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Author Topic: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin  (Read 21974 times)

dgatwood

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Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2013, 01:06:49 AM »
New iPhone:
10 frames per second; in-camera stabilization, white and amber flashes that can be balanced with ambient light, f2.2 lens, larger sensor, slow-motion video. (If I got the specs right)

I've been wishing for years that DSLR flashes would adjust their white point to match the available lighting.  Here's hoping that at least the concept (though certainly not the implementation) will end up in Speedlite flashes one of these years.


Is this the final nail in the coffin for Powershots and other Point and Shoots?

I pretty much declared those dead five years ago.


Should Canon and Nikon worry about their DSLR sales? Try to think outside your own personal prejudices and look at it objectively. What do you think?


Let me start by saying that I love my iPhone 5, and I love the ease with which I can get lots of day-to-day pictures with it.  I use my iPhone 5 to grab pictures of random things when I don't have my DSLR with me.  It shoots reasonably good photos within limits.  Phones work great for photography when you're shooting pictures of people who are only a few feet away in good lighting.

But a replacement for my DSLR, it is not.  Camera phones cannot possibly compete with DSLRs in two key areas: distance photography and low-light photography.


Distance photography

Camera phones typically have no optical zoom.  This means that when you zoom in by a factor of 2, that 8 MP camera effectively becomes a 2 MP camera.  It's like shooting with a 33mm prime lens, give or take.  You can always crop it in post, but if you really needed a 300mm lens, you're just not going to be happy with the results even with a DSLR.

You'll never see a pro photographer shooting a wedding from the balcony of a church using a 33mm prime (same field of view as an iPhone 5) except when shooting some establishing shots.  For the good stuff, they'd be shooting with a 135mm lens at a bare minimum, and probably more like a 70-200 or 70-300.  For the same reason, you won't ever see anyone seriously photographing a wedding with a camera phone.  Just for grins, I tried it a couple of weeks ago at a friend's wedding.  The bride and groom were little more than a couple of blurry smudges.  I deleted the photos.

Similarly, when I take pictures of the Pope saying the Angelis prayer next Sunday, I'll be using my 6D, not my iPhone 5.  From any angle that doesn't involve seeing up his nose, he'd cover only a handful of pixels on my iPhone 5.  On my 6D with a 70-300L and a 3x extender, before cropping, I expect to be approaching a medium-close-up from... IIRC near the first fountain, roughly a third the way across the piazza.

For many people who buy point-and-shoot cameras, zoom might not matter much.  Many of them use the zoom infrequently anyway, and even for the ones who do use it, the convenience of not having to carry one piece of gear can outweigh the inability to get certain shots.  For the sorts of people who are willing to spend the money for a DSLR, though, reach matters.

And to the extent that you can improve the digital zoom by adding more pixels, your low-light performance is worse, because there's an inherent tradeoff between pixel count and noise.  Which brings us to the second area in which camera phones cannot realistically compete with a DSLR.


Low-light photography

There's simply no way to cram enough light gathering into a sensor that size to take shots that approach my 6D.  The sensor is only about 18 square millimeters, by my quick calculation (1.5 microns squared per pixel times 8 million pixels).  Compare this with 855 square millimeters for a 6D sensor, and the 6D takes in 50 times more light.  Even if you don't do any binning of pixels and shoot with the 6D at a wider angle so that the subject covers the same number of pixels, that would still be 339 square millimeters, or about 19x as much light.  So even if the iPhone 5's sensor miraculously captured every single photon perfectly, it would still be getting only a tenth as much light per pixel, and thus will still have much worse SNR.  And although you can do a lot with noise reduction, it only goes so far before you start having to take long exposures that smear badly.

I can't see any phone ever being able to approach the pictures I took at the party after my friend's wedding, many of which involved little more than candlelight.  You just can't shoot shots like that with a camera phone without unacceptable amounts of grain.

For those two reasons, I can't see a camera phone replacing my DSLR for the foreseeable future.  If somebody builds a cell phone in which the entire back of the phone is a microlensed light field array or something, I might reevaluate that statement, but even then, probably not.

