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Old 01-02-2013, 08:17 PM   #16
havoc315
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Originally Posted by rossb View Post
The iPhone does not kick the pants off any p&s under about $150.

Mostlylisa's pics are nice, but you can't tell much from 500x500 samples and many of them seem over processed. I guess the iPhone will suffice if you only want to post small pics on a web site, you don't need flash and low light performance, and you are not concerned with image quality, shot to shot speed, and an optical zoom.
I find my iPhone performs better in low light than the only "cheap" point and shoot we have in the house, a cheap Sony cyber shot that my 8 year of uses as his camera. Not great, but for the iPhone 5, fairly passable.
I rarely use a flash, but find the iPhone flash perfectly adequate compared to other basic p&s.
Image quality is very similar tocheaper p&s cameras, but can't compare to advanced systems. (Plus, built in HDR, which you don't find in cheap p&s cameras )
Burst speed is poor, but so are all cheap p&s cameras.

I'm not touting the iPhone 5 as the greatest camera of all time. But, overall, as a superior option to cheaper p&s cameras.

Yes, some people would miss optical zoom. But there are MUCH more expensive cameras that also lack optical zoom.

So you lose optical zoom, but get similar image quality, plus HDR (which elevates images over p&s), plus panorama, plus GPS, plus wifi, plus hd video, plus in camera photo editing.

Last edited by havoc315; 01-02-2013 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:36 AM   #17
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We will have to agree to disagree about the iPhone. These three cheap cameras will provide an optical zoom, better IQ, better low light performance, and better flash. The iPhone flash is a joke.

I do not agree that it is a superior option to the cameras below, unless you are not concerned with IQ and performance and you don't want to carry a dedicated camera.

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerSho...keywords=sx150

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerSho...words=elph+110

http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-COOLPIX-...keywords=s9300

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Old 01-03-2013, 08:49 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by rossb View Post
We will have to agree to disagree about the iPhone. These three cameras are cheap, yet will provide an optical zoom, better IQ, and better low light performance and flash. The iPhone flash is a joke.
We can agree to disagree on the value of extras, such as optical zoom versus a superior processor. Sd memory card versus instantly saving to a cloud.

But fortunately, for objective evaluation of image quality, we have dxomark. They recently started rated iq of smart phones. Unfortunately, they only included 2 p&s cameras for comparison -- the Canon S100 and the Canon G9.
The S100 is an advanced compact that runs for about $300. It is considered one of the best affordable compacts. And unsurprisingly, iq was better than smart phones. What was surprising -- it was close. And even more shocking, video quality was rated vastly superior on the Galaxy S3 over the Canon S100.

Unfortunately, they didn't run a comparison to a current level budget camera. But they did run comparisons to the Canon G9. A camera that was $500+, just a few years ago. Certainly, the iq of the Canon G9 is similar to a modern budget compact. Anyway, the best smart phone cameras were rated equal or superior to the G9 in image quality.

So there you have it based on the trusted name in image quality testing.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Mob...-year-old-DSCs
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:43 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by havoc315 View Post
So there you have it based on the trusted name in image quality testing.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Mob...-year-old-DSCs
You are basing your opinion on a new DXOMark Mobile lab rating? They don't even rate DR and low-light High ISO. I am basing my opinion on actual use in the field.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:50 AM   #20
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You are basing your opinion on a new DXOMark Mobile lab rating? They don't even rate DR and low-light High ISO. I am basing my opinion on actual use in the field.
I expressed my subjective opinion based on my hands on experience and observations. ( including that the iPhone 5 performs better in low light than a cheap compact).
I then decided to post the results of objective testing, as neutral evidence.
But as to our subjective opinions, we will agree to disagree.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:04 AM   #21
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Back to the OP's post - just FYI so that you know...'Powershot' is a general name for Canon's entire system of P&S cameras, rather than just one model. Sort of like how General Motors has a division called 'Chevrolet' and within that division, they make a dozen or more models of car that have the Chevrolet badge on them, all different. Sony calls their P&S line 'Cybershot'. Nikon calls their P&S line 'Coolpix', and so on. Within each of these camera lines are dozens of models ranging from cheap basic boxes to slimline pocketables to travel zooms to mini-DSLR looking superzooms to enthusiast compacts, and so on.

