Do we still need DSLR cameras when we’ve got smartphones?

Full frame shot of summer vacation accessories. Directly above shot of travel and beach equipment flat lay. They are arranged on wooden floor.

Do we still need DSLR cameras when we’ve got smartphones? Which device for which travel destination? When should you go for a professional device or when can your smartphone become your all-terrain tool? Read all about the pros and cons here.

For years, we’ve been debating between the smartphone and the camera. It’s a fact: the cameras on our smartphones are becoming more and more efficient. To the point where it’s often difficult to tell the difference between pictures taken with either one or the other.

Smartphone or DSLR?

It’s certain, the experts agree on one thing: that digital single-lens reflex cameras don’t measure up anymore. Today’s smartphones are much lighter, while offering practically the same advantages and quality.

Besides, smartphone users prefer an all-in-one device that lets them take photos, rework them (with frames, light, and filters) and post them on social media in just a few swipes. During city walks on holiday in New York, Paris or Marseille, a top-of-the-range smartphone like the iPhone 7 or Galaxy S7 will satisfy even the most avid photographer.

Black compact digital camera and iphone 6 on wooden background.

Smartphone vs DSLR: a battle of practicality

Our dream holiday is just around the corner, and here we are in two minds about whether to pack our reflex camera, its two lenses, batteries and charger. Our smartphone on the other hand, fits into our pocket-this is its number one advantage. It’s much easier to walk around the streets of Tokyo or go mountain trekking in Peru with a smartphone in your hand rather than carrying a reflex camera with a strap.

Besides, when travelling it’s often easier to share photos on social networks directly with your smartphone rather than transferring them from a reflex to a computer, then Instagram.

Finally, you can order your prints or personalised objects instantly, wherever you are, thanks to the Photobox app (available on iOS or Android).

Flat lay of a photographers desk with a digital camera, a smartphone and some coffee with plenty of copy space

Smartphone vs reflex: a technical battle

However, in certain cases, the smartphone has real disadvantages, especially if you are passionate about photography. For example, panoramic views are difficult in automatic mode. Distant objects become more complicated with the smartphone’s less efficient zoom. To shoot the Great Wall of China or capture the views from the heights of Kilimanjaro, it’s better to opt for a reflex camera.

If you wish to blow up your travel photos, why not go for an extra-large canvas or create a panoramic Canvas (learn how to take great wide-angle photos here)? A smartphone image will be far too pixelated compared to the image produced by a classic reflex camera.

The best smartphones for taking photos

Samsung Galaxy S8
With its 12 megapixel shooter and excellent flash, this model captures maximum levels of light, while picking up every detail, even in weak light conditions. It’s particularly reactive thanks to the Dual Pixel AF technology inspired by the reflex camera. Equipped with a 5.8-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED high definition screen (2960 X 1440p), which displays your photos with optimum quality, it’s one of the best on the market.

Apple iPhone 7
This model also features a high-quality Retina HD 4.7-inch screen, with a resolution that’s incredibly faithful to bright colours. Its 12-megapixel camera enhances the finish of your images: they are clear, in every situation. Plus, its 4-LED flash allows you to zoom without losing sharpness.

Huawei Honor 8
This model’s Full HD screen rivals those of the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7, offering bright and realistic colour definition. But its strength lies in its dual sensors at the back (2 X 12-megapixels) which allow you to take pictures in bright and low light. The quality of its zoom is also remarkable.

So it’s becoming more and more difficult to choose between the smartphone and the reflex camera. In the majority of cases, the smartphone does the job. But for more complex shots, professional quality and enlarged photos, the reflex remains invaluable.

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