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Author Topic: Why my next camera will be a phone, not a Z6  (Read 779 times)

Peter McLennan

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Why my next camera will be a phone, not a Z6
« on: February 04, 2020, 11:37:11 am »

https://photographylife.com/camera-companies-smartphone-survival

The simple fact is, absent the need for large prints, modern (and upcoming) phone cameras are more than good enough for most users - even decades-long professionals like me.

The new Samsung S20 will approach the cost of a Nikon Z6, and offers many capabilities absent in the higher priced Nikon. I'm finding it very tempting, even though few have even seen one.

My mind's not made up yet, but I'm leaning more and more towards the phone.  My HP Z3200 is gonna hate me.
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kers

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Re: Why my next camera will be a phone, not a Z6
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2020, 11:56:39 am »

https://photographylife.com/camera-companies-smartphone-survival

The simple fact is, absent the need for large prints, modern (and upcoming) phone cameras are more than good enough for most users - even decades-long professionals like me.

The new Samsung S20 will approach the cost of a Nikon Z6, and offers many capabilities absent in the higher priced Nikon. I'm finding it very tempting, even though few have even seen one.

My mind's not made up yet, but I'm leaning more and more towards the phone.  My HP Z3200 is gonna hate me.

If it suits your photographic needs - then it is the way to go... for my photographic needs it is not an option.
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chez

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Re: Why my next camera will be a phone, not a Z6
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2020, 03:35:11 pm »

Much of the enjoyment of photography for me is the ability to choose different lenses, figuring out the composition, deciding on the aperture and shutter, focusing etc... A phone camera just does not bring that enjoyment to me.
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BJL

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Why my next camera will be a phone, not a Z6—Fine if reach needs are modest
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2020, 04:46:24 pm »

https://photographylife.com/camera-companies-smartphone-survival

The simple fact is, absent the need for large prints, modern (and upcoming) phone cameras are more than good enough for most users - even decades-long professionals like me.
That might make sense for you and many other photographers; I'm guessing that your main FOV choices are from wide to normal or a bit beyond, which is true of many people including many great photographers; I have no complaint!)

But as I suspected, that article has a familiar, huge blind-spot: in a word "zoom". Or "reach".  The ability to photograph a small or distant subject, like even a face in a "long portrait" framing — and to do that without cropping to a very small number of very small pixels — is one huge difference between any current phone camera and either
(a) a fixed lens "compact camera" with wide-ranging zoom lens, or
(b) an ILC camera with a 4X or longer standard zoom lens, or a standard, entry-level two zoom lens kit.
Note that the "telephoto" lenses of recent phones are typically about "50mm equivalent" and with smaller, lower resolution sensors than the main camera. Thus, to match even the long end of my diminutive Olympus 12-50 ("24-100") M4/3 lens would be a 2X crop from that small, low resolution sensor, using about 1/25th as much sensor area as the 4/3 sensor and a far smaller aperture opening, so gathering light far more slowly. And that is comparing to the smallest ILC format and one of its smallest, lightest zoom lenses; step up to a APS-C sensor, or fit the M4/3 body a 12-60/3.5-5.6 or 14-150/3.5-5.6, and the telephoto performance gap is even more dramatic, in still a moderately priced package.
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luxborealis

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Re: Why my next camera will be a phone, not a Z6
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2020, 07:28:58 pm »

I'm with you, Peter - 100%.

I have a Nikon D800E with various lenses and zooms, and a D7200, and a Sony RX10iii. I really cannot see upgrading any of them, particularly when my iPhone 11 Pro does such an amazing job with capturing the moment, especially when travelling, so it became "my next camera". In fact I bought an iPhone 8 Plus before that (almost as great) and traded it in for the iPhone 11 Pro.

