Wake up and smell the coffee my beloved smartphone manufacturers! Times are changing. Roughly two years ago, the tech industry very excitedly discussed whether smartphone cameras can replace good old digital single-reflex lens (DSLR) cameras. Some people saw the Galaxy S7 as a camera killer. Now, two years later, we can say that no smartphone camera has yet to replace a single-reflex lens camera, but the battle is also becoming completely irrelevant.
What happened to smartphone photography? As recently as the iPhone 7’s release, there has been portrait mode with background blurriness, recreated from the bokeh effect of a full-format camera with an open aperture. However, the digital effect is normally unconvincing, and the “not completely garbage” seal of quality is as good as it gets.
Camera tests show that today’s smartphone cameras actually take quite excellent pictures. On the other hand, this is representative of enthusiasts putting in some effort: gorgeous photos can be achieved using manual mode.
But a smartphone photo is mostly about taking quick snapshots, and tinkering around with the settings for a long time is mostly counterproductive. Manual mode is reminiscent of the approach with a DSLR: The right settings produce a perfectly illuminated image that optimally captures all the details, ideally in RAW format.
Opinion by Hans-Georg Kluge
Most smartphone users will only take shots in automatic mode.
What do you think?
Smartphone or DSLR? / © AndroidPIT
Inspecting the RAW images reveals how smartphone cameras perform intensive post-processing on sensor data. Anyone who imports the RAW files from some smartphones into Lightroom knows what I’m talking about: Oftentimes, it’s almost impossible to find a color setting that is balanced throughout the entire image; there is no lens