DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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Cunobelin
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby Cunobelin » 1 Sep 2019, 6:24pm

It will be a personal choice.

If you are happy with what you are producing, then fine

Personally, my interest in churches, Northern Lights, night time shots are out of the capability of a phone.

LittleGreyCat
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby LittleGreyCat » 4 Sep 2019, 7:49pm

Noting that I've just played back some recent short videos and it reminds me that the most important thing for video recording is a microphone which can suppress wind noise.

I discovered this when using a "proper" video camera some years ago.
The answer is to be able to use an external microphone but my video camera didn't have the connection.
Likewise my compact camera does not support an external microphone.

Tangled Metal
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby Tangled Metal » 4 Sep 2019, 10:44pm

How many of you are photographers on a bike / who walks? By that I mean someone for whom the image quality is more important than the memory recorded?

Personally me and my partner are about the activity and memories. We often don't take pictures. One, main family holiday taken over 2 weeks resulted in about 10 images captured on mobile phones. The images are good enough to jog the memory of the holiday.

As far as images go well I remember my first digital camera, a nikon and 4mp, tiny sensor. A replacement for a film Minolta slr. That camera produced some good images. It was a revelation being able to take loads of images to find the one good image.

I've got really sharp, clear, bright, macro images taken with a digital compact that tbh wasn't much better than the best mobile phone cameras are these days.

I've not had a really good camera for money reasons. Simply not got the spare cash for better cameras. I do have the money for decent phone which might be the same price as a decent digital camera. The difference is I need a phone more than camera so I choose a phone with the best camera on it that I can, afford.

My current phone (due for replacement) is an honor phone that had the same lens as the pricier Huawei phone but not the leica branding or all the filters. The images are decent for a phone. Before that one I had a top spec phone which had the best camera of any phone out at the time. It is the key phone feature when I get a new one.

Camera choice comes down to what is important to you. If you have the money you can buy real quality cameras. However whether that quality camera is right for you if you're not using it for real photography us debatable. Plenty of people go on holiday with little more than their phone's camera.there's many levels of choice in between.

Our preference would be a camera small enough to simply shove into a pocket so it's there ready to be used. Ideally able to cope with bad weather and with a zoom that makes it capable of activity shots. Something we could use for anything from walks in the lakes, cycling tours or ski trips. A tough camera might suit us but the zoom of them aren't that good. You probably get no better videos or distance shots than my phone on them. So I am not sure they'll be right. Until I find the right camera I'll use the phone I think.

MarcusT
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby MarcusT » 5 Sep 2019, 5:24am

I have too many cameras, but I had to have one for bike touring. I wanted a decent sized sensor (1"), very compact and USB chargeable.
Ended up with the Canon G9X MK II. It has wifi, so can transfer images to my smart phone/tablet, image quality is quite good, it has RAW as well as all the manual controls.
I have several Dslrs and have never considered taking one on a bike tour. Too big, too fragile and charging is inconvenient.
I wish it were simple as riding a bike

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Cunobelin
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby Cunobelin » 5 Sep 2019, 6:12am

MarcusT wrote:I have too many cameras, but I had to have one for bike touring. I wanted a decent sized sensor (1"), very compact and USB chargeable.
Ended up with the Canon G9X MK II. It has wifi, so can transfer images to my smart phone/tablet, image quality is quite good, it has RAW as well as all the manual controls.
I have several Dslrs and have never considered taking one on a bike tour. Too big, too fragile and charging is inconvenient.
chargers

I have USB chargers that work with my DSLR batteries,

Jamesh
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby Jamesh » 5 Sep 2019, 8:44am

The canon or a Panasonic tz or Sony hx would be my choice.

A camera needs to be significantly better than a phone to be used and also quick and easy to use otherwise the photo opportunity is missed.

Cheers James

mercalia
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby mercalia » 5 Sep 2019, 11:04am

The trouble with phones is that the screen isnt bright enough in bright condition, so is only good for basic framing? Other than that some of the best phones have superlative cameras and you could save the pictures to an online store so wouldnt lose them? On the other hand a separate camera is a thief magnet?

mercalia
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby mercalia » 5 Sep 2019, 11:10am

on a related matter how many people here actually print their pictures or just view them on a pc screen, as I do? My pc screens are just 1920x1080 ( for blu rays) - thats just 2 mega pixels I think? My phones have 5 & 8 mega pixel sensors that are way beyond the screen display, You often see in reviews blow up of tiny sections from your 30 mega pixel sensor - may make sense in a review but unless you are a spy or cop makes no sense? I have a simple Kodak 5 mp camera I take on my bike gives good pictures, uses AA batteries and has an zoomable optical viewfinder, fits in the palm of your hand
Last edited by mercalia on 5 Sep 2019, 11:29am, edited 1 time in total.