Being a not quite "old" film guy from the 70s, 80s and 90s (35mm, 6x7, 4x5), I am constantly amazed at how far photography and technology have come. No, I don't use the iPhone for professional gigs, but it sure does a great job for just about everything else!
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Terry McDonald - luxBorealis.com

Peter McLennan

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But as I suspected, that article has a familiar, huge blind-spot: in a word "zoom". Or "reach".  The ability to photograph a small or distant subject, like even a face in a "long portrait" framing

I agree.  My current phone camera (Pixel 3A) suffers greatly from a lack of reach.  The upcoming Samsung S20 supposedly offers an optical zoom function - possibly 3:1 or even 5:1.  That would go a long way towards sealing the deal for me.

A few months ago, I chanced upon a drum circle, a group of 50 or so drummers who'd assembled ad hoc on a beach in Vancouver.  I was able to shoot reasonable quality video (and sound!) of this event and edit it into a pretty neat little three minute film.  If I'd used a "regular" camera, as soon as I pulled out the video camera, everything would have changed. But because I was "just some guy with his phone", nobody cared.  This is exceptionally liberating.

I don't intend on any BIF shoots with my phone, though. :)

This is not great art, but...




... it shows what a phone can do hand held, several hours after sunset.

While I was shooting this image, the word "astrophotography" appeared on my screen.  Google has apparently upgraded my phone.  I did a few test shots and they did indeed show stars.  However, even Google can't allow me to shoot stars hand held. The exposure time was more than a minute, and the results were surprising, but soft. I intend to go out again, armed with a tripod, to see what Google has in store for me.

luxborealis' recent travel article on Ethiopia was an eye-opener.  Like him, my D800 sits unused.  My RX10 Mk IV has been sold, despite its extraordinary flexiblity.
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BJL

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I agree.  My current phone camera (Pixel 3A) suffers greatly from a lack of reach.  The upcoming Samsung S20 supposedly offers an optical zoom function - possibly 3:1 or even 5:1.  That would go a long way towards sealing the deal for me.
And to be clear, I agree with you; for one thing, the night mode of my iPhone 11 is amazing for handling low light (if the subject stays still!)

But as an example of something I would not try with a phone (yet):
« Last Edit: February 04, 2020, 10:02:19 pm by BJL »
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chez

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I agree.  My current phone camera (Pixel 3A) suffers greatly from a lack of reach.  The upcoming Samsung S20 supposedly offers an optical zoom function - possibly 3:1 or even 5:1.  That would go a long way towards sealing the deal for me.

A few months ago, I chanced upon a drum circle, a group of 50 or so drummers who'd assembled ad hoc on a beach in Vancouver.  I was able to shoot reasonable quality video (and sound!) of this event and edit it into a pretty neat little three minute film.  If I'd used a "regular" camera, as soon as I pulled out the video camera, everything would have changed. But because I was "just some guy with his phone", nobody cared.  This is exceptionally liberating.

I don't intend on any BIF shoots with my phone, though. :)

This is not great art, but...




... it shows what a phone can do hand held, several hours after sunset.

While I was shooting this image, the word "astrophotography" appeared on my screen.  Google has apparently upgraded my phone.  I did a few test shots and they did indeed show stars.  However, even Google can't allow me to shoot stars hand held. The exposure time was more than a minute, and the results were surprising, but soft. I intend to go out again, armed with a tripod, to see what Google has in store for me.

luxborealis' recent travel article on Ethiopia was an eye-opener.  Like him, my D800 sits unused.  My RX10 Mk IV has been sold, despite its extraordinary flexiblity.

Ummm...I'm seeing a bunch of blotchy noise and fuzziness in the image. Might look good for a phone shot...but does not cut the cake for anything serious.
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kers

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Re: Why my next camera will be a phone, not a Z6
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2020, 06:34:30 am »

I don't like the way of making photogrraphs with an iPhone; i prefer a viewfinder.
Having said that... I like it better to use an iPad- somehow it makes me feel it is an large format camera.
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Peter McLennan

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...but does not cut the cake for anything serious.

I suppose that depends on what you term "serious". 

I don't intend on pulling a 30X40 from this image, but if I want to say, send it to my sister, I can do that, right from the set.  The "share" button on my phone camera is an extraordinary benefit.

