Point and shoot (Sony RX100?) or iPhone Pro for casual travel camera

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
Lindsay D Contributing Member • Posts: 689
Re: Point and shoot (Sony RX100?) or iPhone Pro for casual travel camera

MowieBowie wrote:

I was hoping to get advice from the pros.

I'm a casual user and a longtime fan of the Sony RX100 series. I have no aspirations of carrying a DSLR, and don't really tweak manual controls. I want a good compact camera to take on occasional travels, something for snapshots with landmarks and scenery. I'm one of the odd minority who'd pay for the current model RX100.

I'm just honestly wondering whether it's worth still carrying a premium compact camera over a smartphone with a good camera, say an iPhone 11 Pro or later.

I still think it's worth having a camera with a larger sensor and lens.

So would you still carry a premium point and shoot (say the Sony RX100 Mk VII) as a casual travel camera (especially if you push yourself to learn the controls), or would you just stick to a recent model iPhone Pro? Are there any articles that definitively answer this?

For me (and this is going to come down to individual needs and preferences) there is no real substitute for a good compact camera - no matter how fancy your phone is. My phone is the Sony Xperia Pro-I and it's very impressive. But 'for me' it can't compete with my Sony ZV-1 (or most other 1" sensor compacts). The larger sensor and lens is everything - I say 'larger sensor' because the Pro-I only uses around 60% of its 1" sensor and when compared to the output of a 1" compact camera the difference is visible.

I think the iPhones have a slightly smaller sensor, and more aggressive computational processing. The Xperia Pro-I produces much more natural images (and RAW files which are more raw than those of other ultra-phones) and would probably appeal more to advanced photographers (likewise its 4k 120fps video).

There is no definitive answer, because everybody is different. But my Sony ZV-1 is a cracker of a compact camera, and I carry both it and my Pro-I phone most of the time.

I covered my feelings on my blog, with comparison pictures (unprocessed RAWs): Can a Smartphone Replace my Compact Camera | First Test Review Sony Xperia Pro-I — West Sussex Portrait Photographer (lindsaydobsonphotography.com)

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