May 27, 2018, 10:15:51 AM

Author Topic: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years  (Read 5206 times)

Canon Rumors

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We all know how smartphones have pretty much killed the compact camera segment, but the growth is not simply because of convenience, the quality of smartphone cameras has improved faster than any other type of camera.

DxOMark breaks down how smartphone cameras and image processing has improved exposure, noise control, maintaining detail, stabilization, autofocus, zoom and the most recent, bokeh simulation.

From DxOMark:

Looking at the past 5 years of smartphone camera development, we can see that camera hardware and image processing are evolving alongside each other and at a much faster pace than in the “traditional” camera sector. DSLRs and mirrorless system cameras are still clearly ahead in some areas — for example, auto exposure, but in terms of image processing, Canon, Nikon, Pentax and the other players in the DSC market are behind what Apple, Samsung, Google, and Huawei can do. Thanks to their hardware advantages, the larger cameras don’t actually need the same level of pixel processing as smartphones to produce great images, but there is no denying that the performance gap between smartphones and DSLRs is narrowing. Read the full report

While I agree that the gap between smartphones and DSLRs is narrowing, it’s still not close and I’d even argue that smartphones aren’t close to prosumer compact cameras either.

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tntwit

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Phone cameras are great until something moves, particularly in "low light", which is pretty much anything indoors.

The reviews post endless comparisons between phone cameras or DSLR and the latest phone cameras, but they conveniently leave out any real candid shots.  Few are of people, and the ones they include are always portraits where the subjects posed for the shot.

If people flinch in photos taken indoors with a phone camera, it will most likely be blurry.  The flashes are weak and extremely slow response from the point the shutter is pressed to actually taking the photo.  Without a flash, the shutter speed is extremely slow (seems like it is always around 1/15th).

Don't get me wrong, I use my cell camera extensively and unfortunately use the DSLR less, but they cannot compete with an DSLR and I'd agree that they cannot even really compare with a standard compact camera for any indoor shots of people.
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Canoneer

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The next breakthrough in smartphone imaging is likely going to take on the image-fusion tech of merging exposures from separate sensors. I wouldn't be surprised to see a 6-camera Galaxy or iPhone in the very near future, with 3 cameras at a 35mm and 100mm FoV equivalents. One sensor with a red filter, one with a blue, and one monochrome in each focal length configuration. That would improve dynamic range, micro-contrast, color accuracy, and low-light sensitivity. Huawei already released the P10 with a similar monochrome + RGB system.

ahsanford

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DXOMark has a completely different scoring scale for smartphones for a reason -- if you stacked up cell phones vs. APS-C and FF it's still laughably off.  Here's PTP's take on that below.   :o

I fully appreciate the staggering number of smartphones out there and the dizzying amount of photography being done with them.  And one cannot deny the innovation going on with smartphone cameras -- they are pioneering some hot new things because of their seemingly intractable sensor size / thickness constraints.

But difference in the quality of the film between smartphones and ILCs is still a chasm.

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rawshooter

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So far i haven't even found a usable point and shoot camera app. All apps I've seen so far are useless for moving subjects as people, because the automatic uses far to slow shutter speeds for sharp handheld results of moving people (around 1/20).

And if I fix the shutter speed at a reasonable value then I have to watch out for overexposure, if it gets to bright because the app won't switch to a faster shutter speed. So again I have to setup the app and meanwhile the moment is over.

Why has no one made a descent camera app with auto iso, auto aperture and auto shutter with a user settable option to at least do 1/250 or whatever you want want it to be. And of course it should be cable to save raw files.

My 4000€ DSLR can do that but the stupid phone can't?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 01:56:45 PM by rawshooter »

LDS

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How much in-camera image processing most ILC users want? Actually, close to zero. Also, they want batteries last for hundreds of shot, not a few tens.

Being able to customize via software the image because of faster CPUs and more RAM is OK when you want a finished image out of the device - or when you need to simulate what the deficiencies of the system can't deliver - but it takes more power to run, and it may not be what you want.

Sure, it is exactly what most P&S users wanted and want, there they are a perfect replacement with more processing power and "effects".  But I don't see it a plus for anything beyond it - just like in P&S, you lose a lot of control on the final image.

Also, even the iPhone X couldn't fit the camera they wanted in its thin design, the camera needs a little "bump" on the rear, because their hitting competing design issues - a good camera doesn't get along well with the required phone designs.

Don Haines

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ultimately, photography is the collection of light. The more light you have, the more you can do with it...

my phone has a lens 3mm across..... my camera has a lens (being conservative) 60mm across. That's 400 times the light being gathered.  DSLR wins!
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snappy604

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I personally am amazed what you can get out of a smart phone with such a tiny lens and sensor.

We can scoff and laugh off the phone cameras, but the evolution they've gone through is intense and amazing to watch. Not that long ago film camera buffs wrote off dSLRs too and while there are still some cool things from Film, it's been reduced to pretty niche uses.

