Traveling with only a phone camera Locked

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timoteotresgatos Regular Member • Posts: 138
Traveling with only a phone camera

I have  a new phone with a 12mp camera which takes great pics and it even does HDR well for those high contrast days. It even shoots raw+high.

I also have a nikon D7000 which takes great pics but weighs as much as  whale and is incredibly bulky with my zoom lens.

I wondered how it would work out if I traveled with just my phone? The exposure of this point-and-shoot camera is almost always right on.

I have seen stories on this site and others about serious photographers traveling with only a phone to exotic locations and showing great results

Has anyone here traveled with only a mobile phone camera? How did you feel about the results? Did you miss your "big" camera?

Nikon D7000
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BrentSchumer
BrentSchumer Senior Member • Posts: 4,328
Re: Traveling with only a phone camera

I tend to bring cameras as the process of shooting is a hobby, but smartphones can create excellent results these days. I think you'll be fine as long as you're comfortable with the available focal lengths on your phone.

If you wanted to split the difference you could get a few lenses for your phone just in case with something like the Moment lenses or cheaper alternatives: https://www.apple.com/shop/accessories/all/photography?page=1&f=cameralens&fh=47a8%2B45c8

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alcelc
alcelc Forum Pro • Posts: 17,316
Re: Traveling with only a phone camera

DO as what works put for you. Nothing right nor nothing wrong.

timoteotresgatos wrote:

I have a new phone with a 12mp camera which takes great pics and it even does HDR well for those high contrast days. It even shoots raw+high.

It depends on a few factors:

  • IQ on the image in a size you will usually look at them, says on a smaller screen, and you don't mind the artifacts etc hidden inside;
  • the limitation of lenses of a phone (it won't matter if you are a one lens guy);
  • degree of control and easy of operation (won't matter if you are P&S and under full auto).

Because of the above, I prefer a proper camera rather than return home with a shot to my satisfaction.

I also have a nikon D7000 which takes great pics but weighs as much as whale and is incredibly bulky with my zoom lens.

Thus is a reason, and only reason to use M43 system. A Panasonic GX85, a 12~35 f/2.8 standard walking around lens (eq to 24~70 of FF), a 7~14 f/4 ultrawide (eq to 14~28), a 45~150 f/4~5.6 tele lens (eq to 90~300) plus a 15 f/1.7 prime lens (eq to 30) for low lighting, has a combined weight of <1.3Kg, while only +/-700g always on my hand... I could reduce >200g if replace the f/2.8 zoom by a f/3.5 kit lens.

My setup won't weight me down, but still allows me to enjoy photographing with a nearly full range of focal length of lenses for most usual need. The cost is merely <1 stop of noisier on highee ISO from APSC or 2 stops from FF. I am happy with ISO3200 without NR in PP of my camera. Would it work for you?

I had recently looked at the FF Panasonic S5, which has a body not much bigger than my M43 G85. However while I looked at the L-mount FF lenses, no thanks. I have no confidence to carry lenses of similar coverage as my current M43 setup to walk for hours under all sort of weather condition.

Manageable size and weight, acceptable IQ, good enough lens support at affordable cost is my criteria on choosing a system.

I wondered how it would work out if I traveled with just my phone? The exposure of this point-and-shoot camera is almost always right on.

I have seen stories on this site and others about serious photographers traveling with only a phone to exotic locations and showing great results

AFAIK it is totally depending on the level of acceptance. His standard might not be yours, so the result could be difference.

Has anyone here traveled with only a mobile phone camera? How did you feel about the results? Did you miss your "big" camera?

I always carry my phone with me anywhere, but it is for my communication, navigation, translation, library, entertainment, to certain degree my wallet as well. Phone camera, not for the purpose to take photo, only good to record something not really matter... To take a picture, camera is my choice.

My 2 cents.

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Albert
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Bobthearch
Bobthearch Forum Pro • Posts: 10,592
Re: Traveling with only a phone camera

I have a decent cell phone, the iPhone XR, and about the same camera as you, a Nikon D7100.

I use the phone for photos at work that I need to snap and send people right away.  But it's completely unsuitable for actual photography.  If I came home from an interesting trip and every photo was a super-wide-angle low-quality iPhone shot, I would cry.

