Need help replacing PaS camera

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
Jostian Veteran Member • Posts: 4,552
Re: Need help replacing PaS camera

rk219 wrote:

tl/dr: looking for a camera to bring hiking in dead of cold snowy winter and all rest of year, mainly for landscape but wouldn't mind a bit of telephoto ability, good quality, decent low light ability, shooting aperture mode, possibly RAW post processing, United States, Verizon (Tracfone). Initial thoughts were Samsung Galaxy S20 series or Google Pixel 4/4a/4a 5G/5 but open to other suggestions.

My hiking camera broke; Sony RX100 IV. As a side note I also have a Canon 50D that I usually do not bring with me for hiking and backpacking. The nice thing about the Sony was that it fit nicely in my hip belt pocket of my pack. I already bring a cheap smartphone and I would consider upgrading for the simplicity of not bringing a camera. I always saw myself venturing into a mirrorless set up after the Sony.

But now I am interested in the possibility of venturing into the phone camera world. I have never done any kind of research nor do I have any experience whatsoever with smartphone cameras until yesterday when I began reading about them.

This camera would mainly be used for snapshots in low light forest and brighter mountain vista environments; dawn, broad daylight, and dusk. I only occasionally use the telephoto end of my cameras / lenses and more often use a wider angle of view. I did, however, find myself occasionally wishing for more than the 70mm max of the Sony, but it was never a deal breaker (I'm under the impression that the 24-70mm focal range is 35mm equivalent).

My desires are good image quality with the possibility of shooting RAW (with a bit of post processing, but if good in camera JPEG processing I'm good with that -- I don't often print and if I do it is never above 11x14), ability to set camera controls, such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc, a fairly wide range of focal lengths but definitely something I can shoot landscape with.

Ideally I could use it on the Verizon network (Tracfone).

My initial thoughts led me to the Samsung Galaxy S20 series or the Google Pixel series. But after reading a bunch of threads in here I'm not so convinced of the Samsungs. What I liked about the S20 series (mainly the Plus) is the ultrawide angle (not sure how 120 degrees matches up in mm's, looking at a table, maybe around 12mm?) but the telephoto end of 76 degrees FOV doesn't seem very much? Is that around 28mm? I saw the Ultra goes up to around 100mm but it is quite a bit more expensive.

The Pixels 4a 5G and 5 go from, I think, 16 mm to 26 mm. And the 4 goes from 26 mm to 46 mm and the 4a only has one lens, 26mm.

Am I right in thinking those are all basically prime lenses with digital zooming in between?

Am I over thinking this? WWYD?

I think most OEMs (Samsung, Huawei, Apple and Pixels) have decent enough IQ for your needs, I find Huawei slightly more natural in its processing than Samsung or Apple, and Pixels are always pretty solid, so maybe it comes done to the different focal lengths for flexibility. The Samsung S20 Ultra is better than the S20 and 20+ (as only the Ultra has a dedicated tele lens, the S20 and + just crop into a sensor for the tele length, and I can tell you the IQ from the Ultra's tele lens is way better (I had the S20 Plus and the Ultra) and the 108mp sensor after many updates is really good now. Note as good as the Note 20 Ultra (where they managed to iron out the issues from the S20 Ultra). You can only shoot RAW with the main camera

Probably the best option is the P30 Pro (it still has Google services) but it has nice variety of focal lengths, and one can shoot RAW will all 3. Of course the one big plus with Huawei (the only OEM that offers this) is that if you shoot in pro mode with any of the lenses and have RAW enabled the accompanying jpeg is processed directly from the RAW file so no overprocessing etc. Although I must say I prefer the IQ from the Mate 20 Pro.

With the Pixels you get good IQ but not the versatility (no tele lens), and with the iPhone the tele is only 2x optical whereas for the P30 Pro its 5x optical, there are other options to like the Xiaomi Mi 10 pro which also offers great IQ. Check out the camera specs here between the P30 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro and S20 Ultra, with links to individual reviews next to indi phone pictures towards the top. Maybe it helps narrow things down.

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