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Old 01-06-2013, 04:38 PM   #16
havoc315
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Originally Posted by Gianna'sPapa View Post
Call me picky, but I do like to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. You're using the latest cell phone technology to technology that is 2-3 years old. I don't know which one is which, but #2 seems to perform consistently better. I just question your methodology. Some of the photos appear to be at different focal lengths which can also affect the image. You would have been better served to use a stabilizing platform to better replicate the images. I think you need to improve your testing methodology.
I tried to use the same focal length. The iPhone is 33mm, I believe. The compact had to be zoomed in slightly for this focal length. Did my best to get them close.

Yes, the compact is old. I wasn't going to buy a new compact just to run this test. But I still think its a fair test for the question presented. As people with smartphones do tend to upgrade every 2 years or so. While most people keep their cameras around longer.
And I certainly believe a new, mid level compact will match or exceed the iPhone. But the question is really, how does it compare to a "cheap" camera.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:41 PM   #17
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I just came from a family party. Two of these pics were taken with an iPhone 4s (not mine). The other was taken with a $185 Canon SX260 pocket Megazoom. Both images are sized down, the iPhone pics were downloaded from a post to Facebook.



Once again, ignoring my under $150 challenge

But Ross, of the 10+ images I posted, which camera did better?
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:51 PM   #18
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Am I the only one who finds it ironic someone is willing to spend a few hundred dollars on a phone but not on a camera?

Personally I'd say they both are sub par and you should get a Samsung S3 which is going to be superior to the Iphone 4 or 5.

As to the question of which *one* is best, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Which camera *consistently* takes better pictures is something I'd be much more interested in.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:08 PM   #19
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Am I the only one who finds it ironic someone is willing to spend a few hundred dollars on a phone but not on a camera?

Personally I'd say they both are sub par and you should get a Samsung S3 which is going to be superior to the Iphone 4 or 5.

As to the question of which *one* is best, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Which camera *consistently* takes better pictures is something I'd be much more interested in.
That's why I posted 10+ samples, to judge consistency.

An iPhone 4S is $99 on contract, $50 at some retailers. And it does a lot more than take pictures.

Now, if you put a high value on your photography, then I absolutely agree -- set aside money and invest $$$ in a good camera. I certainly place such a value.

But for others who put less value on their photos... (Who already own a iPhone - galaxy siii- etc), they better off spending $100 on a cheap camera, or just sticking with the convenience and features of their phone?

My in-laws just got back from a 2 week trip to Israel. They projected their photo slideshow onto our 50inch HDTV. They stuck 100% to the convenience of their iPhone 4. (Not even 4s-- really a pretty poor camera ). I offered to lend them my Sony Rx100 -- but they weren't looking to put a priority on pictures. They wanted to stick to easy, simple, a device they carry anyway, and a device where they could easily share pics without having to upload to a computer.

Anyway, the point-- even with a "bad" camera phone, many of the pictures were interesting, sharp, and a pleasure to view. And they satisfied my in-laws quest for convenience.
As a photo snob myself, I would have wanted better pictures.
But for my Inlaws, and millions of people like them, there was simply no reason to use anything other than a smartphone.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:15 PM   #20
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I'll play.

I liked some of the images from Camera 1 better in some of the situations and the images from Camera 2 better in others.

Despite the questionable testing methodology, both cameras probably served the purpose of capturing a snapshot in the situations that you presented. And snapshots will probably suit a number of people in terms of what they wish the snapshot to represent when they come back to look at the picture in the future.

I haven't seen the other thread or discussion that kicked off this one, Havoc.
But you asked if we would spend extra money on a separate compact if I had an iPhone 5 or budget compact?
My answer is yes - providing I had a specific need or use for the separate compact. And the answer is yes irrespective of what dSLR and lenses I currently have in my bag. The snapshots for the budget compact and the iPhone 5 you've shown will not suit my photography needs in every situation. And the photographs I get out of my dSLR is great; but there will be times when I will need a separate high-end compact for specific situations.

But that's me.


Nice thread, though.

