Mobile phones have come a long way in the last few decades. Starting from simple devices that could make phone calls and send basic messages, to the powerful computers we put in our pockets every day. And although there are countless advances that are noteworthy when it comes to the modern smartphone, perhaps one of the most substantial is the rise of the smartphone camera.
Twenty years ago, a mobile phone would come shipped with a VGA camera, capable of taking the most rudimentary of shots, usually grainy with terrible focus. But today, phones have powerful cameras, often with sensors that measure in the hundreds, and have completely wiped out the compact camera market.
But how do smartphones compare to expensive DSLR digital cameras that professionals use? We will look at some of the differences here.
The Quality Of Images
Smartphone cameras and DSLR devices work in completely different ways, with one being completely digital and the other still having some moving parts, But these differences make a stark contrast when it comes to overall image quality.
A modern DSLR, with its big lenses, much larger resolutions, and better sensors are capable of capturing images that are just about as good as the naked eye, if not better. This is often due to the sensor technology that is used in DSLR cameras, which is currently much more advanced than what’s found in even the latest flagship.
Most smartphones have sensors around the 12-megapixel mark, and while there certainly are phones that have much high megapixel sensors, they’re not nearly as refined as what’s found in a DSLR, where sensors tend to hover nearer to 50 megapixels on average. So even a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, with a huge 108MP sensor, is only able to take 27MP images, a very far cry of what a DSLR can do.
The Overall Versatility
There’s no doubting that having a smartphone is much more convenient. Not only can they do about a thousand different tasks, but they also boast great cameras perfect for most shots. But when it comes to versatility, they tend to fall short.
This is because of the range of lenses that are available for DSLR cameras, which come in all shapes and sizes, and are usually specialised for specific image capture. For instance, a smartphone would battle to capture a decent quality picture of the moon due to the lighting and distance, while a Canon 5D with the right lens would have very little trouble, going as far as to even display all the minute details we can see with our eyes.
Ultimately, it’s up to the consumer to choose what they want. For a professional and it comes to the time to pay, a DSLR is absolutely mandatory thanks to the image quality, range of lenses, and versatility, but for most people, a modern smartphone is more than capable of taking brilliant pictures.
As phones continue to advance and the technology improves, we may see more robust cameras being integrated into phones, possibly eventually forcing DSLR to go the same way as compact cameras.