struggles in low light though so I would hesitate to suggest replacing a P&S with it. It's great for snaps when you have nothing else but no more than that in my opinion.


    It's not though.
  7. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    My 4S has totally replaced my p+s (a high-end but ~5 years old sony 'bridge' camera) and my wife's new-ish sony p+s. I'd say the 4S is significantly better than my wife's camera in almost all situations. It's not as good as my old sony, but not so much worse than I'd bother to actually use the sony. In fact I've not taken a photo with it in many months.

    I reckon for general use the 4S is pretty damn good. Where it falls down a bit:

    - No optical zoom. It's a pain to not be able to zoom in plenty sometimes - this is the one situation where I'd use a regular camera. I do have some 'olloclip' lenses though - they're great, but focus more on wide angle/fisheye and don't allow any zoom.

    - Low light. Small lens, tiny sensor, and apple's decision not to enable any kind of 'night mode' hurt. I wrote an app to enable low-light photography (nightcap - thread about it with pics from people using it here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1317353 ). That helps a whole lot, but using longer exposures means it's susceptible to camera shake - a big lens + sensor is the only way to fix that, but then you're looking at a big camera.
  8. patent10021 macrumors 68030


    Apr 23, 2004
    I haven't used my Canon IXY since I bought my iPhone4. Unfortunately, the iPhone's zoom is as atrocious as the IXY's. If only the iPhone had a nice optical zoom.
  9. iFiend macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2011
    Is your experience, in low light situations, on an iPhone 4? The reason I ask is because I completely agreed with you, until I used my girlfriend's 4S, in low light, side by side with my 4. HUGE difference...
  10. EmbraceTheOne macrumors 6502a

    Aug 26, 2011
    The only problem with replacing your Point and shoot, is the zoom. Zoom quality sucks with the iPhone. It's digital zoom, So it's blurry and well..not clear.
  11. cotak macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2011
    Zoom does more than just zoom. It also allows for perspective change between foreground and background and some depth of field control on the bigger sensored cameras and DSLRs.

    My phone has not replaced my camera but then again I happily carry my DSLR around with me. And for my wife while she uses her phone a lot for facebooks etc but when she wants a good picture she still takes my canon G10.
  12. SomeRandomBloke macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2012
    The relationship between DOF and zoom and aperture on a compact camera is very marginal because of the small sensor. I was thinking about this (OP's question)today and comparing the iPhone to a point and shoot in the pre-digi days - and the further you go back he more pronounced this is - but really the iPhone is streets ahead. And in any case if you use instagra, or something like that I age quality isn't that big a deal! It's all a matter of perspective and 'horses for courses'.
  13. SoIsays macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2011
    The mobile phones that are out right now are not fit to capture memories like graduation, vacation, dates. They are only fit for use on a sunny perfect day. This is my general generalization of mobile phone cameras.
  14. cotak macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2011
    You'd be surprised at what you can do with marginal DOF on a P&S.

  15. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    I agree with this. You still need a point and shoot for important occasions. Not having an optical zoom really sucks.

    With that said I do use my iPhone quite a bit. Sometimes I don't have my point and shoot with me so the iPhone comes in handy when I need to take some quick pictures of something. My wife was in a car accident last week so having the iPhone camera was great for taking pictures for the insurance company.

    BUT, like I said, until an optical zoom is available for cell phone cameras, it's good to have a better camera around the house.
  16. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    I was looking at some scans from negatives the other day taken with the film P&S camera I had about 10 years ago (which was thought to be reasonable quality at the time): they all look like Instagram or Hipstamatic shots, even though they aren't meant to! They have a certain charm, but even the iPhone camera is streets ahead of them and it's in my phone. We are spoiled today with the quality we can get from tiny devices.
  17. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    I'll also say this: I don't think ANY cell phone camera will ever replace my dSLR.

    Point and shoot for casual shots? Nope, don't need a separate camera. But, for planned outings the dSLR and the right lenses/filters are still coming with me.
  18. beeinformed thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2010

    I just wanted to thank everyone for your replies as I've learned a lot more information about the iPhone 4S's camera and since I knew practically nil about it's camera, I appreciate everyones input even more!

