Want to Buy an Expensive Camera? Wait!

April 03, 2018 1 Comment

I've always wanted to buy an expensive camera such as a Nikon D500 or a Sony A9. But, I'm constantly blown away by the results of my current smartphone camera: Google Pixel 2 XL. When it came out, it received the highest score ever for smartphone camera according to DxOMark.

Taken with my Pixel 2 XL

Table Rock Boise Idaho cliff sunset offline outdoors google pixel 2 xl

alice lake idaho sawtooth mountains stanley lake offline outdoors google pixel 2 xl

cliffs fog foggy boise national forest offline outdoors google pixel 2 xl

Smartphone Cameras 



Always in your pocket A lot of Noise
Slim & Light Digital Zoom (distorts quality)
Water/Dust Resistant Small sensor
Quick Editing & Sharing Limited settings

    Expensive Cameras



    Manual Settings Bulky
    Large Sensor (better quality) Heavy
    Optical Zoom Gets Expensive
    Interchangeable Lenses

    Bridging the Gap

    Smartphone cameras have been steadily bridging the gap between DSLR cameras. Here is a list of features that have been introduced in the recent years.

    • Portrait Mode or Bokeh Effect: both front & rear facing camera
    • Adjustable Aperture: rear camera has both f/1.5 & f/2.4 
    • Manual Camera Settings: shutter speed & ISO

    Pixel 2 XL Portrait Mode

    igor bukhantsov offline outdoors google pixel 2 xl photography portrait mode

    Can't Tell The Difference

    99% of the photographs on the Offline Outdoors Instagram account are taken with a smartphone camera. I always get this question: "What DSLR do you use?" Most people are generally surprised that they were taken with my Google Pixel 2. It is easy to mistake a smartphone photograph for a DSLR photograph. With videos, it is even more difficult Check this out!

    If you didn't catch the title, this is a wedding video that was captured with an iPhone 7. It is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish between a smartphone camera and a DSLR camera!

    Better Camera = Better Photographs?

    I've heard this so many times: get "this camera" and your photography will improve! It is undeniable that the quality of the photographs will be better with an expensive camera. But, you have to ask this question: what makes a photograph great? Composition, style, light, energy, and artistry is what breaths life into a great photograph. Just the equipment alone doesn't guarantee great photography.

    Taken with my Pixel 2 XL

    offline outdoors sage hen reservoir idaho boise national forest fishing google pixel 2 xl photography

    Should I still Buy an Expensive Camera?  

    Although smartphone cameras have made remarkable advances in recent years, you are still limited with a very small sensor on your smartphone. For small scale projects, smartphone cameras are great. They can even be used professionally. But, a DSLR camera with a quality sensor will always beat out the smartphone camera in terms of quality and physical limitations. 

    The Verdict

    It really depends what you need from your camera. If you want to pursue photography, buy a DSLR camera. You won't have to struggle with limitations like previously mentioned. If you want a camera for everyday use, save your money! Your smartphone camera is better than you think it is. 


    ***For the sake of simplicity, I refer to the classic DSLR Cameras and Mirrorless Cameras as "DSLR Cameras" and/or "Expensive Cameras".*** 

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