This is not to say that camera phones don't replace certain limited uses of DSLRs, but I would expect them to basically destroy the point-and-shoot market while leaving the DSLR market largely untouched.  People buy a DSLR because they care about image quality enough to lug a suitcase full of heavy glass around.  They're not going to give up that image quality just because they are already carrying a cell phone camera in much the same way that someone who spends $200 on a bottle of champagne every week is unlikely to give up drinking champagne merely because his hotel offers free Budweiser to its guests.

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Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2013, 01:06:49 AM »

Rienzphotoz

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Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2013, 03:45:13 AM »
The reason for the poor sales of point & shoot cameras is more to do with the lack of interest of casual shooters, in any serious camera functions... any decent P&S camera will take better photos than a smartphone ... but casual shooters don't care about most of the stuff a serious photog would, the casual shooters only care about capturing the 'moment' they like and share as fast possible with a device that they are already carrying, regardless of the 'quality' of the image ... like my wife who likes the images of her iPhone ... the other day she took an image of a flower which to me looked very ordinary and bland, but she liked it coz it reminds her of a moment she cherishes ... she doesn't care about shutter speeds, fstops, ISO etc ... I think a vast majority are like that, for them carrying another device (P&S camera) is more of a pain, while they can 'get by' with their camera phone. A case in point is the Samsung Galaxy smartphone with a zoom lens, which has far better options (as a camera) than any smartphone, but it isn't selling like hot cakes.
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Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2013, 04:42:03 AM »
The reason for the poor sales of point & shoot cameras is more to do with the lack of interest of casual shooters, in any serious camera functions... any decent P&S camera will take better photos than a smartphone ... but casual shooters don't care about most of the stuff a serious photog would, the casual shooters only care about capturing the 'moment' they like and share as fast possible with a device that they are already carrying, regardless of the 'quality' of the image ... like my wife who likes the images of her iPhone ... the other day she took an image of a flower which to me looked very ordinary and bland, but she liked it coz it reminds her of a moment she cherishes ... she doesn't care about shutter speeds, fstops, ISO etc ... I think a vast majority are like that, for them carrying another device (P&S camera) is more of a pain, while they can 'get by' with their camera phone. A case in point is the Samsung Galaxy smartphone with a zoom lens, which has far better options (as a camera) than any smartphone, but it isn't selling like hot cakes.

Reinz...I think you've hit it the nail right on the head with your comments....the average person just wants a photo of decent quality and they don't want to carry around a phone and a camera, and that is what smart phones can provide now days.(4 or 5 years ago, "no", the quality wasn't quite there yet, but today's smartphones "yes".

As a serious photographer, even I have found myself leaving the dslr at home and just taking my Samsung galaxy 8mp with me when I'm out with the family..etc....it's just so much more convenient and practical.



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Don Haines

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Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2013, 05:09:27 AM »
It's not about taking great pictures, it's about taking good enough pictures. For the masses, it will be good enough.
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paul13walnut5

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Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2013, 05:35:23 AM »
Might be the death knell for compact cameras... don't anticipate it'll come anywhere close to a DSLR for flexibility, form or IQ.

I can't say for sure as I haven't handled one, but I remember lots of death knells, how APS would kill off 135, how compact video modes would kill off camcorders etc etc.

I'm confident that for many casual applications an iphone 5s will be good enough.

Delusions aside, how many DSLR users consider themselves happy snappers?   

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Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2013, 05:46:44 AM »
Yea the new iPhone will be brilliant for everything except making calls. Mine's come <> that close to being smashed against something solid and unyielding in frustration.  >:(

Don Haines

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Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2013, 07:05:53 AM »
Might be the death knell for compact cameras... don't anticipate it'll come anywhere close to a DSLR for flexibility, form or IQ.

I can't say for sure as I haven't handled one, but I remember lots of death knells, how APS would kill off 135, how compact video modes would kill off camcorders etc etc.

I'm confident that for many casual applications an iphone 5s will be good enough.

Delusions aside, how many DSLR users consider themselves happy snappers?   
At work, I have a 7D and an ipad. I probably shoot 95% with the ipad because it is convenient and good enough for the job. At home, about the only thing I use the ipad camera on is the occasional Facebook picture or short video clip.

At work, I am most definitely not a "happy snapper", the shots are all very serious documentation of test setup and equipment.

