Why Those Smartphone vs Digital Camera Tests Are A Disservice

First of all, I get it. Smartphones are always with us and quick to pull out. No argument there.

I use mine all the time to record life and take notes. Not everything needs a large sensor.

But this is not about these types of photos — this is about articles comparing smartphones to digital cameras.

But these two devices are apples vs oranges, and the tests are designed to the lowest common denominator (what the smartphone can shoot) and nearly always under controlled conditions (so the smartphone can shoot it). Same goes for showing average people printouts as a test. Of course no one can tell the difference. They are under nearly ideal situations.

Think of it this way, two remodelers (one pro and one amateur) could remodel an already perfect kitchen, but when the going gets tough, which would you prefer dealing with difficult structure, electrical work or plumbing???

Or, what about your profession? If a kid were told to do your job for a few minutes at an easy task, would that be a good judge of the difficulty of your entire job in all situations? Would you feel ok with your bosses reducing your pay to what they would pay that kid?

Or, if they pit you against a world class athlete, but limit the test to walking on a flat surface for a few minutes. Would that be a fair test?

Are any of these remotely fair tests???

Are we doing an injustice to the public for publishing these narrow tests when we (as professionals and experienced photographers) know these are unfair tests???

When you retire and sit back to admire photos of your life on your wall (literally a digital wall or some other technology), what will you enjoy more?

  • A smartphone picture that looked perfectly fine on a tiny smartphone display, but now looks amazingly crummier and blobbier and you realize how on earth did you not notice that the only photos of your kids when they were little were out of focus so her clear, blue eyes are now blobs and her smile looks like a wet sidewalk chalk drawing.
  • Or would you prefer the photo you took with a “real camera” that is sharp, has great dynamic range and recorded great details?

Which will you treasure when you are older?

  • The time you saved years ago not getting out a “real camera” and only taking that once-in-a-lifetime photo with a smartphone (and now only have a blobby photo)?
  • All the likes you got in social media for that smartphone photo (that no one can locate now)?

Don’t trust what the smartphone companies are saying.

Use your brains.

Now when tests are candid shots of people moving around normally indoors (or whatever you find a challenge to capture), then we are talking!

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