The case for using a camera instead of your phone
In this post (and a series of follow-up posts!), I’m going to explain the limitations of smart phone cameras and why you might want to invest in a standalone camera.
What’s in a camera?
As I began this piece, I realized that some of my audience might need and want a refresher on the key components of a camera. These assemblies are small on a smartphone, but they exist and are just as important as on a standalone camera.
Any digital camera system on the market today (including your phone) contains the following subsystems:
- Viewfinder or live preview screen
- An assortment of controls and menus
- Wired and/or wireless connection options
To compare your smartphone camera to a traditional camera, we need to look at each of these components in turn.
Budget and Photography Style
Please don’t read this article assuming that I know anything about your needs as a photographer. That’s only for you to decide.
The key parameters of any decision to invest in a camera system are
- What’s your budget, including accessories?
- What kind of pictures do you take?
- What do you want to do with the pictures you do take?
Regardless of your answers to these 3 questions, I think the next series of posts will be useful.
As you begin investigating traditional cameras, you will run across category names that define budget and feature combinations.
- Point and Shoot: Usually the least expensive category of camera, these are designed for simplicity and portability – much like your smart phone! This market segment suffers the most from phone camera competition.
- Bridge: This is a higher end amateur camera with a very flexible zoom lens, built into the camera, and better controls and image quality than a point-and-shoot. Also more expensive and bulky than a point-and-shoot.
- Interchangeable Lens Camera: This includes DSRs and mirrorless cameras, with top of the line sensors, and the ability to connect a variety of professional quality lenses to the body. Generally the most capable, extensible and flexible option. But the most expensive and bulky as well.
We’ll continue this series of posts next time with a comparison of lenses in a smartphone versus a standalone camera.