June 19, 2018, 06:36:01 PM

Author Topic: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years  (Read 5528 times)

3dit0r

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Re: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2018, 10:42:35 AM »
Meh. I use my iPhone camera when I don't have my real camera on me, but I just can't get excited about it, or the results. It's OK for quick snaps of my food, or a quick shot of the dogs doing something funny. It's extremely limited for, e.g., landscape or travel use, for a number of reasons.

Sometimes OK for posting small to social media, but I've only ever printed twice (once from a 6s, once from a 7+) basically because the shots were nice and I just simply didn't have proper equipment on me, both times it was very disappointing even trying to get a nice A4 from them. They're OK as a memory, one worked better because it was always going to be a black and white, and there were no fine textures to worry about. The other, which wanted more dynamic range and colour depth was just a bit fuzzy and washed out, to be honest.

Also, the ergonomics are crap, and the AF and low-light totally useless. I was out with the girlfriend and the dog for a walk the other night, not intending to do any photography (it was pitch black for a start, and not good enough for any astro) when the rescue helicopter came down very low right on the cliff edge next to the lighthouse. Well, I was kicking myself, of course, as I usually carry the camera whatever, but sod's law... Anyway, as we rounded the lighthouse, I thought I'd be able to get a shot even with an iPhone as the 'copter was hovering level with the cliff top where we were walking, literally only 10 metres or so out (if you'd have taken a running jump, and you were Carl Lewis, you might have almost made it inside). So out came the iPhone. Wouldn't even bloody focus. Not a hope. Not on the lights, the interior, the guy all lit up by the spotlight on the winch. And there's no MF override for when it doesn't work. Got a couple which were almost in focus, but they are so noisy/smeared they were pointless. I suppose what was I thinking - the results are smeared even at base ISO, so it was never going to happen. With the real camera system I would have probably got a pretty stunning shot...

My thought is they can happily replace a p/s for the general public who were never that into it anyway, but they're very far from being serious artistic tools as yet, for many subjects, that is. I suppose if you were only shooting still life, or maybe, maybe even portraits under very controlled conditions you could almost get away with it, but why bother? Under those conditions, it's hardly onerous to have a full-sized camera anyway.

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Re: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2018, 10:42:35 AM »

LDS

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Re: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2018, 10:45:31 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.

There are different kind of photographers - some need to wait for the photo to appear in front of them, others create them when they need and have time for them. The latter ones have the camera they need when they make their photos.

I'm not saying one kind of photography is better than the other - just saying for a subset of photographers having a camera ready at hand is not important at all, for others it's of paramount importance. For some how fast you can operate a camera is important as well (and here phones are not always the best option), for others it's not so important.

Reducing photography to a single type of image is a mistake, anyway.

And still, there are moments I would not touch any kind of camera - it would just ruin them.

SkynetTX

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Re: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2018, 11:42:57 AM »
DxOMark states that smartphone cameras are much better then they were five or more years ago. That's true. But they will never come close to a DSLR or a mirrorless camera in any terms. You can have better software for image data processing but softwares will never be able to reach the quality of an APS-C or FF sensor: as I said in an earlier post missing details can not be enlarged and/or processed in any way.
Some say that smartphone cameras are handy. That's also true. If you don't or can't have your DSLR with yourself and you must take a picture of something, you can still use your phone. Just in case of emergency. If image quality doesn't matter, you can use your phone. DxOMark has a different scoring system for smartphones and cameras. If they'd use the same system DSLR would get about 80+ scores while phones could get a maximum of 20. Even point and shoot cameras are a way better.
If phones could have an APS-C sensor with a lens like Tamron's superzoom (18-400mm f/3.5-f/6.3) that would be another story. But they will never have.

Talys

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Re: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2018, 01:02:18 PM »
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.

Without a camera, you can't take a picture.

But without the right camera, you can't advantage of a lot of situations where you could take a photograph that really stands out from the crowd.

What is it that someone wants to do? To capture an interesting point in their everyday life and to share it?  Certainly, some of these moments will also make great photographs. Also, when it's your family or friends, ANY photograph can be wonderful, because, after all, every photo of your grandson is precious and unique.

But photography is often about creating art that is exceptional. To be sure, the photographer is more important than the equipment, but the photographer will also need some tools to realize the photo that they have planned. Paraphrasing the book Light Science and Magic, planning can take seconds or days, but it's really important in the making of exceptional photography.

A photographer needs to understand some basic concepts like different types of light and the family of angles and perspective to make a planned shot, rather than luck into a good shot, but beyond that, they need proper exposure controls, which are sorely lacking on smartphones. They also need the right optics to bring the image to the sesor plane, and with a pretty wide fixed piece of glass, you'll have to work with getting what you get, not what you want.

There are also many situations where a skilled photographer with basic gear can make a spectacular photo whereas a smartphone photographer can only record a beautiful memory. For example, photographing a sunset on a lake is certainly possible with an iPhone, but to make it really stand out, a photographer may wish to use a long exposure and ND filter, because there are some things like long exposures of moving water that you just can't replicate in post.

Also, you're right: Flickr has exploded with photos. I'd go so far as to say, there are a flood of fantastic photos. But there are still relatively few exceptional photos - ones that stand out from the crowd. In my opinion, the number of these has not dramatically increases, certainly not proportionate to the number of photos.

