Mobile Phone Takeover?

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Phil
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#1
What do you people make of the latest mobile phones and their ability to take great photos? With Huawei bringing out a 3 lens Leica setup recently on their Mate 20 Pro and now rumours starting to swirl about Apple following suit, the days of small digital cameras must surely now be over and they are chasing the more bigger cameras?

I currently use a Fuji x100s and for me the sensor quality is fantastic however even i am questioning the future use of it, i also own a Nikon d300s with various lenses and since finishing shooting football every weekend it now sits in a bag doing nothing.

Unless you require specific equipment for either print, publication etc it there really a need for a DSLR or Mirrorless these days especially when these mobile phones are capable of producing better shots in some cases (Huawei Mate 20 Pro at Nighttime) than some larger sensor cameras?

Interesting and surely difficult times coming for us part time casual photographers?
 
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Craig
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#2
It very much depends what you intend to do with your pictures. If you're posting them on instagram and only ever looking at them on screen then a mobile is probably enough, assuming you can get the field of view required. The small sensor size would likely start showing itself if you start printing at any sort of size heading towards A4 in a lot of situations.

Having said that my wife's favourite photo that I've ever taken was taken on a smartphone about 4 years ago and I've printed that at A4 size and it looks fantastic. It's worth everyone remembering that when they are stressing about their gear choices.
 
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Richard
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#3
A couple of my friends have the P20 Pro and I must say I hate the look of the photos it produces. They're horrendously over-sharpened, the portrait mode fake bokeh makes people look like cardboard cut outs and they're just generally not nice to look at in my opinion. The thing about smartphone photos is they look great on a phone screen. Look at them on a decent sized monitor and start pixel peeping and they look horrible. For the casual photographer and snaps they're fine (I shot an entire trip to New York on my phone and took one of my favourite ever photos with it) but for serious work and actual proper photography they're nowhere near replacing a proper DSLR or mirrorless camera with a decently sized sensor. That said the market for casual, compact point and shoot cameras is basically dead because everyone carries a smartphone now.
 

Nod

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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#4
A lot of people's favourite shots will have been taken on a phone or tablet but few photographers will have taken their best shots with one.
 
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Toni
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#5
A phone camera is no substitute for an interchangeable lens camera with a larger sensor, but it may be adequate if you have nothing better available. It's not just the optics involved in capture, but also the manner of setting up the image initially, composing on the rear screen rather than through a viewfinder.

My Redmi Note 5 is probably close to the quality of a decent compact from 10 years ago.
 
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Keith
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#6
No matter how good phone cameras get, I hate using them to take any kind of decent image. No matter the 'proper' camera, give me full manual control, decent grip/ergonomics with more than enough physical controls, inter-changeable lenses, and just better general choice plus RAW files over a slippery, soulless 'smart' phone any day.
 
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Barry
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#7
Let me see them using a Smartphone with very strong, low sunlight coming across their shoulder! Give me a viewfinder any day :)
 
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#8
Look at them on a decent sized monitor and start pixel peeping and they look horrible.
Who does this though outside of gear heads ?

No matter how good phone cameras get, I hate using them to take any kind of decent image. No matter the 'proper' camera, give me full manual control, decent grip/ergonomics with more than enough physical controls, inter-changeable lenses, and just better general choice plus RAW files over a slippery, soulless 'smart' phone any day.
You can shoot RAW on phones via third party apps. Lightroom CC, which I imagine most people here have, allows you to shoot DNG.
Re the other things - they're not designed to replace enthusiast cameras, they're designed to replace compact cameras for the masses.

Of course they may end up replacing enthusiast cameras by accident. Computational photography is still in it's early days but will advance, probably to the point where anything other than a phone isn't needed.
 
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Keith
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#9
Who does this though outside of gear heads ?



You can shoot RAW on phones via third party apps. Lightroom CC, which I imagine most people here have, allows you to shoot DNG.
Re the other things - they're not designed to replace enthusiast cameras, they're designed to replace compact cameras for the masses.

Of course they may end up replacing enthusiast cameras by accident. Computational photography is still in it's early days but will advance, probably to the point where anything other than a phone isn't needed.
The OP ponders if "they are chasing the more bigger cameras?" - as in, will they begin to affect sales of - compact cameras threatened to do so a decade back, it didn't happen, it won't this time around either IMO. Raw capabilities was just one point and even then the more serious shooter will always desire more DR than any phone right now can offer. The rest can't be touched by phones anytime soon I would think.
 
