Build complex toys and simple tools
by Tony Karp
One of the popular exercises on the tech and photography blogs and forums is to compare a smartphone camera to a regular digital camera (extra points if the camera is a DSLR).Stop! This is silly. There are other comparisons that are far more interesting.For instance --
Can the camera take a picture the phone can't?
I have a Huawei P30 Pro smartphone and a Sony RX100 M6 camera. I use both. The choice of camera or phone depends on the situation.Let's start with the Huawei P30 Pro smartphone. It can do two things the Sony camera can't.1. It can see in the dark. Really. It's got some kind of new-fangled sensor and lots of software to make it even better. I've taken pictures by moonlight.2. It has a camera with a lens that's wider than any other lens I own. And it takes really good pictures. (Check out the picture above.) Not bad for a camera that's smaller than your thumbnail.
And what about the Sony camera?
What does the Sony RX100 M6 bring to the party?1. A real zoom lens. It's 24mm to 200mm, with some software fudging to go even further. Other cameras of this type have zoom lenses that go all the way up to 30X.2. A viewfinder. The phone's LCD panel is okay for wide angle and normal shooting, but you need a real viewfinder for anything longer. And the viewfinder is needed when working in bright sunlight.3. The ability to shoot bursts of images. This is a must for shooting any sort of action.
Something to meditate on: If you want to take all of the pictures in this blog, you'll need both the phone and the camera.One of the intriguing features of this discussion is that you always have your smartphone camera with you, but your regular camera, not so much. So, when leaving the house, I think of what I might find in my travels and decide whether I need the features of my Sony camera enough to go through the trouble of bringing it with me. In many cases, my smartphone is enough.
In the end, the phone vs camera discussion is more than who's got the best pixels. As with any tool, it's really about picking the right one for the job.Look for more exploration of this in future posts.
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