A while ago I had a conversation about getting rid of a mid-range Lumix camera (10 Mega Pixels, 12X zoom, full HD video) that I’ve had for a few years. I actually have two cameras, that one and an old Cybershot.
If you are old enough to have had technology from the pre-iPhone era, you know negative-film cameras gave way to digital cameras, and now your phone camera is likely to have a very good image quality (of course, there’s always the budget phones that have a very low-end camera). So the question is, for a regular user that has a decent phone, is it still worth to get a digital camera?
The answer, as always, would be “it depends.”
I have two phones, a Samsung J5 Prime, which has a camera with 13 MP, can shoot HDR and also full HD video, and an iPhone 12 Mini that has a camera with 12 MP, can shoot HDR and also full HD and 4K at various frame rates (on a side note, while the Samsung camera offers more Mega Pixels, the iPhone camera has a better image definition). Both phones have a way better image quality than the Sony Cybershot I have, but comparable quality to the Lumix camera. Of course, for a Samsung phone you must shell out somewhere between $200 to $900, and the iPhones are also very expensive. On the other hand, a quick search on Amazon shows a 36MP camera for $48 (this camera obviously has a better image quality).
Of course, it’s not just about price but also convenience. If you are someone who needs to have a smart phone, chances are you already have a decent camera on your phone, although not as good as that 36MP camera on Amazon. However, it is likely you will only want to carry one device (a phone) rather than two (a phone and a camera).
Phones also have the convenience of storing your photos on the cloud (whether that’s a good idea for privacy and such is up to you to decide), although I’ve seen some cameras that already have that functionality as well.
On the other hand, while some mid-to-high end cameras can store the images in RAW format, phones usually use JPG format (not the best one for image quality). However, regular people don’t need to use RAW format for anything because regular people will usually take the pictures and store them in their phones, not send them to photoshop for retouching, color correction and manipulation.
Still, at some point it is a good idea to have really high-quality photos of certain things. For example, if you saved money to go to a dream vacation, it’d be a shame that all your pictures had so-so quality because your phone doesn’t have the best quality.
As a regular user, maybe you won’t need a dedicated digital camera for your every-day needs, but maybe it’s worth to have a dedicated camera for certain situations.