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Smartphone And DSLR
CREDIT: Alan Hodgson ASIS FRPS

Smartphone photography

...how good is good?

Got into California yesterday for the Electronic Imaging conference. This morning I took a 4 hour course on smartphone image quality tuning. Courses like this are really useful to get a different perspective on a topic; it is both a personal and professional interest to me.

We cannot afford to criticise pictures just because they are not taken on a high end DSLR. The smartphone is the camera of choice for the vast majority of images and by most of society. And this course laid the comparison bare in a way that was really interesting.

Because of size constraints smartphones are not as good as DSLRs for telephoto work and low light. So the nature and astro photographers amongst us need to continue carrying all that kit around. Although less clear cut a similar situation applies for portrait and macro work. Flare is still an issue but the optics are fundamentally fixed.

Once you get to landscape and wide angle work the technologies look to be about equal, principally because of the amount of signal processing capability in the smartphone.

It is when you get to autofocus speed and signal processing that the smartphone wins hands down. We should continue to encourage this route into photography.