We all know of the ever popular iPhone 6 and its big brother the 6 Plus. It’s impressive to say the least, as are most other flagship phones on the market. The iPhone has a backside illuminated sensor, an f/2.2 lens, and optical image stabilization, but all of that is wasted if Apple or any other firm put these features in, in an attempt to encroach on the DSLR market.
These flagship phone cameras are fast, quick to respond, it takes usually good images, and most significantly, allows me to share them rapidly and effortlessly.
Most professional photographers these days will have something like a 5D Mark III or it’s Nikon equivalent. It’s a very decent professional camera, it’s adaptable, can deal with any lighting (or lack of) that’s thrown at it, and you can count on it to get the shot you want if handled correctly.
With the increase of smartphones, many have lamented or cheered for the death of the DSLR, banishing it to antiquity with its celluloid brothers. It’s difficult to remember the last time a professional photographer was seen using just a smartphone in the field though. That doesn’t mean there weren’t a ton of more smartphones outnumbering the DSLRs in London’s parks or museums, but great quantity does not indicate superiority.
No matter how astonishing technology gets, there are some ultimate restrictions that will always be in the way for smartphones, and that is sensor size.
Larger sensors are generally superior sensors. They can collect more light and give more control over the depth of field. The sensor in a 5D Mark III is 50x times than the iPhone too. That large sensor lets you capture images that are physically impossible with a phone.
DSLRs also feature interchangeable lenses. Phone producers have to find the balance between wide-angle and telephoto and often, the telephoto side loses. On top of this, the autofocus capabilities of modern high-level professional cameras are simply unparalleled by smartphones.
One often ignored aspect is the ergonomics of professional cameras against smartphones. The modern smartphone is destined to cover countless of jobs that used to be set aside for separate devices. It’s problematic and slightly cumbersome to hold a smartphone in front of you, and frame your shot via a live view through a screen. A well-designed professional camera fits into your hand. Inside of a few snaps, the buttons are instinctively at your fingertips and you can fine-tune almost any function minus the need to ever take your eye away from the viewfinder. It allows for uninterrupted creative flow.