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Tom
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PostTue Sep 10, 2019 2:34 am 
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sports.. birds in flight.. wildlife at distance are a challenge for most cameras.  I'm not sure why you think cell phones will always lack in IQ.  In many situations a flagship cell phone will hold up just fine in IQ comparisons.
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neek
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PostTue Sep 10, 2019 8:58 am 
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Wonder if they'll starting making a cell phone you can attach a real lens to rather than just a toy like this.


Or add a sensor and you wouldn't even need to physically attach it.  Phone provides brains and human interface, if not the ergonomics.

Software is eating many things, including photography.  Humans use micromovements of eyes and body to increase fidelity of an otherwise flat scene.  Wonder if phones will start doing that--you press the shutter button and what you really get is a synergistic combination of hundreds of stills.  Think HDR on steroids.  Eventually you won't even need to compose a scene, just throw a ball up in the air and it takes a 360 degree video then uses AI trained on an Instagram feed to put together the most attention-grabbing (if not original) scene.
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joker
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PostTue Sep 10, 2019 11:07 am 
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neek wrote:
Wonder if phones will start doing that--you press the shutter button and what you really get is a synergistic combination of hundreds of stills.

There's already at least one commercially available camera that sort of does this, but afaik it's not really taking off like a rocket. See light field array cameras
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joker
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PostTue Sep 10, 2019 11:08 am 
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As for cell phone cameras - being able to connect a better sensor/lens combo would be nice but as I understand it from talking  with some folks in the phone business you need to keep parts cost down to a few bucks max
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Brian Curtis
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PostTue Sep 10, 2019 4:43 pm 
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neek wrote:
Wonder if phones will start doing that--you press the shutter button and what you really get is a synergistic combination of hundreds of stills.  Think HDR on steroids.

Apple announced their new iPhones today. One of the features they announced is called Deep Fusion. It isn't hundreds, but it does combine 9 separate photos "pixel-by-pixel".

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Gil
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PostTue Sep 10, 2019 4:51 pm 
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As people abandon DSLRs, all sorts of wonderful gear is becoming available on the used market for a song.

Last year I began selling off decades worth of Nikon gear and now am down to only three digital bodies, six film bodies and 30 or so lenses! The local market for older Nikkor lenses has plummeted, but people still buy well-priced stuff on ebay.

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joker
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PostTue Sep 10, 2019 8:52 pm 
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The newest high end FF sensors really test the lenses - you can see differences in optical quality that weren't apparent in any prior sensor. Which is good news/bad news if you know what I mean  hockeygrin.gif
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BaNosser
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 12:04 pm 
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Tom wrote:
I'm not sure why you think cell phones will always lack in IQ.  In many situations a flagship cell phone will hold up just fine in IQ comparisons.

ok....
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Tom
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 1:24 pm 
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I challenge you to do the comparison for yourself with a flagship cell phone if you don't already have one.  I picked up my pixel 3 for a mere $400, probably cheaper than any lens a pixel peeper might dare put on a DSLR.  Here's an image I took of my mother in law in a dark restaurant.  IQ is just fine.  No, it's not publication quality but who cares?  I wouldn't have gotten the shot otherwise.


Here's a comparison image between the Pixel 3 and the RX10 IV which is a bridge mirrorless DSLR with a very well regarded lens.  I'd say the Pixel 3 wins due to the processing advantage.   I'm sure I could have messed around with RAW, exposure bracketing, or HDR on the RX10 to come out with superior IQ but the point is a cell phone camera holds up quite well with ZERO fiddling or post-processing.  No, the RX10 IV isn't a full frame DSLR, it's a 1" sensor but it just goes to show there's more to IQ than larger sensor.

Pixel 3
Pixel 3
RX10 IV
RX10 IV
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neek
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 1:47 pm 
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I think it depends on your definition of image quality.  Cell phones exploit the hell out of our perceptual preferences and limitations, and they do produce results that most people would call good enough.  However, any quality lens/sensor combo is going to give much better accuracy and fine detail in the full-resolution image, if you could measure objectively.  Most photos (like yours above) are shrunk down so far all those details are wiped out (plus I'm not sure who wants to see the fine details on their mother-in-law's face).   And then there's zoom.  There's a reason telescopes aren't flat (although...).
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Tom
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 2:20 pm 
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You can pull up the full rez images and compare.  I agree the Pixel 3 has slightly less detail at full resolution.  But there isn't a huge difference.  You can google some comparisons on the net for static images.  Here is one although they didn't really compare corners.

https://digital-photography-school.com/cell-phone-versus-dslr-can-you-tell-which-is-which/
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Bedivere
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PostFri Sep 13, 2019 12:58 am 
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A larger sensor will always outperform a smaller sensor, all else being equal.

Still, phones do the job good enough for the majority of people, thus the title of this post.

