With the rapid improvement in technology, the smartphone camera in the future can reach the level of a DSLR to some extent, but the image can not be equivalent to that captured by a DSLR. A photographer reaches out for pictures having different angles and perspectives in their minds. Nowadays, editing
Software is looking for differences between both images. It is a little difficult, but if one compares the RAW images, the difference is quite visible.
From an amateur photographer perspective:
An amateur photographer will prefer a smartphone camera because they can click from their phones at any time of the day. With emerging phones like iPhones and S8 or S9, it is becoming easy to click photos with a picture’s pixel.
Moreover, editing software is so common now. Applications like lightroom mobile, snap seed, and adobe Photoshop helps users easily edit their images and make them look better. Moreover, the smartphone is easy to carry, and if a photographer has a little bit of knowledge about Photography, he can take good pictures.
In Photography, the composition of a picture matters a lot. If the photographer doesn’t know the angles, doesn’t have a perspective, does not know about it, he can not take a good picture even if a professional camera is provided to him. In Photography, your skills matter a lot, along with a good camera.
From a professional photographer perspective:
A professional photographer would prefer a DSLR camera because he can not take his mobile phone for a shoot, like a wedding shoot or a birthday shoot. A DSLR is a very professional camera, and with the right lenses, one can take excellent pictures. Professional photographers have a goal for taking pictures. They have a different composition in their mind which their phones can not capture.
Although carrying a huge camera with an additional photographer bag of lenses is difficult to carry around, that makes the professional photographer different from an amateur one. A professional one can go to all limits to take a picture no matter what costs him.
You can not carry your camera in your neck all around, but a professional one can not compromise on the pixels as well. The quality of a phone camera can not reach the quality of a professional camera. For this reason, a professional photographer would never use a mobile phone camera for doing shoots.
The features which supersede the DSLRs over smartphone cameras:
To know whether the smartphone cameras are getting better than DSLRs, we must know both cameras’ key features. The smartphone cameras can be improved, but they can not be equivalent to a DSLR. Why? Because DSLR is better than a smartphone camera in the majority of the aspects.
Firstly, sensor size is essential in any camera. A sensor is something that receives the image from the shutter and converts it into electrical signals. Sensor size does not mean the number of pixels, but it shows how small or large it is physically.
DSLR and mirrorless cameras have a big sensor size compared to that of smartphone camera’s whose sensor is tiny. It is why DSLR cameras always supersede smartphone cameras.
A picture size depends on the sensor. Even if your smartphone camera can capture high pixels, but your image size will always be smaller. The DSLR sensor is large and thus can capture high pixels along with image size.
A small image has fewer details. Whenever we post the images captured from a smartphone camera on social media, the image quality gets worsened because the pixels have been lost, and a person missed those details. Similarly, whenever we post or even take a printout of an image captured from DSLR, the pixels are not lost, and the details are still there. It is because of the sensor size. You can not simply insert a large sensor into a pocket-size mobile. A large sensor means more details and hence a better quality of an image. It is why smartphone cameras can not get better than DSLR.
The second reason why smartphones are not better than DSLRs is the lens. The size of the lens makes a difference in images. Like sensors, even if a smartphone camera has a good lens but small in size, then the picture quality is compromised.
One body of camera can accommodate hundreds of lenses. From a macro lens that can capture an ant to a wide-angle lens that can capture a whole landscape, DSLRs have a wide range of lenses. This feature is not available in smartphone cameras which is why DSLRs are at an advantage.
The quality of the lens itself has an impact. The lenses for DSLR are made up of glass lenses, whereas the smartphone lens is made up of plastic. A glass lens can zoom in without making the image blurry. A glass lens also controls the sharpness, chromatic aberrations, vignette, and distortions.
Whereas these problems in a smartphone camera are dealt with digital and electronic system of mobile, but still it cannot produce the desired result as that of a DSLR and image quality, in the end, is compromised.
There is a zoom-in option available in smartphone cameras, but it destroys the pixels of any image. With DSLRs, you can change the lenses as per your desires and change the focal length according to the image, but you cannot change the lens on a mobile phone, and the cheap plastic lenses do not produce good results.
Thirdly, for good images, lighting conditions play a significant role. No doubt the new phones have good processors and systems, but a manipulating system is only available in costly cellphones. These processors help to compensate for the problems caused by small sensors and lenses.
The software helps the camera to produce good images but only to some extent. For example, in the daytime, it captures good images, but once the lightning conditions get poor, the results get poor.
Processors in DSLR also help solve problems like noise reduction; that is why one can take pictures from DSLR even at night time. But mobiles can not take good images at night time. The image gets blurry, the lights in pictures are not clear, the objects are not sharp, and the image is grainy sometimes. High-resolution processors can not help a good smartphone camera capture clear images when the lighting conditions are poor.
Batteries play a minor role, but it is still vital to consider while doing Photography. DSLR batteries can last for a week, and you do not have to charge it again and again, just like we have to do in smartphones. Even if one battery is low on charge, you can replace it with another battery, and it will work for one more week.
Most smartphones today can last for a maximum of two days if you use them less, and if you are doing Photography, it will last only for a day, you have to carry a power bank everywhere. But DSLRs have long-lasting batteries, and it saves you from the worries of charging again and again.
