Will High-Resolution Displays Convert Smartphone Shooters Back to Cameras?

Smartphone cameras have gotten to the point of being able to stack up well against digital cameras — at least when viewing the photos at smaller sizes. Zoom in, and there’s still a pretty big gap in quality due to the smartphone’s smaller lens and sensor. BuzzFeed’s John Herrman writes that the emergence of ultra-high res displays displays is converting people back to digital cameras:

Sometime in the last year, I gave up on carrying a camera. My phone is compact, quick, has the ability to share photos directly, and, at least to my eye, produces photos that are nearly comparable to my $700 interchangeable lens camera. In most contexts, I stand by that — on Facebook, in iPhoto, or on Instagram, my iPhone photos look fine. Great, even.

But one thing I noticed when I first used a Retina iPad, which automatically pulled in my old iPhone shots from the cloud, was that these “good enough” photos looked awful. Grainy, blotchy, and even kind of blurry. Evidently the new Retina MacBook has the same effect. Marco Arment, creator of Instapaper, says it’s driving him back to his DSLR.

Maybe It’s Time To Carry A Real Camera Again (via Gizmodo)

Image credit: Retina Display by LJR.MIKE

  • Mark

    It’s a short-lived phenomenon. The smartphone camera manufacturers will continue to improve both their sensors and their optics.

  • Philip Mitchell

    He couldn’t tell the difference between his smart phone camera, and his $700 interchangeable lens camera without a retina screen..

    I use my iphone camera for things like sleeping people on the bus I want to shame.

    I use my SLR for anything I want a semi decent shot of.

  • Sum_it

    As Philip stated above, its striking to me that he doesn’t see major differences between a $700 interchangeable and a cell phone photo. They are, for the most part, worlds apart. Retina or no retina. Esp with a fast lens.

  • Ttbb

    This is not even an issue – anyone even remotely interested in real photography will never give up on real cameras. I guess if all your pics are of your cats and your flower garden, then by all means stick with your crappy phone camera.

  • Rob S

    I have been saying for a while that I think the DSLR “fad” days are over. When you look at images from camera phones and small P&S they are not just “good enough” but they are comparable to what a huge portion of the DSLR+Kit lens crowd was getting. Flickr is full of average or worse images taken by people with really nice cameras. When they compare the hassle against the results, they are voting for ease of use and instant upload.

    While this is bad for DSLR camera makers, I think it is good for professional photographers. All those former DLSR shooters know what good images really are and while they man not be willing to spend time learning and lugging gear, they will pay for the good stuff. The other lesson for professional Photographers is get an iPad NOW. :)

  • Jason

    Oh the problems of basing your life around gadgets and without even the basic knowledge of how to incorporate them into your daily lifestyle correctly…. “My new Retina display makes all my iphone photos look terrible…”

    Next time use a real camera, genius.

  • John Stock

    It only seems they stack up to the average person, not a professional.