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#10
It’s just a case of choosing the right tool for the job
A phone is handy as you can take pictures whenever you’re out and my friend takes excellent pictures with his phone as well as on his DSLR
But a phone camera will never replace a telephoto lens and I’ve tried taking macro shots with my phone but can’t get a nice out of focus background and have to get too close to the insect so it may fly off
 
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#11
This is long overdue for replacing compact cameras. If you can get over the limitations of no interchangeable lenses there's no doubt you can take superb pictures, Snapseed makes mobile editing easier than desktop equivalents and a lot of fun too. The trouble for professional photographers is mobile phones and their automated settings make the general public think photography is easy - you only need to think about composition and the camera pretty much does the rest. They must wonder how professionals can charge potentially thousands for a wedding, for example.

I have done comparisons with my iPhone 8 and Nikon D750 and while images can appear similar on a phone screen, the difference in A4 prints is quite noticeable, though probably not to the general public.

I do wonder when 'proper' cameras will get the clever automated tech from mobile phones - will we ever see the likes of Apple/Samsung try to buy or co-operate with Canon or Nikon?
 
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Phil
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#12
Who does this though outside of gear heads ?
Photographers?
Btw that’s a serious point.
Phone cameras have decimated the compact market (because for non photographers they’re ‘good enough’), but it’ll be years before the software fakery can compete with the physics currently required to produce a ‘photograph’ that a photographer would be happy with.
Never say never, phone camera fakery is as good as amateur photoshop skills of 10 years ago.
 
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Dave
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#13
Mobile phone cameras have come a long way, they have all but seen off compacts and maybe in the future could start biting at the heels of DSLRs and SCS cameras as computational photography gets more advanced.

But the cameras attached to our phones is just one side of the story, the screens have just as much am impact on photography as well I think.
Printing photos is something that drastically reduced a long time ago, but at least most people still had a PC or laptop. Now I think even computer ownership is diminishing in favour of tablets or even just mobile phones with much smaller screens than we have been used to, and at that size it is much easier to produce an impressive image. If people are not printing their images, or at least viewing them on reasonably sized screens, will mobile phones ever need to be as good as a "proper" camera?

So on one side the achievable image quality from a phone is increasing, but at the same time the required quality is decreasing and we are reaching some kind of a middle ground. The same thing happened with music, people stopped buying quality hifi equipment in favour of cheaper lower quality mass produced tat and all of a sudden 128kbps mp3s are an acceptable format. High quality imagery will become a niche product sought after by photographiles. :(
 
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#14
I do increasingly wonder if a DSLR is overkill nowadays for anyone but pros - but then was this not always the case (i.e. with SLRs compared to PAS film cameras aimed at the everyman/woman).

When I look at the some of the shots people upload to Facebook and they're out of focus, underlit, noisy, badly composed. But people seem happy with them. And does it really matter if no one keeps anything anyway?

The analogy with music is a good one I think. Back when I was a kid, getting music was an investment. Not only in the kit to play it, but in the purchase of albums themselves. I remember going to our local record store and standing in a listening booth before taking the plunge to buy music. And once I'd discovered even more niche music (Hip Hop) it meant a trip to Newcastle (on the bus from Ashington - a round trip of 40 miles) to go to the only store that had any of the imported stuff from the US. That's ignoring the fact that I couldn't afford to buy that much so any music I did buy, the album got played and played and played. Even coming from that background, I buy CDs now and give them one listen, then decide almost immediately which tracks I like and only really listen to those.

Nowadays, kids have such easy access to music, images, TV pretty much anything that the perceived value is negligible.

Back to photos though, the images I have of me as a kid are few and far between, because there weren't that many taken. Ironically, I think the images the current kids have of themselves when older will also be reduced because they don't keep anything. Nothing's printed or saved. So despite there a huge increase in the images taken, there might actually be a significant decrease in the amount kept.
 
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#15
Personally I like that mobile phones are getting better - they are not as good as a camera but my wife will not use a camera so it means she takes half decent photos of our son.

Saying that at the BENHS exhibition last year I saw some really good insect photos taken on an iphone - I must look at getting a close up lens for a phone.
. Nothing's printed or saved. So despite there a huge increase in the images taken, there might actually be a significant decrease in the amount kept.
It is however quite easy to save photos. I have a flickr and ipernity account and save all our photos to them (put them to private).
It should be quite reliable unless they both go bankrupt on the same day! (I also have them on two external hard drives)
 
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#16
If it weren't for the burst shot feature on my Sony XZ then I'd probably take hardly any photos with my phone even though it does have a pretty good camera. This feature really is fantastic for capturing the perfect moment and avoiding blinks etc. But the quality is still pretty much Facebook only for me unless you have excellent light.

