Smartphone as only camera

Updated on September 20, 2021 in Equipment
39 on September 11, 2018

Hello to everybody. I’m writing this post because I wuold like to know your opinion about an idea that is bouncing in my head fora while. But before explaining it, a small introduction: currently I have a Canon 700d DSLR, which I use primarily with the Canon 24mm pancake lens. This setup gives me a quite good compromise between quality and portability. I also have a smartphone: it is 4-5 years old Motorola Moto G (1st) which I want to replace because it is collecting many prolems.

While looking for a new phone an idea came into my mind:

what if, instead of buying a low-cost smartphone, I buy a good one, capable of taking good photos, and use it to replace both my Moto G and DSLR? 

Of course quality would be lower, but last-gen phones (iphone or android) seems to have a “well enough” camera. Anyone have already tried it? I would like to ear some feedbacks, so don’t esitate to critique me.

 
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0 on September 13, 2018

I did that for a while, and honestly, I wish I’d stuck with a real camera. A smartphone will do fine in great light, but in anything less optimal the limitations show quickly.
Currently I use a small smartphone (iPhone SE) and carry either my Sony RX100 or Fuji XF10, and I’m pretty happy with that setup. However that may not work for you. It all depends on what you want to do with it.

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0 on September 16, 2018

Thank you for your feedback. Did you use your SE as your cameraphone at the time?

The problem is that I don’t like my camera that much, I think it is way too complicated for what I want to do. I studied each camera setting in deep, so I can master the camera without problems. But I’m looking for simplicity, I want to go out and shoot without worrying about whether the setup is ok or not. I’d also reduce the post-processing effort, I’m using lightroom but maybe it’s too complex. I’m wondering whether a last-gen cameraphone would solve these problems while delivering a good-enough quality and flexibility.

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3 on September 16, 2018

Not the SE since I just got it, but I’ve been consistently using iPhones since 2010 (4, 5, 5s and 6+).

I completely understand your desire for simplicity. Sometimes it’s nice to have the control, but it’s also liberating to “set it and forget it.” If you want a camera you don’t have to think about then it’s pretty hard to beat an iPhone. I’ve tried a couple of Androids, but they didn’t work for my needs. Great IQ, but slightly too slow in operation.

Will this camera be primarily for street photography, or do you shoot other things as well?

on September 16, 2018

That would be my question too. I love having a phone that takes good photos but my problem is speed. I can snap a photo from my DSLR (Canon 500d with 24mm) light years faster than my Nexus 6P. If you don’t need speed or lots of light, then go with a phone. I also think the image quality is so much better on the 10 year old 500d than my 2 year old phone. If it’s not a landscape or artsy shot, I’ve been setting it to Program mode and JPG to cut the hassle down. Like previously stated, some of these new pocket cameras may do the trick for you.

on October 1, 2018
That would be my question too. I love having a phone that takes good photos but my problem is speed. I can snap a photo from my DSLR (Canon 500d with 24mm) light years faster than my Nexus 6P. If you don’t need speed or lots of light, then go with a phone. I also think the image quality is so much better on the 10 year old 500d than my 2 year old phone. If it’s not a landscape or artsy shot, I’ve been setting it to Program mode and JPG to cut the hassle down. Like previously stated, some of these new pocket cameras may do the trick for you.From brockrotter

Sorry for the delayed reply. I use the camera for general purpose shots, I don’t have a personal style (yet).

Can I ask how do you set your camera for P-mode and jpeg shooting (I mean iso, picture style, focus,…)? Because I’m not able to find a satisfying setup for mine, the P mode always chooses a slow time so pictures suffers from blur.

on October 1, 2018

Casual and street photography, also people mostly candid (dont like traditional portraits). But I do it as an hobby, I’m not looking to make a living from it.

Sorry, what do you mean with “slow”? Do you refer to shutter lag?

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0 on December 28, 2018

Agree with brockrotter

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0 on November 25, 2019

I don’t like my camera that much, I think it is way too complicated for what I want to do. I studied each camera setting in deep, so I can master the camera without problems. But I’m looking for simplicity, I want to go out and shoot without worrying about whether the setup is ok or not.

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0 on December 30, 2020
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0 on January 8, 2021

I also agree with brockrotter, If you want to click photographs like a professional photographer then you should buy a camera instead of buying a phone. If you are clicking just for the fun then you should opt for oneplus 8T as it has very good camera quality as well as smooth and nice video recording.

 

 

 

 

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