26 thoughts on “Digital Cameras

  1. Sams

    Besides that even cheap cameras (150$) can offer stuff like pitch dark pictures and better video quality, also the ergonomics are better.

  2. wodun

    I have neither a nice phone of camera but for now my camera is still better but the phone is nice for sending pictures of fish to friends who should have woken up earlier.

  3. Tim

    What about situations where it would be convenient to have an acurate video record of something that takes place? Car accidents, encounters with police, self defense situations, where you want something objective backing up your side of things? Your more likely to have your Droid HD Razzr Maxx smart phone with you when such an event happens than your video camera.

    1. Edward M. Grant

      And no flash. And no zoom.

      I take pictures on my phone and my Android tablet, but if I want a picture that looks any good, particularly in poor conditions, I pull out the Nikon.

      1. Thomas Matula

        My iPhone has both an auto flash and zoom.

        But the quality is better with my Cannon, it is just easier to pull out the iPhone and do a quick picture or video.

        Tom

  4. Arizona CJ

    I can think of another reason; not everyone has a smartphone, or wants one. :)

    I use digital cameras. I have a very small one (deck of cards size) for easy carry, and a larger one when I need better quality.

    I’m also aware that phone cameras (and some digitials) encode location and other data on the pics, which I hate. I won’t buy one that does. I also loathe the idea of a smartphone that tracks your location. To me, that’s beyond creepy. (doing a GPS disable of the hardware is far easier on a simple phone, and if it’s not connecting to the net, it’s not sending your info to apple, google, or wherever. Ii also despise ads and SMS, so
    I prefer a phone without that, too.

    For GPS, I use a stand-alone one. Far better, and it doesn’t have the enormous drawback of needing to be in a cell service area to work. A cell-based on would be useless in a lot of the places I go (Over a third of the US does not have cellular coverage.)

    And a final reason, my biggest: the flash! As far as I know, smartphone and other phone cams don’t have a flash.

    1. Tom D

      I got an android smartphone (HTC Droid Incredible 2) with a good flash over a year and a half ago. The flash LEDs make very useful flashlights too. Can’t beat a good dedicated camera, but much, much better than you might suppose.

    2. Casey

      It’s very easy to turn off GPS, as well as preventing location data being gathered, when taking a picture with a smartphone.

      Then again, I didn’t buy my phone for the camera. Good thing. :)

  5. McGehee

    If I were in the habit of taking pictures, which I’ve tried to be but consistently failed, carrying a dedicated device for the taking of pictures would make a great deal of sense for me.

    As it is, I have a device that can do a great many things including take pictures. If I sense that I’m in a situation wher the taking of pictures could put me or my phone in jeopardy … I would gladly help defend someone who’s brought a camera.

  6. ken anthony

    I changed phones because I wanted a camera… it’s crap. I hardly ever use it. I would like a good camera, but it will have to wait. I want a good one.

  7. Trent Waddington

    I haven’t looked a few years, but as far as I’m aware there’s still no digital cameras that are wifi or 3G (4G now?) connected and automatically upload the pictures as soon as they’re taken.

    This annoys me no end. I want a camera manufacturer that understands that photographers are persecuted. When the big burly bodyguard takes the camera off me and says “gimme the film”, I already can laugh at him, I want to do the same if he says “gimme the SD card” or just smashes up the camera (I have insurance, idiot) because the picture I just took is safely waiting for me “in the cloud” or whatever buzzword you care to use this week.

    Not that, ya know, I take any pictures.. it’s the principle of the thing :)

    1. Edward Wright

      Shucks, old timer. Things have changed!

      Check out the Samsung Galaxy Camera, Nikon Coolpix S800c, or Canon ELPH 530. Or just buy an Eye-Fi card for your existing camera.

      Why, some of these new fangled cameras can even shoot moving pictures. In color, even! :-)

      1. Darkstar

        O.O Wow, the things I learn reading this blog! A camera with Android and WiFi. You’d have to carry a mobile hot-spot with you for uploading, something I happen to be thinking about getting.

  8. cthulhu

    Cell phone cameras are certainly no replacement for a decent standalone camera, but Apple in particular has been putting pretty good stuff in their phones since the iPhone 4. On a vacation last year, the spouse and I used our phones (iPhone 4 and 4S), while another member of the party used a good Canon super zoom. The Canon pictures were head and shoulders above the phone pics, especially when the zoom was called into service, but…the phone pics were quite respectable, especially the ones I shot in HDR mode.

