DSLR VS Iphone

Smartphone cameras VS Entry level DSLRs

Are smartphones and DSLRs even comparable?

Apple-iPhone-6.png
Can this smartphone be better than your DSLR?

Time to time, I get hit by the pro DSLR bug, and that really makes me ignore the potential of what’s already accessible to me. I have a smartphone with a 16 MP camera but can it compare to a DSLR?Smartphones, like I have said before, are being developed with phenomenal camera features. Majority of smart phones now offer more than eight megapixel CMOS sensor, which is amazing since the professional DSLRs from 9 years ago averaged to about 12 MP.

The line between DSLR and smartphones is continuously being blurred due to the ability to shoot RAW and change shutter speeds in some phones. Also, Instagram has contributed to a new breed of photographers, the iPhoneographers. iPhoneographers exclusively shoot with the smartphone, iPhone. This has led to the increase of mobile photography accessories like lenses and lighting systems.

Nikon D700 was a $3000 DSLR with only 12 MP in 2007.
Nikon D700 was a $3000 DSLR with only 12 MP in 2007.

If you had a choice between a DSLR vs a smart phone, which would offer more? To me the clear choice is a smart phone, because of the calling, texting and internet features it offers with the growing camera features. It has become a perfect a digital package.

I should mention, I don’t plan to forever switch to smartphones for my photography, I will most likely invest in a DSLR in the future. For now, I’m satisfied with my smart phone because it meets my needs. DSLRs are still very important because they  give more creative control in regards to ISO performance, lens selection, and ability to use studio light systems.

For this article, I’ve compared S6 Edge, iPhone 6, Sony A6000, Canon Rebel T6i and Nikon D3300. All the stats are from cnet.com. I’ve highlighted the top performances in green. Please let me know if I have missing or wrong information on any of the slots. Thanks.

Smartphones VS Entry-level DSLRs SHOWDOWN!

Apple-iPhone-6.pnggalaxy-s6-edge_gallery_front_gold.png

canon_0591c005_eos_rebel_t6i_dslr_1116102.jpg1529_D3300_left.png
Smart phones VS Entry level DSLRs

Resolution

 Camera Resolution (Rear) Samsung  S6 Edge (2015)
 CMOS 16MP
 iPhone 6 (2014)
8MP
Sony a6000 (2014)
24.3 MP

 CMOS
Canon Rebel T6i (2015)
CMOS 24.2 MP
Nikon D3300
(2014)

CMOS 24.2 MP

In the smartphone section, S6 Edge takes the lead with 16MP. This is outstanding since  Nikon D700, which is a professional grade camera from 2007, has only 12.1 mega pixels. In the DSLR section, entry level DSLRs are ranging from 24.2 mp to 24.3. It’s fair to mention that the phones have less than a micro third sensor compared to the APS-C sensor on the DSLR.

It’s amazing that we have entry level DSLRs and phones now that have even more to offer than the professional over $3000 cameras from 10 years ago. Although, this advancement was adamant since camera manufacturers have been in the mega pixel race for a long time, but do regular hobbyists really require the 24.3 mp resolution? especially since majority of them are not shooting billboards so megapixels really shouldn’t matter.

Main Display Resolution

Main Display Resolution Samsung  S6 Edge 
3.6M (Quad HD) (~577 ppi pixel density)
 iPhone 6 

1M (~326 ppi pixel density)

Sony a6000  921,600 pixels Canon Rebel T6i

1,040,000 pixels

Nikon D3300

(921,000 pixels)

iPhones and Samsungs both offer more display resolution than all the DSLRs. The S6 edge offers more than all the entry level DSLRs’ display resolution combined!

ISO Performance

ISO MAX Samsung  S6 Edge

50- 800

 iPhone 6 

32-1600

Sony a6000  100-25600 Canon Rebel T6i 

100-25600

Nikon D3300 

100-25600

DSLRs take the upperhand in ISO performances with their reach of up to 25.6k. It’s fair to mention though, prosumer SLR’s like the Nikon D90 could only reach max 3200, few years ago.  So smartphones are really not that bad in terms of its ISO performance.

