Editor’s Note: So you have a great new cell phone. It takes great photos…but does it really? With the increasing sophistication of cell phone cameras, one has to ask the question: “Do I really need a stand-alone camera?” but actually the question should be “Can I afford to miss the images that can be captured by a real camera rather than a cell phone?” Here’s why using your cell phone’s camera is not always enough:
Convenience Vs. Limitations:
We use a cell phone camera because it is convenient. However, due to its size, there are a number of limitations. The first is that even with multiple cameras built into the phone, they are fixed angle of view to encompass more or less into the picture you either have to walk toward or walk away to change what is included in the picture. The problem is, in many cases, this isn’t possible and you end up with pictures where what you wish to photograph is either too small or only a part of what you wanted to photograph.
The second major problem is that your only focusing and framing mechanism is the main screen from the phone. which we all know even with the most expensive cell phones, are essentially unviewable in bright light. This leads to an inability to take a good picture in those circumstances. With some phones, this can also be true in low lighting conditions.
A third major problem is stabilization. This is the elimination of camera shake or blurring although some very high-end phones have a bit of stabilization. But it is often only one of the lenses. It’s normally the telephoto lens but not on the wide-angle lens.
Another problem is low light performance. Although a cell phone can see well in low light it is unable to freeze the action and results in blurring. And as for resolution, a cell phone typically has half the resolution at best of a current stand-alone camera which affects you if you blow up a picture 8 x10 or larger.
Lastly, if you are using the phone as a camera for blogging, The front-facing (selfie) camera is of much less capability and resolution than the rear camera.
The Main Reasons To Have a Dedicated Camera:
To remedy the issues outlined above, you need a dedicated camera that has the facilities that a cell phone lacks. But there are other reasons why you should also consider purchasing a good quality camera, especially one with interchangeable lenses.
There are three main reasons why a stand-alone camera is superior to a cell phone.
The first is zoom lenses to frame a shot exactly as it should be without the loss of resolution or quality. Although some cell phone cameras allow extended zooming it is at the expense of resolution and/or quality.
The second reason is image stabilization. Although most of us are not aware our hands shake slightly and therefore can blur the photograph unless our camera has some form of image stabilization. Although some cell phones have electronic stabilization this again comes at the expense of resolution and quality. Keep in mind that the cell phone’s resolution is half that of any camera, to begin with.
The third reason is that you can pick a lens that is compatible with your use of photography. You can pick up a wide-angle lens if you want to do interiors or panoramic photography. For taking photos of something that is far away, you will want to use a telephoto lens. To take photos in low light you can get a fast lens — one that gathers much more light than your cell phone can.
Most modern cameras have electronic viewfinders which allow you to not only see the actual picture but also to be able to see in harsh daylight conditions,
Other Reasons To Have A Dedicated Camera:
Current cameras almost all have built-in wifi If you want to shoot video, you can purchase memory cards that have huge amounts of storage space and they’re easy to install in a camera, less so in a phone.
A dedicated camera gives you a certain amount of creative control and confidence. This comes from finding and using the right lens for whatever it is that you are shooting.
There is the “cool” factor of using a real camera instead of a phone. Because really, a phone first and foremost, is for calls and text, not photos. Cameras with lenses let you create art because they each have different functions.
Along the same lines, bloggers who want to be taken seriously (for example, on a riser at a fashion show or in a press area at a concert) will be required to use a real camera, not a phone or a superzoom snap and shoot.
If there is a downside, it’s that actual cameras with real lenses are going to be bulkier and heavier than a cell phone. But they also do a better job and give you the flexibility you need to make stunning photos. The more control you have The more you can do. Tasking photos with different lenses is fun!
additional stories from 2020: (Read: A Review of the Exciting Olympus OM-D-E M5 Mark III Camera and also What to Buy for Your New Camera, One Lens? Many Lenses?
Finding the right camera for your purposes might seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. In our next story “How To Select a Camera (not a Cell Phone) That’s Right For You” we’ll be talking about function, price, and performance. Check it out on April 15th at 9:00 AM EST.