    There was a personal benefit too: we both felt that we weren’t tied down by toting a separate camera around; it was supremely convenient to just pull out the phone for a quick snap. Lends credence to the adage that the best X (in this case, camera) is the one you have with you…

    1. Larry J

      Compared to a good, even basic digital camera, the quality of the photos taken with my iPhone 4 are poor. My iPhone is good for snapshots of unimportant things and is very handy, but if I want to take good photos (like my trip to Yellowstone last year), there’s not yet a good substitute for a dedicated camera.

      1. cthulhu

        I can see where having zoom would be a big deal for Yellowstone, but for us, the iPhones work well for the basics, and having a decent camera “always available” is really nice. YMMV of course…

        1. Larry J

          It isn’t just the zoom capability although that’s nice. It’s the overall higher quality of the images with a dedicated camera over what I have in my iPhone 4. I know there are smart phones with higher resolution but other features of dedicated cameras just aren’t there, at least on my phone. I’m talking about different exposure modes and features that result in higher quality photos. There’s no beating the convenience of a smart phone camera but, in my experience, the photo quality isn’t nearly as good.

  9. Bill Twist

    The best argument for having a separate phone, gps, and camera is that if one of them breaks or is otherwise disabled, you can still use the others. If you have a single device that does it all, and it breaks or the battery dies, you lose all functionality.

    1. McGehee

      True — but in 9 years of carrying a phone, I’ve never had either of those things happen. As much as these things cost, and as much as I rely on my current one for so many things, “careful” doesn’t begin to cover it.

  10. Der Schtumpy

    I hate digital cameras. I still use my SLR 35mm for taking ‘pictures’. And if it’s not 35mm worthy, I don’t take the picture.

    Of course, I’m a cell phone for phone calls ONLY person.

    I’ve never taken a picture with my phone. I’ve never sent the first text message. I have Z-E-R-O interest in a smart phone so that I can surf the net for the latest Buck Wild news flash, or play Angry Birds or take pictures of Elvis in the Weinermobile while I sit at a stop light.

    1. Larry J

      My wife and I moved back to my hometown to take a job last year. We had a new home built for us. During construction, I visited the site almost every day and took pictures with my iPhone, over 800 of them. I captured construction details that may later prove useful (like where the pipes and electrical lines were run) as well as problems that I directed to the contractor. It was very handy and cost nothing. It’s been a while, but how much would it have cost to take those photos using 35mm film?

      My phone is a tool, not a religion. I last lived here over 29 years ago and things have changed a lot, so having a GPS in my phone has proven very useful. So has being able to look up the names, phone numbers and locations of stores, doctor’s offices and the like. Like I said, it’s a tool and has proven quite useful for me but your mileage may vary.

  11. Josh Reiter

    Cell phone cameras just don’t have enough focal length to capture the light from distant objects very well. Distant objects start to look flat, washed out, and lacking in detail. And if you throw some action in there, like when I tried to use my Winphone to take pictures of planes flying at an airshow, it’s just terrible. But when I turned around and got close to an jet parked on the tarmac and filled the whole frame of the shot up with just the aircraft, it would make a decent shot. The camera phones just flatly focus across the whole picture so there’s no way to just focus in on one distant object and blur out the rest of the background to help emphasize what your trying to take a picture of. They work best when the subject is close, well lit, and takes up the entire picture frame. And I’m not a big fan of the LCD flash. They brightly light just one pinpoint spot and then the rest of the photo becomes quickly underexposed. They make better flashlights IMHO.

    But the plus side of a camera phone is that, well, the best camera is the one you have on you. Also, because the phone is small you can get in close and find an interesting angle on a subject to add some composition to the shot. The LCD panel also helps a great deal with making sure the shot level and well framed. Not to mention that you can do macro shots fairly decently as well. I had a part that I needed a serial # off of and I was having a hard time reading it because the print was so small. So, I took a picture of it and then zoomed in on the picture to make the numbers bigger. Also, I believe that they make cases for Iphones that let you attach bigger lens over the camera to let you bring distant objects into focus better.

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