Interesting read on Smartphone cameras vs DSLR

radeon962

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Messages
1,253
http://connect.dpreview.com/post/5533410947/smartphones-versus-dslr-versus-film

The Verdict:

Gun to head … time to come up with a number. How many years are smartphones behind the best $2,000 DSLRs? Comparing detail resolved, I'll say the iPhone 5S currently sits 8-9 years behind the DLSRs in bright light, while the Nokia trails by less than 6 years — probably nearer to 3. This is even when you allow the DSLRs the luxury of a $1,700 lens, and shooting in raw. In bright light, the Nokia came close to competing with the detail from the best DLSR yet made.

Step into candlelight, and the gap between phones and DSLRs widens and becomes more a matter of taste, pivoting around your preferred tradeoff between speckly noise and smeary noise reduction. From our ad-hoc panel of 15 non-photographers, the iPhone trails the DSLRs by about 10 years, and the Nokia about 8.

Splitting the difference between candlelight and daylight, around 6 years of technology has made up for the massive difference in the size of the lenses and sensors between the best phone and the $2,000 DSLRs.

I was stunned.

This isn’t saying that the Nokia is a better camera than a 2007 Canon EOS 40D. It’s not. Detail makes up just a tiny fraction of the goodness of a camera, and none of what makes it a pleasure to use. The Nokia is much slower, can’t focus on moving targets, can’t easily defocus part of the picture, can’t change the perspective and feel of pictures by zooming or changing lenses, and can’t capture the same range of brightness in one shot that the latest SLRs can. Yet.

The curious thing about this list is that everything on it except one — changing lenses — can be fixed with faster processing. The iPhones, Galaxies and LGs have shown it already. And we know that faster processing is inevitable. The physical design of SLRs gave them a huge headstart over phones for both picture quality and usability, but advances in on-board processing are now quickly eroding that lead.

DSLRs aren’t standing still — they’re improving all the time too. But are they improving fast enough?
 

cwaffles

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 2, 2010
Messages
144
DSLRs have been moving to smaller form factors - eg. mirrorless (Sony NEX, Olympus PEN). Also they've been moving towards better video recording and focusing. The rest has mainly become stagnant IMO.
 

Aurelius

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 22, 2003
Messages
3,198
To me, the real issue with DSLRs/mirrorless cams is that even the smarter ones tend to feel disconnected from the modern world.

Yes, you can share that photo from the camera over Wi-Fi, but it's still a clunky process... and you have to bring a big device with you. That's great if you're going on a photo safari, but I'm not going to carry even my NEX-5N with me most of the time, let alone a full DSLR. The beauty of modern smartphone photography is that you can frequently take good-looking photos at the spur of the moment, and share them with everyone in a couple of minutes.

I also think phone cameras will catch up faster than they think. It may still take a few years, but the advantages of a physically larger sensor (and glass, for that matter) are disappearing quickly.
 

ravx25

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 2, 2005
Messages
1,641
To me, the real issue with DSLRs/mirrorless cams is that even the smarter ones tend to feel disconnected from the modern world.

Yes, you can share that photo from the camera over Wi-Fi, but it's still a clunky process... and you have to bring a big device with you. That's great if you're going on a photo safari, but I'm not going to carry even my NEX-5N with me most of the time, let alone a full DSLR. The beauty of modern smartphone photography is that you can frequently take good-looking photos at the spur of the moment, and share them with everyone in a couple of minutes.

I also think phone cameras will catch up faster than they think. It may still take a few years, but the advantages of a physically larger sensor (and glass, for that matter) are disappearing quickly.

Granted I only have a Galaxy S2, but I still camera phones are crap. It's the taking a picture of a moving object that is the problem. For isntance, even if I take a pic of my kid and he is jostling around a little it comes out blurry. They're good for stills but that's about it.
 

uOpt

Gawd
Joined
Mar 29, 2006
Messages
755
Well, the 1.6x crop factor DSLRs are not about picture quality anyway. For picture quality you have to go full-frame (35mm) now that 1.3x crop factor is out.

If your idea of good photography includes control of the background blur the small sensors will always hurt you. Sure, you can do an "everything-sharp" picture of a pier into the ocean in bright sunlight with anything. Will even look pretty with all the blue.

They can call me again when shift-tilt with decent control over the circle of confusion in the background comes to cellphones.
 
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