By Laura | 14th May 2019

Are smartphone cameras replacing conventional cameras?

As smartphone cameras continue to improve in quality, it’s time to ask if they’re finally replacing conventional cameras.

There may still be room for larger format cameras - especially for professional photographers - but can a smartphone really outshine a point and shoot for day-to-day use? Let’s find out…

The benefits of a smartphone camera

There are some clear benefits to using your smartphone as your primary means of taking pictures, and if your goal is to record your life to share with your family and friends it’s almost a ‘no-brainer’. After all, a smartphone is:

  • Convenient – it’s always right there when you need it for any photo opportunity, and a smart man once said that the best camera is the one you have in your hand.
  • Ease of use – if you’ve been using smartphones for years it’s completely intuitive to use your phone’s camera – there’s virtually no learning curve.
  • Ability to share – being able to share your images instantly with your friends on social media platforms is a huge advantage to a smartphone camera.
  • Instant playback – your smartphone is equipped with a fantastic screen which makes playback of your images and videos a much nicer experience than with a compact camera.

There are, of course, still some advantages to be gained from using a compact camera: better image quality, more control over the shot and better zooming capabilities, for example, but the gap is narrowing.

Yes, improvement in image quality is improving in smartphones, but it’s relative to the improvement in all camera sensors, so you will nearly always getter better quality images with a compact, but… How good do you really need your images to be? As mentioned above, the vast majority of pictures taken are shared on social media and among friends, and isn’t a smartphone good enough for that? The answer is a clear ‘Yes!’ In fact, in good light, and with a bit of skill, it’s absolutely possible to take images on a modern smartphone that can be printed to canvas and hung on your wall.

The new Huawei P30 Pro, for example, has a spectacularly good camera for such a small sensor, and we’ve seen images from it that blew us away – we’d definitely be happy to use it as our only point-and-shoot option.

So, can you put your compact camera away and stick with your phone? We think that for everyday shooting in decent light you can have loads of fun with a smartphone camera, but you have to accept that your images will never quite be the same quality as a dedicated compact.


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