The comparisons were done using:
- A film camera (as a baseline of sorts)
- Canon EOS models 10D (2003), 20D (2004), 30D (2006) & 40D (2007)
- iPhone 5s & Nokia Lumia 1020
- Nikon D800E (2012, as a sample best-of-breed DSLR)
Right at the start, the author correctly stated that he was looking at apples and oranges when it came to Smartphones and DSLRs. To level the playing field he had to “dumb-down” [my words] the DSLRs as follows:
- The chief reason to dumb-down is the lens issue I mentioned yesterday, i.e.
- Smartphones have a fixed aperture, fixed focal length lens (an apple)
- DSLRs have any lens you choose to use (an orange)
- For the tests performed, the DSLRs were used at a fixed focal length matching the smartphones’ lens (~29mm), i.e. they were forced to be “apples”.
- Also, DSLR apertures were adjusted as the study states:
“…we chose tests where the depth in focus wasn’t relevant, creating a bias in favor of the DSLRs, as we allowed them the indulgence of picking their optimal aperture, rather than forcing them to use a realistic one….” [my underline emphasis]
While I’ll accept the author’s conclusion that my iPhone 6 Plus is comparable to my Nikon D70 or D300, that conclusion applies only under certain conditions!
- Those conditions (a fixed “wide-ish” focal length of ~29mm combined with apertures that give a wide depth-of-field) are in direct conflict with my requirements as described in my previous post, i.e., variable focal lengths and a very thin DOF. See the 1st slide show for sharp focus throughout and the 2nd for thin-DOF examples.
- I’m certain that the study’s conditions completely satisfy the needs of some.
- If you’re one of them (everything in sharp focus using a fairly wide-angle fixed (prime) lens then you & a smartphone should get along fine.
- The study confirmed the conditions under which I can use my iPhone and make the image that I want (and when I can’t).
- Pretty much as I had expected.
Here are two sets of images (click any image for a full screen slide show)
A good smartphone should be able to make these three
BUT – these require a DSLR as they’re all about the DOF (the lens)