Shutter speed 

 Max /Min Shutter Speed  Samsung  S6 Edge

N/A

 iPhone 6 

N/A

Sony a6000   1/4000
30s
  Canon Rebel T6i

1/4000
30s

Nikon D3300

1/4000
30s

The smartphones I compared do not have the shutter speed customization options, but the S6 Edge + and S7 phones do.

Aperture

Lens Aperture Samsung  S6 Edge

f1.9

  iPhone 6 

f2.2

Sony a6000

 

F3.5 (kit lens)

Canon Rebel T6i

F3.5 (kit lens)

Nikon D3300

 

f3.5 (kit lens)

You can do bokeh on your smartphone!  The S6 Edge comes with the f1.9 aperture. Entry level DSLRs have f1.8 lens which is the cheapest option for them to have a good low aperture lens. This lens costs about $200 on average. DSLRs offer much more in regards to aperture since you can use different lenses with different apertures to meet your need (like the f1.2 ~$1200). In terms of aperture accessibility, DSLR wins, but it costs extra money.

Video

 Video Recording Resolution  Samsung  S6 Edge

UHD 4K
2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps,720p@120fps, HDR, dual-video rec.

  iPhone 6 

1080p@60fps, 720p@240fps

 Sony a6000 1920 x 1080 Canon Rebel T6i
 1920 x 1080
 Nikon D3300
1920 x 1080

As you can see, iPhone and Samsungs both offer 1080p video recording. The S6 Edge offers ultra 4k video recording that the entry level DSLRs don’t even come near. A smartphone is not the ideal camera for a film student, but it offers more for less.

Features

Features Samsung  S6 Edge

RAW file shooting, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, Auto HDR, panorama

CMOS sensor, Fast Motion mode, video recording, wide selfie mode, Low light shot, Pro mode, Quick Launch, Selective Focus, Slow Motion mode, Smart OIS, Tracking Focus, Virtual Shot

 iPhone 6
touch focus, geo-tagging, face/smile detection, HDR (photo/panorama)
 Sony a6000 24p Cinema Mode, Intelligent AUTO (iAUTO), Multi-Frame Noise Reduction, PhotoTV HD, PlayMemories Camera Apps support, Sweep Panorama technology,  Anti-motion Blur Mode, Dolby Digital Stereo Creator Canon Rebel T6i

Art Bold, Faithful, Fisheye, Grainy B&W, Landscape, Miniature, Monochrome, Neutral, Portrait, Soft Focus, Standard, Toy camera, Water painting

Nikon D3300
 Color outline, Color sketch, Monochrome, Neutral, Night Vision, Pop Color, Portrait, Selective Color, Silhouette, Super Vivid, Toy camera, Vivid, Fisheye, HDR Painting, High Key, Illustration, Image Overlay, Landscape, Low Key, Miniature

In terms of features, the most exciting feature for all photography lovers is the ability to shoot RAW images on the Samsung phones (on iPhones with an app). It’s initially the most important feature that is used to differentiate professional cameras from point and shoot. All the DSLRs and smart phones mentioned provide WIFI, NFC, geotagging, face detection, panorama and toy filters. The Sony a6000 offers apps in its system for more “features”, it’s kind of like in the middle in terms of a full DSLR and a smartphone, due to its mirrorless nature.

sony_a6000_review.png
Sony a6000 mirrorless camera – almost the size of an average smartphone

Price

Price 

(as of July 2016 CDN$)

Samsung  S6 Edge

$850 (32GB)

 iPhone 6 

$769 (16GB)
$899 (64 GB)

Sony a6000

$679
$829 with kit

Canon Rebel T6i

$929.99
$949 with kit

Nikon D3300

$449
$549 with kit

Nikon D3300 offers the most in terms of value currently as it’s only $549.

If you are in the market for a smartphone and enjoy photography be sure to look at the camera specs first!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you think smartphones might replace entry level DSLRs?
  • Would you switch your DSLR for a high tech smartphone?
  • What’s most important to you in a camera?
  • What type of photography do you do?
  • Do you like using big DSLRs or small compact ones?

Let me know your thoughts below.

For more information on smartphone photography, check out my other informative articles:

Hope this was helpful!


You can see the full comparison in this chart here. The information was collected from cnet.com.