At home, if I use an ipad it is as a "happy snapper", but not with a DSLR.

For me, It's not the tool, but the mindset and need that changes things between snapshots and serious photography
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Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2013, 07:05:53 AM »

paul13walnut5

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Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2013, 07:10:37 AM »
Might be the death knell for compact cameras... don't anticipate it'll come anywhere close to a DSLR for flexibility, form or IQ.

I can't say for sure as I haven't handled one, but I remember lots of death knells, how APS would kill off 135, how compact video modes would kill off camcorders etc etc.

I'm confident that for many casual applications an iphone 5s will be good enough.

Delusions aside, how many DSLR users consider themselves happy snappers?   
At work, I have a 7D and an ipad. I probably shoot 95% with the ipad because it is convenient and good enough for the job. At home, about the only thing I use the ipad camera on is the occasional Facebook picture or short video clip.

At work, I am most definitely not a "happy snapper", the shots are all very serious documentation of test setup and equipment.

At home, if I use an ipad it is as a "happy snapper", but not with a DSLR.

For me, It's not the tool, but the mindset and need that changes things between snapshots and serious photography

Nowhere in your answer did you mention a compact or point and shoot.  Thats the question I was answering, as per the OP.  Do try to keep up.

Don Haines

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Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2013, 08:00:15 AM »
Might be the death knell for compact cameras... don't anticipate it'll come anywhere close to a DSLR for flexibility, form or IQ.

I can't say for sure as I haven't handled one, but I remember lots of death knells, how APS would kill off 135, how compact video modes would kill off camcorders etc etc.

I'm confident that for many casual applications an iphone 5s will be good enough.

Delusions aside, how many DSLR users consider themselves happy snappers?   
At work, I have a 7D and an ipad. I probably shoot 95% with the ipad because it is convenient and good enough for the job. At home, about the only thing I use the ipad camera on is the occasional Facebook picture or short video clip.

At work, I am most definitely not a "happy snapper", the shots are all very serious documentation of test setup and equipment.

At home, if I use an ipad it is as a "happy snapper", but not with a DSLR.

For me, It's not the tool, but the mindset and need that changes things between snapshots and serious photography

Nowhere in your answer did you mention a compact or point and shoot.  Thats the question I was answering, as per the OP.  Do try to keep up.
Oops...

Compacts and point and shoots....
I have an Olympus waterproof p/s that goes with me in the kayak.... Definitely a happy snapper camera, would not use it for anything serious as the quality sucks ( I think iPhones take better pictures), but it survives getting regularly dumped into water.

I have an SX-50 that rides in a dry bag inside the kayak....far more cumbersome to get at, but it takes great pictures.... Not as good as a DSLR, but it does save RAW images and the wide zoom lens means no lens changes out on the water. For me, it is a crossover between serious photography and snapshots. An iPhone could never replace the zoom range.

For serious photography on the water, I abandon the kayak for a canoe, and out comes the DSLR in a pelican case and usually a tripod.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 08:03:51 AM by Don Haines »
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danski0224

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Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2013, 08:05:53 AM »
Nail in the coffin? No.

I have a P&S camera, and my phone does take better pictures. Granted, the P&S is an 8mp Olympus Stylus 850SW- not exactly new. When I bought the camera, it took better pictures than my phone- which didn't have a camera on it. Rugged and waterproof is what drew me to that particular model.

I think I paid ~$300 for that camera and I don't think I have used it much at all since 2009.

A new cell phone is ~$500 - $700, depending on what you pick.

A "little bit nicer than basic" P&S still hovers in the $200 - $300 range. I can't see shelling out another couple/few hundred for an extra P&S camera, much less closer to $1,000.00 for a "really nice" one.

The images I took with the Olympus P&S can be taken with my current phone, and the phone does a much better job. It's also much easier/convenient to get the images off of the phone via email or send them off as a MMS message.

For another perspective, I purchased a very nice Panasonic Lumix for my mom for a trip before the iPads were common. Learning how to get those pictures off the camera and into the computer was something that never went well, and it is still a foreign concept. Now that she has an iPad, the moving of images from a card isn't a problem because iTunes does it for her. And, the iPad is "good enough". 

If anything, the cameraphone has diluted the P&S market.

