For the average person, is there really a need for a dedicated camera anymore?

Apr 27, 2000
16,728
0
91
#1
This is assuming they have a higher end phone like a iphone/Galaxy/Pixel

I have a Sony a6500 and I hardly ever use it and have been flip flopping on selling it the past few months, I have someone that is ready to buy right now for 975 and I am seriously considering it.
 
Sep 17, 2002
14,716
3
106
#2
I have a Canon 70D with several very nice lenses.

While most of my photos are from my iPhone, my really great photos invariably are from my DSLR. The quality those lenses produce is hard to replicate in a phone...especially when taking pics of the kids.
 

corkyg

Elite Member | Peripherals
Super Moderator
Mar 4, 2000
27,247
44
106
#3
The problem is, what is the average person? For simple snapshots and selfies, the phone cam is adequate. If one likes photography as a hobby, the phone cam lacks, and the handling of product is more complex than with a dedicated digicam.
 

RLGL

Golden Member
Jan 8, 2013
1,460
40
106
#4
I have nothing but trouble trying to take pics with my phone. Invariably I touch something and everything on the screen changes. Trying to set the phone up for a shot where the auto setting will not work is impossible for me.
The fix : I have a Nikon D40x but it is too big to carry and keep handy in the car etc. So I bought a Sony Cybershot DSC RX100M3. So far I love it.
 

CuriousMike

Platinum Member
Feb 22, 2001
2,917
49
136
#5
The fact that
(a) you ask the question
and
(b) you hardly ever use it
seems to indicate that for you, no, you don't need it.

Smartphones take perfectly acceptable ( and sometimes good ) photos in good light - maybe that's all you need.
 

Carson Dyle

Diamond Member
Jul 2, 2012
8,174
88
126
#6
Most people today use only their phones to take photos. So the answer is clearly "no".

I happened to walk past the camera display in the local Walmart a couple weeks ago and was blown away by how few cameras they now carry in the store. Probably 1/4 the number of models that they had on display five years ago.
 

luv2liv

Diamond Member
Dec 27, 2001
3,308
7
91
#7
i have a small Canon M6 and im considering selling it too. in good daylight, the samung s7 is good enough.
will still keep the Canon 80D for serious vacation photos and videos though.
 

jtvang125

Diamond Member
Nov 10, 2004
5,397
3
91
#8
Yes, for the average users the camera on recent phones is good enough for them. The recent ones are now using computational methods to create effects only possible before on dedicated cameras, such as portrait mode (shallow DOF), better digital zoom and more. The lack of optical zoom is now being handled by dual lenses. Low light is still not up to par with a larger sensor camera but has significantly gotten better compared to older phone cameras. Throw in the convenience factor and you'll know why camera sales are shrinking every year.

I too have the a6500 and a Galaxy s8. They complement each other perfectly. However it does take more effort with the camera because I have to make sure the batteries are charged and lug it and any lens I want to use around with me all day. It's not something that is "get up and go" like a phone. But I enjoy photography so this doesn't bother me.
 

Nashemon

Senior member
Jun 14, 2012
889
0
91
#9
Went on my honeymoon last year. First real vacation I've taken in 6 years. We took our phones (iPhone 6, and iPhone 7), and a Sony point-and-shoot camera my wife got as a gift years ago. It's maybe a $150-200 camera. The pictures from the camera blew everything the phones took out of the water. From that experience, it is my opinion that phones can't take night shots, period, and if you ever intend on blowing anything up, you need an actual camera.

However, to answer your question, for the average person, no probably not. Particularly the younger generation who doesn't even care that their photos disappear forever after just 10 seconds.
 

turtile

Senior member
Aug 19, 2014
428
8
91
#10
I don't think any average person ever really needed a dedicated camera but they always want one. If you have no interest in photography, why bother? It's like buying a $2000 computer when all you do is watch videos, browser the internet and use Word. People just buy things they want even though they don't need it. But it is good for those of us interesting in these areas because it allows for better products at a lower price.
 

StrangerGuy

Diamond Member
May 9, 2004
8,399
9
91
#11
I don't think any average person ever really needed a dedicated camera but they always want one. If you have no interest in photography, why bother? It's like buying a $2000 computer when all you do is watch videos, browser the internet and use Word. People just buy things they want even though they don't need it. But it is good for those of us interesting in these areas because it allows for better products at a lower price.
Phones vs A6000 stock lens auto https://youtu.be/Ond8A3d1PIg?t=115

HDR sunset scene: A6000 worst performer
Lit night scene: A6000 also worst performer
Dim night scene: A6000 finally "wins" but only because 15x the exposure time of Pixel 2. Also much harder to get a decent image compared to phones

tl:dr If all you gonna shoot is wide-angle auto, don't even bother with a standalone cam anymore.
 

Syborg1211

Diamond Member
Jul 29, 2000
3,293
1
81
#13
I don't think any average person ever really needed a dedicated camera but they always want one. If you have no interest in photography, why bother? It's like buying a $2000 computer when all you do is watch videos, browser the internet and use Word. People just buy things they want even though they don't need it. But it is good for those of us interesting in these areas because it allows for better products at a lower price.
This^^. If you're too bothered to bring your camera out, then you're not that into photography. Also, wanting to capture random snapshots on your phone does not mean you are into photography.
 

zCypher

Diamond Member
Aug 18, 2002
6,115
11
106
#14
No one "needs" a dedicated camera, except maybe professional photographers that might have a hard time remaining employed otherwise. "The average person" most certainly does not need a dedicated camera.