I got my A6000 out recently after a long time on the shelf and instantly regretted having used my phone so much in the past instead of it. But convenience and always having my phone on me does help as well.
 
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#17
DSLR's are now overkill for most. These smartphones are fantastic and only people who whish to take specialised photos now need a DSLR .

I can use a smartphone and take a photo and have it emailed of for publication in under 90 seconds. This is done now by many reporters for newspapers. A DSLR is not needed for most magazine and newspaper publications, the latest smartphones can do it in a whisker. Look at how many videos on TV are now taken on a smartphone.

Most, yes most smartphones can slaughter a DSLR at macro with a standard lens.

All smartphones take better easier selfies than a DSLR. By far. Which is what joe public want.

I have many DSLR's and they are all but redundant other than for really big photos (which I and 95% of people will never need) or high speed/night photography. I can even do a landscape shot with a smartphone (Oh no it don't seem the same please don't say that!) and its almost indistinguishable at low/medium res.

Only last month there was a newsworthy shot on a railway station so I got my smartphone out and Togged the shot. Sent it of from the phone(no need for a Nikon D5 at all). It was published in two national magazines in colour on glossy paper the same size as 70% of other photos in the magazine. It was no different in terms of quality to any other photo taken with a DSLR (I know some of the togs who use DSLR's in the mag).

Gone are the days of news togs being called out to that car accident or building burning down. Someone has already togged and videoed it on their smartphone before the press Tog has picked his 1kg DSLR and 1kg lens and put it in his bag.

Go out with friends on a night out or whatever where it was in the past you had to take a DSLR and seperate flash in some cases in order to get quality shot.Those days are gone everyone just gets their smart phone out and makes the guy with his DSLR look like he has a phalic problem.:LOL:

Same when going on holiday just use your smartphone, if you want a sunset with a friend in just select the fill in flash.

People who have DSLR's don't want to hear this, least of all on a photography forum but it is the truth of the matter.

It was different with film because if you wanted a quality shot you had to have a SLR. But not now by far.
It is completely different and as has been said DSLR is a specialised item now it's not for taking the vast( must be 80%+)majority of photographs that society want as aposed to fim days were 80% of people neede a SLR to get the shot they wanted.

Not to put to much of a downer on it you still can't beat swaggering around with a big lens on a DSLR for getting into places where smartphones can't go. "Press". :cool:

Nice male jewllery for the young togs also.

But beware if you do a social event with a DSLR and you aint set up correct WB, Shutter speed, aperture, ISO, focus mode and flash turned on, RAW or JPEG, Yawn!(auto won't cut it believe me) make sure the ceiling is the right colour if your using bounce. By the time you are set up the smartphone people will be at the bar having taken the photos and ordered the drinks! Now there's a thought. :beer:
 
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David
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#18
DSLR's are now overkill for most. These smartphones are fantastic and only people who whish to take specialised photos now need a DSLR .
There are lot of photos that need a decent camera - if your child is playing sports smartphones don't normally take decent photos of such events.

BTW what has the event you got on your smart phone?
 
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Kell
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#19
It is however quite easy to save photos. I have a flickr and ipernity account and save all our photos to them (put them to private).
It should be quite reliable unless they both go bankrupt on the same day! (I also have them on two external hard drives)
I should have said that most people don’t save their mobile phone shots.

My daughter’s taken more shots this year already than I took in my entire childhood. But I still have access to mine at age 46.

I doubt anything she’s taken so far will exist by the time she’s my age.

It is definitely true that having a DSLR for a night out at a restaurant is hard work. I recently went on holiday with mine. I didn’t have a selection of lenses so, as mentioned above, had a heavy lens, relatively big camera and a flash and on more than one occasion thought I just wouldn’t bother taking it. I don’t mind carrying it, so I’ll take it to a party where you’re stood up, but it’s having somewhere to put it when not in use. Restaurant tables are never big enough and there’s the ever-present danger of a thief running off with it.

A mobile on the other hand can be slipped back in your pocket - though that rarely happens these days either.

I was very interested in the L16 camera when I first heard about it for many of the reasons above, but it seems it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
 
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#20
I stil use a good quality compact when I don’t want to carry around my DSLR
My Sony rx100 is small enough to fit into a pocket it’s smaller than a lot of phones and the quality is excellent
 
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Richard
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#21
I should have said that most people don’t save their mobile phone shots.
Most people do save their mobile phone shots. I would say almost everyone with an iPhone uses iCloud to automatically back up their photos, and everyone with an Android phone uses Google Photos to achieve the same thing. Every photo I've ever taken on every smartphone I've ever had is backed up in the cloud automatically within a few minutes of being taken. Backing up to a cloud service backed by one of the largest companies in the whole world means it would be very, very difficult for me to lose my phone photos. And they are all searchable by date, time, location, and in many cases what the photo contains.
 