Psamathe
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby Psamathe » 5 Sep 2019, 11:24am

Tangled Metal wrote:How many of you are photographers on a bike / who walks? By that I mean someone for whom the image quality is more important than the memory recorded?

Personally me and my partner are about the activity and memories.......

I think it's a balance that varies by individual and where you are.

I (now in my 60's) regret not having more photos from the many places I have visited in the past of from events in the past. I have scanned most of my slides in but there are a lot of gaps.

For me that balance between image quality vs memories vs interfering with trip varies according to trip. I'm probably a bit of a "perfectionist" and have a strong drive that if I'm going to do something I have to do it well (or to the absolute best of my ability). And a trip e.g. a walk round my local fields does not rate highly and I don't bother about image quality (probably don't take any photos unless something interesting/amazing happens). But e.g. a trip to Salar de Uyuni and the images do matter to me (including quality).

Even though quality is important to me, I don't find that quality is more important than memory. Taking photos does not interfere with the memory so they are not mutually exclusive, you can have both. But I suspect without photos the memory can fade.

Ian

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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby Vorpal » 5 Sep 2019, 12:06pm

I used to get very good quality photos with my Nokia 808 pureview & it's 41 mega pixel Zeiss lens. That unfortunately died, and would, in any case be 7 years old, now. I currently have a Samsung Galaxy (company phone), which takes good pictures, and it's all I took with on a recent short tour.

If I were in the position of needing a new phone, I would seriously consider the new Nokia 9 Pureview, which has 5 cameras and most of the same manual functions as DSLR cameras, including being able to get RAW data to do your own editing.

The camera app has received some poor reviews, but it sounds like they are mainly speed performance issues, rather than functional ones, and there is an update on the way that is supposed to fix the performance issues. It looks like they borrowed from some of the previous Pureview camera apps for functionality & ease of use. I thought that the 808 Pureview had the best phone camera software I've used, even though it was developed for symbian (the old Nokia's OS).
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby andrew_s » 5 Sep 2019, 12:28pm

Whilst the quality of phone cameras is much the same as a good compact camera, they are restricted to fixed, normally wide angle lenses, and the image quality isn't good enough to crop out small or medium sections of the image without the image looking poor.
A compact camera may come with a long zoom (eg 30x in a Sony HX90 or Panasonic TZ90), so whilst a phone image is as good at the wide angle end, it will be no good if you can't get close enough.

It's not always forecastable what you camera might want.
An example would be a couple of years ago, when we were walking along the Arran coast and met a family of otters concentrating on the large fish mum had caught, letting us get within 25 m or so. My Fuji X100 was fairly useless, a phone would have been utterly useless, but one of the others got quite good shots with a TZ70. I just used the binoculars and paid attention, so it was fine by me, but others may take a different view.

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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby Vorpal » 5 Sep 2019, 12:40pm

A good phone camera will have a decent digital zoom, and it's also possible to get add-on zoom lenses for phones that get quite good results.
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F70100
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby F70100 » 5 Sep 2019, 6:37pm

The “which camera” question can only be answered if you can say what creative choices you wish to have when taking an image.

Do you want to be able to control focal length, aperture, shutter speed and iso? How you answer that dictates what you take.

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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby andrew_s » 5 Sep 2019, 7:09pm

Vorpal wrote:A good phone camera will have a decent digital zoom, and it's also possible to get add-on zoom lenses for phones that get quite good results.

Digital zoom is the same as cropping.
The only difference is whether it's photoshop or the camera doing the crop and interpolation. I'd expect proper Photoshop to do a better job.

Yes, add-on lenses are available for some phones, and at the last Olympics some pro sports photographer got a pretty good set of action shots using an iphone, taking shots through a £1300 pair of image stabilised binoculars.

Whether you'll have such things on a cycle tour, and have the time to deploy them if you do, is another matter.

Tangled Metal
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby Tangled Metal » 5 Sep 2019, 10:17pm

It also depends on whether you need the top quality photographs. What do you do with your images? Are you a photographer out for the best image possible for printing out? Or are you a snapper out for a memory jogger of a holiday or activity? Or any stage in between?

Answer that and the tool to get those images become easier to decide on.

Whilst I look at the fancy cameras in the shop and might want them I realise that a £3k dslr won't have most of its functionality used. I always look for a camera and think that's a good choice. Then I notice the one next to it, it has more functionality and better reviews. It's only £40 more with cashback. Hmmmm! That's a good deal. But that one along the shelf has WiFi / nfc / BT connectivity, a fast lens and even better for just a little bit more. £50 more isn't much. Before long I'm looking at a very expensive camera (to me). So I think I'll think about it and in the meantime I'm using my old honor 8 and get images good enough for our use. We can see decent images on the screen, which is how we often share the photographs.

It's not the best images I'm sure but who cares if it jogs our memories when we look at them. It serves my purpose. However if you tell me there's a £150-200 camera that's so much better I'll think about it.