Are Digital Cameras Better Than Phone Cameras?

High-end phone cameras have reached a level where their outputs easily match that of some high-quality digital cameras. Add their convenience on top of that, and you’d think users would prefer them over digicams any day. That said, if the current camera market is anything to go by, that’s far from the case.

Smartphones may have come a long way in terms of capturing still and moving images, but digital cameras remain their own breed of animal. As proven by the budget-friendly cameras available today, digicams are also no longer the elitist items they used to be.

Let’s weigh in on the pros of digital cameras and phone cameras so that you may know which is better suited to your project.

Camera Phones

Let’s start with the one making the most waves these days—the camera phone. Phone photo quality will depend on the kind of phone you have, so the difference in quality can sometimes be vast. This should be the case when you compare a dated android camera phone to the latest iPhone.


While camera phones won’t possess the versatility of a digital camera, there will still be factors that contribute to you choosing it over the digicam. These are:


In general, the latest phones are user-friendly, but this couldn’t be more in effect than in the camera application. In the majority of phones, you just click on the camera icon and start taking pictures.

On the other hand, if it’s videos you want to take, you either just slide to the right to highlight the video, select from a drop-down menu, or press a button on the screen activating video mode. All these make for fast and convenient memory capturing. And remember, time is money. 


You can carry your phone pretty much everywhere. Then, you simply take it out of your bag or pocket, open the camera, click, edit, and then post. It doesn’t matter if editing gets a little bit complicated; you won’t likely get this kind of convenience with a digital camera.


So, your phone comes with a camera. That gives you at least two previously independent functions for the price of one. That’s already a great deal, even in an expensive high-end phone. A phone’s ease of use might also save you from taking photography lessons. However, some awesome editing tools can come with price tags you’d rather not pay for.

Digital Cameras

Now we move on to digicams, the mother of capturing still and moving memories. If you don’t mind putting more effort and money into learning a completely different league of photography, the digital camera is the tool for you.


The digicam excels in plenty of areas phone cameras don’t, but what are the major ones specifically?


As far as taking photos and recording videos, phone cameras can only take you so far. A high-end phone camera might allow you to accomplish these things at a high level. Even then, it would still be quite a low level when taken into the digital-camera context.

The highest image resolution possible by a commercially available camera phone might still be relatively low compared with a decent digital camera. That’s because there are limits to the ways you can use phones to take photos and record videos.

Capturing memories might be among the main selling points of current smartphones, but it still remains that they aren’t the only selling point. To compensate for other sought-after phone features, sacrifices have to be made. It’s this meeting-in-the-middle approach that keeps phones from eclipsing digital cameras in quality relative to the price point.


A pretty photo is a pretty photo, and a lot of phone cameras are capable of taking it. Digital cameras, on the other hand, can capture gorgeous photos relative to the eye of the viewer. Thus, there will always be a level of nuance and uniqueness to their outputs that a camera phone photo cannot replicate.

Digital cameras execute in conditions where phone cameras typically fall short, such as low- and high lighting settings and shoots involving excessive movement. Once you’ve mastered a digital camera, there is almost nothing you can’t shoot beautifully with it.

Why Might You Go or Not Go for Either?

At the end of the day, one of either two things might happen for a buyer: he finds a phone camera’s resolution too low or a digital camera’s price too high. The fact is, there are limits to what even the best camera phones can do photography-wise, and a digital camera’s price range might not be practical, given your needs.

That said, finding yourself in either scenario is also reason enough to choose the other option. There’s no need to go for a digicam if you don’t have much use for its features. On the other hand, you should find digital cameras a great investment if you’re after both unrivaled quality in cameras and unparalleled resolution in photos.

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