Nikon to Cell Phone Camera

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Thomas166
Thomas166 Regular Member • Posts: 448
Nikon to Cell Phone Camera
1

I've had dslr Olympus and Nikon's for years. About 5 years ago I switched to the Nikon P900 and now the Nikon P950. I'm thinking of going to a cell phone camera now only. I know none would come close to the zoom the P950 has, but the P950 has about the same size sensor as most cell phone cameras. The problems I'm concerned about are:

  1. would the cell have the same image quality
  2. is there a problem shooting with bright sunlight since there's no viewfinder
  3. would I be able to find a good camera phone for around $500.

Just to let you know how far behind I am on phones, mine is a Samsung Galaxy Express 3

Nikon P950

 Thomas166's gear list:Thomas166's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P950 Nikon D5500 Tamron AF 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6 Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF)
Nikon Coolpix P900
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PhotoFactor Veteran Member • Posts: 3,902
Re: Nikon to Cell Phone Camera
1

The computational processing will be better in a phone versus a camera with a similar sized sensor, and will provide for better DR. There's no substitute for a real zoom, however.

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Booted Cat
Booted Cat Senior Member • Posts: 1,630
Re: Nikon to Cell Phone Camera

Thomas166 wrote:

I've had dslr Olympus and Nikon's for years. About 5 years ago I switched to the Nikon P900 and now the Nikon P950. I'm thinking of going to a cell phone camera now only. I know none would come close to the zoom the P950 has, but the P950 has about the same size sensor as most cell phone cameras. The problems I'm concerned about are:

I have a P1000 and an A1000 and now am waiting for the P50 Pro+. I tend to carry less and less.

  1. would the cell have the same image quality

If you're talking about a phone's telephoto lenses, no. Huawei's 10x zoom (240mm) lens has an 8MP sensor, while Samsung's a 10MP (and actually the Huawei's often has sharper results in my tests such as this one). Neither beats the P1000 or A1000's 16MP. If you're talking about a phone's main, wide-angle lens, then premium phones like the Huawei P40 Pro+ and Mate 40 Pro+ have a 50MP sensor which is way ahead of traditional cameras (16MP or 20MP).

  1. is there a problem shooting with bright sunlight since there's no viewfinder

You can temporarily adjust the phone's screen brightness to the maximum in bright sunlight. Many phones have an option to automatically adapt to ambient light.

  1. would I be able to find a good camera phone for around $500.

Phones with 10x optical zoom (240mm) are in the premium segment and will cost more than a Sony RX100M7 which is only 8.3x (200mm)...

Just to let you know how far behind I am on phones, mine is a Samsung Galaxy Express 3

Mine a Xiaomi Mi Max 3 with no optical zoom at all.

Nikon P950

 Booted Cat's gear list:Booted Cat's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P1000 Canon PowerShot SX740 HS Nikon Coolpix A1000 +1 more
Jostian
Jostian Veteran Member • Posts: 4,750
Re: Nikon to Cell Phone Camera

Thomas166 wrote:

I've had dslr Olympus and Nikon's for years. About 5 years ago I switched to the Nikon P900 and now the Nikon P950. I'm thinking of going to a cell phone camera now only. I know none would come close to the zoom the P950 has, but the P950 has about the same size sensor as most cell phone cameras. The problems I'm concerned about are:

  1. would the cell have the same image quality
  2. is there a problem shooting with bright sunlight since there's no viewfinder
  3. would I be able to find a good camera phone for around $500.

Just to let you know how far behind I am on phones, mine is a Samsung Galaxy Express 3

Nikon P950

Biggest challenge other than zoom is processing, phone manufacturers tend to over process quite a lot, so you'll lose fine textures etc. due to heavy NR and sharpening. Unfortunately all phones do it, Huawei is the least heavy handed and at least you can shoot in RAW on all 3 lenses with OIS, and then process (although Huawei is also the only OEM that provides a jpeg directly from the RAW file in Pro mode, no heavy processing). But you will miss the zoom and you'll really battle to get birds especially in flight captured decently with any regularity. But if you have decided to make the jump, the the P40 pro Mate 40 Pro are the best , but you have no Google services on those which is a deal breaker for many.