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Alan
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#22
My Mrs and all her friends are constantly snapping away and posting on social media and sending each other pictures and on the phones and tablets the pictures often look very good but when I look at them on my pc it all falls apart and the shortcomings are there and very easy to see. IMO, and my Panasonic MFT and Sony A7 cameras and even my 1" sensor camera just obliterates them for image quality, if I want to go looking for the differences.

I don't know when phone cameras will catch up with larger sensor cameras for image quality and maybe that's just impossible and they wont until they use the same sized sensors. Even if the quality is the same I much prefer using a viewfinder to back screen shooting and I much prefer using physical controls than jabbing at a touch screen.
 
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Kell
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#23
Do you pay for more than the free service?

Our iCloud is full as it's only 5GB and most of that seems to be the back up from my wife's iPad. But then with three iPads and three iPhones in our house it's hardly surprising that data rather than photos will take up the bulk of the storage.

And while I'm not likely to move away from an iPhone anytime soon (spent wa-a-a-a-y too long on my iTunes playlists to give those up), what happens to those people on iPhones that switch to Android? Or vice versa?

And, as is often quoted "there is no cloud it's just someone else's computer."

By save, I mean put on a hard drive in your house so that if you switch providers you don't lose them. And I wouldn't class anyone on here as 'most people'.

You're (we're) all on a photography site which means we have more than a passing interest in the images we create and therefore have a vested interest in keeping them. Those people you speak about are mostly doing it passively and I'd think that most don't even think about it.

Of course, I have nothing to back any of this up other than a hunch.
 
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David
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#24
My Mrs and all her friends are constantly snapping away and posting on social media and sending each other pictures and on the phones and tablets the pictures often look very good but when I look at them on my pc it all falls apart and the shortcomings are there and very easy to see.
Many people's solution is to only look at phones on a mobile.
The sad thing is if you do panoramas they often don't look that good on a mobile (too small).
 
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Richard
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#25
Do you pay for more than the free service?

Our iCloud is full as it's only 5GB and most of that seems to be the back up from my wife's iPad. But then with three iPads and three iPhones in our house it's hardly surprising that data rather than photos will take up the bulk of the storage.

And while I'm not likely to move away from an iPhone anytime soon (spent wa-a-a-a-y too long on my iTunes playlists to give those up), what happens to those people on iPhones that switch to Android? Or vice versa?

And, as is often quoted "there is no cloud it's just someone else's computer."

By save, I mean put on a hard drive in your house so that if you switch providers you don't lose them. And I wouldn't class anyone on here as 'most people'.

You're (we're) all on a photography site which means we have more than a passing interest in the images we create and therefore have a vested interest in keeping them. Those people you speak about are mostly doing it passively and I'd think that most don't even think about it.

Of course, I have nothing to back any of this up other than a hunch.

Switch over to Google Photos. It's not platform specific and is available on iOS. It offers free unlimited photo storage if you let them compress your files a bit. The compressed files are 12MP resolution so for most phone cameras you're not actually losing anything at all. The app automatically backs up everything anytime the phone is on charge and connected to WiFi, so generally overnight. I actually very rarely look at the app itself, I just use it safe in the knowledge that if I lose my phone, or it's stolen etc then my photos are safe.
 
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Alan
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#26
Many people's solution is to only look at phones on a mobile.
The sad thing is if you do panoramas they often don't look that good on a mobile (too small).
I suppose one main thing is how you feel about taking pictures. If you want to take pictures with a device which is just about always in your hand (it seems to me that many people, particularly young women, just can't seem to put their phones down) and will only look at those pictures on the devices screen then camera phones may well be good enough.

Many people on this site want more though, many want the extra file quality above and beyond what phones can provide and many want the tactile experience and ergonomic that cameras bring and which phones don't replicate.

I often look at pictures taken with smartphones and think "WoW" and it's only when I look at it on my pc that I see the motion blur, noise, smeared or completely missing detail, blown bits and all of the other things that weren't easily visible when looking at the picture on the phone.
 
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Paul
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#27
It all depends on what you want and what you need.

Yes, many mobile phone cameras are great for snapshots. I use mine for family photos, it does a decent enough job most of the time.

