Camera Smartphone Comparison

The third and last post which has come about as a result of my buying an iPhone 4s. I wanted to check some stuff out. The main question being; is it worth using an iPhone for my travel images?

The main factor about having images on a blog is their loading time. They need to load as fast as possible. To achieve that, images have to be resized. This is nearly always a lot, lot smaller than the original photo.

What happens when I resize the photo's?
I wanted a lot of detail so went out for a short trek in a heavily wooded area. Four cameras were used:
  1. The iPhone 4s—8 Megapixels (MP).
  2. An old Pentax Optio M20—set at 2 MP.
  3. Panaonic Leica/Lumix DMC-FX10—set at 2 MP (one of the early ones and it has a better quality lens than the FZ18 bridge camera).
  4. Panasonic Leica/Lumix FZ18—set at 3 MP (there's no 2 MP setting on it—but I can go down to .03 MP which does okay).

The images are very busy. Fine branches, grass and texture are overwhelming, but I chose this spot for that on purpose. Behind me were some wispy clouds that were moving and you can see the shadow differences (plus me having to wait while people walked by). A slight breeze was also present.

Before Editing
I picked the focal point and resized the images so I had them as close to possible size wise. Then did a full resize to 400 x 300 pixels (my normal blog image size).

Desaturates, minor enhancements and unsharp masks were used to get them to a point where they could be published. There's quite a bit of Holly and Laurel here and the leaves reflect the light more than usual.

The FX10 at 2MP gave me the best result and the least amount of editing with slight color adjustment.

The Pentax has the best color of the lot, straight out of the box, just a wee bit oversaturated and the unsharp masks. I used this as my color guide because it was almost spot on for the scene. but the lens isn't as good as the Leicas.

The FZ18's 3 MP is evident here in the resizing. The weedy bit on the right, just above the log, loses definition on all shots except the FX10.

iPhone 4s
The worst of the lot, it's all wrong—far too harsh color wise. I had five retries for the iPhone shot and this was the best I could get.

The focal point was this tree.

I could use the iPhone as my travel camera for passable imagery but unless I can save my images at 2 MP, it looks like a no go. For something like an iPhone to work right, is if I shoot big and take a smaller portion of the image to use as a post. The only thing where a full shot might work is a sunset (and I don't take many of those).

It was a good afternoon out as Spring is announcing it's arrival. I met some nice people and we engaged in a bit of conversation. Plus, I learned something.

Mar 23, 2015 / 17:48
After a lot of thought and checking things out, I've decided to not use the iPhone. Even as a phone, it has issues—I cannot have groups of contacts like on my old Samsung Mini. Hopefully I can recover my money on it.
Mar 08, 2015

latest comment at top
Nice writeup. I've got an HTC One M8. Incredible phone but the camera is the pits!

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