Smartphone and Digital Camera Photography Compared

Canon and Nikon: should be looking over their shoulders

Smartphone cameras are sneaking up on them. Smart phones with cameras are beginning to replacing the point-and-shoot market; which seems to be declining.

The "entry-level camera market is turning to more advanced features, such as "bridge cameras" that encompass long zooms with manual override features, wile many have RAW mode. ¶The mid-range is moving toward the low end DSLR market such as the T3i,. mirror less cameras. like the low-end Lumix micro 4/3ds.

The video camera consumer market is turning to history. People now use their smart phones, their bridge cameras or DSLRs to shoot video. In the near future, the market for video cameras will continue mostly at the upper end,. Think larger sensors (micro 4/3, APS-C) with interchangeable lenses.

The big thing in cameras is turning to wi-fi ability to upload videos and photos directly from camera to social media websites and youtube Also sophisticated touch screen interfaces are also becoming commonplace.

Each time I take a photo with my smartphone, I am reminded of all the higher-end DSLR cameras that Nikon, Canon, and others manufacture. These digital SLR cameras feature interchangeable lenses that can capture superb digital images, because of two things: 1).big lenses and 2. better and larger image sensors. At the entry level, most all camera companies manufacture "point and shoot" digital cameras that capture very good pictures while delivering tremendous convenience and portability.

iphone 4S

I suspect a great many of you own a digital camera most likely from Nikon or Canon. It is probably a "point and shoot" digital camera or a DSLR camera. Typically DSLR cameras are used by by consumers or professional photographers shooting important lifetime events like weddings where they can justify carrying around a heavier and bulkier DSLR.

Although you might have a DSLR or point and shoot digital camera, it probably just sits in a camera bag or on a shelf somewhere gathering dust. I have found that more and more people are using their smartphones take a photo rather than lugging a separate point and shoot pocket camera around. It all gets down to convenience vs. high quality. In your smartphone, you the usefulness of a "pretty darn good" digital camera vs. the higher image quality in an individual point & shoot or DSLR camera.

Nikon D7000

Over he past few months Iíve been using my smart phone to take more and more photos and I began thinking about my different photographic approaches to my subject when using the smart phone compared to my Nikon DSLR. In fact, composing images with a smart phone is comparable to photographing with my Canon point and shoot, although not identically the same. As someone with a lengthy history and photography experience, it just does not feel right capturing photographs using a cell phone.

Canon PowerShot S100 IS

Just glance around on any particular day at people on a beach or at attractions and events and you'll notice all running around shooting photographs using cell phones or tiny point and shoot digital cameras. At one time when you wanted to shoot a photograph you needed to bring the camera to your eye, take a look into the viewfinder and frame your photo. This is the traditional manner and a way I personally like framing an image.

There are other concerns related to shooting with a professional DSLR camera as compared to cell phones. Normally you think of people shooting images using cell phones as only taking "snap shots". Sure, snapshots can be taken with a professional DSLR as well, however my question becomes "With a creative thought process, the right mindset, subject framing and, concern for content can you consistently create dynamic and unique images that soar higher than the "snap shot" mode using a smartphone?

Although I much prefer to use my Nikon DSLR when out shooting "serious" photography work, Iím starting to think that anymore, it is NOT all too important given the technical image quality created on the new smartphones for instance. Just think about the improved image quality of cell phones in only the past 3-4 years? I just canít even begin imagine the way we will be creating images within 10 years.

Iím becoming curious as to how other photographers think concerning this matter. I mean, would you arrive to shoot an executive portrait or a cover for a wedding, magazine with only a cell phone? The DSLRís still feature so many additional creative functions lacking in cell phone cameras. You can determine on exactly the depth of field for a photograph, manually adjust your shutter speed and f/stopís, in addition to using Raw mode for shooting. I would imagine we can count the days until cell phone cameras feature these creative options. Also, I have noticed that smartphone images have a somewhat different feel to them. This may only be me, although cell images more resemble movie still images as one of my friends recently remarked. Iíve been creating and writing about photography for nearly 30 years and have to admit that 10 years ago I would never have thought that I would be shooting images using a smartphone. 10 years ago I did not even own a cell phone.

I'm still keen on film, 4◊5 and medium format view cameras, along with Diana and Holga cameras, although I am continually amazed by just how quickly the business of photography has evolved over the past decade, and the changes of how photography itself is being created. We've come a long distance since Daguerre's time. 

Camera phones are constantly improving. They most often include flash, zoom, ample megapixels, auto focus, and red eye reduction. The truth is that smartphone cameras have become good enough for the majority of circumstances. Thus, they're winning at the convenience over conformity battle. Sure, point and shoot digital cameras continue to sell well due to having a little better degree of conformity over smartphone cameras. Additionally they are still valuable to people who do not have a smartphone.

As time move forward smartphone cameras keep improving, any difference between smartphone camera over point and shoot digital camera will continue to be less pronounced. Meanwhile at the opposite end of the camera spectrum, DSLR cameras are becoming packed with more features including having the capacity to shoot full HD movies. As this occurs, Nikon, Canon, point and shoot digital cameras will become squeezed from the marketplace. Users will migrate either to using smartphone cameras or DSLR (or perhaps both), although point and shoot digital cameras will start disappearing in much the way of film cameras. This happen over several years, although it seems likely to occur.

Nikon and Canon should both take a look a glimpse over their shoulders: smartphone cameras are making headway on them. Hereís my principal thought: Nikon and Canon (along with other major point and shoot camera makers) should board the ship before it leaves port. They should be creating partnerships with smartphone makers to build improved image sensors, better optics, improved intelligence and other methods to help create the camera in the smartphone camera every bit as proficient as the top point and shoot digital cameras are today.

Having said that, it is still all about composition and capturing good quality images. Isnít it? Ideas, thoughts???

New Article Nov 22, 2011

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