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Old 01-06-2013, 06:16 PM   #21
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As to the question of which *one* is best, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Which camera *consistently* takes better pictures is something I'd be much more interested in.
I agree with this post! I was looking at the picture options, and occasionally I thought the 1st one was better and occasionally I liked the 2nd one better. I found the 2nd one was brighter most of the time- be that a good thing or a bad thing seemed to depend on the picture. Both "cameras" can take a decent picture when the settings are understood and played with I'm sure. Would I want to use either for once-in-a-lifetime pictures? Probably not. Would I use either of them (once I learned the settings) to take regular, every day pictures? Sure. Would I use either of them to take pictures at Disney? Well it would depend on what I wanted from the pictures. Great pictures of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities? I don't want either. Pictures from the upteenth trip? Sure, why not.

That's my opinion.

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Old 01-06-2013, 06:40 PM   #22
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I haven't seen the other thread or discussion that kicked off this one, Havoc.
But you asked if we would spend extra money on a separate compact if I had an iPhone 5 or budget compact?
My answer is yes - providing I had a specific need or use for the separate compact. And the answer is yes irrespective of what dSLR and lenses I currently have in my bag. The snapshots for the budget compact and the iPhone 5 you've shown will not suit my photography needs in every situation. And the photographs I get out of my dSLR is great; but there will be times when I will need a separate high-end compact for specific situations.
Agreed 100%. There are times when one might want the convenience of a super zoom. Or the portability of a high end compact. (I used the Sony rx100 on my last Disney trip).

But what would you say to someone who already owns a good smartphone, who just wants basic good snap shots, and doesn't want to spend more than $100?

At current prices, you need to spend a minimum of $150-200 before you are clearly upgrading from a good smartphone. ( and even at that price point, many consumers will prefer the conveniences of the smart phone).
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:55 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by havoc315 View Post
Agreed 100%. There are times when one might want the convenience of a super zoom. Or the portability of a high end compact. (I used the Sony rx100 on my last Disney trip).

But what would you say to someone who already owns a good smartphone, who just wants basic good snap shots, and doesn't want to spend more than $100?

At current prices, you need to spend a minimum of $150-200 before you are clearly upgrading from a good smartphone. ( and even at that price point, many consumers will prefer the conveniences of the smart phone).
The answer I would give would depend on the individual in question and their wants, needs etc of what they want to capture.

I'll share. A friend of mine went to Japan purely with his iPhone 4S, which also has a reasonable camera. We DID have this conversation and given the individual he was, I suggested that he try only his iPhone for a bit. Afterall, he was going to Japan, the land of electronics, and if he didn't like the snaps from the iPhone, he could walk into any store and have his pick of cameras.

Needless to say, for the type of photography he was after, the iPhone was more than adequate for his needs.

If my friend had been a different personality type, I may well have changed my answer.

But really - unless you're going to Outer Mongolia - most destinations these days will have a camera store that you can go into and get a camera with a bunch of functions and zoom. I think the discussion is moot....as the decision can always be rectified with a walk into a camera shop.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:55 PM   #24
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An iPhone 4S is $99 on contract, $50 at some retailers. And it does a lot more than take pictures.
The price is built into the contract, you're still paying for it, be it up front or over a 2 year contract.

I get your point but buying a phone off of amazon with similar capabilities to the iphone 4/s ( save the camera) and putting the rest towards a decent point and shoot is going to be a wash.

I won't argue the convenience factor obviously.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:15 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by havoc315 View Post
Once again, ignoring my under $150 challenge

But Ross, of the 10+ images I posted, which camera did better?
I tried bringing up a few of the images in their original format and I gave up when a bunch of them were upside down and appeared to be corrupted. I know which cam is the iPhone and which is the Sony based on the resolutions. I will say that your P&S is horrible. It is soft, it is noisy, and it shows a lot of CA.

Is your iPhone a better imaging device than your Sony P&S? Maybe under certain circumstances. Your Sony appears to be pretty bad. Your original statement was "IMHO, the iPhone 5 kicks the pants off any p&s under about $150.". I still don't agree with that.