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Booted Cat
Booted Cat Senior Member • Posts: 1,630
Re: Nikon to Cell Phone Camera

Jostian wrote:

Thomas166 wrote:

I've had dslr Olympus and Nikon's for years. About 5 years ago I switched to the Nikon P900 and now the Nikon P950. I'm thinking of going to a cell phone camera now only. I know none would come close to the zoom the P950 has, but the P950 has about the same size sensor as most cell phone cameras. The problems I'm concerned about are:

  1. would the cell have the same image quality
  2. is there a problem shooting with bright sunlight since there's no viewfinder
  3. would I be able to find a good camera phone for around $500.

Just to let you know how far behind I am on phones, mine is a Samsung Galaxy Express 3

Nikon P950

Biggest challenge other than zoom is processing, phone manufacturers tend to over process quite a lot, so you'll lose fine textures etc. due to heavy NR and sharpening. Unfortunately all phones do it, Huawei is the least heavy handed and at least you can shoot in RAW on all 3 lenses with OIS, and then process (although Huawei is also the only OEM that provides a jpeg directly from the RAW file in Pro mode, no heavy processing). But you will miss the zoom and you'll really battle to get birds especially in flight captured decently with any regularity. But if you have decided to make the jump,

At 10x zoom, both Huawei and Samsung seem to use a 1/50s shutter speed, which is often impossible to capture BIF.

I guess for birders (still birds), cameras like the P1000 and A1000 are still a must-have, while a 10x zoom phone can serve as an observation tool (a monocular) to quickly find out if a distant thing is a bird or what kind of bird it is.

the the P40 pro Mate 40 Pro are the best , but you have no Google services on those

P40 Pro+ or Mate 40 Pro+.

which is a deal breaker for many.

 Booted Cat's gear list:Booted Cat's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P1000 Canon PowerShot SX740 HS Nikon Coolpix A1000 +1 more
Patrick T. Kelly Veteran Member • Posts: 4,425
Re: Nikon to Cell Phone Camera
2

Thomas166 didn't say what his interest is in photography. My brother-in-law photographs birds and I would not suggest he go with a phone today but  my brother-in-law isn't interest in photography. Just in bird pictures.

Me? I just enjoy taking photos. I enjoy it with a YashicaMat in 1962 and I enjoy it with a Sony Experia 5 II in 2021. I'm not a pixel peeper so comparing my 2 1/4 film with 35 mm film with various digital sensors is pointless. What is the point, for me, is does my camera produce photos that meet my needs.

I also don't do much telephoto. I'm a city-dweller now and stalk the streets and wide-angle is in play more often then telephoto.

Thomas166 also didn't say why he was even considering a phone camera. I'll be 80 this year and while I still enjoy stalking the streets and loitering in the churches, markets, and parks I don't want to haul a gadget bag with lenses and filters--although I wish I could get a polarizing and a neutral density filter for my phone--around any longer.

At one point in the digital revolution I quit enjoying photography. So, I did a chart on the steps and rated each step for enjoyment. Then I kept track of how I was spending my photographic time. I discovered that I was spending the most time sitting in front of the computer "editing" photographs when that was what I enjoyed the least. I took care of that, for me, and the enjoyment I got from photography returned.

I also went with Huawai, before the Google ban, and computational photography. That wasn't as much fun for me so I shifted to the Sony Experia.  For me, it's less computational and more photography.

Lastly, if my budget was fixed at $500 I would look at a top of the line phone from a year ago. $500 would get you a used-like new Huawei P30 pro or maybe a new P30 pro.

I'm deaf and don't do "phones" so I was late coming to phones, too. The advances in digital over the last twenty years is awesome and over the last eight years in phone cameras is amazing.

-- hide signature --

Patrick T. Kelly
Oaxaca, Mexico

Thomas166
OP Thomas166 Regular Member • Posts: 448
Re: Nikon to Cell Phone Camera
1

Booted Cat I was thinking the same about the image quality. A cell phone probably would not do as good for birds in flight or wildlife action shots. Thanks.