With that said, I've taken so many photos that are completely impossible with smartphones that even though I'm just a casual hobbyist, I don't think I could ever give up having a dedicated camera system. The smartphone tech is truly amazing and I can't wait to see where it goes from there, but at some point there's just no getting around the physics of it if you want to achieve a certain shot.
 

jtvang125

Diamond Member
Nov 10, 2004
5,397
3
91
#15
This^^. If you're too bothered to bring your camera out, then you're not that into photography. Also, wanting to capture random snapshots on your phone does not mean you are into photography.
Lol, this describes my sister and BiL exactly. They have cameras that can easily put their phones to shame but they never use it or take it anywhere. Then they'll be like "OMG the pictures from your camera are so good." Well all of your cameras sitting at home collecting dust are just as capable if you would just put in an ounce of effort to bring it along.
 

CuriousMike

Platinum Member
Feb 22, 2001
2,917
49
136
#16
put in an ounce of effort
No effort necessary for carrying your phone in your pants pocket.

Computational photography is growing by leaps and bounds - who knows what the smartphone camera will be capable of in 2-5-10 years. This is great for snapshot shooters who are getting more, high quality photos without an ounce of effort.
 

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
22,208
6
121
#17
Well all of your cameras sitting at home collecting dust are just as capable if you would just put in an ounce of effort to bring it along.
I think the ounce of effort that people are unwilling to do is to transmit the images from the camera to the internet. It isn't just that they have to charge and carry the dedicated camera--I think many people are willing to do that. It is that there still isn't a great way to get the images to where people want the image (Facebook, Instagram, Shutterfly, etc).

I've seen far too many people tell me that they have great images on their dedicated camera but that the images are useless because it will take 5 minutes to transfer to a computer and then another 5 minutes to transfer to the images from the computer to the internet. With a phone you open the program you want, take a photo, and you are done.

Yes, there are Wi-Fi cameras, but so far all that I've tried suck. There are Wi-Fi SD cards but I hear that they suck. I personally just take out the SD card and put it in an adapter to my phone, but even that is slow since I can't see the images in a size bigger than about 1 square cm so I just transfer all files and delete the ones I don't want. Unless the cheaper dedicated cameras connect directly to the various apps in a user friendly format, they will be doomed.

Me personally, I just bought a dedicated camera: an Olympus Tough TG-5. I wanted a camera that I can take anywhere without worry. After losing a phone and three dedicated cameras to water/rocks I hope I learned my lesson. I like it so far, except the Wi-Fi feature is lacking.
 

CuriousMike

Platinum Member
Feb 22, 2001
2,917
49
136
#18
And this is where the new low-energy BlueTooth connected cameras can shine.
They're constantly connected to your phone, making it trivial to send photos across.

I believe cameras like Nikon D500 and Panasonic G9 already have this; I'm not sure what more consumer oriented cameras have it.
 
Apr 27, 2000
16,728
0
91
#19
My a6500 has an app you can get on your phone that let you transfer photos
 

jtvang125

Diamond Member
Nov 10, 2004
5,397
3
91
#20
Most of the newer Sonys have the app to transfer photos and allow tethered shooting from a smartphone. There's also a setting you can turn on in the camera where every time you turn the camera off it'll automatically send the last batch of photos you took to your phone. This is over wifi and not BT. The a6500 has BT but it's only used for geotracking.

Yes, it's an extra step but the IQ difference is worth to me to use my camera than my phone.
 

carusoswi

Junior Member
Mar 5, 2018
4
0
1
#21
The average person would likely not shoot photos. The only reason that they do shoot photos is because they can do so with a camera phone that they carry in their pocket mainly for other reasons. I, too, carry a smart phone, but use it for photos only in situations where I absolutely need to take a photo and do not have one of my real cameras with me (fairly rare occasions). As has been expressed previously in this thread, the camera ap in smart phones is convenient since, if you need a "cell" phone (as most of us now do), you have it with you most of the time. The downside is its lack of flexibility. No photographer would put up with the tedious nature of making manual adjustments to a cell phone. A good follow-up question to that posed in this thread might be to query smart phone shooters as to how many photos they take where they make manual adjustments (other than switching between front and back facing lens). I would guess the affirmative response would be less than 1%.

Smartphone cameras are capable of capturing some amazingly humbling images, but they will not soon compete with real cameras (SLRs, DSLRs, and other more recent dedicated camera incarnations).

Respectfully,
Caruso
 

JimKiler

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 2002
3,316
6
91
#22
it is interesting to see point and shoot cameras in stores or being used these days. Phones are probably better than most point and shoots.
 

jtvang125

Diamond Member
Nov 10, 2004
5,397
3
91
#23
it is interesting to see point and shoot cameras in stores or being used these days. Phones are probably better than most point and shoots.
There's still a tiny market for them because not everyone has a smart phone or one recent enough for good pictures. Some want optical zoom. I think the rest are just uninformed about the capabilities of the camera in the latest phones. Dedicate cameras > smart phone cameras to them.

Personally I would not go compact on anything less than a 1" sensor.
 

CuriousMike

Platinum Member
Feb 22, 2001
2,917
49
136
#24
Small P&S can be had for... what, $150-$200 ?

The smallest 1" sensor compact P&S is probably $500++.
 

bfun_x1

Senior member
May 29, 2015
443
35
116
#25
Here are some caparison shots between the iPhone X and the OP's 6500.

Full Sunlight, poor indoor light, poor indoor light at 600+ ISO.

 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS