My phone is my camera is my phone is my camera

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ILP denizens!

I am in the market at the moment for a phone upgrade and can't help noticing phone cameras have been creeping up in pixel count and capability over the last couple of years.

At the moment I have a Cybershot T-Series for sticking in my pocket at times when I don't want a big camera out with me - at night on holiday in foreign cities, for example - and it's fine but I'm beginning to have a nagging doubt that it's an extra thing to be carrying at times like that and that something like an Experia Z2 or a Lumix 1080 might give me as good results.

I've tried a bit of googling to help me but most reviews seem to plump for the iPhone 5 as "best overall", which I'm sure is just shorthand for "you're going to buy an iPhone anyway so let's validate your decision" since it seems to underperform on all their tests. So you are my next hope. Does anybody have any experiences that can help me make my mind up?

Daniwa, guys! Daniwa! (aldo), Wednesday, 11 June 2014 07:55 (ten years ago) link

I had a Nokia N95 years ago that I rated more than some of the earlier iPhones - it had a relatively reasonable lens which helped. May be worth looking at one of the new Nokias?

My girlfriend recently got a Lumia X1 (i think) that seems to give decent results.

I have an iPhone 5. It's ok, always a bit underwhelmed by the results but that may be poor technique on my part as I've seen others get brilliant results.

michaellambert, Wednesday, 11 June 2014 08:47 (ten years ago) link

happy with my nexus 5 camera, outside shots especially make my actual camera kind of an extravagance

Raccoon Tanuki, Wednesday, 11 June 2014 16:09 (ten years ago) link

seven years pass...

Shot a bit tonight and thought I’d post some a/bs of the iPhone 13 pro and the Fuji film x70. Unretouched jpegs. The Fuji is set to emulate velvia.

calstars, Sunday, 10 October 2021 23:37 (two years ago) link

Wait, you live in Colonie?

Spiral Scratchiti (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 10 October 2021 23:44 (two years ago) link


calstars, Sunday, 10 October 2021 23:50 (two years ago) link

Phone shots are terrific, of course, and so far ahead of anything you could do even five years ago but I always find something a bit uncanny about low-light pics on modern smartphones. Like, they're trying too hard to be wide dynamic range and evenly lit, so you get something technically impressive but atmospherically flat; I end up dialling up the contrast and black point anyway.

Velvia was always a very narrow-latitude film, so of course these Fuji JPGs won't have much shadow detail... but I like it that way :)

Still... you could process those iPhone shots to look like the Fuji in a few taps, but going the other way wouldn't be so easy (without the raw). Unless you're printing or displaying big, hard to argue in favour of a large-sensor compact vs a modern phone.

Michael Jones, Monday, 11 October 2021 10:42 (two years ago) link

Interesting re: narrow latitude of velvia. I have a lot more to learn and a lot more experimenting to do. Not even sure I need to bother with the film simulation modes at all. I guess I’m very used to the shadows it creates at this point. I don’t like the phone photos much…as you say, kind of flat and concerned with exposing and leveling out everything in frame.

calstars, Monday, 11 October 2021 12:18 (two years ago) link

vastly prefer the Fujifilm version of the second shot (higher contrast is good here), but the colours in the first shot are shockingly washed out and the iPhone wins handily for me

Tracer Hand, Monday, 11 October 2021 12:32 (two years ago) link

Interesting that the Velvia simulation decided to rein in the intensity of the illuminated sign... cos my experience of (real) Velvia 50 is that it looooves those saturated reds...

And skies, even when stuck on a Tube train, with (fake) Velvia...

Michael Jones, Monday, 11 October 2021 12:44 (two years ago) link

six months pass...

I’m so tired of the “the best camera is the one you have on you all the time” argument, as well as “computational photography really adds a lot here.” Just stop with that nonsense.

calstars, Wednesday, 20 April 2022 01:24 (two years ago) link

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