It’s easy to leave your camera behind when you always carry your phone. But is your phone good enough? Many people seem to think so. Taking photos is more popular than ever before and most photos today are taken with smartphones, not cameras.
For photographers who value the image quality a camera provides there’s always some discomfort involved using a phone. Cameras are made to take photos. Smartphones are made to be a bit of a jack of all trades.
All phone manufacturers focus on upgrading their cameras with every new model. Camera technology in phones is incredible. But there are physical restrictions with the size of a phone. This makes it hard for them to compete with the quality of image you create with a real camera.
At times when image quality is not a concern, often it can be better to use your phone than a DSLR or mirrorless camera. Let’s take a look at the reasons why.
When to Use Your Phone for Photos
Whenever you have your phone with you, you can use it to take photos. For most of us, this is pretty much always. The convenience of phone photography often outweighs lugging a bulky camera around.
Having your phone with you means you’re often more likely to want to take photos. This ease of use is the predominant reason so many people are taking photos now than ever before.
Taking photos with your phone is so quick and easy. People who are not used to using their cameras often prefer using their phones because they don’t have to think so much about taking pictures. But this does not mean they always end up with the best photos.
Saving and sharing the photos you take with your phone is much easier than it is with a camera. Cloud connectivity and storage make it easy to save your photos and access them from practically anywhere. Sharing photos on social media or directly with friends and family is fast and convenient. Most cameras don’t include this effortless functionality.
Before you save or send your photos, you can also edit them on your smartphone. Some cameras allow you limited editing, but not many. There are now so many great apps available to edit photos directly on your phone.
The most popular apps have countless filters to add style to your photos. You can apply a filter to affect the whole photo or you can make more concentrated edits to adjust color, contrast etc.
The larger monitor on your phone means editing is easier. You can see the changes you’re making without difficulty. You can also zoom in to check the details.
One of the most popular uses of smartphones for taking photos is for selfies. Never before in the history of humanity have we enjoyed creating images of ourselves. This phenomenon continues to grow more popular and there are whole businesses built around it.
There really is no comparison in how easy it is to take selfies with your phone compared to with your camera. Even when a camera has an articulated monitor, they are not as simple for taking selfies as smartphones are.
When It’s Better to Use Your Camera
As a photographer, the biggest downside to taking photos with my phone is the poor image quality. The tiny sensors and lenses in phones never provide such image depth a real camera can.
Even when phone manufacturers advertise their new model has the same megapixel count as your camera, the quality is never as good. The physical dimensions of the sensor in your camera are always far bigger than the one in your phone.
Lenses on phones are small and very limited.
Most of them don’t zoom, so you’re stuck with one perspective. If you need to get close you have to move in. With a good quality zoom on your camera, you have so much more flexibility to compose your photos without having to crop them later.
Quality camera lenses are crafted to perfection. Lens quality is one of the most competitive aspects of the camera industry. This ensures there’s always a huge selection and variety of great lenses you can buy.
Have you ever tried bird photography with your phone? How about photographing a football game with it? There are also many other genres of photography made better because of the superior lenses available for cameras.
Creative use of a camera is improved by the fact that they are easier to control than a phone camera. With your camera, you can set the exposure you want and you have many focus options.
Well designed cameras are so much fun to use when you are confident with them. Using a camera when you are not yet used to it can be frustrating. Making the switch from your phone to a camera it can all seems too complicated. But it’s worth sticking with and figuring out. When you master your camera you have so much more scope to create great pictures.
Cameras are far more capable of taking photos in low light. At night or inside dark places where there’s not much light, smartphone cameras will not function as well as a real camera. Getting the settings right for low light photography can be more difficult. Photos need light. With no light, you have no photo. So when the light is low, any camera will not produce such good pictures.
Smartphone cameras are so easy to use. If you’re used to taking photos with your phone, using a real camera may appear too much of a challenge. It’s up to you to take the time to study a little and practice. You’ll learn to love using your camera when you understand a little more about how it works.
Using your phone to take photos is often more convenient than using your camera. Because your phone is always with you does not make it better than your real camera.
It does mean that you can use it to take some snapshots to capture a memory. But, when you take that awesome photo you might want to print and hang on your wall, you’re going to be disappointed with the quality.
Easy is not always best. In modern society doing the easy thing is often preferred. It’s more comfortable and requires less effort. But the results of taking the easy route can be disappointing.
If you are serious about improving your photography, carry your camera with you and use it as much as possible, as this is the one thing that will make you a better photographer.
Kevin is a self-taught photographer with a depth of experience he loves to share with others.
Kevin started in photography working at a daily newspaper in his native New Zealand in the late 1980s. He worked for many years as a newspaper photographer before starting his own freelance business where he engaged in commercial, editorial, wedding, and portrait photography.
In 2002 Kevin moved to northern Thailand. Here he worked as a photographer and video producer. Most of his work focused on providing photos and videos to help support the work of various non-profit organisations working among the rural poor communities.
Since 2014 Kevin and his wife have taught travel photography workshops. These are now based at their rural home, where they offer bed and breakfast accommodation. Kevin has also branched into online teaching and photography writing.