10 Reasons Why Digital Cameras Aren't Going Anywhere

by Amanda Fleites 10 months ago in camera

While some might think that they are a thing of the past, knowing a few reasons why digital cameras aren’t going anywhere might just change your mind.

In today’s day and age, we are all obsessed with taking photos that are aesthetically pleasing and sharing them on social media. Our smartphones are our best friends and professional selfie capturers; and in a world of pop-up Instagram spots, what more do we need? Photography aficionados will tell you that you don’t get the same result without a camera, but if you were like me, you might be thinking something like, What do I even need a digital camera for these days? The truth is though, you really cannot do everything on a phone that you can on a camera; therefore, real cameras remain relevant. Professional photographers are not the only ones who need real cameras; photography as a hobby is more popular than ever, and if you are a beginner photographer, you can still benefit from a good camera. However, if you’re still skeptical, the reasons why digital cameras aren’t going anywhere might literally change the way you look at the world.

People have a greater appreciation for photos than ever before.

Photo by Marco Xu on Unsplash

Ever since social media really started to become popular around the early 2000s, a newfound interest in taking and viewing photos was ignited, and it has only continued to grow since then. It is almost as though photos were never truly appreciated for what they are, beautiful works of art, in this way before. Of course there have always been well-known professional photographers and famous photographs, but photography was never really “any man’s game” as it is today. There was a lack of appreciation for the photos that an amateur photographer could take. For example, when a person took a cool photo before the age of social media, there was less motivation to share it. Taking a photo and having it acknowledged by others seemed to cause the average person to realize how impressive photos they take themselves could actually be.

The reason phone cameras took over in the first place is because we want the camera to do all the work for us.

A phone camera does everything for you, while a DSLR or mirrorless camera actually requires us to do a little something with our hands and our brains. We, the people of 2019, are generally lazy and have little patience. All we want to do is point and shoot to capture the most amazing photo ever taken. However, in reality, the camera you are using affects your image quality. This is why the majority of people using lens cameras right now are people who care about their photos and are really trying to take the best photos they can. The rest of us are just trying to capture something pretty enough that our friends will like on Instagram.

While cell phone cameras are improving, so are digital cameras.

When cell phones first came out, they didn’t even have cameras, and when cameras were added, they were basically useless because the images would come out SO BAD. Today, cameras on the top of smartphones are pretty impressive. The new iPhone that was just announced a few days ago has a new telephoto lens which will allow users to actually zoom, as opposed to what photo cameras do right now, which is simply crop out the rest of the photo and only include the part that is being zoomed in on. This being said, while the newest camera features on these phones are impressive, that does not mean that lens cameras have stopped being improved upon. Big companies like Canon and Nikon are continuing to find ways to improve digital cameras to give photographers higher quality images with higher resolution than ever before.

Professional photographers are not going to do a shoot on their phone.

Let’s think about this one for a sec. People say that digital cameras are on their way out; however, when you think about it, do you really want someone to photograph your wedding on their iPhone…? You would be saying, “Where’s all your equipment? What did I hire you for?” To solidify that point, the best photos are always going to be taken on a real camera. With how competitive the world is today, do you really think that any photographer, professional or amateur, is going to want someone to upstage them?

Many of the beautiful Instagram photographers you follow are not taking photos on their smartphones.

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Although we view and share beautiful photos on our cell phones, that does not necessarily mean they were taken on their cell phones. I know that sounds obvious, but I think people forget that sometimes.

I reached out to this photographer to inquire about the camera he uses just to prove this point. He uses a Canon 5D Mark IV to capture some of the beautiful nature shots featured on his Instagram.

Phone cameras do not allow the customization that digital cameras do.

Even though DSLR and mirrorless cameras have automatic modes, the quality that you are getting with those cameras is going to be much better than that of your smartphone. Smartphones offer a limited amount of settings, therefore automatically giving you fewer options to adjust the settings exactly the way you want them. With a real camera, you can customize the settings to fit the particular scene you are shooting based on the lighting, depth of field, and other factors. When you use a DSLR camera, shutter speed is very important for taking a clear picture. Our phone cameras automatically choose settings that, as far as the phone can tell, are simply not good enough.

With such a small lens, you will never be able to get the quality photos you can on a real camera.

Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash

There is a reason that cameras have such large lenses. There are so many ways you can use a wide angle lens that they’re not just for show after all. When you think about it, without putting a large lens on a phone, you are not going to be able to get the same high quality photos. A large lens allows more light to be let in, which is ideal for taking a photo in low lighting. Without a large lens, you are just not going to be able to take those night shots. Lenses are also something that do not need to be replaced; even if you upgrade the body of your camera to get the newest features, your lens will only take better photos when paired with a better camera body.

Your smartphone camera can’t zoom for real.

Without a larger sensor, your cell phone camera simply cannot gather the amount of light that a DSLR can. The sensor size of a phone camera is very small, while the sensor size of a camera can be 50 times larger or more, therefore providing higher resolution and the ability to take a larger photo. Another benefit of having a real camera with a larger sensor is the improved low-light capabilities.

Phone cameras are not good for taking night shots.

Have you ever tried to take a picture of the moon on your cell phone? If you have, need I say more? We covered this a little bit already, but it is important. A low-light feature on a phone is just not going to be the same as a real lens that can physically control how much light is let in. In order to take a good nighttime photo, you need to be able to adjust the shutter speed to the proper setting. The sensor in your phone’s camera has very little capability to gather an amount of light that will complete a starry night. In order to take good night shots, you might want something with a full frame sensor.

Cameras are becoming more like phones.

Photo by Thom Holmes on Unsplash

Although phones can only get so close to being like DSLR cameras or mirrorless cameras, the DSLR cameras can become more like smartphones. Top camera companies like Nikon are adding new features like Wi-Fi connectivity and features that make it easier to share your photos on social media, making it easier for photographers to keep up with all those people sharing photos on their iPhones so quickly.

With all the above mentioned capabilities and the many different brands and types of cameras, you have no reason not to explore this option if you are looking into photography as a career or hobby. If you have just started out taking photos and are trying to choose a camera, it will likely be overwhelming, especially since all cameras are certainly not equal. Luckily, there are so many resources online, so if you want a camera for landscape and street photography, there are cameras that are made specifically for that which will blow a smartphone’s camera clear out of the water. It is, however, important to do research on the camera you are buying beforehand. The bottom line is, there are many reasons why digital cameras aren’t going anywhere, and unless cell phone cameras are going to be able to take photos as good as digital cameras, there’s simply no comparison.

Amanda Fleites
Amanda Fleites
Read next: 4 Ways To Find Inspiration As A Beginner Photographer
Amanda Fleites
See all posts by Amanda Fleites