A lot of people ask me, what camera they should buy. This question typically comes from people who do not own a camera (DSLR, Compact, Mirrorless), but who are always walking around with a Smartphone. Typically the latest versions of Apple or Samsung with amazing camera quality built in.
My first question to them would always be; what are you planning on doing with your photos?
The typical answer: Post them on Instagram and Social Media
If you are inspired from photographers through seeing them carry around a DSLR and you believe that looks fancy, then this blog post is written directly to you. Being a photographer is not always about the equipment. Especially if you just want to post on social media. If you are a professional photographer, your gear has merit, but for all hobby photographers out there, please read further into this post.
Why compare these two?
First and foremost it is the DSLR and Smartphone that I own myself, so it just made this comparison a lot easier. 🙂
The second reason is that I wanted to compare a decent DSLR camera with a mid range Smartphone. This was due to my belief, that the price tag of the Smartphone is not the determining factor if you can take decent pictures for your social media account.
The final reason was to educate myself as well, as I am guilty of believing that DSLR’s take much better pictures. That will be proven in this comparison also, but there are times where you really cannot tell the difference. I will let you be the judge of the quality of image.
My other intent by going out was also to try my new VLOG setup, which is pictured here on the right. The VLOG setup includes a GoPro Hero 7 Black edition, RODE Video Microphone Mini, Joby Tripod, Ulanzi V2 Case and the GoPro Microphone Adapter to attach external microphone to the GoPro Hero 7.
I do not quite understand why GoPro has made it so difficult to attach an external microphone, as the setup does not allow for third party microphones to be plugged into the system as they do not include the Microphone 3.5mm jack. Even if you buy the cheaper branded adapters, they will not work with the GoPro as they verify the brand and make.
When I started taking the first pictures, I was surprised how similar they looked in the DSLR as well as the Pocophone. Landscape, Cityscape and general snapshots looked very good on the phone. Even after getting them into post processing they looked very similar. I was thinking to myself for a second; why do I have a DSLR?
Obviously the quality on a larger screen was showing bigger differences. But thinking about the mobile phone screens and the actual comparison, I was impressed with the phone. The first examples are showing here on the left and I am not sure I could tell the difference, if I did not know already.
You also have to consider the weight. Carrying around a DSLR is not an easy task. It weighs significantly more than a phone and it takes up much more space as well. Just remember that when you think about buying a camera. It is not only the intent of taking pictures, but also related to you as an individual. Are you diligent enough to bring our your DSLR every time?
On the left is a first example of decent quality our of the phone camera as well as the DSLR. The picture at the top is the phone camera. Things to notice is that both of these photos have gone through minor post processing, but straight out of camera, the Canon 6D Mark II has a better colour profile. The DSLR gives a more true picture of the colours. The phone camera tends to over saturate and give high contrast, which you need to pull back a bit.
The top picture though is a very decent shot that would work on Instagram. 🙂
The bottom one has more sharpness and clarity when it comes to photos straight out of camera.
Second image is showing an HDB building (Pinacle@Duxton) in Singapore and the phone camera picture is showing on the left. Decent quality image and you may notice now that the formatting of the pictures are slightly different.
Do you want to join a photo walk in Singapore?
Sharing this picture taken with the Canon 6D Mark II as an environmental photo. The area has so much to offer for everyone who wants the latest Instagram post, a new portrait photo for your social media accounts or resume and much more.
If you are interested in learning more about photography, sign up to a photo outing on my web page and keep an eye out for the next upcoming photo walk in Singapore.
I will teach you camera settings and how to get the framing right as well as share insights on Instagram picture sizes and what you need to be aware of. D
Where the phone camera does not work
Using the zoom function on a phone camera will result in poor quality images. This is where a DSLR with a different lens comes in handy. The pictures on the right are taken with a 70-300mm Canon Lens. This results in clear and sharp images even when you are very far away from the subject. You can easily see the HDB apartment windows and details in the image as well as details from the terminal area.
Aperture impact difference
Moving away from zoom function and into the aperture control impact, you see it quite clearly on the pictures to the left. These images were both taken with leaf branches in front of the image sensor. On the Pocophone they show up clearly in front of the image. With the Canon DSLR they get washed out in the image which means you get a different effect and the leafs are not as intrusive on the image.
This is due to the ability of the glass on the DSLR to remove objects that are right in front of the lens. The cameras focal lenght and focus point cannot deal with objects that are very close to the lens and thus keeps them out of focus.
Which photo do you like best?
More comparison photos
The photos on the right of there are all more comparison shots. Two of the photos are general landscape or images where you are trying to capture more details.
The middle photo is a close of shot where the intent is to make the background blur out and thereby avoid taking focus away from the object itself. This technique is commonly used in portrait photography. You can see from the image that we have background showing on the Pocophone photo. This can distract the viewer from focusing on the actual key chain, which is the object in this image. The Canon DSLR removes all noise and makes you focus on the key chain itself.
The top and bottom photos are of Masjid Sultan in Arab Street Singapore and a car exhibit at Raffles City Mall. Both of those images it is really difficult to spot any major differences. Besides the colour rendition which you can always fix in post processing, there is very little difference.
I will let you be the judge of what suits you. Just looking at the images though, I believe it is safe to say that a phone can do most of what you may be looking for, if you are just interested in grabbing memories of holiday photos and sharing them on your social media accounts.
If you are looking to make large scale prints and take pictures of small animals, objects, portraits or others, you may be better of getting a camera where you can change the lenses.
In this comparison, I will not be going into the difference between Mirrorless cameras and DSLR cameras.
The best camera is always the one you have on you. Remember that. A DSLR takes effort and you may end up in a situation where you really want to take a photo. My advise is take the photo with your phone. The quality of image is quite good.
If you want to learn more about photography and really get into other types of photography instead of snapshots, contact me on my page here or sign up for one of my beginner courses I am hosing in Singapore.