It'd be interesting if they could put that horse power / knowledge towards something with an SLR or Mirrorless camera with a fullframe sensor and real lenses.

hendrik-sg

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I personally am amazed what you can get out of a smart phone with such a tiny lens and sensor.

We can scoff and laugh off the phone cameras, but the evolution they've gone through is intense and amazing to watch. Not that long ago film camera buffs wrote off dSLRs too and while there are still some cool things from Film, it's been reduced to pretty niche uses.

It'd be interesting if they could put that horse power / knowledge towards something with an SLR or Mirrorless camera with a fullframe sensor and real lenses.

I would say, most of what the phone does can (and should) be done in post. Leaving the decission of how a pic is edited to a Computer, can go well or can ruin the pic.

Overlaying a BW and a Color pic from different cameras is coming from space Technology, as the bayer sensor filters 2/3 of the light, which is absolutely unwanted there. The best example are the Nasa pics of Pluto, which are just fantastic and are taken with gear wich was launched in 2006 from earth. Imagine what pictures we would have with today's imaging technology.

What we not have is a FF Point and shoot camera, or maybe we have and did just not try the fully automatic or Scene modes.

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I personally am amazed what you can get out of a smart phone with such a tiny lens and sensor.

We can scoff and laugh off the phone cameras, but the evolution they've gone through is intense and amazing to watch. Not that long ago film camera buffs wrote off dSLRs too and while there are still some cool things from Film, it's been reduced to pretty niche uses.

It'd be interesting if they could put that horse power / knowledge towards something with an SLR or Mirrorless camera with a fullframe sensor and real lenses.

I use my smartphone camera all the time.  It's a perfect replacement for a point-and-shoot.  Pretty much 100% of the time though, photos I take from it are ones where quality doesn't really matter, one way or the other.

There are some things that smartphones are terrible at:

1. Long exposures, and therefore, many kinds of landscapes (like water)
2. Non-automatic exposures
3. Very wide shots
4. Anything telephoto
5. Tack sharp images; most look ok on a small phone screen, but are blurry on enlargement on a PC.
6. Anything that requires flashes or strobes
7. Anything that requires a filter, including creative lighting filters
8. Bokeh
9. Any time where light isn't great.
10. Any time when you want to overpower sunlight
11. Macro
12. Low light

tmroper

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Re: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2018, 09:03:56 PM »
The ergonomics of phones certainly have a long way to go, before catching up to DSLRs or mirroless.  I regularly see people drop their phones, but don't think I've ever seen someone drop a camera.  Not right out of their hands anyway.

Joe M

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Re: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2018, 10:06:38 PM »
ultimately, photography is the collection of light. The more light you have, the more you can do with it...

my phone has a lens 3mm across..... my camera has a lens (being conservative) 60mm across. That's 400 times the light being gathered.  DSLR wins!

And then it's planted on a sensor that is 29 times or more larger (FF).  Cameras on phones have come a long way indeed but you just can't cheat physics.  The software has done a commendable job of trying and it will likely keep improving but unless they can make the entire screen a lens, it will always be inferior. 

In my humble opinion these cameras/phones are still ridiculously far off what comes out of my FF camera or even my first crop, the 40D.  Doesn't mean those things aren't darn handy though.   

Don Haines

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Re: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2018, 11:40:43 PM »
ultimately, photography is the collection of light. The more light you have, the more you can do with it...

my phone has a lens 3mm across..... my camera has a lens (being conservative) 60mm across. That's 400 times the light being gathered.  DSLR wins!

And then it's planted on a sensor that is 29 times or more larger (FF).  Cameras on phones have come a long way indeed but you just can't cheat physics.  The software has done a commendable job of trying and it will likely keep improving but unless they can make the entire screen a lens, it will always be inferior. 

In my humble opinion these cameras/phones are still ridiculously far off what comes out of my FF camera or even my first crop, the 40D.  Doesn't mean those things aren't darn handy though.

I agree, it is incredible what they can do, but the technology has matured and it is unlikely to see any more than a few percent increase in efficiency. We now are getting into fancy tricks, like combining multiple cameras, to scratch out a bit more performance.... but in the end, it all comes down to the glass, and the more glass you have, the more light to play with.
The best camera is the one in your hands

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Re: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2018, 11:40:43 PM »

jeffa4444

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Re: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2018, 09:20:48 AM »
The best camera is the one you actually have to use. 9 times out of 10 were not carrying our DSLRs but we do carry our smartphones. The uploads to Flickr alone show what an impact Smartphones have had.
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jeffa4444

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Re: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2018, 09:27:33 AM »
What is enlightening is Huawei with the Mate Pro 10 produce a camera just better than Apple iPhone X a $ 1,000 /£ 1,000 smartphone!
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Re: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2018, 09:27:33 AM »