I just wanted to explain that, both for you and to many others who ask about their cameras and might not realize that there are many models within that line. So the important part everyone needs to know about which Canon Powershot camera you got are the letter and number combination that follows the Powershot name, ie: S100, G1X, G15, etc.

Then, you can get a little more help from those who are familiar with that camera as to how to get the most out of it, and whether it is a good fit for your needs!
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:33 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by havoc315 View Post
I expressed my subjective opinion based on my hands on experience and observations. ( including that the iPhone 5 performs better in low light than a cheap compact).
I then decided to post the results of objective testing, as neutral evidence.
But as to our subjective opinions, we will agree to disagree.
I just took the same shot with an iPhone 5 and a Nikon Coolpix 8100 (inexpensive and a few years old). Both images can be seen here as a slide show:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/49...ern5/slideshow

The original iPhone picture can be found here:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/49...wnload/2378987

The original P&S picture can be found here:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/49...wnload/2378986

The P&S image is far superior for numerous reasons.

Last edited by rossb; 01-03-2013 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:53 PM   #23
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Yes, there are some point and shoots that are better overall than an iPhone...my i love using my Sony HX30 over my iPhone.

But, I believe most point an shoots, especially the sub-$200 ones are generally inferior to an iPhone (unless you need zoom, of course). I owned two of them (Sony H70 and Nikon Coolpix s3100) they were slow, noisy, felt cheap..
And most cameras I see in Sunday ads, are from manufactures cheap lines, like those.

What I see, is quite a few people with a several year old PnS, get a new iPhone, and rarely touch a dedicated camera again...and that includes my parents, when I grew up, my mom had a 110 film camera and my dad had a manual Nikon F body SLR, and a 8mm movie camera. Now they only carry iPhones and are happy

On the other hand, there I more DSLr use among soccer moms, but the PnS is getting squeezed.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:42 AM   #24
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I just took the same shot with an iPhone 5 and a Nikon Coolpix 8100 (inexpensive and a few years old). Both images can be seen here as a slide show:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/49...ern5/slideshow

The original iPhone picture can be found here:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/49...wnload/2378987

The original P&S picture can be found here:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/49...wnload/2378986

The P&S image is far superior for numerous reasons.
Both very poor pictures, but for different reasons. Though very importantly, appears you used the flash for the P&S but turned the flash off for the iPhone picture. You therefore have the harsh horrible flash glare in the p&s pic, and the eyes of your subject closed. Since it appears you didn't use the flash in the iPhone pic, you have much better, more even lighting and a natural expression on your subject's face. But the blown up copy of the low light photograph shows tons of noise and poor focus. So this isn't really a test of p&s vs iPhone, it appears to be a test of flash versus non-flash.
This weekend, I'll post some side by side images, actually taken under the same circumstances.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:29 AM   #25
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Flash was on in both pics. I can see shadows created by the iPhone flash on the wall and I can see the flash in their eyes.

If you think that the iPhone picture is better than the P&S picture then I think that continuing this conversation is pointless.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:00 AM   #26
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Flash was on in both pics. I can see shadows created by the iPhone flash on the wall and I can see the flash in their eyes.

If you think that the iPhone picture is better than the P&S picture then I think that continuing this conversation is pointless.
If the flash was on in both pics, then there are indeed some surprises. The iphone flash, while less bright, is far more even and creates much more natural lighting. Though both pictures demonstrate why I hate using in-camera flashes as low light compensation.
When viewed in a normal print size, such as 4X6.. you don't see tremendous differences in the image quality. The P&S is brighter and sharper, but has much worse glare from the flash. The iphone picture, the girl is out of focus but that's because she leaned forward out of the plane of focus. In the other picture, she leaned back, so both kids are in the same plane of focus.