The mass market for photography has always been with the "average joe" who isn't interested in producing high resolution, low noise 20x30" prints.  That's why instamatic/110 film format and polaroid cameras existed prior to the digital revolution.

Now that phones can do what most people need/want them to and thus fill the niche that those film dinosaurs and more recently "point & shoot" type digital cameras occupied, cameras are becoming superfluous.

You can't capture images like this with a phone, but most people don't need to.


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fairweather friend
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PostFri Sep 13, 2019 8:05 am 
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I have been enjoying this discussion, which is as much about photography as it is about technology.  Here's my input:

1) Deals on Craigslist?  Surely, you jest!  Most of the cameras on CL are being sold by junk collectors with dollar signs in their eyes.  They don't know what they're selling or what it's worth and they don't care.  They are only seeking to find a bigger fool than themselves and they don't care how long it takes to find one.

Sure, the occasional deal gets posted, but you have to hunt for weeks or months to find a deal on something you'd actually want to buy.  Someone needs to write an algo for CL that eliminates items that get re-posted daily or weekly.  That would be a start.  But it's just a joke when a Sony A6000 (body only) posts on CL for $400 when five years ago I purchased a brand new A6000 plus two kit lenses at Costco for $100 more.  CL sellers somehow don't understand that anyone can find a brand new camera, with much better features, for much less money and a warranty to boot.  Hell, you don't even have to wait for Black Friday anymore.

2)  Am I the only person who finds that phones make very clunky cameras to carry around?  Not to mention the fact that they aren't very robust.  I always carry a waterproof point and shoot in the pocket of my PFD (currently I'm using an Olympus TG-4), but I'd never treat a phone like that.  (My friend tried that with her new "waterproof" phone and discovered it wasn't so waterproof.)

3)  The current camera market is full of different niches, but it sounds like this will change as smart phones continue to hollow out the share of lower-end and mid-level users.  I'm definitely a mid-level user as I don't want to invest the time & money required to be a high-end photographer., but I still enjoy photography.  What choices will be available for mid-level users five years from now?  I agree with others who said that updates to existing camera models (at least in the low and mid range) are becoming less and less meaningful... to the point that the "new" models are barely an improvement over a five-year-old model.  When will some of the big improvements at the high end trickle down?  It really seems like that's not happening much anymore.
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JonnyQuest
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PostFri Sep 13, 2019 9:47 am 
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fairweather friend wrote:
2)  Am I the only person who finds that phones make very clunky cameras to carry around?  Not to mention the fact that they aren't very robust.  I always carry a waterproof point and shoot in the pocket of my PFD (currently I'm using an Olympus TG-4), but I'd never treat a phone like that.  (My friend tried that with her new "waterproof" phone and discovered it wasn't so waterproof.)

I'm with you here.  My "waterproof" point and shoot is an old Pentax Optio WPi (probably 15+ years old).  But considering the potential for abuse (wet, dirt, dust, drop), I hesitate bring my phone on anything but the driest hikes.  And I certainly don't consider it for a river trip.  I'm in the market to upgrade, but haven't started the research.  How do you like your Olympus?
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Tom
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PostFri Sep 13, 2019 10:42 am 
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I'm not sure what you guys mean by clunky?  Too big?  I carry my Pixel 3 in my shorts pocket.  To take a picture I pull it out of my shorts pocket and double click on the power button and I'm ready to shoot instantly.  No screen protector.  No bulky case.  It's very liberating.  I trust the gorilla glass.  So far it's survived a face first fall onto pavement with no visible damage.  Probably won't survive a drop on talus.  So be it.  I can hold the camera any way I want as long as my fingers aren't near the small lens.  In some respects I think it's more versatile to hold than a regular camera.

Google says the Pixel 3 is IP68 but doesn't warranty it.  Should be fine in rain. I would put it in a quart sized ziploc if I was shooting under water.  Would be pretty easy to shoot that way due to everything mostly touchscreen.  I use my tablet in the hot tub with a gallon size ziploc and touchscreen works fine.

OK, sure, my cell phone can't capture a bird in flight at telephoto.  How many DLSRs can do that without a telephoto lens?  I have ZERO reservations about pulling it out for any shot that could be captured with a DSLR and 28mm effective prime.  Unlike my pricey mirrorless which consistently blows highlights I have full faith and confidence my Pixel 3 is going to nail the exposure.  The HDR+ is nothing short of phenomenal.  Yesterday I was walking back on the PCT and wanted to capture this rock.  It was in the shadows and the peak was in the light.  Handheld.  I'm not planning to frame it.  Also another handheld snap I took a few weeks ago with light fading on Peggy's Pond.

Humpty dumpty rock
Humpty dumpty rock
Light fading on Peggy's Pond
Light fading on Peggy's Pond
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