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About Den-Fi

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  1. I get asked A LOT if I think smartphone cameras have gotten to the level of dSLR cameras and that's a question I quickly answer NO to.

    Sure, for your average consumer™, you get results that can look absolutely fantastic, but the use case is limited.

    You're probably not going to print it. It'll get posted on social media and someone will glance at it and understand what was going on. Job done.

    For me though, there are things I need to capture for my own gratification. I like complete control and having too much information.

    These things are not granted when you're using a smartphone. Smartphones make a lot of guesses and decisions to compensate for its sensor.

    Sure, you can get programs like Camera+ to shoot "RAW" but it is far from the same.


    Smoothing is probably the greatest sin a smartphone camera commits. Sharpening falls into second place. This is not something you mind too much with general photos, but macro is my bread and butter. A combination of over-smoothed and over-sharpened when it comes to macro is just plain painful to look at.


    In the example I posted below, I used the iPhone 11 Max's camera on full auto. (Both are editing in my usual style with Lightroom). It was given plenty of light to avoid over-smoothing from noise, but you can tell it still did it anyway. It also detrimentally sharpened the photo. This results in seeing the rough texture of the case in some spots (way rougher than it actually looks due to over-sharpening), but weirdly smooth for most of it. It looks "fine" but that is never what I'm after. At the end of the day I take photos for myself first, and everyone else later.


    Smartphone cameras have come a LONG way. They really have. To do what they can do with limited space for both a sensor and a lens  is amazing. They've brought a level of accessibility to photography that has opened the door for many. I appreciate that more people than ever eventually get dSLRs after seeing what is possible with their smartphone. It's just like someone building their first custom PC after experiencing a pre-built. I love watching the technology grow and do think that dSLR tech can learn from smartphone tech. I am genuinely impressed with my phone in some instances, just not most. For me, I will always reach for my clunky dSLR. It feels better in the hand, I have the control I need, I have the detail I need, and I have access to ALL of the information from the sensor. I should also mention that I have the ability to light the photo the way I want to. I used a strobe for the dSLR photo bounced from the ceiling. For the iPhone photo I used LED light bounced from the ceiling.


    That's my stance. Smartphones are great, but they cannot replace dSLRs for my needs. Much in the same way some photographers don't even think dSLRs can replace film.




    iPhone 11 Pro Max, full auto, LED light bounced from the ceiling. Light is diffused again with a large 60" diffuser.




    Canon EOS R w/ 50mm f/1.2 L (1/160, f.2.2, ISO 400), Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT @ 1/8 power bounced from the ceiling. Light was not diffused a second time.

    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. Den-Fi





      @James Evens You can, but you still have inherent sharpening and smoothing happening on levels that make it impossible for even RAW to control. So it's more information, but still not what I would consider RAW. The result is improved, but I find that it introduces really weird color artifacts and hot spots. So "better" but still not remotely usable to me.



    3. MEC-777


      No comparison, IMO.

    4. Tog Driver

      Tog Driver

      (I thought about saying something here, but there is a ~0% chance it wouldn't backfire)