Often, the decision for a photographer is, should I buy a separate camera or will the one on my mobile phone be sufficient? If you are a professional or serious photographer, then the answer is undoubtedly to buy a separate camera. This article will explain the advantages of a separate camera in terms of the hobbyist, to see if the extra expense can be justified.
For the purposes of this article, we will primarily be comparing the DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera with that which is inbuilt into a mobile phone or smartphone such as an iOS or Android.
The resolution of a DSLR is far greater than on a smartphone camera. The digital camera sensor will be capable of at least 40 megapixels. A standalone camera has better background compression. This better photo quality that can be achieved with a separate camera allows for sharing a good quality digital image with a friend or relative that will be far superior when larger print copies are made of it. Another point is that it is easier to print out the photographs and make more permanent copies of them from a DSLR, where often on a mobile phone they are simply stored within the phone’s own internal memory. Although, information can be stored onto separate microSD cards and then inserted into a SD card convertor to open them on a laptop, desktop, or PC, to then save elsewhere or print.
Although separate lenses that can be fitted to some mobile phones are now being produced, there is still a greater choice of lens with a standalone camera. Zoom, telephoto, wide angle, and macro lenses can easily be fitted instead of the standard lens. Notoriously, mobile phones cannot take images of things far away or very closeup as well as a camera that has a separate lens fitted for the purpose. The smaller lenses and image sensors on mobile phones just do not allow for these kinds of pictures to be taken.
A DSLR will allow for more creative control with exposures. In addition to their automatic settings, they will allow you to have manual control over settings such as shutter speeds and aperture. It is easier in this respect to take quality pictures where subjects are in low light or moving.
Mirrorless Camera Choice
Having a separate camera provides the choice of having a mirrorless camera. Whereas a DSLR has a mirror to reflect the image onto the optical viewfinder, mirrorless cameras do not. Instead, the image passes directly through the sensor at the back of the camera, and via a live feed, is sent to an electric viewfinder. The advantage of this is that you have a lighter and more compact camera that is faster and more superior for video. However, like the mobile phone, you sacrifice the choice of lenses available. What you do get is a better camera than on a mobile phone in a more compact design.
Which Technology is Advancing Faster?
The fact is, DSLR cameras are developing at a similar rate to mobile phones. This means that mobile phones are showing no signs of overtaking them in the quality of the pictures that can be taken. Manufacturers of the standalone camera focus on the professional markets in terms of quality expectations and so more than satisfy the hobbyist.
Separate cameras out of the two still have the better battery life and will mostly have more superior optical viewfinders. Using the wireless link L840 and Nikon’s snapbridge app with an iOS or Android phone you can preview and take control of your camera from across the room using your mobile phone.
So, a few reasons why we should consider a separate or standalone camera in preference to just relying on the one built into our mobile phone. It will provide us with better quality pictures, provide us with a wider choice of lenses, and offer us more control over our shots.