Compact Cameras vs. Phone Cameras

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Should you ditch your low end compact digital camera now that your mobile phone comes equipped with a good (or goodish) camera? The controversy has been raging in the amateur photographic world ever since manufacturers started offering picture taking capabilities with mobile phones at the turn of the century.

Here are the main reasons from the pro-compact camera camp and from the pro-phone camera camp:

Low end cameras are better, because: Phone cameras are better, because:
  1. They have optical zoom.
  2. They take better images, especially if you need to snap a subject that is only a couple of centimetres away, or a moving subject.
  3. Compact cameras are more reliable. Your phone batteries will quickly go flat if you take lots of images. Plus, the phone will probably run out of storage faster than you’ll run out of photographic inspiration.
  4. The lens of the camera is always cleaner than the finger-smudges lens of a phone camera.
  5. Your camera won’t ring at the critical moment and spoil your shot.
  1. They enable you to share or upload images as soon as you take them.
  2. They have bigger and better screens than compact cameras, so you can actually see what you are photographing, even in broad daylight.
  3. You can go to an apps store and download modes and filters which cheap digital cameras do not have.
  4. Phone manufacturers are constantly innovating. Digital camera manufacturers are not.
  5. You always have your phone with you, and if the best camera is the one that’s in your pocket - guess which device takes the title?
Of course, the standoff is only between phone cameras and low end compact digital cameras (roughly, the ones you can buy on bidorbuy for under R1000-R1500). If you raise the stakes on the camera end of the scales, there is no contest. Both DSLR cameras and higher end compact cameras easily win over even the best phone camera available today.

So, what is the final verdict?

Frankly, there isn’t one. Your choice depends on what you want from your photo related activities. If all you do is snap photos to send to friends or to upload to your social networking profile, a phone camera will serve you well. If you want to print your photos, or to upload them onto bidorbuy to illustrate the items you sell, a dedicated digital camera would probably be a better choice.

Spend some time to researching the phones and compact digital cameras available on bidorbuy. If you feel that your photographic ambitions run higher than that, hop over to the DSLR section. And remember, the rule of the thumb when shopping for a decent camera is to buy the best you can afford. If in doubt, a safe bet is to stick to the well known brands such as Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic, or Olympus.

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