 

Device Samsung  S6 Edge (2015) iPhone 6 (2014) Sony a6000 (2014) Canon Rebel T6i (2015) Nikon D3300
(2014)
 Camera Resolution (Selfie) 5 MP  1.2 MP N/A N/A N/A
 Camera Resolution (Rear)  CMOS 16MP  8MP 24.3 MP
 CMOS
CMOS 24.2 MP CMOS 24.2 MP
 Video Recording Resolution  UHD 4K

2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@120fps, HDR, dual-video rec.

 1080p@60fps, 720p@240fps  1920 x 1080  1920 x 1080  1920 x 1080
 ISO MAX 50- 800  32-1600  100-25600   100-25600  100-25600
 White Balance Automatic with options( 2500K 9900K, cloudy, daylight, flash, fluorescent light, incandescent)  Automatic with options (cloudy, daylight, flash, fluorescent light (white), shade, tungsten light)  2500K – 9900K, cloudy, daylight, flash, fluorescent light (cool white), fluorescent light (daylight white), fluorescent light (daylight), fluorescent light (warm white), incandescent, shade  cloudy, daylight, flash, fluorescent light (white), shade, tungsten light  Automatic, cloudy, flash, fluorescent, incandescent, shade, sunlight
 Max /Min Shutter Speed  N/A  N/A   1/4000
30s
  1/4000
30s
 1/4000
30s
 Main Camera – Flash  Yes  True Tone flash auto mode, fill-in mode, flash OFF mode, rear curtain sync, red-eye reduction, slow synchro  auto mode, fill-in mode, flash OFF mode, rear curtain sync, red-eye reduction  auto mode, fill-in mode, flash OFF mode, rear curtain sync, red-eye reduction, slow synchro
 Main Camera – Auto Focus  Yes  Yes  Predictive Focus Control

179 AF points

 AI Focus AF, Face-priority AF, FlexiZone, Predictive AI Servo AF, Subject-tracking AF, Zone AF  Face-priority AF, Subject-tracking AF
Lens Aperture f1.9  f2.2 F3.5 (kit lens)  F3.5 (kit lens)  f3.5 (kit lens)
 Main Display Resolution  3.6M (Quad HD) (~577 ppi pixel density) 1M (~326 ppi pixel density)  921,600 pixels  1,040,000 pixels  

(921,000 pixels)

 Main Display Size  5.1″ (129.2mm)

 

 4.7″

 

  3 “  3″  3 “
 Main Display Technology  Dual Edge Super AMOLED  Retina HD display  LCD display   LCD display   LCD display
 Color Depth  16M (24 bit)  16M (24 bit)  24, 16, 8bit  24, 16, 8bit  24, 16, 8bit
Features RAW file shooting, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, Auto HDR, panorama

CMOS sensor, Fast Motion mode, video recording, wide selfie mode, Low light shot, Pro mode, Quick Launch, Selective Focus, Slow Motion mode, Smart OIS, Tracking Focus, Virtual Shot

touch focus, geo-tagging, face/smile detection, HDR (photo/panorama)  24p Cinema Mode, Intelligent AUTO (iAUTO), Multi-Frame Noise Reduction, PhotoTV HD, PlayMemories Camera Apps support, Sweep Panorama technology,  Anti-motion Blur Mode, Dolby Digital Stereo Creator Art Bold, Faithful, Fisheye, Grainy B&W, Landscape, Miniature, Monochrome, Neutral, Portrait, Soft Focus, Standard, Toy camera, Water painting  Color outline, Color sketch, Monochrome, Neutral, Night Vision, Pop Color, Portrait, Selective Color, Silhouette, Super Vivid, Toy camera, Vivid, Fisheye, HDR Painting, High Key, Illustration, Image Overlay, Landscape, Low Key, Miniature
Card Slot No  No  Yes  Yes  Yes
Price 

(as of July 2016 CDN$)

$850 (32GB) $769 (16GB)
$899 (64 GB)
$679
$829 with kit
$929.99
$949 with kit
$449
$549 with kit
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7 thoughts on “Smartphone cameras VS Entry level DSLRs

  1. Good point of view. You should also compare sensor sizes, as 12 megapixels on iPhone and 7 megapixels on a DSLR are very different. In short, comparing only megapixels is incorrect. I

    Liked by 1 person

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