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Monie71

Good camera or iPhone camera?

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A nice mid-range DSLR camera is a great choice, but it's extra bulk to take around.  It takes more time, but I find the quality of those photos to stand out.  For capturing sweeping vistas, family photos, it's the kind of camera that gives that satisfying, crisp photo.

The iPhone camera is quite good in its own right and so much more convenient.

I think it really boils down to how serious you want to get with photography.  Unlike 10 years ago, a DSLR camera is not absolutely necessary for good photos. You can definitely get by with an iPhone and capture great shots. In fact, most photographers would tell you it's less about the hardware you have than the techniques you use.

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39 minutes ago, Matt said:

I think it really boils down to how serious you want to get with photography.  Unlike 10 years ago, a DSLR camera is not absolutely necessary for good photos. You can definitely get by with an iPhone and capture great shots. In fact, most photographers would tell you it's less about the hardware you have than the techniques you use.

This. I have taken great shots with all sorts of good and not so good equipment. I personally like to take a camera with me at times so I don't wear out my phone battery but I often just go with my phone.

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33 minutes ago, Matt said:

I think it really boils down to how serious you want to get with photography.  Unlike 10 years ago, a DSLR camera is not absolutely necessary for good photos. You can definitely get by with an iPhone and capture great shots. In fact, most photographers would tell you it's less about the hardware you have than the techniques you use.

This. I've done two cruises with my iPhone 6s Plus as my camera. Yes it's now a very old model with a lot more limitations than a Xs Max or Xr has; and yes, you can do a lot more with even my old model than is immediately obvious, especially if you invest in some good apps for better manual control or a good set of add-on lenses. But any phone is still going to have limitations over a dedicated camera. The biggest one being that both my "ancient" 6s Plus and the latest models still take only 12 megapixel photos, where a pocketable compact camera with good manual controls will get you at least 20 megapixels on a significantly larger sensor. That translates into way better low-light photography, which might be something you find yourself wanting to do as you wander the ship in the evening. @twangster's night photos of Central Park or Navigator's pool deck are stunning, and all taken on a camera with a big sensor.

The other two big limitations with phones are no true depth of field (aperture control) and no good options for things like a polarizing lens to eliminate water glare or sky haze when shooting outdoors. The simulated depth of field the very latest phones offer with their camera software is amazing, but it's still not the same as being able to dial it in for a specific shot you see.

If none of the above really matters to you personally, and what's most important is being able to quickly get a shot of what you're looking at right then, a modern phone camera will get you some very impressive results. If you don't have the very latest model and your phone is more than 2 years old like mine, I'd recommend investing in the newer model so you have all the advancements and features that have been made.

If you're like me (somewhat serious hobbyist level), it's a toss-up between the phone or a small compact camera like a Sony DSC RX-100 series camera that provides good manual controls while staying pocketable, or at least throwable in a backpack. I kind of got dragged into the compact camera approach through a friend, but now that I've seen what it can do vs. my phone (especially in low light), I'm all-in on the stand-alone camera as long as it's not impractical to take where I'm going.

I'd only recommend going the DSLR route with all its expense if you've already been taking a lot of pictures with your phone, you feel like you've learned some good basic techniques, and you just aren't satisfied with what it gives you at all any more. The learning curve of a full manual camera is steep (ask my 15-year old daughter who took Photography 101 this past school year), and not something you necessarily want to be figuring out while you're wandering an island or on a tour.

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If you expect to take pictures underwater with your cell phone, be sure to get the appropriate lanyard that can accommodate the size of the phone.  You can click buttons through the soft plastic of the "sleeve". 

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My Samsung Galaxy is awesome... It truly takes great pics and makes it easy to post.  I recently replaced my real camera with a pretty easy point and shoot Canon.... There is no way I will have enough memory in my phone for 16 days in Europe and I just never trust dropbox.  But it's what you want to do and where you want your pics!  Have a great trip! Jane

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I struggled with this for our Alaska trip. We finally decided to bring both. I can tell you we took maybe 10 pics with the camera. Our phones were handy and have excellent cameras. Ours are the new Pixels though. I would say it depends on which iPhone you have. The cameras did not reach great quality until the iPhone 7 . 

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I've used both the iPhone and a Panasonic Lumix FZ70 with a 60x zoom. I do bird photographs and for Alaska there was no comparison between the iPhone and the Lumix in places like Hubbard Glacier where the Radiance didn't get to close to the glacier. If you're only going to post on social media and show from the phone you're fine. If you're going to print I would upgrade to a decent point & shoot. Carrying the camera was worth the effort to me.

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19 hours ago, Jolly Ogre said:
 

i just bought one of these, the newer model... but id go with best buy rather than wal mart. the wal mart camera comes from someone other than the actual store, it comes refurbished and they didnt give me the sky blue when i paid extra for it. i returned it and went with best buy. got a new camera and a free floaty strap. :) (i did my research and settled on this after about a month) im with you on this one jolly ogre!!

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It really comes down to your expectations for your pictures.

Smart phones are great for convenience and outdoor daylight photography.   Even the best and newest camera phones start to fall apart in darker conditions including ones that tout special dark picture capabilities.

Point and shoot cameras offer portability but typically better performance over even the best and newest phone across the spectrum of photographic conditions experienced on a cruise.  They typically come with the added benefit of a zoom lens.

DSLR or mirrorless will produce the best pictures at the cost of size and lugging them around.