My P&S collection includes a bunch of pocket models in the $150-$200 range, none of which are advanced models with a "large sensor". Half of them are megazoom models with 10x, 12x, and 20x optical zooms. All of them take higher quality pictures than my iPhone, but I still use the phone often because it is so convenient.

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Old 01-06-2013, 08:57 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by havoc315 View Post
Agreed 100%. There are times when one might want the convenience of a super zoom. Or the portability of a high end compact. (I used the Sony rx100 on my last Disney trip).

But what would you say to someone who already owns a good smartphone, who just wants basic good snap shots, and doesn't want to spend more than $100?

At current prices, you need to spend a minimum of $150-200 before you are clearly upgrading from a good smartphone. ( and even at that price point, many consumers will prefer the conveniences of the smart phone).
It really depends on what the person's needs are. If they want a camera for snapshots that has easy, instant sharing then a phone is totally the way to go. It's why when I don't use my DSLR I only use my smartphone. But if there are many other reasons, the least of which is optical zoom, why someone would want a dedicated camera. ANd I strongly disagree that you have to spend $150 or more to get a better camera than what's in a smartphone. Better is subjective and if the camera in a smartphone doesn't meet your needs then that $100 could be very well spent on a cheap p&s. To say that a smartphone is the right solution for everyone who wants an under $100 camera is very shortsighted.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:05 PM   #27
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The price is built into the contract, you're still paying for it, be it up front or over a 2 year contract.

I get your point but buying a phone off of amazon with similar capabilities to the iphone 4/s ( save the camera) and putting the rest towards a decent point and shoot is going to be a wash.

I won't argue the convenience factor obviously.
Not quite sure I understand... From the consumer standpoint, the iPhone 4S is $50-$100. Yes, you could get a lesser phone for $0... But you're not going to get much of a camera for $50-$100.

I totally agree that a -good- camera is worth the investment. I'm not suggesting a phone camera is a replacement for a separate camera for all people.
But for those who want extreme convenience, decent snapshots, at a very low price --- if they already own iPhone or galaxy siii, etc, then they are already covered.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:10 PM   #28
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It really depends on what the person's needs are. If they want a camera for snapshots that has easy, instant sharing then a phone is totally the way to go. It's why when I don't use my DSLR I only use my smartphone. But if there are many other reasons, the least of which is optical zoom, why someone would want a dedicated camera. ANd I strongly disagree that you have to spend $150 or more to get a better camera than what's in a smartphone. Better is subjective and if the camera in a smartphone doesn't meet your needs then that $100 could be very well spent on a cheap p&s. To say that a smartphone is the right solution for everyone who wants an under $100 camera is very shortsighted.
I never said -everyone.-
In fact, I've repeatedly stated that if optical zoom is a priority, that's a big reason not to rely on your phone.
There may be a few other reasons for some cheap compacts. (Such as a cheap waterproof model to use in the pool). But for the most part, if you're just looking to shoot snapshots conveniently, the good camera phone can serve very well. The image quality can surpass a cheap compact, with lots of other "extras" such as touch screen, high resolution screen, GPS, wifi, etc, that can't be found in a cheap camera.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:11 PM   #29
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Not quite sure I understand... From the consumer standpoint, the iPhone 4S is $50-$100. Yes, you could get a lesser phone for $0... But you're not going to get much of a camera for $50-$100.
You misunderstood me, the price you pay for the phone ($50-$100) doesn't include the costs of the contract you have to buy to get the discounted phone.

i.e. You either pay the $400-500 for the iPhone up front or you pay $50 now and the rest built into your two year contract.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:17 PM   #30
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You misunderstood me, the price you pay for the phone ($50-$100) doesn't include the costs of the contract you have to buy to get the discounted phone.

i.e. You either pay the $400-500 for the iPhone up front or you pay $50 now and the rest built into your two year contract.
At least on my verizon plan, the monthly price doesn't change whether I have a subsidized phone or not. (Just can avoid the commitment of a long term contract).
So the monthly price is the same. Only way I know to save significantly on the monthly cell bill, is to skip the data -- skip a smart phone altogether. But I need a smart phone and a good data plan, regardless of the camera.
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