Is a DSLR camera still better than a smartphone camera?

Is a DSLR camera still better than a smartphone camera?

Digital single-lens reflex camera better known as DSLR camera vs phone camera, you must be wondering where things stand in 2022.

Many believe that the latest iPhone or Samsung flagship smartphone camera is as good if not better than a DSLR. However, you’ll be surprised to know that nothing could be farther from the truth. Reality is different when we see the facts. In most areas, even an average DSLR is better than the best camera phone. 

Though, this is not to suggest that mobile phone cameras are no good. Both, mobile phone cameras and DSLRs have advantages of their own. If you are wondering which one to buy, we have got everything covered in this blog to help you understand the difference between the two. 

How is the DSLR camera better?

Both DSLRs and mobile phone cameras are digital cameras but the former is specifically made for the sole purposes of photography and videography, whereas the latter is meant to serve multiple purposes. 

Changeable Lens

The main area in which a DSLR is better is the changeability of lenses. You can attach a 200mm lens as well as an 18mm lens on it, as per your requirements. Its importance is described in the lens section. You cannot do it with mobile cameras. 

True Pixels

A DSLR has more/larger true pixels than smartphone cameras. It means the former captures the light way better than the latter. 

Real Focus

Focus is among the major areas where it beats mobile phones. The digital SLR camera can set the focal lengths in real-time to focus on specific subjects. You can set it manually as well. It keeps other subjects blurred (out of focus) in real-time. 

There are both auto and manual focus modes available in DSLRs. Do you know the “background blur effect” in your portrait photos on smartphones is artificially made? It is made just to bring the mobile phone images closer to the DSLRs. However, it does not focus as sharply and the subject edges are mostly missing fused with the blurred background. 

Full Control

DSLR cameras provide great control on various elements that are important for photography and videography. These elements are shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.

These are the reasons why professional photographers and videographers choose digital SLRs.

Importance of camera sensor

Camera sensors rather than megapixels are the indicator of picture quality. It is an important element as it is associated with the amount of light the camera can capture. The more light the sensor captures the better image quality it produces especially in low light conditions. It means big size sensors can produce a higher quality photo and video than the smaller sized sensors. 

DSLRs mostly have full-frame sensors (1 inch diagonal). But that is not the case with smartphones. Even the iPhone 13 Max Pro has around 1/1.65” (0.606 inches) camera sensor. The sensor size without a big and proper lens is not very productive, which is why DSLRs can beat smartphones even if they get a full-frame (1 inch) sensor.

DSLR vs Phone camera: Significance of lens

DSLRs win over mobile phone cameras due to this reason alone. The camera lens has huge importance in this comparison. DSLR, as mentioned above, stands for digital single-lens reflex. Its lens is changeable which means you can adjust it according to your requirements.

The camera lens is important for focusing the light onto the sensor. The frame of an image depends upon it. Most of us know about the term aperture (denoted as f points i.e f1.8, f2.8, etc.) and focal length (denoted as mm i.e 18mm, 200mm, etc.). 

Changing the lens allows you to change the aperture, which is associated with the control of light exposure to the sensor. It is possible to choose DSLR camera lenses with different focal lengths for optical zoom/telephoto or wide-angle. You can buy different camera lenses as per your needs.

However, that is not the case with mobile phone camera lenses as they are fixed. Almost all smartphone manufacturers are producing phones with multiple cameras to counter this issue. But it still doesn’t make these gadgets as flexible as the digital SLRs.

How is the smartphone camera better?

A major plus point the smartphone camera has is the convenience to carry. You can take out your phone from your pocket and take pictures. This can’t always be done with a DSLR due to its size. 

Connectivity is also an important factor that gives smartphone cameras an upper hand as you can directly share images from your phone to other devices and social media.

Does smartphone camera software beat the DSLR?

Another reason why camera phones may be better than DSLRs is their software, which is better due to their faster processors. However, people are divided in their opinion as most of them believe that better image processing is always done with dedicated camera software.

AI processors in smartphones have allowed app developers to make AI camera apps that are not available in DSLRs. It is becoming a key advantage. Many people all over the globe like these AI features and find them necessary for beauty and fun elements in their images.

Advantages and disadvantages of DSLR and mobile phone cameras

Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of phone and digital SLR cameras is important. They will help you learn how both of them are beneficial in different ways and where they lack in their usefulness. 

Advantages and disadvantages of DSLR camera

Better camera sensorsLarge and bulky (not easy to carry)
Changeable lensesExpensive
Flexible storage High cost of accessories (lens, tripod, cover, filter, etc.)
Better Raw image qualityRequire a lot of care when using
True pixelsSmall display
Difficult to take selfies

Advantages and disadvantages of mobile camera

QuickLower image quality as compared to DSLRs
Better AI softwareNot suitable for professional photography and videography due to lack of features
Better connectivity (share with other devices, social media, etc.)Low manual controls
Light and easy to carry in the pocketCamera lens: not changeable
Large displayNot good in low lighting conditions (smaller camera sensor size)
Take selfie easily

Will smartphone cameras replace the DSLRs in future?

With time, smartphone cameras have truly evolved. Mobile phone manufacturers are trying their best to minimize the differences between their cameras and DSLRs. They have improved sensor sizes. To counter the lens changeability of DSLRs, they have introduced multiple camera setups in smartphones as most of them have a built-in macro, telephoto, wide-angle, and normal camera lens. 

So, the difference is minimized with time and one day, the smartphone cameras might replace the DSLRs. Here is how they can do it in the future.

  • Full frame sensor size
  • Changeable lenses or innovation in the lens (for better light exposure on the sensor)

In the meanwhile, you have to rely on the digital SLRs of reputable brands for better photo and videography. You can buy DSLRs of the following and other brands from OLX Pakistan,

Sony camera

Nikon camera

Canon camera

Do you think that smartphones will be able to take over DSLRs 5 years from now? Let us know in the comment section below.

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