Now, the camera you used did not meet the criteria I laid out -- a P&S under $150. The Nikon Coolpix 8100 was $300 when it was released, and still sells for over $150 at most retailers. ($159 at Amazon, $228 at buy.com).
Thus, even though you didn't use a budget P&S --- For the casual photographer, the iphone 5 still has a ton of advantages over this mid-level point and shoot. Specifically, the Nikon Coolpix S8100 lacks an ultra high resolution screen, lacks touch screen autofocus, lacks GPS, lacks WiFi. While the iphone 5 has an aperture of 2.4, with biggest aperture on the 8100 is 3.5. It lacks panorama, lacks HDR.

So even compared to a mid-level p&s, the iphone 5 has a very very long list of advantages. Though I do believe that in terms of pure image quality, judging nothing but image quality, a mid-level p&s should slightly outperform the iphone 5. Of course, the casual photographer could easily look at the long long list of advantages of the iphone 5, and pick it over even a mid-level point and shoot. (There are many rational casual photographers who would gladly take the conveniences and advantages of the iphone over a dslr).
And as I said -- compared to a budget P&S, where I think the IQ of the iphone is at least on par, if not better, and then throw in the long list of iphone advantages, and it kicks the butt of the budget p&s.

I'll post some side by side images with an actual budget P&S, not a mid-level. I'll post them side by side, blind... outdoor and indoor shots, with and without flash. I'm using my 8-year-old son's 10mp Sony Cybershot, that we got him for about $100, 2 years ago. I'd post them now, but I need to upload the P&S pics. Much much easier to upload the pictures from the iphone, obviously yet another advantage.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:44 AM   #27
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The 8100 was Nikon's lowest cost travel zoom 2 years ago. It is a bare bones, fully auto camera. I paid approx $150 for it 2 years ago and as you mentioned it costs about the same now if you can find it (discontinued). I have numerous other P&S models that also outperform the iPhone 5. Two of them are a 7-year old Canon A570IS and a 4-year old Canon SD1200IS and both were less than $150. I also have a Canon SX260 and a Lumix ZS7, both of which are much better than the iPhone but they are closer to $200 each. They have GPS and huge zooms as well.

Looking at the pics I posted above I see tremendous noise in the iPhone pic (so much for better low light than a P&S). I also see no contrast, lots of noise reduction, no detail, and muted color. The iPhone flash is not creating more even lighting, it is just has no power and is unable to light up detail. Check the couch detail near the kids feet. Yes, direct flash can be harsh. The same can be said then I take direct flash shots like this with my full frame SLR.

The iPhone has a tiny sensor and a super wide lens to compensate, so pretty much everything is always in focus. The distance between the kids is not enough to cause a significant difference in sharpness. Take a look at her pants and the Cars pillow on the left. Both have the same camera to subject distance in both images, yet the iPhone version of them is much softer. Look at the boy's facial detail, there is much more detail in the P&S shot.

The P&S advantage continues outside in bright light, with much sharper images, better color, more detail, more DR, and an optical zoom. It also allows you to control settings like ISO and WB. The 'HDR' feature of the iPhone is useless, many P&S cameras have the same feature.

I have no doubt that the iPhone is good enough for some people. I use it often, but I carry a dedicated camera when I want better pictures. Some people feel that carrying a full frame SLR is a waste when a P&S can take pictures that are 'just as good'. The iPhone vs P&S debate is just another extension of that logic.

Last edited by rossb; 01-04-2013 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:07 AM   #28
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The P&S advantage continues outside in bright light, with much sharper images, better color, more detail, more DR, and an optical zoom. It also allows you to control settings like ISO and WB. The 'HDR' feature of the iPhone is useless, many P&S cameras have the same feature.
As I said, I'll post my own comparison shots later. We'll see whether viewers can even figure out which is the iphone and which is the p&s. I will say, that in the images I snapped this morning, it appears that the iphone pictures have much better dynamic range. (though can't tell for sure, because the resolution on the p&s screen is so poor compared to the iphone). You took 1 really bad iphone picture, and are trying to make generalizations about it. (and yes, even dSLR pop-up flashes are harsh -- Which is why, I take about 5,000 pictures per year, and I probably have used built-in flashes for less than 100 out of those 5,000 pictures.) So I'll post a fair test -- low light with and without flash. Outdoor natural light.


