Thank you for visiting my blog, which is normally about business writing. This off-topic post and the one previous are about the amazing image quality available from today’s 8-megapixel camera phones.
As promised, here are the outdoor comparison photos. At lunchtime I wandered out to Circular Quay. This is the main ferry terminal in downtown Sydney, and it basically has the Opera House at one end and the Harbour Bridge at the other.
The 8-megapixel Canon 30d was set to ISO 100 and aperture of f/9. This gave a shutter speed of 1/200 sec., which was fine for hand-held tourist photos. The 8-megapixel iPhone 4S with Belkin grip attached set itself to ISO 64. The aperture is always wide open on the iPhone, which is f/2.4. Shutter speeds were 1/708 sec. for the orange monolith and 1/4608 sec. for the skyline.
Here they are, shrunk down to 600 pixels at their longest measure:
My Canon is ill-equipped for scenic snapshots because I have a 50mm prime lens on it, instead of a zoom. To get roughly similar framing on the orange monolith with the Canon, I had to shoot from about 2.5 times further away than I shot with the iPhone.
Conclusions? First, the Canon does actually deliver better image quality. And so it should; its size, weight and cost are many times that of the iPhone. On the other hand, the iPhone delivers USEABLE image quality at around 600 to 800 pixels max. side. And when you’re not taking pictures with it, you can surf the net, watch music videos, send emails or talk to people with it. None of which you can do with a Canon DSLR — even the latest and greatest.
When it comes to image quality, any of the new phones with 8-to-12-megapixel cameras will deliver the goods for most non-critical purposes. But I’ll still use my camera as a camera, my computer as a computer, and my phone as a phone. Sorry to be so old-fashioned, but there it is.