When is the smartphone good enough for you to drop your FF gear?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
blue_skies
blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 12,117
Re: When is the smartphone good enough for you to drop your FF gear?
2

When? Already happened - we have '21 cell phones and the photos are rather satisfactory, in daytime.

And yes, both CP and in-phone editing apps are impressive. (So are the screen sizes).

But where? Daytime mostly.

Occasions where I used to take the A5100 instead of the FF (eg. hiking, biking) can now be satisfied with the cell phone.

Well, actually, not quite. The moment the sun goes behind the clouds, you enter indoors, or it gets after dark, forget the cell phone. Yes, it works, but you better keep watching the image on the cell phone only.

For those purposes, even the APS-C (with faster lenses) does a much better job.

Then, with fast lenses, subject separation with FF is a more natural process. You can achieve some of this in cell phones with CP and post-edit (rather impressive), but it doesn't feel or look the same (yet).

I am impressed with the wide angle cameras on cell phones nowadays, that is a big step forward. The telephoto angle (and IS) has also improved, so cell phones are more workable than before.

IQ wise? Default resolution for iPhones is 6Mp, for Android is 12Mp. This leads to better (lower noise) images, but only on the displays (around 3Mp to 4Mp) of the cell phones itself. The CP is amazing however, the photos are of a higher quality than most pics coming out of JPG or simple RAW flows. Or, it takes a post-edit for a camera to match the CP.

On a 2550x1440 resolution monitor, these cell phone images are respectable.
Switch to 3840x2160, (4k) and the images from the camera appear much more detailed.

But yeah, lower the lights, and the camera wins, easily.
But when using only a 'kit' zoom setup? APS-C or FF? The differences are less obvious for a layman.

Imho, (FF) cameras must include CP to keep up. It goes against RAW and post-edit workflows, but it is fairly simple to consider such in-camera steps, although I am not sure that the camera has the OS and processing capacity to handle this.

The other angle I see is that the camera could use a rotating buffer - i.e. record the image in a video/rolling format and save it upon the shutter press. You can take a picture after the fact, rather than having to shoot (and focus) at high fps rates. 4k images can be extracted from such recordings (today already possible in post). Add CP and limited in camera post-edit and you have a feature that could attract users.. (Assuming AF is not an issue).

Lastly, the DOF in cell phones is hiding (mis) focusing issues, and satisfies many in that they perceive 'sharp, in focus' images - but the DOF is also giving the images a certain look, and CP effects, although impressive, are just that.

The trend, cell phone photographers switching (eventually) to professional gear also seems to reverse nowadays:

https://petapixel.com/2021/08/03/photographer-mixes-old-and-new-shoots-on-either-iphone-or-film/

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Cheers,
Henry

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