But I certainly understand the need for space- and weight-savings when traveling, especially if stuck on public transportation or hiking into very remote and rough country.  Bulky sucks, and heavy sucks.

Maybe consider a compact DLSR or a new Nikon mirrorless camera?  They cost less than a new phone.  Or maybe you could make due by simply reducing the size and weight of your zoom lens(es)?  The AF-S DX 18-55 VRii, for example, is so lightweight and compact that no one could complain.  Ditto the 55-200.

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BrentSchumer
BrentSchumer Senior Member • Posts: 4,328
Re: Traveling with only a phone camera

alcelc wrote:

Thus is a reason, and only reason to use M43 system. A Panasonic GX85, a 12~35 f/2.8 standard walking around lens (eq to 24~70 of FF), a 7~14 f/4 ultrawide (eq to 14~28), a 45~150 f/4~5.6 tele lens (eq to 90~300) plus a 15 f/1.7 prime lens (eq to 30) for low lighting, has a combined weight of <1.3Kg, while only +/-700g always on my hand... I could reduce >200g if replace the f/2.8 zoom by a f/3.5 kit lens.

Note that equivalence should also be applied to aperture, so those F4s are F8 and those F5.6 lenses are >F11. At that point you're overlapping poorly with single-lens FF solutions like my A7RIII + 28-200mm F2.8-F5.6 that are 1,200g...like a 14-150mm F1.4-F4.2 on M43 cropping to 18MP on the long end. With shallower depth of field possible and a single lens solution. Throw in an UWA prime for an extra 145g to cover the full gamut.

M43 is in a tricky place with phones eating it from below and FF getting smaller to eat it from above.

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Eddie Rizk Senior Member • Posts: 1,222
Re: Traveling with only a phone camera

timoteotresgatos wrote:

I have a new phone with a 12mp camera which takes great pics and it even does HDR well for those high contrast days. It even shoots raw+high.

I also have a nikon D7000 which takes great pics but weighs as much as whale and is incredibly bulky with my zoom lens.

I wondered how it would work out if I traveled with just my phone? The exposure of this point-and-shoot camera is almost always right on.

I have seen stories on this site and others about serious photographers traveling with only a phone to exotic locations and showing great results

Has anyone here traveled with only a mobile phone camera? How did you feel about the results? Did you miss your "big" camera?

I was hoping to be satisfied with my iPhone 12 PM for travel. I don't think it's quite there yet.

It does have a nice wide lens. I can't stand to be without a UWA lens, if there is any interesting architecture where I am.

It does better in better light.

It looks great, almost all the time, on the small screen.

It lacks a really long lens for festivals, wildlife, and landscapes without partly cloudy skies.

I do enjoy it more than any other phone camera and plan to use it a lot for times when I wouldn't carry a camera anyway.  I also plan to use it for looking at property with other real estate brokers and clients just to document what I see, instead of always carrying a real camera on such outings.  I couldn't do that before, because there was no ultra wide lens.

I'll log on with my phone and post a few.

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That's my opinion, and it's worth what you paid for it.
Eddie Rizk
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alcelc
alcelc Forum Pro • Posts: 17,316
Re: Traveling with only a phone camera

BrentSchumer wrote:

alcelc wrote:

Thus is a reason, and only reason to use M43 system. A Panasonic GX85, a 12~35 f/2.8 standard walking around lens (eq to 24~70 of FF), a 7~14 f/4 ultrawide (eq to 14~28), a 45~150 f/4~5.6 tele lens (eq to 90~300) plus a 15 f/1.7 prime lens (eq to 30) for low lighting, has a combined weight of <1.3Kg, while only +/-700g always on my hand... I could reduce >200g if replace the f/2.8 zoom by a f/3.5 kit lens.

Not wish to enter any E war. Tired of it.

Note, I have put in the qualification on the cost of going for the smaller M43 setup: >1 stop for APSC or 2 stops for FF disadvantage on noise on higher ISO. So is the DoF.

On exposure setting f/2.8 of M43 can produce similar lightness image under the same setting as APSC or FF, but has more restriction on going higher ISO (currently the excellent software NR has redrawn such line allowing smaller size sensor to go much higher ISO). As long as my SOOC JPG won't go beyond ISO3200, that bothers me little.

