The most obvious reason to pack a DSLR on a trip is image quality. Anyone who’s into photography and interested in taking beautiful photographs would agree. You can have full control over a wide variety of environments including those difficult situations at night.
However, with the smartphone sales growth worldwide and the social media boom, the game has changed. Do you know that Flickr, with more than 8 billion photos to date, has more smartphone users than DSLR users? Smartphones have definitely won the war against compact cameras which have rapidly plummeted over the past years. Now the question, will you ditch your DSLR over your smartphone?
Here’s a quick and simple infographic on DSLR vs Smartphone:
1. Low Light Situation
Having less light is a nightmare for mobile phones and generally you won’t get a shot as good as a DSLR would. The reduced picture quality is due to the small size of the light sensor. The most state-of-the-art phones have a CMOS sensor that can compensate for this, but still the lack of a powerful flash still limits their performance.
2. Real Zoom
Mobile phones don’t have an optical zoom. They only have a digital zoom, which re-frames and edits the photo, and often results in pixelation of the image. This shortcoming obliges you to get closer to your model rather than using the zoom. If you like taking extreme close-ups, you need to bring your mobile right up close to the subject. As a result, the subject won’t stand out as well from the background as it would with a compact camera.
DSLR batteries can last for 2-3 days compared to a day of average smartphone usage. If you are walking around taking an obscene amount of photos on your smartphone, you’ll quickly find yourself unable to check your email at the next coffee shop. The battery life of a mobile phone is shorter than that of a compact camera, especially if you use it for surfing the Web or making phone calls. Its memory will also become full more quickly if you accumulate apps and HD videos. You are better off taking along your compact camera when you go on vacation or a long walk
Space is a big factor when traveling light or even on a long trip. Do you want to squeeze your DSLR to save space or carry an extra camera bag for it. Take note that you’ll be carrying the lens[es], batteries, battery charger, and any accessories you find necessary. There are some places, unfortunately, that having a large camera strapped to your neck will make you a target, so use your discretion.
5. Social Media Sharing
If you like to keep people back home updated on your travels and you didn’t bring a laptop, uploading those photos from your DSLR may be challenging. I made it a daily routine to sit down, transfer the photos from my SD card, and upload three or four of my favorite shots of the day. Had I not been carrying my laptop, I probably would have waited until I got home to do so, which would have resulted in quite a lot of sorting and selecting. With a smartphone, however, it’s as easy as finding a Wi-Fi connection.
Quality vs Convenience
Probably, this boils down to choosing between quality and convenience. Maybe most of us owns both cameras but sometimes you just want to choose over the other. For me, I’d always choose to bring my DSLR for important occasions and special trips just to make sure I get the best photographs. While for casual events and activities, I can ditch the hassle of bringing an extra baggage when all I need can be pulled out of my pocket. What’s important is you don’t miss to capture the memories that will last a lifetime. 🙂
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