DPReview Does a Smartphone Vs DSLR Comparison.


Digital Photography website dpreview.com has taken a look at the progress smartphone photography has made and how it compares to top end DSLR cameras from the last 10 years, ranging from the Cannon EOS10D released in 2003 right up to the Nikon D800 from 2012, pitting them against the Lumia 1020 and iPhone 5S.

Their write up, titled “Smartphones versus DSLRs versus film: A look at how far we’ve come” goes into lots of detail on their comparison, and is quite a long read but very interesting to see where the modern smartphone fits in the timeline of SLR technology.

Their verdict, reached with the help of 15 “non photographers” was that the Lumia 1020, in good lighting, is as near as 3 years behind current DSLR cameras, even when they are using expensive lenses, and that “In bright light, the Nokia came close to competing with the detail from the best DLSR yet made”.

How many years are smartphones behind the best $2,000 DSLRs? Comparing detail resolved, I’ll say the iPhone 5S currently sits 8-9 years behind the DLSRs in bright light, while the Nokia trails by less than 6 years — probably nearer to 3. This is even when you allow the DSLRs the luxury of a $1,700 lens, and shooting in raw. In bright light, the Nokia came close to competing with the detail from the best DLSR yet made.

While detail is clearly preferred on the Lumia 1020, they did applaud the iPhone 5S for it’s speed and convenience, and also point out the different skill sets these two smartphones possess.

They couldn’t be more different. The iPhone 5S worships at the alter of convenience and speed, while the Nokia devotes everything to the best possible image quality. In the 7 seconds you took to read this paragraph, the iPhone could have taken 70 shots. The Nokia? Two. With another coming … wait a moment … almost there … now. Their camera apps are polar opposites too: the Nokia offers you full-time manual control over all the camera settings; the iPhone gives you almost none.


It is certainly worth taking a look at the article, found HERE, the cameras used in the comparison were:

•Canon EOS 10D (6 megapixels, 2003)
•Canon EOS 20D (8 megapixels, 2004)
•Canon EOS 30D (8 megapixels, 2006)
•Canon EOS 40D (10 megapixels, 2007)
•Nikon D800 (36 megapixels, 2012 and not yet seriously bettered)

You can see the original photos on their Flickr page HERE, from which the Lumia 1029 picture below is taken.


Lenny Bonsignore
Lenny Bonsignorehttp://www.OneTechStop.net
Lenny Bonsignore @LennyBons34 is Owner/Editor- in -Chief of OneTechStop, Sports fan, Tech guy, & Mailman by Day [email protected]

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