But at the same time I find it really frustrating as just because they work most of the time, and I have full manual capability on mine, it also lets me down constantly in any conditions that are a bit tricky.

Its not even close to a substitute for a DSLR. But then I can't be bothered to take any of my DSLRs out most of the time when I am not working.
 
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#28
There are lot of photos that need a decent camera - if your child is playing sports smartphones don't normally take decent photos of such events.

BTW what has the event you got on your smart phone?
It was a new train comming into service. Nothing exciting.
 
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#29
I should have said that most people don’t save their mobile phone shots.

My daughter’s taken more shots this year already than I took in my entire childhood. But I still have access to mine at age 46.

I doubt anything she’s taken so far will exist by the time she’s my age.

It is definitely true that having a DSLR for a night out at a restaurant is hard work. I recently went on holiday with mine. I didn’t have a selection of lenses so, as mentioned above, had a heavy lens, relatively big camera and a flash and on more than one occasion thought I just wouldn’t bother taking it. I don’t mind carrying it, so I’ll take it to a party where you’re stood up, but it’s having somewhere to put it when not in use. Restaurant tables are never big enough and there’s the ever-present danger of a thief running off with it.

A mobile on the other hand can be slipped back in your pocket - though that rarely happens these days either.

I was very interested in the L16 camera when I first heard about it for many of the reasons above, but it seems it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
I think that the reason you have your old photos from years ago is to do with Film v Digital rather than DSLR v Smartphone. I do believe though that a DSLR Tog is far more likely to save his pic for future viewing. But as for viewing photos in the future film is King there (that point is for another day though).

It is frightening the way young people who have taken great photos of life events just delete the photo never to be seen again!
 
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#30
Its not even close to a substitute for a DSLR. But then I can't be bothered to take any of my DSLRs out most of the time when I am not working.
Here is part of the issue, if you don't have your DSLR with you how good a photograph it would have taken, is irrelevant. Most people have their phone with them all the time so a quick photo is easy. I confess I am taking my DSLR with me less and less as it is just so easy to use the phone for the "snapshops" which to be honest is what most people do with a camera.
 
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#31
I think that the reason you have your old photos from years ago is to do with Film v Digital rather than DSLR v Smartphone. I do believe though that a DSLR Tog is far more likely to save his pic for future viewing. But as for viewing photos in the future film is King there (that point is for another day though).

It is frightening the way young people who have taken great photos of life events just delete the photo never to be seen again!
My point really was that in the days of film even non-photographers got to have a physical thing which they would tend to keep. And as they'd paid for it (buying the film, developing and printing it) it had a value attached to it, so they were even less likely to throw away the also-rans. Not only that, but if you were getting prints, you had a back-up copy in the form of a negative. Lose the print, and you could still get another.

So I think the debate still stands as modern keen amateurs and pros will have some sort of system whereby they store their images properly. And those that are interested only in posting to FaceChatAgram for likes will delete the shots almost as soon as they're taken. In the population at large, of course it stands to reason that some of those people will have set up a dedicated storage backup for their photos, but if I think about all the people I know, I don't know anyone that's done that for their phone shots. And in my close group of four couples that includes 2 keen photographers and 1 aspiring one.

On top of that, I work in advertising, and I don't know any of my friends and colleagues in multiple agencies that have a cloud system set up for just their mobile shots.
 
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#34
I think if manufactures of DSLR's had a proper and quick way of just sending a photo off via email like smartphones that might help sales. It's emabarassing having someone take a shot on a smartphone and send if off yet the £5k DSLR you have is incapable of such a miserly feat!
 
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#35
Well, my 80D does have WiFi and I can send shots direct to my phone.

With LR on my phone, I can also perform basic PP work if needed.
 
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#38
It takes far to long and we need send direct by phone network not wifi.
Surely a feature could be created on a DLSR where you can pop a destination email address in and then the camera could simply hop onto your phone with hotspot activated? With 4G and soon 5G it should be fast enough and also eliminates the requirement for additional SIM cards and contracts.

I'm sure my Sony A6000 can install apps (albeit very limited) so surely it wouldn't be beyond the realms of capability to do it with DLSR's?
 
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#39
I'm sure my Sony A6000 can install apps (albeit very limited) so surely it wouldn't be beyond the realms of capability to do it with DLSR's?
I am sure sony are playing with this and other things in their labs. Their marketing department instead seems to go for the weird things like a crappy wifi 1" lens module to connect to a phone. Maybe they had some luck in Japan but outside it is an epic fail.
 
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