The mobile phone – the camera we always have with us – so small, so powerful, so handy. Some people claim it has replaced their regular DSLR. Maybe it has for them and maybe it will for you. However, it will be some time before your camera phone will give as good as or better results than a proper DSLR. I will be using both for the foreseeable future.
We all shoot with our phones and I certainly encourage people to continue doing so. I use mine all the time – probably every day. It’s easy and quick. And when shooting in the street it’s pretty inconspicuous. It allows us to collect and record memories of our daily life. A no-brainer.
Whenever I upgrade my phone, which is about every two years, there’s no doubting the camera improvements. My current phone is a Huawei P10. As a phone, I like it. It’s the usual Android OS and is pretty well made.
It has dual cameras – yes, two cameras. A 12 Mp and a 20 Mp camera. Although it has these two cameras, the phone actually only produces one photo at a time. One camera is a colour camera and the other is a monochrome camera. This gives the P10 much more information to work with when processing the photo.
The theory is that the monochrome camera captures how much light is in the scene and doesn’t have to bother about the colour within the scene. The second colour camera prioritises colour within the scene, sometimes at the expense of light and shade. The two resulting images are merged to give you the final shot.
Anyway, enough of the technical stuff. I find most phones of similar value have similar cameras. Branding aside, you usually get what you pay for. Yes, the manufacturers will tout all the usual techno mumbo jumbo at you when trying to get you to part with your cash. But regardless of megapixels (and that’s another story), your phone photos will be of a technically lower standard to those taken with your camera.
However, we need to understand the difference between a phone camera and a DSLR. Without going into all the technical stuff, we can see that the lenses are significantly different. The lens on a DSLR is a lot bigger and contains more glass elements, allowing it to resolve more detail.
The sensor on a DSLR is also a lot bigger than the sensor on a phone camera. The sensor captures the light entering the camera – obviously a larger sensor will capture more light and therefore resolve a lot more details.
So by all means, do continue to take lots of photos with your phone but don’t stop using your DSLR. Both are good photographic tools but a proper camera will take photos that are much higher quality and allow you so much more creativity.