Roll back to the year 2010. You are at a splendid location with natural and man-made beauty all around. You see a man taking pictures with… wait… a phone camera! You say to yourself “Am I seeing things? Is this guy nuts? How silly of him taking photos with a phone camera! Doesn’t he know that his images will be awful”?
If those were your thoughts, you could be forgiven; for those were the days when the image quality from phone cameras was, well, awful! Fast forward to 2018 / 2019. What a change! Sometimes, it’s difficult to believe that smartphones can now deliver exceptional image quality, as long as you don’t go overboard. By that I mean that you know your limits.
Let’s face it. You cannot compare the image quality from smartphones to D-SLRs and Mirrorless cameras, especially if the shots were taken in low light. If you were to photograph the same subject, under the same lighting and under identical conditions, the D-SLR / Mirrorless images would be definitely superior; but then you would be comparing images from a very small sensor (approximately 6 x 4 mm) to a very large sensor (36 x 24 mm or approximately 23 x 15 mm). That would be unfair. We also need to acknowledge that smartphones cannot replace D-SLRs / Mirrorless cameras when it comes to sports or wildlife photography. One limitation of smartphone cameras is the limited dynamic range. This means that under strong or medium strong light, highlights can blow out and shadows can go detail-less. Hence you would be better off shooting under soft/medium soft light.