Others like me have no desire to have two comparable devices.

Devices like iPhones and iPads have a convenience level that is very difficult to match.

My phone has a SD card slot, and I save the pictures there. Syncing with the PC has never been 100%.

The P&S may replace an entry level DSLR and kit lens eventually for some, but not for me.
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Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2013, 08:33:35 AM »
The reason for the poor sales of point & shoot cameras is more to do with the lack of interest of casual shooters, in any serious camera functions... any decent P&S camera will take better photos than a smartphone ... but casual shooters don't care about most of the stuff a serious photog would, the casual shooters only care about capturing the 'moment' they like and share as fast possible with a device that they are already carrying, regardless of the 'quality' of the image ... like my wife who likes the images of her iPhone ... the other day she took an image of a flower which to me looked very ordinary and bland, but she liked it coz it reminds her of a moment she cherishes ... she doesn't care about shutter speeds, fstops, ISO etc ... I think a vast majority are like that, for them carrying another device (P&S camera) is more of a pain, while they can 'get by' with their camera phone. A case in point is the Samsung Galaxy smartphone with a zoom lens, which has far better options (as a camera) than any smartphone, but it isn't selling like hot cakes.

+1  I think this is spot one.  Photography is a hobby for me.  My youngest son learned to ride a bike a few weeks ago.  I didn't run in and grab my 1DX or my P&S, I grabbed my iphone - which was already in my pocket.  If I could have known when this was going to happen, I probably would have had the 1DX with me.  Was the picture and video from the iphone as good as the 1DX... Absolutely - because it let me capture the moment!  Would the picture and video of the 1DX be higher quality - no question.  If I could slide the 1DX in my pocket, would I opt for it over my iphone - for sure.  For me, the value is in the memory.  Each have there place and purpose but I strongly believe the P&S market will decline quickly.  I love having great quality images of my kids and wife but, for me and I think many, capturing the memory is the most important.  If you can do it with a higher quality image, that is just a bonus...
 
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Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2013, 09:32:06 AM »
I think that us gearheads lose sight of one major thing...  for most folk, photography is about the photographs, they don't care about sensor sizes, apertures, they just want nice photos of nice things they've done with the nice people in their lives.  And if they can do that with an iphone (they can) then why bother with a compact?

 


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Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2013, 10:42:52 AM »
People's standards have been steadily dropping.  As they've gotten used to P&Ss of the past and then the itty bitty cameras in their phones, any photo to many is a good photo.  Interestingly enough, I've seen a few people use their phones to make calls but the add-on that is the "camera", that gets used to document the minutia of their daily lives and quality, high or low, matters little to them.  They are used to it, it's convenient and easy to use.
 Like some people, I find the quality in anything but perfect conditions to be less than desirable and even then it's simply a matter of if you have no other camera at hand, then any pic is better than none.  Am I guilty of using my camera phone or phone camera?  Yes because I was out and about conducting my life without the expectation of taking photos so my camera was at home.  Was I expecting amazing resolution, colour, sharpness, 20x30 printability?  Of course not.  These things are about convenience with "good enough" (for most) quality of output. 
As an aside, I always find these phone updates from every manufacturer to be somewhat amusing.  I've yet to hear of any major (though I admit I don't pay attention to phone news or peruse phone forums) breakthrough in phone performance.  It is a phone after all but every new phone has some other feature or add on that's improved but the phone is still just a phone and hasn't changed much.  I guess that's the only way they can entice you to buy a new "phone" by tweaking some other "feature" of it.  Not much different from the camera world it would seem. 

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Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2013, 10:42:52 AM »

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Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2013, 11:05:50 AM »
Lol....yeah, standards aren't especially high in social media. I see crappy pics al, the time with terrible filters on them ala Instagram and comments like "wow, you're an amazing photographer" or "you should be a photographer" and I'm all, wtf, that looks like total S___.  ::)

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Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2013, 11:07:19 AM »
Is this the final nail in the coffin for Powershots and other Point and Shoots? Should Canon and Nikon worry about their DSLR sales? Try to think outside your own personal prejudices and look at it objectively. What do you think?

I will let Canon and Nikon worry about that.  That's their job.

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Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2013, 11:07:19 AM »