 Thomas166's gear list:Thomas166's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P950 Nikon D5500 Tamron AF 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6 Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF)
Thomas166
OP Thomas166 Regular Member • Posts: 448
Re: Nikon to Cell Phone Camera

Jostian wrote:

Thomas166 wrote:

I've had dslr Olympus and Nikon's for years. About 5 years ago I switched to the Nikon P900 and now the Nikon P950. I'm thinking of going to a cell phone camera now only. I know none would come close to the zoom the P950 has, but the P950 has about the same size sensor as most cell phone cameras. The problems I'm concerned about are:

  1. would the cell have the same image quality
  2. is there a problem shooting with bright sunlight since there's no viewfinder
  3. would I be able to find a good camera phone for around $500.

Just to let you know how far behind I am on phones, mine is a Samsung Galaxy Express 3


Nikon P950

Biggest challenge other than zoom is processing, phone manufacturers tend to over process quite a lot, so you'll lose fine textures etc. due to heavy NR and sharpening. Unfortunately all phones do it, Huawei is the least heavy handed and at least you can shoot in RAW on all 3 lenses with OIS, and then process (although Huawei is also the only OEM that provides a jpeg directly from the RAW file in Pro mode, no heavy processing). But you will miss the zoom and you'll really battle to get birds especially in flight captured decently with any regularity. But if you have decided to make the jump, the the P40 pro Mate 40 Pro are the best , but you have no Google services on those which is a deal breaker for many.

Lostian, I was afraid of that, losing some of the fine textures. Right now with P950 I can shoot in raw. Losing my 83x zoom was a big concern.

 Thomas166's gear list:Thomas166's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P950 Nikon D5500 Tamron AF 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6 Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF)
Thomas166
OP Thomas166 Regular Member • Posts: 448
Re: Nikon to Cell Phone Camera

Patrick T. Kelly wrote:

Thomas166 didn't say what his interest is in photography. My brother-in-law photographs birds and I would not suggest he go with a phone today but my brother-in-law isn't interest in photography. Just in bird pictures.

Me? I just enjoy taking photos. I enjoy it with a YashicaMat in 1962 and I enjoy it with a Sony Experia 5 II in 2021. I'm not a pixel peeper so comparing my 2 1/4 film with 35 mm film with various digital sensors is pointless. What is the point, for me, is does my camera produce photos that meet my needs.

I also don't do much telephoto. I'm a city-dweller now and stalk the streets and wide-angle is in play more often then telephoto.

Thomas166 also didn't say why he was even considering a phone camera. I'll be 80 this year and while I still enjoy stalking the streets and loitering in the churches, markets, and parks I don't want to haul a gadget bag with lenses and filters--although I wish I could get a polarizing and a neutral density filter for my phone--around any longer.

At one point in the digital revolution I quit enjoying photography. So, I did a chart on the steps and rated each step for enjoyment. Then I kept track of how I was spending my photographic time. I discovered that I was spending the most time sitting in front of the computer "editing" photographs when that was what I enjoyed the least. I took care of that, for me, and the enjoyment I got from photography returned.

I also went with Huawai, before the Google ban, and computational photography. That wasn't as much fun for me so I shifted to the Sony Experia. For me, it's less computational and more photography.

Lastly, if my budget was fixed at $500 I would look at a top of the line phone from a year ago. $500 would get you a used-like new Huawei P30 pro or maybe a new P30 pro.

I'm deaf and don't do "phones" so I was late coming to phones, too. The advances in digital over the last twenty years is awesome and over the last eight years in phone cameras is amazing.

I guess one of my reason is that if I'm out just running around or at a family event it would be nice to have a phone camera instead of a large camera. At a family or friend event if you have a large camera with external flash everyone want you to stop eating or talking and start taking photos of the them and the event. My main photography is wildlife, birds, deer, elk, etc. and macro.

 Thomas166's gear list:Thomas166's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P950 Nikon D5500 Tamron AF 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6 Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF)
PhotoFactor Veteran Member • Posts: 3,902
Re: Nikon to Cell Phone Camera

Thomas166 wrote:

Patrick T. Kelly wrote:

Thomas166 didn't say what his interest is in photography. My brother-in-law photographs birds and I would not suggest he go with a phone today but my brother-in-law isn't interest in photography. Just in bird pictures.

