Smartphones are light, always with you, and very convenient for taking pictures. The cameras on smartphones have come a long way since the first time they appeared in a phone. With your average camera phone having an 8mp lens, the quality of the picture is perfect for everyday photos. There isn’t much need to carry around a phone and a camera for anything considered point and shoot. The smartphone lacks some key features of the physical camera. DSLR sales are rising for this very reason and even a point and shoot camera will some advantages and added features above a smartphone.
Optical zoom is something that isn’t standard on your smartphone. It is however something that appears to be in the works. Notably, this technology is coming from Sony, who as we all know, makes point and shoot cameras as well. But in the meantime, we have to deal with our digital zoom. 8mp is plenty for printing a crisp 8×10 photo. If you aren’t planning on printing, even when used with the digital zoom, 8mp will be more than enough. When posting pictures to social media, your image is compressed anyways.
A smartphone will focus automatically. You can change the position of focus, but not much else. There are apps out there so help you fix the focus after the fact, but not while taking the picture. A physical camera, especially that DSLR you have, can play around with macros, lenses, and many other features to help adjust the focus before taking the picture.
Point and shoots don’t normally have the option of too many accessories, but DSLRs do. Even the ones designed for the amateur photographer offer an array of options. The most obvious for the DSLR is the ability to have multiple lenses for different scenarios. There are also detachable flashes, diffusers, lens filters, and tripods to name a few. This doesn’t even scratch the surface of accessories you can buy to enhance videos shot with a DSLR.
Smartphones don’t have an optical viewfinder. The camera on your smartphone is a battery suck because it uses the LCD screen. The LCD screen is the number one battery drain for your phone, no matter what you are doing. Your physical camera has the option of the optical viewfinder. There are a couple more advantages other than battery power in the optical viewfinder. It’s easier to see if a subject is in focus with the viewfinder because the image is sharper. The visibility through the viewfinder in bright daylight will never be matched with a screen. The fact that the camera is resting against your face will actually help to keep it steady.
Either option, smartphone, point and shoot, or physical camera, has its merits. The smartphone is beginning to replace the point and shoot camera. For your everyday use, taking pictures of your friends or catching things in the moment, the smartphone camera is ideal. But if you are looking for something a little more sophisticated, a more professional photo, or just more options while you shoot, going for a DSLR or one of the higher quality point and shoot cameras, is a much better option. Whatever camera you choose, just remember, the technology keeps getting better.