Year on year, new smartphones appear in the market and their built-in cameras get better every time, yet can they truly match up to digital cameras?
Some of the best camera phones of 2017 have been branded as a tool for becoming a master of portrait photography, yet smartphones are still not quite up to par with the image quality of professional camera models.
Low-light images in the Google Pixel XL look legitimately great, the background-blurring bokeh effect on the iPhone 7 Plus is quite a nice addition, and the Leica lens in the Huawei seems smart.
The new lenses and sensors also generate high-quality images, and they all now possess the ability to shoot RAW images — the uncompressed, unaltered files that pro shooters rely on for truly deep-tissue editing.
The appeal of the smartphone camera is obvious – most people carry their phone just about everywhere, a solution to the large, heavy SLR.
Smartphones bring a degree of freedom that photographers hadn’t experienced before.
With camera grips like Pictar that DSLR your phone, and apps like VSCO Cam, Instagram and Snapseed, which have the ability to share and edit photos instantly, there’s no question to why smartphone cameras are highly popular.
If you are a more serious photographer, however, and want to experiment with shutter and aperture and develop your photography skills, it is worth buying a compact camera, particularly with manual control and a versatile lens.
There are certain things that make a mirrorless camera indispensable for those serious about good photography, especially on social media platforms.
The mirrorless camera fills the gap between smartphone and DSLR that was previously occupied by high-end compacts.
The best mirrorless cameras have the lens choice, image quality, and functionality of professional DSLRs in a lighter, cheaper, and smaller body.
The biggest difference between the two, in terms of performance, is the ability to enlarge images for print, and the gap is getting smaller.
Smartphones and compact digital cameras are both uncomplicated and very easy to use as you basically point and shoot, whereas mirrorless cameras normally require a few more settings to get the perfect shot.
However, the shot will most probably be much more technically correct than both the smartphone camera and the compact digital camera shots.
Mirrorless cameras also give superior image quality with much better colour accuracy than a smartphone.
Until technology produces smartphones that can seriously compete with powerful professional digital cameras, for consumers with distinct needs for their camera equipment, there is nothing on the market that can come close to a professional DSLR camera.
Some of the best entry-level and mid-level DSLR cameras in the market include Canon, Nikon and Fujifilm which are all available from Outdoorphoto.
The EOS 6D is ideal for budding photographers looking to take their creative DSLR photography skills to the next level by shooting with a full-frame CMOS sensor that captures beautiful high-quality portraits and striking landscapes, even in low-light situations.
At the core of the new 6D Mark II is a new 26.2-megapixel, full-frame CMOS sensor, up in resolution from the 20.2 megapixel in the original 6D.
The D500 is Nikon’s flagship DX model featuring a 20.9 megapixel CMOS sensor capable of native ISO of 100-51200.
It has a high frame rate of up to 10 fps ensures you will never miss the moment and with a 153-point autofocus system, tracking is extremely quick and accurate.
A 3.2″ touch screen LCD makes navigating the menu and settings a breeze.
Fujifilm’s update to the X-T1 may look similar at first glance, but there have been some big improvements and perhaps the biggest of all is the autofocus (AF) system.
It is a huge leap forward compared to the system found in the X-T1, with AF tracking of moving subjects now much more precise and swift, while the level of sophistication and customisation is impressive too.
With 8 fps burst shooting, a clever double-hinged rear display, bright EVF, excellent 24.3 megapixel X-Trans III CMOS sensor and plenty of body mounted controls that’s all wrapped-up in a tactile body, you’re left with one of the best cameras available today.
For more information about DSLR cameras available in South Africa, visit the Outdoorphoto online camera shop.
This article was published in partnership with Outdoorphoto.