Dean Holland

Dean Holland

Lives in Australia Brisbane, Australia
Works as a Photography Trainer
Has a website at www.takebetterphotos.com.au
Joined on Feb 2, 2008

Comments

Total: 97, showing: 21 – 40
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In reply to:

George Hsia: Do the same thing but with the Canon G series or any other quality p&s that has a few years you can compare against. That will be a much more interesting comparison.

DXOMark have done this already. They put the Nokia 808 (pretty similar to the 1020) ahead of the G9 but behind the S100. Have a look under their headline "Smartphones beat 5 year old DSCs".

Direct link | Posted on Jan 6, 2014 at 08:03 UTC
In reply to:

MarshallG: Dean, I think this review is really missing the practical, real-world differences between smartphone cameras and DSLR's. I respect the work you did and the similarities you found, except that you proved that if you compare two 10MP sensors in controlled, nearly identical circumstances, you can get very close results.

But in most real-world situations, my iPhone photos are not as good as my DSLR photos. Focus is always a little soft. Photos taken indoors look really bad. Dynamic range is really bad -- so snapshots taken in sunny outdoors look washed out. And I'm not trying to be picky. Yes, the iPhone is a much better snapshot camera than the Kodak Instamatic, but I think it is not a competitor to the DSLR.

I appreciate any replies! Yup, many of these are limitations of the phones at the moment. If you're a sports/portrait/wildlife multi-flash location photographer, I find that current phones are an exercise in frustration to shoot with.
I think of a phone as a different type of brush to paint with, good for different TYPES of pictures. If you enjoy working to their current strengths (e.g. street shooting, landscapes, social interations), I find them now very effective tools - much like prime lens compacts.
To be pedantic, the Nokia offers full instant control over shutter, ISO and focus point, and has a minuscule but proper flash. And depth of field control is awkwardly and kludgily simulated by Nokia's focus-stacking app. But with faster processing, will this be how we all do apertures in a few years?

Direct link | Posted on Jan 6, 2014 at 07:56 UTC
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Juandante: Extremely biased review. First of all, those images don't show the quality of the color reproduction, and dynamic range. This review is based only on the image details, and a bit of noise. Since when a good camera is only those two last points ? It is a pure joke, also, that the tester upscaled a low ~5 mpx picture to 20 mpx. While this tiny sensor Nokia is from 41 mpx to 20 mpx. It is logical that it will win ! You want to stretch an image to make it ugly and zoom all the defects (Canon 10D) and reduce an image to hide all its defects (Nokia)... It is 10x more intelligent to upscale ALL pictures to 50 mpx... Or lower all to 2 mpx ! I have an APSC camera of 2011 and 2007, and a Iphone 5s. And my Iphone will NEVER match my 2 DSLRs ! Maybe for a 2003 camera, but if it is fullframe, for the color and noise, I doubt ! Please make a new review, not biased, and showing all the global image quality as you know how to do it very well DPReview !

Hi Juandante, thanks for sharing your view. I thought exactly the same as you about upres/downres, and your approach is exactly what I tried first. Did you have a look at the page with all the technical notes that explained why we changed away from that method? We've put the full-res original pictures up, and I'd love someone to check them through and add in their thoughts about dynamic range and colour depth. It looks like we've reached the same conclusion that the iPhone 5S doesn't match a 2007 DSLR. Where would you place the images from the iPhone and Nokia among these DSLRs?

Direct link | Posted on Jan 6, 2014 at 07:24 UTC
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JABB66: Hello

I'm not a DSLR fundamentalist (in fact I have not ever owned one) and while I admit a phone can take good photos in good light, this comparison favors smartphones too much :
how many photos are taken in the real world with smartphones on a tripod?
And what about zoom?
Any decent compact are much better in low light even if is simply because they have a real flash, and most smartphone users use frequently the zoom, and even a travel zoom camera with small sensor is a lot better at telephoto.

Sadly, most of the people using smartphones aren't the kind of people that visits this Web site and don't understand the big limitations of the camera phones, and didn't realize it until the occasion of a photo arrives and because of the adverse circumstances the resulting image is totally ruined.

Hi Jabb66. With me shooting, the tripod actually favoured the DSLRs, as I get a better hit rate at 1/15th sec with the virtual shutter on the phones than the clicky shutter button on the EOS 10D and 20D. That may be just me - I'm more stable with a professional camera. The Nokia has a real flash - not very powerful, but proper xenon like a compact. But none of the phones has a meaningful zoom. I was most surprised by how competitive the phones were in low light. Do you agree with about 8 years behind for the Nokia? I'd put it further behind myself, but that's what our panel made it.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 6, 2014 at 07:03 UTC
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tjdean01: For artistic shots, nothing compares to a serious interchangeable lens camera. "Famous sites" require and "enthusiast compact" with smaller sensor to get everything in focus and a sharp lens. For memorable shots at a party, any camera will work, but it's nice to know that a phone with a flash with get you useable results. I personally have all types.

I appreciate the comparison and understand its purpose of yearly progress in quality. In the future, however, I'd like to see more variables. So, we had the 5s and the Nokia ($600 phones) and the D800e ($3000 with lens). It would be valuable, shoppers, I'd think, to compare these phones vs the $100 compact cameras, that way people can decide if they want an expensive phone or a cheap phone + dedicated camera. Or, the photos taken with the $3000 D800e can be replicated by a modern Micro Four Thirds camera for $500 including lens. Just an idea for the future!

Hi tjdean01, thanks for your input. I've published half of that comparison already. Have a look at the iPhone 5 review on our website, which included a $100 compact, a $500 compact, and Nikon D3 too. I actually included the $100 compact in this test, but didn't include the photos, as it didn't add anything new - it was beaten by everything unless you need the zoom.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 6, 2014 at 06:50 UTC
In reply to:

MarshallG: Dean, I think this review is really missing the practical, real-world differences between smartphone cameras and DSLR's. I respect the work you did and the similarities you found, except that you proved that if you compare two 10MP sensors in controlled, nearly identical circumstances, you can get very close results.

But in most real-world situations, my iPhone photos are not as good as my DSLR photos. Focus is always a little soft. Photos taken indoors look really bad. Dynamic range is really bad -- so snapshots taken in sunny outdoors look washed out. And I'm not trying to be picky. Yes, the iPhone is a much better snapshot camera than the Kodak Instamatic, but I think it is not a competitor to the DSLR.

Thanks MarshallG. I agree that an iPhone is no match for a contemporary DLSR. But these results suggest that if we swapped your iPhone for an EOS 10D, you'd find a similar disappointments in pictures from the 10D compared to your other DLSR. If your other DSLR is a 10D then my argument fall down completely! The 10D had loads of practical flaws too by contemporary standards - hesitant AF, slow shooting, glacial startup, no easy wide-angles (this was pre-EFS), no raw+jpeg, tiny dim screen etc. I'll be keen to know if you see the iPhone problems that you mention in the original files linked in the article - especially the soft focus. I've not seen it in properly working iPhones - but I have seen it in a few iPhones that were replaced.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 6, 2014 at 02:45 UTC
In reply to:

Jose A. Pacheco: Since I got my iPhone 5S which is always in my pocket, I found more difficult to take out my DSLR and even my Canon G1 X for street photography. On Christmas Day I went to Kangaroo Point to shoot the sunset in time lapse with the G1 X and the iPhone, it was a great surprised how good the results where with the phone and without doing a lot of post-processing.

But shooting at sports or wildlife is another story. I had a lot of fun with my 7D and the big lens at the PGA in Gold Coast.

In this days, I'm not anymore concerned if I see a good opportunity to make a beautiful photo, just grab the iPhone and shoot and HDR and time lapses are a piece of cake because most of the time I carry a Gorilla Pod with iPhone bracket as well.

Yup - I look at it the same way. It's only on the most predictable, controllable commercial shoots that I've always got the perfect camera and lens with me and ready. The rest of the time, it's a fluid compromise of time, weight, and group energy. As long as I know the limitations of the device - what it CAN'T do well - I enjoy the speed-chess game of trying to make great images with what I have.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 5, 2014 at 20:18 UTC
In reply to:

munro harrap: All the DSLRs here have AA filters so the Velvia has more detail and more acuity than anything else. Visibly- which comes to my next bother.
The screens we use cannot display the detail in files now. An HD screen does allow you to check details at 100%, BUT it is only 100% at TWO MEGAPIXEL resolution.

When you move to an iMac the first thing you think you notice is it makes your snaps sharper, but this is an illusion.

We do not have screens that can display these resolutions accurately yet, but the Retina is about the nearest.

Digital's problem is how it responds to different light levels, and the older the sensor is, and the more pixels it has with a stupidly too high black point setting (set your Lightroom blacks to -100 and see your photograph using medium contrast), the more the shadows are clogged with black specs.

To see how far we have come since film, be fair, use a large format film camera, obviously, and a Foveon sensor.

Please!!

I see where you're coming from, and the comparison you suggest could be a better way to see what the technologies are ultimately capable of. But that just wasn't a question that I was interested in tackling. I wanted to compare landmark devices that we're all familiar with, so we can get a 'feel' for progress and look back and see what the view's like from 2014. That's the question that I was busting to answer!

Direct link | Posted on Jan 5, 2014 at 03:16 UTC
In reply to:

Superka: ____________________!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!________________________________
FILM (and its grain) IS MORE ABOUT SCANNER (and its light source), NOT THE FILM!!!!!!! LOOK AT:
6300dpi scan, Velvia 100f, Fuji TX-1, Hasselblad X5 scanner.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/superka_01/10017160776/sizes/o/in/photostream/

@ ManuelVilardeMacedo. Yup, all the devices would have done much better at lower ISO or ASA. I put a low-ISO picture from the Nokia in the 'technical details' page linked in the article, and it looks perfect. The purpose of this test was to pretend you're shooting people, and 1/15th sec is an absolute maximum for this (I wouldn't normally want to extend the shutter speed even this far). So film slower than 400 was out. I ended up being lenient on the 1600 film, and picked a shot where I'd used 1/8th sec (effectively rating it at 800 ASA), as the negs exposed at 1/15th sec looked a bit thin (underexposed).

Direct link | Posted on Jan 5, 2014 at 00:23 UTC
In reply to:

La5Rocks: This is a great comparison! I'm trying to figure out how to replace my aging 40D, and these tests point out how that's not so clear-cut a choice anymore. I really want a smaller system (not just camera), because it's such a drag hauling a big camera and big (great!) lenses around that I do it less and less. Yet, there are often moments of "I could have gotten a much better image with my 40D", but didn't have it. Here' s hoping for new lens technology to be gamechangers for the phones!

Another big consideration for me is video. I'm finding that my Nokia 920 produces very acceptable videos, and the OIS is invaluable. Do you think you'd be up to rounding a "years behind" comparison for video, too? That would be very interesting to see.

BTW, kudos for a nice string of comments; very few DSLR vs Phone rants.

It's fun having the new choices, but makes the decision harder! I'm not the person for a "years behind" for video, but DXOMark have some interesting thoughts on it on their website.
I'm enjoying the comments... thanks for joining in!

Direct link | Posted on Jan 5, 2014 at 00:16 UTC
In reply to:

michael2011: For low light shots, were cameras handheld or on tripod?

Absolutely. I considered doing it hand-held, but I know I'm not a very consistent wobbler... and I'd just had a coffee! Adding "% of shots that are sharp" would be handy. At the risk of sounding like every research study... "more research is needed"! Anecdotally, I'd agree that the Nokia's OIS is about as good as that on the DSLR lenses. Especially after half a glass of wine.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 5, 2014 at 00:08 UTC
In reply to:

Superka: ____________________!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!________________________________
FILM (and its grain) IS MORE ABOUT SCANNER (and its light source), NOT THE FILM!!!!!!! LOOK AT:
6300dpi scan, Velvia 100f, Fuji TX-1, Hasselblad X5 scanner.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/superka_01/10017160776/sizes/o/in/photostream/

Velvia 50 is the (modern version of) a film that seemed as close to 'landmark' as I could think of. I chose it here as my guess of the best-known benchmark that's still available. But portrait photographers rarely used it, and the films you mention are great at portraits. What film would you suggest for the low-light scene?

