Is a reflex camera or a mobile better?

This is not a competition, but a reality. More and more people are putting aside photo cameras for the advantages offered by mobile cameras, increasingly powerful equipment. But really, which of these two teams is better to meet the demands of users?

For some time now, cameras have been losing ground in the market. So much so, that its distribution worldwide has decreased considerably in the last five years. The reason? The appearance of mobile devices that have been equipped with powerful cameras, resolution and even a lens, being a multi-functional competitor that has been working to position itself as the favorite alternative for users.

Currently, the big brands and manufacturers of mobile equipment have endeavored to make them increasingly functional and in line with the demands of the user community. Hence, when it comes to photographs, some new generation models are equipped with not just one, but several cameras, both front and rear, and some of them with a resolution of up to 48 megapixels.

Cameras used to be almost as necessary as luggage for a trip of pleasure and adventure. Many people analyzed which was the best photo camera on the market and were ready to buy it. The very idea of ​​going anywhere without a camera was simply inconceivable. If one could not be acquired due to lack of money or some eventuality, then one was used from a friend who could save the day and was kind enough to lend it. 

They ranged from simple, compact models for photography enthusiasts to DSLR-style models for demanding professionals who knew more about capturing images.

However, the arrival and positioning of smartphones in the market, with a camera within its functions, shook the large and small camera companies, since the mobile phone became a silent threat to the empire that until today date they had dominated the cameras, without direct contender. 

The first mobile phones that included a camera within their specifications were not a threat. The quality and resolution of these terminals were poor, so they were not a worthy contender, or at least not yet.

Everything changed when the big smartphone companies began to be more demanding with the attributes and technologies that they incorporated into the equipment, equipping them, among other applications, with powerful cameras, with the comfort of being able to carry them in your pocket and capture with just a screen touch. 

This event did affect the photography industry and almost completely wiped out simple, compact cameras. However, the same did not happen with SLR cameras, which have remained in the market almost immovably, because they can still compete with mobile phones. In fact, they offer the user higher quality than any camera integrated into a mobile phone can offer up to now. 

The competition doesn’t stop there. It is not that the big mobile companies want to dominate the absolute photography market, but that they seek to position themselves among the best, which is why the distances are getting shorter and shorter.

An example from Samsung

The South Korean company Samsung has made important announcements around this issue. Among them, he explained that he would incorporate into the market, through his high-end smartphones, small high-resolution sensors with which the lenses would be capable of reaching a resolution of 48 MP. This is in response to the demands of users who demand increasingly compact and multifunctional mobile phones, with higher quality photographs, which has generated a race among all mobile terminal manufacturers.

So it is not just about Samsung against SLR cameras, because Sony and the Chinese giant Xiaomi are also in this race, which by the end of 2018 announced that they would stand out in 2022 with mobile equipment with powerful integrated cameras. Other companies are following the same path, such as Apple, with the Iphone XS, and Google, with the Pixel 3, which until now has 12 megapixels.

For its part, the Chinese brand Huawei was also not far behind and announced by the end of 2018 the addition to its catalog of a Smartphone with a 48 MP rear lens on its Honor View 20 terminal. This model is equipped with a Sony IMX586 lens..

The best thing about this trend is that, unlike what used to happen, the lenses are now integrated into the structure of the mobile phone in an aesthetic and minimalist way, even reaching the panels.

Quantity versus quality 

Photography connoisseurs should know that, when it comes to quality, a higher number of megapixels in the images does not guarantee a better capture. Proof of this is the Google Pixel model, which although it has few megapixels (compared to other equipment), is equipped with software to manage, through algorithms, better results.

What companies usually play is the purchase intention of users based on trends, being a strategy related to the saying that says: “the more, the better”.

The new standard imposed is 48 megapixels, a figure that all the big ones want to reach in the rear lenses. This strategy, which is a great weight in megapixels when deciding, is not unreasonable. According to a classification from the DxOMark site, Huawei’s P20 Pro terminal, with a 40 MP lens, sweeps the list, closely followed by the iPhone XS Max. In this sense, the apple company has achieved a balance between software and megapixels, with the iPhone XR, which has a camera with only one lens and 12 megapixel resolution.

So the competition is stiff, but for the foreseeable future, DSLR cameras will continue to be on the market, as there is a segment of the population that still values ​​quality over quantity. 

The phones are not necessarily better than specialized cameras, but they do represent a multifunctional alternative with great potential.

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