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Posted by
32237 posts

phred,

I agree with his conclusions. While phones are capable of taking reasonably good photos, there's no way the tiny sensor in Smartphones can match the quality of images from larger sensors in a camera. Smartphones also don't provide the flexibility to get good shots under a wide variety conditions, something which is relatively easy with many dedicated cameras. I'll continue packing along my usual Camera gear.

Coincidentally, the current issue of Consumer Reports has an article titled "4 Reasons to get a Camera instead of using a Smartphone". I agree with their conclusions too.

Posted by
5687 posts

I can't imagine taking serious pictures with a cell phone. On my last trip, I took exactly one picture with my phone: a bus schedule. Of course, I consider myself a serious photographer, and I actually print my pictures, sometimes pretty large. The average person only posts his or her pictures on the web or on Facebook and doesn't necessarily care if the pictures are great or not. Even a shaky night picture is enough to satisfy most people. So, I can see why many people don't even bother with conventional cameras anymore. Meanwhile, I'll continue to lug a DSLR, lenses, and a small tripod all over Europe when I travel, because I know I'll get better pictures that way, and they are important to me.

Posted by
32237 posts

Andrew,

" Meanwhile, I'll continue to lug a DSLR, lenses, and a small tripod all over Europe when I travel, because I know I'll get better pictures that way, and they are important to me."

My thoughts exactly and I'll be doing the same thing!

Posted by
4516 posts

Of course, Mr. WSJ stacked the deck a little by choosing a $1,100 camera. I would never spend that much on a digital camera.

Posted by
92 posts

My wife has a smartphone. My brother-in-law has an expensive camera. We all went to Europe last year. Her pics are absolutely better and more interesting. Not saying her camera is better, just weighing that there is more to taking good pictures than equipment.

Posted by
1250 posts

Having an eye for composition and some good technique will get you some great pics even if you have a crappy camera.

I always say learn to zoom with your feet. You need to move around to get a good point of view and to create a photo opportunity.

I do agree with the advice to get a bigger sensor for the best image quality. But shallow depth of field has never been a priority for me. Carrying and using a tripod while traveling is a pita, if not for me, for the people around me. And carrying a DSLR and accessories is right up there.

I just came back from a 19 day Euro trip and took over 4500 photos with a Canon S120, an above average point and shoot.

One thing I noticed on our trip, if you want to fit in with the masses, you need a smartphone on a selfie stick,lol.

Posted by
4535 posts

My wife has a smartphone. My brother-in-law has an expensive camera. We all went to Europe last year. Her pics are absolutely better and more interesting. Not saying her camera is better, just weighing that there is more to taking good pictures than equipment.

Imagine if your wife were using your brother-in-law's camera. Sounds like her photos would be exceptional.

There are two components to taking a good photo: good equipment AND a good photographer.

Posted by
1825 posts

I have an Canon S120 which is far superior to any cell phone. I just got a Samsung S6 and the photos are great and untill you enlarge them they will rival the camera. If you want to print or look at your photos on a large screen use a good camera but if you only look at them on the phone or tablet the phone camera is great.
My wife takes better pictures than me when I set up the camera and hand it to her.

Posted by
518 posts

I've never owned nor traveled with an expensive DSLR or its even more expensive lenses. Knowing this, I concentrate on composition and capturing moments. Even a cheap camera or phone camera can take interesting pictures if composed/framed correctly and if you know what to take pictures of. And above that, most of my photo taking (of which I can end up with thousands on one trip) are passing moment, journal style type of photo taking. You know, photos that will remind me of any given moment on that trip, what I was doing, who i was with, or what we might have talked about at that moment.