Note that equivalence should also be applied to aperture, so those F4s are F8 and those F5.6 lenses are >F11. At that point you're overlapping poorly with single-lens FF solutions like my A7RIII + 28-200mm F2.8-F5.6 that are 1,200g...

It is regret that Tamron doesn't take M43 serious (sales?). Its only M43 lens was a completely failure and since than, it quit from the system.

Not to enter competition of any kind, just FYI, there is a 14-140 f/3.5-5.6, which has an eq FF AoV of 28-280. Such lens has IQ good as premium class lenses and is only 265g in weight. My wife loves such all-in-one lens solution but I prefer a wider end so not for myself.

like a 14-150mm F1.4-F4.2 on M43 cropping to 18MP on the long end. With shallower depth of field possible and a single lens solution. Throw in an UWA prime for an extra 145g to cover the full gamut.

M43 is in a tricky place with phones eating it from below and FF getting smaller to eat it from above.

Again? Yeah M43 had been tipped death since many years ago...

It might be a toy to some people,  but it is the best compromise ILC system to me. You can't imagine its value without using it. Of course if you don't mind size and weight, it means zero to you also...

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Albert
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yardcoyote Forum Pro • Posts: 14,614
Re: Traveling with only a phone camera

I don't have to choose between a "big camera" and just a phone. That's why I have small cameras. Of course, I often travel with one of my bigger cameras too, and carry it at least some of the time.

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Autonerd Senior Member • Posts: 2,946
Re: Traveling with only a phone camera

timoteotresgatos wrote:

I wondered how it would work out if I traveled with just my phone? The exposure of this point-and-shoot camera is almost always right on.

All great until you need to zoom in...

I use the phone when I travel, and it's great for snap-shots, to show people who haven't been to a place more-or-less what it looks like. Results are OK when viewed on a computer screen. But you can tell they are phone shots. Hence the reason I bring a (compact) camera..

Tangent: I write about cars for a living. Recently read a mediocre article by a colleague, and the photos were so obviously shot with an iPhone -- great colors but terrible perspective. This is the kind of person who says "The phone is good enough!" and those good-enough photos keep professional car photographers in business.

I don't like bulk either, which is why I shoot APS-C. My Sony 6000 and 18-55 zoom is a great compromise between creative control and travel-friendly size and weight. When I shoot film, if I'm not traveling by car, I usually leave the bulky Mamiya medium-format and Nikon autofocus gear at home and take a compact 35mm SLR, like a Pentax MX/ME Super or Nikon FG.

Rather than give up all creative control, I'd suggest investing in an APS-C or MFT camera, something that's not as miserable to carry as a bulky DSLR.

Aaron

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sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 22,721
Re: Traveling with only a phone camera

timoteotresgatos wrote:

Has anyone here traveled with only a mobile phone camera?

I wonder if you'll get any yes answers to that question, and any follow-ups to the ones below.

How did you feel about the results? Did you miss your "big" camera?

Maybe you could try asking in the Mobile Photography forum:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/1046

DenverSteve Contributing Member • Posts: 783
Re: Traveling with only a phone camera

Nope. Never would.  Even if I wasn't a professional photographer, as a hobbyist, I would never leave my cameras at home to travel without a camera.  Many others ONLY use a telephone.  My policy is - I don't use my camera to make phone calls so I don't use my camera for photography.  Emergency shots, sure but not planned photography.

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It's just my educated opinion. Don't get bent out of shape.
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Craig Gillette Forum Pro • Posts: 12,128
Re: Traveling with only a phone camera

My wife and one daughter stick to their phones.  The other daughter has had an RX100 for 8 years and is quite happy with it still.  My wife used to use our little Canon A640.  However that goes back quite a ways and phone cameras might not even have been a thing at that point.  I probably wouldn't want to do any travel without at least an aps-c camera but could see using an RX100 or similar camera.

OP timoteotresgatos Regular Member • Posts: 138
Re: Traveling with only a phone camera

Thanks! I just did that now.

OP timoteotresgatos Regular Member • Posts: 138
Re: Traveling with only a phone camera

I hauled The Whale (D7000 and zoom) around Rome for two weeks, 12+ hours a day, walking- no car. Never again.

drynn Senior Member • Posts: 1,041
Re: Traveling with only a phone camera

timoteotresgatos wrote:

...

Has anyone here travelled with only a mobile phone camera?

Yes, on a one month road trip in a hire car, to a country that I'd never been to before.

How did you feel about the results?

Although I know that some of the pictures I took would probably have worked out "better" with a DSLR, I am extremely pleased with the results I got.

Did you miss your "big" camera?

No, but...

... once I had made the decision to leave the DSLR and lenses at home, I practised using my iPhone 11 Pro in all sorts of conditions to work out what worked and what didn't. I also loaded two apps (Lightroom and CameraPixels) to make sure I could get raw files when 'needed'.

I took around 1500 pictures overall (not a lot) and have just recently had 550 of them printed into a 10 x 8, 234 page hardback book. Nobody who has seen the book asked me what camera I used, and everybody was impressed with the pictures. Sure, if you are a photographer, and you look close enough, you'll probably spot something to pick holes in (some landscape camera jpgs do seem to get over-processed, hence to use of raw). But I am more than happy with my book.

I will add that the purpose of the trip was travelling, not photography. Yes, I took plenty of panoramas (using stitching, not the built in panorama feature); I took night scenes; I took selfies (no, really!); I took macro type (mainly flowers), architecture and general street, zoos, landscapes, restaurants, and everything you would expect of a holiday trip. I wasn't a photographer, I was a tourist.

I do not regret my decision.

I am currently back using my DSLR.

I am confident enough that I will do it again with just a phone camera.

Sue Anne Rush
Sue Anne Rush Senior Member • Posts: 6,285
Re: Traveling with only a phone camera

Hello...

When I travel with my iPhone, I take all my cameras ready to take pictures. IMHO  

timoteotresgatos wrote:

I have a new phone with a 12mp camera which takes great pics and it even does HDR well for those high contrast days. It even shoots raw+high.

I also have a nikon D7000 which takes great pics but weighs as much as whale and is incredibly bulky with my zoom lens.

I wondered how it would work out if I traveled with just my phone? The exposure of this point-and-shoot camera is almost always right on.

I have seen stories on this site and others about serious photographers traveling with only a phone to exotic locations and showing great results

Has anyone here traveled with only a mobile phone camera? How did you feel about the results? Did you miss your "big" camera?

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Sue Anne Rush

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Papa48
Papa48 Senior Member • Posts: 4,264
Phone would do just fine, dedicated camera probably better.

My wife and I just came back from a Road Scholar group trip to Glacier National Park. Out of thirty-seven participants, two of us were toting dedicated cameras. My iPhone and X-T4 photos mix together very well on a 27” monitor.

Uploaded to our daughter from the iPhone, when the sun appeared.

When I wanted to be free from lugging the camera bag, the phone did just fine. I could have done the whole trip with it. Whatever you decide, good images are possible either way.

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Papa48
Papa48 Senior Member • Posts: 4,264
Re: Traveling with only a phone camera

timoteotresgatos wrote:

Thanks! I just did that now.

What impression did their replies give you?

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Papa48
Papa48 Senior Member • Posts: 4,264
Re: Traveling with only a phone camera

timoteotresgatos wrote:

I hauled The Whale (D7000 and zoom) around Rome for two weeks, 12+ hours a day, walking- no car. Never again.

There’s your answer!

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kaphinga
kaphinga Veteran Member • Posts: 3,963
Re: Traveling with only a phone camera

timoteotresgatos wrote:

Has anyone here traveled with only a mobile phone camera?

As much as I love my phone camera, I can't quite bring myself to go iPhone-only on a  major trip.  I usually want more options for focal lengths.  Also, I simply enjoy the buttons and dials on a big camera.  Of course, "big" for me is m4/3, not a Nikon d7100.  I have never taken a major trip with my big Nikon.

How did you feel about the results? Did you miss your "big" camera?

I went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans with just my iPhone about 9 (!) years ago, when iPhones weren't nearly as good as they are now.  I knew that the IQ wasn't going to be the greatest, but those images remain some of my favorite images of New Orleans.  There's an immediacy and ease about them that is often missing from "big camera" pictures.

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Marie

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