Yes -- the iphone is lousy at allowing manual controls. But so are budget P&S cameras. The 10mp Cybershot that I am using for my comparison pictures -- has no manual controls except turning the flash on and off, and a macro focus mode. No ISO, no WB. And certainly no HDR. Yes, some P&S Cameras has HDR -- but won't find it in many budget P&S cameras.
Again, name 1 P&S camera under $150 that has: HDR, Panorama, GPS, wifi, 2.4 aperture, touch-screen autofocus, and an ultra high resolution display?

For now, I'll leave this image (not taken by me) to show the gorgeous potential of the iphone camera:


Cat by Rjfos, on Flickr
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:41 AM   #29
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You took 1 really bad iphone picture, and are trying to make generalizations about it.

Again, name 1 P&S camera under $150 that has: HDR, Panorama, GPS, wifi, 2.4 aperture, touch-screen autofocus, and an ultra high resolution display?
I am not generalizing about 1 bad picture. That is your interpretation of what I posted. I simply used an iPhone 5 and a 2-year old Megazoom to take the same picture last night. I used the pictures to illustrate that the iPhone does not beat the P&S in IQ. The pictures I posted are samples of how people will typically use these cameras. They are not lab shots taken in controlled environments with external lighting.

In-Camera HDR is useless. True HDR requires 3 bracketed exposures and image merging software. F2.4 aperture is meaningless in an iPhone. A F3.5-5.6 kit lens on a APS-C SLR gathers more light than my iPhone. The High-Res display is nice (if you can see it outdoors in bright light), but touch screen AF is a gimmick. The stuff you mentioned has nothing to do with IQ, which is what I was discussing.

As I said in my last post, I use an iPhone and I certainly believe that some people are satisified with its IQ. I'm not one of those people.

Last edited by rossb; 01-04-2013 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:11 AM   #30
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I am not generalizing about 1 bad picture. That is your interpretation of what I posted. I simply used an iPhone 5 and a 2-year old Megazoom to take the same picture last night. I used the pictures to illustrate that the iPhone does not beat the P&S in IQ. The pictures I posted are samples of how people will typically use these cameras. They are not lab shots taken in controlled environments with external lighting.

In-Camera HDR is useless. True HDR requires 3 bracketed exposures and image merging software. F2.4 aperture is meaningless in an iPhone. A F3.5-5.6 kit lens on a APS-C SLR gathers more light than my iPhone. The High-Res display is nice (if you can see it outdoors in bright light), but touch screen AF is a gimmick. The stuff you mentioned has nothing to do with IQ, which is what I was discussing.

As I said in my last post, I use an iPhone and I certainly believe that some people are satisified with its IQ. I'm not one of those people.
To answer your first paragraph -- I don't often use my iphone 5 for photography, because I do use an advanced compact, and a dSLR. But the times I do use my iphone for pictures, so "typical use" -- the shots come out much much better than your shot.

Second paragraph -- In-camera HDR is not at all useless. It does take bracketed shots, and they are merged. It does not have the same dramatic effects you can achieve with RAW mergers on photomatix, but it does significantly increase the dynamic range compared to what you can get without HDR. As to the "other stuff" -- Read all my posts in this thread -- It's largely because of all that "other stuff" that the iphone 5 kicks the butt of sub $150 (certainly sub $100) point and shoots.


In terms of your last paragraph, you may not be satisfied with the IQ. But then you also wouldn't be satisfied with the IQ of most sub-$150 point and shoots. Compared to a budget compact, the iphone has at least equivalent, if not superior IQ, and all that other stuff. (Again, your comparison wasn't even to a budget compact that falls under the $150 or $100 price range). Lab testing confirms that the iphone 5 IQ is pretty darn good, and better than older cheaper p&s cameras. (even better than some older very good compacts). If you want to ignore lab results and just look at "real world" -- then I can post hundreds of SPECTACULAR real world shots taken with the iphone 5.

Nothing wrong with the IQ:


iPhone Panorama by Rodrigo Fernandes da Silva, on Flickr


iPhone 5 Test Photo Sample Image Low Light (ISO 800) by Alexander Kurz, on Flickr
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