For example, if you are traveling for one week and plan to do Photography, your DSLR will not run out of charge, and you can take as many pictures as you want. But with mobile phones, you have a limited charge for a minimal time and can not capture for a long time.
Shutter plays a vital role in the camera. A low shutter can easily capture fast-moving objects, and a high shutter allows more light to enter and capture, e.g., night trails. A DSLR can easily capture speedily moving objects with variable aperture and focal length. Nowadays, phones have shutters in their system, but a low shutter means low lighting in the image that disrupts the end’s quality.
A DSLR has a separate physical shutter, while smartphone cameras have only a digital auto function. A mobile phone shutter is not effective for capturing professional shots. A low shutter and high ISO are adjusted in-camera manually, but a smartphone camera does not have this kind of range, making it unsuitable for professional pictures.
Aperture is the diameter of the opening through which light enters the lens of the camera. It is expressed as f-top. The smaller the f-stop, the wider is the opening; hence more light reaches the lens that ultimately enhances the depth of field of any image. In DSLR, the aperture is large and wide, and adjustable, capturing the image in any light conditions.
On the other hand, smartphones, which are designed lightweight and thin size, offer narrow and a small aperture which is also non-adjustable. That why it impossible to capture an image in low light while considering the depth of the field. Meanwhile, to capture a moving object, a faster shutter speed is required, provided by a wider aperture to reduce noise and avoid blurry images.
Since shutter speed is the quality of DSLR that a smartphone usually lacks; as a result, the quality of the image taken by the smartphone is much less than that of the DSLR.
The resolution of a camera also has an impact on images. DSLR is a camera of high resolution. High resolution means a high number of megapixels of your image. This high resolution is just because of large sensors. A smartphone camera also has many pixels, but the resolution is the point where it makes a difference.
High resolution means that the image also has those extra details captured by sensors. These details are absent in images by smartphones and hence make it look rough. Moreover, the DSLR system makes the image look smooth, and the backgrounds are automatically blurry, for example, in Bokeh shots.
But smartphone cameras cannot make the background blur or give soft portraits. Although phones like iPhone and Samsung do have the feature of portrait shots. Android phones do not have it, and one has to use external apps to edit and blurry the background.
ISO is a measure of the ability of a camera to capture light. It can adjust the brightness of the image by increasing the electronic signal gathered from the light that hits the camera’s image sensor. To have a brighter image, the ISO value must be increased.
Usually, the ISO of a smartphone goes up to 6400 only, while that of a DSLR goes over 3 million depending upon the camera model. That is why the image captured by a DSLR is far better in quality than a smartphone. DSLR can capture the image bright and clear at night or in dim light due to a wide range of ISO value, while in smartphones, due to such a narrow range, the image appears dull and unclear.
One of the biggest advantages of a DSLR over a smartphone camera is that you can manually set the camera according to your photograph’s desired idea. You can set the aperture, ISO, shutter speed, focus, exposure in a DSLR. But smartphone camera does not allow a wide range of setting these features up. For example, if you want to capture the image of flowing water, you can never get your desired image from a smartphone, but a DSLR would allow you to change settings accordingly and get a sharp image.
Photography is all about good lightning and better perspectives. If the lighting conditions are poor, then the image is also of poor quality. Setting the exposure level is very significant in cameras. The DSLR system can capture images even at night time because of sensors, ISO, and exposure. But a smartphone can never capture a clear image at night time.
What are the pros of a smartphone camera?
The advantage of the smartphone camera is that you can take it anywhere with you. Nowadays, everyone has a phone in their hands. If you have a basic knowledge of good photographs, then you can take pictures at any time. They are small in size and have a lightweight, so it does not become a burden to carry a smartphone all day.
Smartphones are convenient to carry, and one can even capture a spontaneous incident. You do not have to take a photography bag around you all the time and don’t have to change the lenses. If you have unique and creative ideas for your photos, then you can click them at any time and edit them in pro apps like lightroom mobile app, Adobe Photoshop mobile, Snapseed, polar, pics, etc.
Whereas in DSLRs, you have to transfer the pictures to a laptop, and then you can edit them, which takes some time. So the wireless connection makes a difference in the usages of both cameras.
Moreover, it is easy to use and understand. You can have exposure to Photography and can even pursue it as a career. The main thing about a smartphone camera is that it automatically stores your data. You can link your albums to your storage cloud. In this way, you can have your pictures saved even if your cellphone is lost.
You can easily share your images with your contacts saving you from the hustle of transferring images on your laptop or PC. You can easily share it on social media apps like Facebook and Instagram without any transferring issues.
New mobiles have artificial intelligence tools which can automatically make your picture better than the original without changing any settings. The smartphones have automatic control and not manual, so if anyone does not understand things like ISO, shutter, and exposure level, the mobile camera will automatically change its settings accordingly.
You do not need extra lenses or flashes to take pictures. The Mobile’s automatic system will adjust the light according to the environment of the photo.
A DSLR camera has more advantages over a smartphone camera, so the camera of a smartphone can never get better than a DSLR. It can reach almost its level but can never be equivalent. Although with certain Artificial intelligence technologies, mobile cameras can have a lot of improvement for the next ten years, similarly, DSLRs will also improve. Thus, smartphone cameras can never get better than DSLR.