I've made three Blurb books so far this year, all of which contain images from my Nikon, my Sony and my phone, some of which are full bleed double page spreads nearly two feet wide.  Nobody can tell which camera made which image.  Nor do they care.
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kers

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I suppose that depends on what you term "serious". 

I don't intend on pulling a 30X40 from this image, but if I want to say, send it to my sister, I can do that, right from the set.  The "share" button on my phone camera is an extraordinary benefit.

I've made three Blurb books so far this year, all of which contain images from my Nikon, my Sony and my phone, some of which are full bleed double page spreads nearly two feet wide.  Nobody can tell which camera made which image.  Nor do they care.
I depends on what you care...
some photos cannot be made than with a phone , others cannot be made without ...something else...

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Jonathan Cross

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Re: Why my next camera will be a phone, not a Z6
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2020, 04:36:24 pm »

We now have the choice of a iPhone 11 or similar that costs not much different from a fixed lens aps-c camera with a similar focal length.  The latter will have more pixels, but the phone does loads more and is more pocketable.  For street or people photography that is not going to be printed more than 12x8" or a bit bigger, which does one choose?

Best wishes,

Jonathan

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Jonathan in UK

chez

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Re: Why my next camera will be a phone, not a Z6
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2020, 04:47:18 pm »

We now have the choice of a iPhone 11 or similar that costs not much different from a fixed lens aps-c camera with a similar focal length.  The latter will have more pixels, but the phone does loads more and is more pocketable.  For street or people photography that is not going to be printed more than 12x8" or a bit bigger, which does one choose?

Best wishes,

Jonathan

Depends on how you view photography. I take photos mainly for enjoyment and using the ergonomics of a phone to compose and shoot street scenes isn't something I call enjoyable. We talk about the lousy ergonomics of camera X...but what about a phone?
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Alan Klein

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Re: Why my next camera will be a phone, not a Z6
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2020, 10:19:07 pm »

When I travel on vacation , I use a 20mb Sony RX100iv which fits in my shirt pocket.  The short zoom, eye level viewfinder, and flash, make it easier to shoot in strong sunlight and use at night.  The ergonomics are better than a phone which seems so awkward to me.  It's 4K video does a nce job.  It ;looks beautiful on a 75" UHDTV when I make a slideshow in video.  I don;lt print much any more so it works. 

On the other hand, I'll also use a cellphone.  Here's a slide/video show with a Galaxy S7.  I forgot my regular camera and it did a great job.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcmwLSiS-as

BJL

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Re: Why my next camera will be a phone, not a Z6
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2020, 09:45:17 pm »

When I travel on vacation , I use a 20mb Sony RX100iv which fits in my shirt pocket.  The short zoom, eye level viewfinder, and flash, make it easier to shoot in strong sunlight and use at night.  The ergonomics are better than a phone which seems so awkward to me. ...
A “jacket-pocketable” camera like that, with the brightest zoom lens compatible with that size constraint, is something I have my eye on: the lens and sensor size increase would open up huge advantages over the phone for some opportunities, and yet still go with me almost everywhere. Sadly the newer RX100 got bloated for the sake of far more zoom reach—what are the best options like that these days?
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Alan Klein

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Re: Why my next camera will be a phone, not a Z6
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2020, 09:58:52 pm »

A “jacket-pocketable” camera like that, with the brightest zoom lens compatible with that size constraint, is something I have my eye on: the lens and sensor size increase would open up huge advantages over the phone for some opportunities, and yet still go with me almost everywhere. Sadly the newer RX100 got bloated for the sake of far more zoom reach—what are the best options like that these days?
The older RX100 versions with brighter lenses although less zoom are still available at a lower price point.  They also have a built in ND filter useful especially for videos that the later models don't have.  Canon also has a similar camera with a small footprint.  But I'm not familiar with it haven't never used it.  Here's a review of it compared with the SOny's
https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-powershot-g5-x-mark-ii-review/6
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