    I just wanted to add that my canon sd870is has a 4 X digital zoom, so I guess I couldn't go wrong with using the iPhone 4s.

    As far as replacing a basic p & s camera with the iPhone 4s, it seems like a good idea, although I'm thinking that I'll wait for the next version of the iPhone's,since perhaps it's camera might have more advanced technology built into it, including an optical zoom capacity.
  19. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    The only things I miss from my high-end point-and-shoot are manual exposure control and a real zoom lens. But the iPhone has the benefit of being always on me - that means a lot. The main reason I miss manual exposure control is that I like to take astronomy photos, which are near-impossible with the iPhone. (I took one last night of the crescent moon, Venus, and Jupiter that came out very well, but you can't see any other stars - with my P&S, I can have a long enough exposure to see many stars.)

    And digital zoom is better than nothing - but only barely. And the lack of zoom on videos is annoying - there are times I'd accept SD iPhone 3GS-quality videos if it would just let me zoom.
  20. lordofthereef, Feb 24, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012

    lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I stopped buying a point and shoot when I got the first iPhone (yes, you read that right). Why? I never carried that point and shoot with me anyway, except on special occasions. I found myself using the iPhone more frequently than I used the point and shoot simply because it was with me wherever I went. I don't miss the point and shoot a bit.


    Based on your sig, you are a photographer (who takes some very nice pictures). I think you are going to be way more critical on a camera's abilities than the average user. I have never talked to a person, who is not a photographer by hobby or profession, that truly felt they needed a camera outside of the one provided on their iPhone (4 and beyond). Not to say that this person doesn't exist, but I would be willing to bet that, for most, the 4S camera really is just as good as a point and shoot.
  21. M87 macrumors 65816

    Jul 18, 2009
    Probably. I would hope at some point Apple starts giving users more control over the camera settings. How cool would it be if they let you set everything manually and save as RAW?
  22. B777Forevar macrumors 6502a


    Jul 25, 2011
    Chicago, IL
    Would be cool if Apple implemented RAW. But I really doubt they would do such a thing.

    Apple wants their software so simple that everyone could get it.
  23. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I just went with my mom to the space center in Huntsville, Ala. (I find it interesting that the ad at the top of this page is for that place. Good job, advertising network) She used my 2-year-old Canon P&S that cost me $179. I used my iPhone 4S.

    First, you will have no zoom on the iPhone. Digital zoom, blah blah blah. That's not a zoom worth mentioning because I can do the same darn thing in iPhoto or Photoshop. So you will be limited by that. But as the iPhone camera has gotten better, this matters less and less because you can take a wider photo and then crop it later to get what you need.

    But the iPhone is still not of even that level quality. I took a photo of Wernher von Braun's diary in an exhibit. When I zoomed in using iPhoto to look at certain dates, the image got fuzzy much earlier than on the pictures my mom took of the same thing. Part of that is zoom, but not much since I stuck my phone a foot away from the thing. The major reason is the optics inside and the fact that the P&S is 12 MP instead of "just" 8.

    Saying all of that, the iPhone works very well as a P&S replacement most of the time. It's on you way more than a camera will be, so you can quickly get a shot of something you see at an instant. You can also post the pictures to Facebook or Twitter pretty darn quickly.

    As with all things, there are pros and cons. I don't think smart phones will every truly beat P&S cameras in quality. You can only do so much with limited space. But for most casual situations, you will not miss a P&S. The times when you will want a better camera, you will probably know -- think vacations.
  24. elfy macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2011
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Yeah, I realise most people wouldn't care so much about noise and stuff, which is why I was sure to add "in my opinion" at the end. :D
  25. elfy macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2011
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Admittedly, my experience is with the 4. It may be good enough for most but I'd still be very surprised if the 4S was "just as good" as most point and shoots. Having never used one of course I could be completely wrong. Haha.

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