DSLR/Camera vs. Smartphone Debate

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  AwayLands 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #12404

    Nathan
    Participant

    Has anyone found that they have been leaving their DSLRs and bulkier cameras at home more and more often, and relying on their newer smartphones for pictures? I am absolutely no virtuoso with a DSLR (and have been really meaning to learn), and find that I am relying on my iPhone for the vast majority of my shots. I know that it is limited, but the pictures are quite amazing and I am guaranteed to always have it on me. Has anyone else opted to shed some bulk and leave their proper cameras at home, with the knowledge that anything worthwhile can be captured on their smartphone? Part of my feels guilty even typing this, but maybe I’m not alone!

  • #12409

    Tholland
    Participant

    Yup, we have a camera but often leave it in the room for fear of it getting stolen or it being too big . You can edit pictures easier on a phone, use the settings easier, upload easier and if you are not submitting for any sort of photography contest then hardly a need.The iphones seem to have more trouble getting a good picture then say a Samsung galaxy however

  • #12412

    Paul
    Participant

    I’ve moved over to using my phone almost exclusively and then occasionally my drone (if I’m able to pack it).

    There are some purpose built cameras like the Nikon 1 AW1. Waterproof and shock proof. I traveled with it for a while and was a great camera for climbing, camping, surfing, etc. Worth a look if that’s the kind of stuff you get up to.

  • #12534

    Nathan
    Participant

    I totally agree, Tholland. My phone has become a little studio (I’ve downloaded and bought a few apps) – it’s just so convenient. Most of my shots are only intended for instagram and my personal albums anyway, so I am fine with the smaller file sizes and lower resolution.

    What sort of drone do you have, Paul? I’ll be in the market for one within the next month or two. I’ll definitely take a look at the Nikon you mentioned – it does sound quite intriguing. I have an older GoPro and will either look to upgrade that eventually, or look for another durable option.

  • #12585

    Paul
    Participant

    I’ve got a DJI Mavic. So far it’s been really easy to use (especially with all the pre-programmed shot follows). Plus, it packs down to fit in a backpack with a few extra batteries. Great if you pack light and do a lot of exploring where you can’t lug around a big pack.

  • #12723

    Kelsey
    Participant

    I have this debate with myself on a regular basis. I almost sent my bigger camera home with my mom on this trip, because I’m perfectly happy with the quality/convience of using my phone, but then part of me decided I wanted to keep it. Even though that now means I’m traveling with a go pro, camera and phone. I like taking pictures with my phone because they back up automatically and that gives me piece of mind that my camera doesn’t. If it gets stolen, those pictures are just gone. It may be excessive considering I am backing, traveling light and have more photo taking devices than pairs of pants. Ha ha. I decided to keep it mainly for one reason. When I go to see the orangutans I want to be able to have a real good zoom. This is a tough one.

    • #13068

      Tholland
      Participant

      That was the only reason we kept the big camera too, for the once in a lifetime opportunities like the orangutans or sulfer mines. just to guarantee a little bit better shot

  • #12730

    Paul
    Participant

    Kelsey, I’m in the same boat. Sometimes having that zoom is amazing but if you’re traveling around for a month it’s hard to justify taking a camera for one day’s worth of shots. Unless it’s at the top of my bucket list.

    What kind of Phone do you have? I have an Iphone 7 and I find between using that and VSCO I’m able to get great shots.

  • #12746

    Steph
    Participant

    While I love having a DSLR with me when I travel, it’s more of a nice to have than a need to have – I’m definitely all about the Smartphone while I’m backpacking. If I lose my phone, the photos are already backed up to the cloud and my phone is easy enough to replace. We lost our Go Pro when we were in Greece this year, and it was a total bummer because all those photos were also lost forever!

  • #12817

    Stephanie Coulter
    Participant

    I have been debating this too. Part of me wishes I had high quality photos from all of last year but my iPhone/iPad did a pretty decent job. Those who had the DSLR cameras, while definitely nice, had a lot more to carry and were more of a target for theft. I did have a small digital camera that was good for zooming in on animals / objects but scratched up that lens and also broke the shutter. The phone also wasn’t great for capturing night / low lighting photos.

    Has anyone looked at the clip-on lenses for smartphones? I think they run around CAD$120 for decent ones. This is what I’ve been debating the last few weeks.

    • #12825

      Nathan
      Participant

      Seems like a lot of us are on the same page here. Stephanie, I have looked into some clip-on lenses. The ones that really jump out at me and seem to get good reviews are the “Moment” lenses, that retail for around that $ value. There is a wide lens that would really up the game for landscape and vista shots, I think. They have an interesting attachment method as well, and are supposed to be very well made (heavy and sturdy). I moved to Australia so money is tight at the moment, but if I was in funds I would seriously consider it. Then again….I’m also seriously thinking about squirrelling money away for a drone….and want to upgrade my GoPro….and….well, you get it :D. A bane of the traveller.

  • #13080

    Travel_Filthy
    Participant

    Carrying around my DSLR is certainly a burden, but I just feel like I get better pictures with the actual camera. Maybe I just need to practice more with the phone.

  • #13412

    AwayLands
    Participant

    The best camera is the one you have with you.

    But iphones are never going to be quite as good. Skip the DSLR and move to a new mirrorless camera, they’re not much bigger than smartphones, it’s the technology of the future, and the quality on these little cameras is getting pretty remarkable. I highly suggest the ones Sony has come out with in the past few years,

    I’m a professional photographer, and I switched from SLRs to the high-end Sonys – and so has pretty much everyone else I have met that shoots on the go.

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