From the site Photography Life:
When I posted the article about the iPhone 7 Announcement, talking about all the great camera features of the phone, I was a bit surprised to see a few comments and emails from our readers, who said things like “It’s another nail in the coffin for paid photography in all areas”, or “iPhone will soon replace DSLRs”. While overall image quality and features are certainly getting better on smartphones, they will never be able to compete with dedicated interchangeable-lens camera systems. It is one thing to take a decent picture in broad daylight and totally different when photographing people in a dim wedding reception
This debate has been raging for some time now and I think it’s still too early to see what’s going to happen.
I think the fact that less people are choosing to buy cameras or DSLRs isn’t because these products are any less desirable, but instead reveals that the actual demand for these products has probably been inflated in the first place. Prior to smartphones becoming so good for taking photos, most people had to rely on digital cameras, which are often bulky or too good for what most people want to do at the spur of the moment, like taking photos of their food.
I agree with the author’s argument that digital cameras will never go away because they can take far superior photos that a smartphone cannot. This is limited by the form factor of the phone. No one wants a huge sensor or larger lens taking up valuable space that could otherwise be used for batteries on their phones or making a phone that much thicker and heavier to lug around.
The interesting thing though, is that now that everyone has a camera in their pocket, more people are actually taking photos and learning about photography. This might actual do camera companies a favour if they know how to capitalise on that increase in interest, and therefore, target these people who are unsatisfied with what smartphones can achieve. Companies should just ditch the ‘good enough’ camera models and really create amazing cameras that these users would love to use everyday. At least that’s my humble take on the matter.
On a related note, thanks to the fact that my iPhone’s camera has become so good, I often struggle to decide what camera to bring along with me depending on the situation.
At the moment I have a small DSLR (Canon EOS 350d), a compact camera (Sony RX100 iii), a Panasonic Camcorder (HC-V180) along with my iPhone 6. Each has it’s strengths and weaknesses, but I definitely don’t want to bring all of them with me everywhere I go.
The fact that my iPhone is with me all the time makes it my most used camera and because most of the images I take on it are just meant to record small moments, the quality of the shots is just fine. But for recording special moments (my kids first steps, for instance) using the Panasonic is far better as it has image stabilisation and is just more comfortable to hold for long durations.
For night shots and events I like to use the Sony because it takes really good shots in low light. It’s also small enough to fit in my pocket.
But for adventurous occasions I really love to use my Canon. I got a 18-200mm lens which really works well outdoors and the fast shutter means I usually don’t miss a shot. My 50mm f/1.8 lens was also great for taking portraits, that is until I broke it.
Next year my family is going on a trip to Myanmar which is really exciting but I’m faced with the difficulty of deciding which camera(s) to bring along. Something big that shouts out ‘tourist’? Something small to capture events even in crowded spaces, but that doesn’t allow me to zoom into details? I’m aware that the more stuff I bring the more likely I’m to lose things when I travel as well. Bringing the iPhone only would be a cop out but not an entirely tragic decision.
Guess it’s a good problem to have right?