phone cameras

Phone cameras are much simpler than digital cameras, they use fixed focal lenses and small sensors which limit their ability, as well as not having a shutter which affects the image quality.

Pictures from phones are pixelated and unclear, completely opposite to a DSLR or film SLR.

The first camera phone was sold in Japan in 2000, these images were pixelated. Since then the image quality has improved, looking at new iPhones and android phones, the image quality is still nothing compared to high end cameras.

Since phone technology has come a long way in the past few years lots of people started to doubt photography and degrees in photography, (why do you need to do a degree  if camera phones are just as good at taking pictures as high end cameras like Nikon, Cannon or Pentax?) Well what i have learned is that for snap shots, camera phones are just fine for taking pictures. They are quick and easy, being able to set up and take a quick pic in minimal timing. When taking images of high quality that are being blown up or for commercial use then a digital SLR camera is definitely better.

For this apparatus i am using a Samsung Galaxy S3. This phone came out in May 2012, nearly 4 years ago. Since then Phone camera technology has come a long way, when looking for DSLR VS camera phone blogs, websites, and reviews, The one phone they mainly used in comparison was an iPhone 5/6 phones which came out in 2014/2015. These camera phones will be more advanced that a model from 2012 but never the less it is still a phone with a camera.

For this apparatus I will be taking pictures with my Samsung Galaxy S3 and comparing it against a Nikon D7000. A camera which came out in September 2010 just over 5 years ago. There is now more advanced and newer DSLR’s on the market. As both are a few years old i felt like this was a fair comparison as both came out in similar years. I will be taking pictures of the same subject using the same lighting, this will also make it fair as then the variables will be the same. I am comparing the two for one simple reason, that it is easier to see the pros and cons of a technology when comparing it against a technology which has been built for purpose, with many years of research.


35mm film camera

using 35mm film – 36 x 24mm film. 35mm film cameras typically used for still photography.

SLR – single-lens reflex camera. Uses and prism and mirror system that typically shows the photographer to look through the lens and see exactly what they will be capturing.

35mm films cameras come with a variety of film lengths, typically 20 film, 24 film, and 36 film camera rolls.

A film camera is a plastic or metal box which is completely sealed from any light to stop the film from getting damaged.


Meaning – Digital single-lens reflex camera

DSLR’s mainly replaced film SLR’s in the 2000’s – and despite the growing popularity of mirrorless cameras the DSLR still remained the most popular of the interchangeable lens cameras.

focusing a DSLR can be manual or digital, typically by changing between the switch located on the camera – on the D7000 it is on the left hand of the lens. When on automatic you press the shutter release half way which then focuses the camera. When on manual you use the lens to focus and then press the shutter release.

DSLR’s have an in camera light meter to tell you if you have to change the aperture, inside the view finder. Inside it also tells you the shutter speed, the aperture and the ISO. All can be done automatically when the camera is on automatic on the mode dial. it can also be done on manual as then you have more control of the image being taken. If you want a darker image or a lighter image this can be done manually.

Mode dial                                                                                                                                     Mode_Dials_Nikon_D60

When shooting, shoot in RAW. RAW is where all of the image data is recorded meaning you can produce higher quality images, unlike in JPEG where the image is compressed and lost. When in JPEG the camera does it own processing of the image so it can be compressed, losing all image data.



basics of photography


Exposure – shutter speed, ISO , and aperture

Shutter speed = exposure time of the photography

ISO = the cameras sensitivity to light

Aperture = the size of the hole in the lens

using the light meter in your camera – 2 different lights                                     incident light = the light coming from the sun or a light source to the object being photographed                                                                                             reflected light = the light bouncing off the object

black ———-grey————-white


Hard light creates shadows, soft light doesn’t.                                                      can’t get blacker than black or whiter than white. This is because both black and white have nothing in them.

Use spot metering to accentuate highlights and shadows.

A reflected light reading tries to expose for a neutral grey in the scene.               A incident light reading simply measures the amount of light falling on the subject or the scene.

For a darker subject matter you need a higher ISO.                                                 For a lighter subject matter you need a lower ISO.

When in the studio you need a light meter because of the flash used – can’t register amount of light that will be there.

Aperture – smaller hole – bigger number                                                                             -bigger hole –  smaller number                                                                                     A smaller aperture gives a shallower depth of field.                                              If the camera lets in a lot of light it allows the object to be shot in dim light. If it is too bright you can change the shutter speed.

each time you go up or down with aperture it is halving or doubling the amount of light. Eg/ F11 is half the amount of light as F8. F8 if half the amount of light as F5.6.

shutter speed – the speed at which the shutter is opened. usually measures as fractions of a second. Eg/ 1/30 is a 30th of a second. 1/60 is a 60th of a second

You should never used a shutter speed which is smaller than the focal length of the camera, as this will then cause camera shake.

correct exposure – what aesthetic look/ approach you want