Smartphones vs digital cameras – January 2014

Smartphones vs digital cameras

The smartphone business went through a booming growth in the last years, and the market share companies like Samsung and Apple have is living proof for that. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the technological progress behind the cool, hip day to day accessories. These days the smartphone has a wider spread then the old feature phone, it even sells better then the good old PC and it is exactly the type of product that can take a company to the highest peaks of the food chain ( I am talking of course about the market value companies like Apple or Samsung have nowadays).

All of this happened because the smartphone is the product we are always carrying with us, the product that can do anything and lately it can do anything pretty damn good. A smartphone is a phone, a device we use to check our e-mails, a device we use for socializing, a device we use to listen to music, a device we use for playing games and last but not least a device we use for taking pictures and videos.

Think about it like this – if we would go back in time in the year 2000 and we would show an iPhone 5 or a Galaxy S4 to a tech afficionado he would literally be stunned. Let’s just think a bit how things used to be 10 years ago, in 2003. Nvidia was launching the FX series (FX5500, etc), Intel just released the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition with Gallatin core, the last pieces of Nokia 3310 were built, and Nikon F5 was still waiting for his successor (F6), the last in line, which would see the daylight one year later in 2004, while Nikon D100 was celebrating it’s one year anniversary and was bragging about the huge 6MP sensor…

If you think about it, the difference between FX5500 and GTX 780 is probably less significant then the difference between Nokia 3310 and Lumia 1020. While graphic cards bring 10-15% improvement from one generation to another, smartphones can get up to 50% performance wise, and the progress doesn’t stop there. The incredible boost that smartphones had in the last years cannot be doubted and it was just a matter of time until all of the functions would be improved thanks to the technological progress.

Yes, we have a very bad example, where things are going in the wrong direction for years, and that example is battery life. Besides this, factors like processing power, display quality (size, resolution, contrast) have been constantly improved from one generation to the other. And in a decade where live revolutions are broadcasted through social media, a factor like the photo/video camera was definitely not going to be left behind by manufacturers. Just compare Galaxy S, S2, S3, S4 and S5 from this point of view only and you will understand what I mean…

That being said, it was just a matter of time until monsters like Lumia 1020 got to the users, and once this step was made, the questions and comparisons rapidly followed. How good the smartphone cameras really are? How do they compare with the big and bulky DSLR? Do I still need a digital camera? These are just a few of the questions I have seen lately around the web…And to my dismay, 2013 was a year full of smartphones vs digital cameras comparisons. And most of the time the conclusions were not on par with reality. Because of that, in December 2013 / January 2014 I took the matter in my own hands, and I started testing and comparing devices, in order to see which device is better, and more important – for what purpose… Brace yourselves… you will see some gruesome machines at work…


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