Direct link | Posted on Jan 4, 2014 at 21:06 UTC
In reply to:

Tilted Plane: Brilliant and meaningful. Thanks.

Thank you!

Direct link | Posted on Jan 4, 2014 at 20:29 UTC
In reply to:

vv50: that "years trailing behind DSLR" number makes sense if the manufacturer's end-goal is to reach DSLR quality, which i think it's not. imho, their end goal is to meet the most typical consumer photography situations, with the nokia flagship being slightly more ambitious with its zoom capabilities. future phone cameras are only going to be designed to be as good as the best P&S of previous years. apple isn't going to put a larger sensor into the iphone, the most likely next step for them is to follow in nokia's footsteps by attaching a xenon flash and OIS.

I think you're probably right. But there's another thing in the equation for phones: the bar is higher. They need to aim for 100% acceptable shots and no blurry duds of people partying indoors. With complicated cameras, most non-photographers blame themselves for missed shots. With a phone with no buttons, the phone cops it. So I guess the key frontier for the next couple of years is still better low-light performance and decent shutter-speeds.
So while the goal is different (improve the worst shots, not the best ones), my guess is that phones will continue to develop in a direction that's coincidentally on the SLR trajectory for a few more years. Just a guess, though!

Direct link | Posted on Jan 4, 2014 at 20:28 UTC
In reply to:

Dmacpl: A great idea and equally great execution - it's been a pleasure to read this comparison/analysis, Mr Holland. Thank you very much.
I presume my trusty D90 is somewhat behind the Lumia in terms of image quality but still... It just doesn't feel right when I look at the phone instead of talking to it ;) .

I know what you mean! I'm sure it'll get easier in the future when we talk to cameras too. I can't believe that it's 2014 and I still can't say "f/2.8 and 1/250th" to my camera yet. Well, I CAN, but I'd look silly.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 4, 2014 at 20:07 UTC
In reply to:

michael2011: For low light shots, were cameras handheld or on tripod?

On a tripod, and we shot lots and picked the clearest. The technical notes page goes into the details of how we did each shot. I was curious about the relatively large number of blurred shots on the tripod with the Nokia in candlelight. Could have been be user error or could be the old "turn off image stabiliser on a tripod"-issue, which you can't yet do on the Nokia.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 4, 2014 at 20:04 UTC
In reply to:

InTheMist: THAT was a well-written study on the improvement (and miniaturization) of digital photography.

Thank you for taking the time.

Thank you! Glad you liked it.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 4, 2014 at 11:32 UTC
In reply to:

udris: Smartphones excel at discreet street shooting............. cctv cameras do it better.

Comparing smartphones with technology that is no longer used is pretty dumb. Besides those DSLRs were used by a select few and were never items of popular culture.

I short this article is written by a photographer type come quasi educator who fails to understand that smartphones are about communication not photography

@ Murat. Thanks - it was fun to do. We did a test against a couple of P&S when we reviewed the iPhone 5. Another scanner might show the grain a bit differently for the Velvia 50, but I don't know yet if it would have more or less grain. I'll happily re-scan if someone can suggest a scanner that they know to keep detail but give less grain.
Yes, the Canon 20D and 40D did improve handling and responsiveness.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 4, 2014 at 08:12 UTC
In reply to:

udris: Smartphones excel at discreet street shooting............. cctv cameras do it better.

Comparing smartphones with technology that is no longer used is pretty dumb. Besides those DSLRs were used by a select few and were never items of popular culture.

I short this article is written by a photographer type come quasi educator who fails to understand that smartphones are about communication not photography

@ Udris. OK - I understand where you're coming from now.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 4, 2014 at 07:58 UTC
In reply to:

Superka: ____________________!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!________________________________
FILM (and its grain) IS MORE ABOUT SCANNER (and its light source), NOT THE FILM!!!!!!! LOOK AT:
6300dpi scan, Velvia 100f, Fuji TX-1, Hasselblad X5 scanner.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/superka_01/10017160776/sizes/o/in/photostream/

Thanks Superka. I should have included that it was a Durst Sigma scanner. If anyone can comment on how much Durst Sigmas emphasise or diminish grain compared to other scanners, I'll be keen to know.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 4, 2014 at 04:58 UTC
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