There are a million times more photos of cats, but hardly any more photos of Siberian Tigers. There are a million more baby and family photos, but hardly any more of professional studio quality.

For myself, I love my smartphone camera, but it is a vastly different tool as my DSLR.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 01:08:37 PM by Talys »

tmroper

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Re: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2018, 01:18:12 PM »
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.



Also, you're right: Flickr has exploded with photos. I'd go so far as to say, there are a flood of fantastic photos. But there are still relatively few exceptional photos - ones that stand out from the crowd. In my opinion, the number of these has not dramatically increases, certainly not proportionate to the number of photos.



That reminds of a letter from Alfred Stieglitz to Edward Weston in 1938, that I saw and took note of, in a Stieglitz photo book at my dad's house (can't remember the title):

"Yes, there seems to be millions on millions of photographers and billions of photographs made annually, but how rare a really fine photograph seems to be.  ‘Intersting’ shots.  It’s a pathetic situation—so little vision.  So little true seeing." 

snappy604

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Re: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2018, 03:26:29 PM »
Its funny watching the same scoffing I've watched time and time as technology changes. I heavily borrowed a digital camera in the 90s (had a floppy! 640x480 resolution) and loved it.. but people scoffed it'd never be as good as film.. then had the use of a Canon D60 (not 60D.. it was 6 megapixel) and saw a lot of potential.. film people still scoffed... then 7D.. and so on (sadly still no full frame).. but now people love their digital SLRs and film is niche... The first phone cameras were awful too.. now they take better than old film point and shoots and better than many digital compacts. Yes they don't cover every use case, but they sure have improved a huge amount. As someone said imagine if they used larger sensors or multiple cameras stiched together etc.

I take better pictures with my SLR than my wife, but she gets some of the best 'awww' moments of our kids because she has her phone handy during those times.. where I'm busy getting the SLR out of the bag, getting the right level, tweaking the manual settings etc.

all in all... it's pretty amazing and either way, happy with all the options. Again would love to see some of the software/processing capabilities be brought to a body with the larger sensor and lenses! I can only imagine the potential given what they can get with tiny phones.

Talys

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Re: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2018, 06:05:30 PM »
I take better pictures with my SLR than my wife, but she gets some of the best 'awww' moments of our kids because she has her phone handy during those times.. where I'm busy getting the SLR out of the bag, getting the right level, tweaking the manual settings etc.

This was actually what I was talking about, with reference to baby pics.

So, on one hand, you can whip out the phone and take a thousands cute shots of your kids, and you and your family and friends will treasure them, and they'll give you memories that you otherwise wouldn't have.  But most those photos your wife takes are probably not that much more exceptional to those that several billion other people will take -- trillions of kids photos. 

And let's be honest, remove the context -- if they're total strangers -- you would never go through and look at a digital album of them, any more than you would type "cat" in Google Images and sit through checking out a billion random cat pictures.

Still, if you have a professional photographer take some photos for keepsakes, those photos will (hopefully) be really special.  No different than the 50 professional wedding photos you pay for, versus the 5,000 wedding photos that friends and family took on an iPhone.

So what makes those photos worth paying for?  Composition... flattering poses... lighting... perspective... the interesting story each photo suggests, right?  Well, frankly, a 40 year old film SLR can achieve a lot more of this than an iPhone. It's just that the latter is way easier to use.

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Re: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2018, 06:05:30 PM »

snappy604

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Re: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2018, 07:02:38 PM »
I take better pictures with my SLR than my wife, but she gets some of the best 'awww' moments of our kids because she has her phone handy during those times.. where I'm busy getting the SLR out of the bag, getting the right level, tweaking the manual settings etc.

This was actually what I was talking about, with reference to baby pics.

So, on one hand, you can whip out the phone and take a thousands cute shots of your kids, and you and your family and friends will treasure them, and they'll give you memories that you otherwise wouldn't have.  But most those photos your wife takes are probably not that much more exceptional to those that several billion other people will take -- trillions of kids photos. 

And let's be honest, remove the context -- if they're total strangers -- you would never go through and look at a digital album of them, any more than you would type "cat" in Google Images and sit through checking out a billion random cat pictures.

Still, if you have a professional photographer take some photos for keepsakes, those photos will (hopefully) be really special.  No different than the 50 professional wedding photos you pay for, versus the 5,000 wedding photos that friends and family took on an iPhone.

So what makes those photos worth paying for?  Composition... flattering poses... lighting... perspective... the interesting story each photo suggests, right?  Well, frankly, a 40 year old film SLR can achieve a lot more of this than an iPhone. It's just that the latter is way easier to use.

currently yes, but doesn't mean it will be in future.. which is the point I was trying to get :) Trust me, way prefer my SLR pictures, but damn it's annoying taking 20lbs of gear on a hike and more often now I'm ok with phone pics than say 3 yrs ago.

okaro

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Re: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2018, 07:46:13 AM »

currently yes, but doesn't mean it will be in future.. which is the point I was trying to get :) Trust me, way prefer my SLR pictures, but damn it's annoying taking 20lbs of gear on a hike and more often now I'm ok with phone pics than say 3 yrs ago.

There is more options than a phone and a DSLR. Canon G9 X beats a smart phone hands down and is much smaller than a DSRL.

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Re: DxOMARK Shows The Progress Smartphone Cameras Have Made in the Last 5 Years
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2018, 07:46:13 AM »