I don't bring my expensive gear on cruises anymore with the exception of bucket list destinations such as Alaska, Hawaii, Europe, Panama, etc.  

Here is a live blog that was captured with a point and shoot camera, albeit an expensive one:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/9521-adventure-ots-13-night-snowbird-migration-quebec-to-ft-lauderdale-oct-8-2018/

 

 

This cruise was captured with an iPhone using some extra cost lenses:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/6297-adventure-5-nights-5518-repositioning-san-juan-to-bayonne/

 

Both have some good pictures but many of my iPhone pictures were not good enough to post to the second blog and I vowed I'd never do another cruise without something better than a phone.  

Even when I bring all the camera gear I own it doesn't always come on every excursion.  Particularly if I've been somewhere before I'll just take my phone to a beach for example.

At the end of the day the best camera is the one you have with you.  

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No doubt you will get a different opinion form everyone.

Personally I like my Nikon Coolpix A900. Its compact enough to slip into a pocket, cost about $300. The best feature other than being a 'Nikon' is the 35x optical zoom at the touch of a button. I have captured many wild life photos from a safe distance including bears, buffalo,  mountain goats, ships in the distance and so on. Add a 128GB memory card and you can literally take over 10,000 pictures in high resolution.

 

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15 hours ago, RickinSTL said:

I carry my Nikon D3300 on excursions with my camera backpack,  and use my iPhone X on the ship.. 

I do basically the same thing.   If i was doing a port heavy itinerary, then I would take my "big" camera.  If i am doing a smaller/sea day heavy itinerary, then i take the phone.

On a recent trip to Europe (not a cruise holiday), i took photos over 3 devices - DSLR, snapshot camera & phone. Each has their particular use cases.

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On 7/4/2019 at 10:29 AM, Chaosgirl426 said:
 

i just bought one of these, the newer model... but id go with best buy rather than wal mart. the wal mart camera comes from someone other than the actual store, it comes refurbished and they didnt give me the sky blue when i paid extra for it. i returned it and went with best buy. got a new camera and a free floaty strap. :) (i did my research and settled on this after about a month) im with you on this one jolly ogre!!

Yeah i got mine at Best Buy too, but this was the 1st link that showed up when i googled it.

You can get them anywhere and for the money you can't beat it. Great pics, waterproof, small and lightweight.

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On 7/3/2019 at 4:05 PM, ckmoss said:

I struggled with this for our Alaska trip. We finally decided to bring both. I can tell you we took maybe 10 pics with the camera. Our phones were handy and have excellent cameras. Ours are the new Pixels though. I would say it depends on which iPhone you have. The cameras did not reach great quality until the iPhone 7 . 

And to add to your confusion - I did the opposite on my Alaskan trip. I really liked having more zoom available on my regular camera (A Nikon point-and-shoot) in Alaska.  I would use it instead of binoculars in many places.   For a beach-y cruise, I travel iPhone only, but for more scenery-based cruises (Alaska, N.E. US and Canada) I liked having my camera with it's zoom.  

I have tried the attachable lenses on my iPhone, but haven't found one yet that I liked for zoom (wide-range, however, is great!).

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3 hours ago, mrp4352 said:

I have tried the attachable lenses on my iPhone, but haven't found one yet that I liked for zoom (wide-range, however, is great!).

Totally agree with this, and I spent some serious money on a set of lenses by Moment that included their tele lens. Lots of edge artifacting / color shifting along the edges, and even in the center area things look a little "off". Outdoors in bright light, it can work decently. But looking back on my photos from the time, I'm not 100% satisfied with how they came out. If I need tele, I'm using a point and shoot with a real variable optical zoom and forgetting about my phone.

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Go with a waterproof point and shoot from, say, Nikon. 

These will take better than iPhone pictures, take a beating, and take a bath without breaking the bank. 

They have good OPTICAL zooms around 5x compared to an iPhone 2x. 

Also, most do standard 1080p HD or 4K 30fps videos on top of geotagging  

I have an iPhone I will use for most days but also have a Nikon D750 with either an 80-200 2.8 or 24-70 2.8 lens. These lenses are pretty big and not very practical for most photos you will never print or view on a screen larger than an iPad, except for depth of field. 

I am bringing the D750 for some family wedding photos...this camera stands out in low light and pictures in the setting sun. 

 

 

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I'm thinking about getting a camcorder instead of a DSLR or mirrorless because I want to capture the action or just record the scenery. Would a DSLR or mirrorless camera be better than a Sony FDR-AX700? https://www.sony.com/electronics/handycam-camcorders/fdr-ax700 If there's a camera in the same price range and able to video equal to or better than the Sony please let me know as I would really consider it. I'm hoping that @twangster or @JLMoran might have some experience in this matter. Anyone else please give your input.

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19 minutes ago, 12thman said:

I'm thinking about getting a camcorder instead of a DSLR or mirrorless because I want to capture the action or just record the scenery. Would a DSLR or mirrorless camera be better than a Sony FDR-AX700? https://www.sony.com/electronics/handycam-camcorders/fdr-ax700 If there's a camera in the same price range and able to video equal to or better than the Sony please let me know as I would really consider it. I'm hoping that @twangster or @JLMoran might have some experience in this matter. Anyone else please give your input.

This video was captured using an iPhone, a point and shoot and a mirrorless camera.  The mirrorless camera has lens stabilization that with a long telephoto lens made capture some action invaluable.  

This video was captured with just a mirrorless camera:

 

The way I figure it, one camera that do both stills and video means one less device to carry.

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