Me? I just enjoy taking photos. I enjoy it with a YashicaMat in 1962 and I enjoy it with a Sony Experia 5 II in 2021. I'm not a pixel peeper so comparing my 2 1/4 film with 35 mm film with various digital sensors is pointless. What is the point, for me, is does my camera produce photos that meet my needs.

I also don't do much telephoto. I'm a city-dweller now and stalk the streets and wide-angle is in play more often then telephoto.

Thomas166 also didn't say why he was even considering a phone camera. I'll be 80 this year and while I still enjoy stalking the streets and loitering in the churches, markets, and parks I don't want to haul a gadget bag with lenses and filters--although I wish I could get a polarizing and a neutral density filter for my phone--around any longer.

At one point in the digital revolution I quit enjoying photography. So, I did a chart on the steps and rated each step for enjoyment. Then I kept track of how I was spending my photographic time. I discovered that I was spending the most time sitting in front of the computer "editing" photographs when that was what I enjoyed the least. I took care of that, for me, and the enjoyment I got from photography returned.

I also went with Huawai, before the Google ban, and computational photography. That wasn't as much fun for me so I shifted to the Sony Experia. For me, it's less computational and more photography.

Lastly, if my budget was fixed at $500 I would look at a top of the line phone from a year ago. $500 would get you a used-like new Huawei P30 pro or maybe a new P30 pro.

I'm deaf and don't do "phones" so I was late coming to phones, too. The advances in digital over the last twenty years is awesome and over the last eight years in phone cameras is amazing.

I guess one of my reason is that if I'm out just running around or at a family event it would be nice to have a phone camera instead of a large camera. At a family or friend event if you have a large camera with external flash everyone want you to stop eating or talking and start taking photos of the them and the event. My main photography is wildlife, birds, deer, elk, etc. and macro.

You could buy a midrange phone, even used, as some of them are still pretty good.

You wouldn't even have to activate it as a phone if you just want to take pictures.

I also don't agree with a previous poster that all phones oversharpen. In my experience the processing - taking everything into account - is far superior on my phone to anything that a non ILC camera has ever given me. Obviously a large sensor fixed-lens camera (M43 or bigger) would produce great technical RAWs but still likely wouldn't have as good jpg processing.

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Labe Forum Pro • Posts: 12,564
Re: Nikon to Cell Phone Camera
2

You need both lol

I use the P30pro for landscapes, night scenes even family portraits.

My P950 is also linked via snap bridge so any shots taken on Nikon I get a small image sent  to my phone to share on social media and use Nikon for the long zoom .

what will say though is that the 5* zoom on the P30pro is very good and digital zoom has amazing reach even though the iq is less than stellar lol.

Wide angle

Zoom from same standing point.

 Labe's gear list:Labe's gear list
Nikon D7200 Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 | C Huawei P30 Pro Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max Fujifilm FinePix IS-1 +10 more
Stevan G Contributing Member • Posts: 628
Re: Nikon to Cell Phone Camera
1

Labe wrote:

You need both lolZoom from same standing point.

exactly, I have P1000 and I'm still hauling my Nokia 808 which even to this day has the best SOC pictures especially for landscape (I use Nokia 8.1 as my main phone)

if you want only two devices the best combo would be to take your P950 with you together with a modern phone with a big sensor

Jostian
Jostian Veteran Member • Posts: 4,750
Re: Nikon to Cell Phone Camera
2

Stevan G wrote:

Labe wrote:

You need both lol

exactly, I have P1000 and I'm still hauling my Nokia 808 which even to this day has the best SOC pictures

Amen to that!

especially for landscape (I use Nokia 8.1 as my main phone)

if you want only two devices the best combo would be to take your P950 with you together with a modern phone with a big sensor

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 Jostian's gear list:Jostian's gear list
Panasonic LX100 II Canon EOS R5 Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM 808 +1 more
Thomas166
OP Thomas166 Regular Member • Posts: 448
Re: Nikon to Cell Phone Camera
1

Labe wrote:

You need both lol

I agree Labe. After thinking about it I'm going to keep my P950 for wildlife and birding and get a better cell phone for family events and street shots. Thanks everyone.

 Thomas166's gear list:Thomas166's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P950 Nikon D5500 Tamron AF 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6 Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF)
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