Compact camera or smartphone?

13
Posted 14th Jan
Hello,

I’m after some much needed advice please.

I’m about to go backpacking for a couple of years round the world, and my girlfriend has been talking about buying a second hand huawei p30 pro or p20 pro so that we have a good camera (in addition to our iPhones - both 8’s)

I can’t believe that this can be a good idea and assumed that a standalone compact camera (an SLR is too big) around the same price would surely be better.

I’ve had iPhones for years and so am reluctant to change to an android as my main phone, however I only recently got my 8 as an upgrade from the 6s and have been so underwhelmed with the difference that I’m open to persuasion.

I guess my questions to the experts are;
1. Is a stand-alone compact camera better than a smartphone camera (of a budget around £300-350)
2. Out of the smartphone cameras on the market, which is the best (again with a budget around £350-450 second hand). I had wanted to get an iPhone XS but I have read that Apple only recently nailed the camera on the 11 pro which is out of my budget.
3. If you were me. Would you buy a decent compact camera and stick with the iphone8’s that we have. Or would you sell my 8 and buy a different phone with a very good camera - and if so which one? Good Low-light shooting is what we’re after.

Any help would be much appreciated.
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13 Comments
A stand-alone compact camera has a larger image sensor and will always capture more detail than a smart phone, however these days smart phones processing power is so high, they outperform compact cameras and even dslr on some levels to produce a ‘pleasing’ image, right out of the box. 9 times out of 10 you will only ever need to take a photo with a smart phone, no editing required.

If you want detail and image quality, you are looking at £3-400 on a compact camera. Same for a dslr but you will need to look at lenses and practice technique. For you it sounds like you just wanna point and shoot.

If the zoom on a camera phone is enough for you and the lighting is decent, go for the iPhone. The 8, XS and 11 etc are all good cameras. If you need low light, go for a pixel if the budget won’t stretch to a 11/11pro
First off, don't get seduced by high number of MP. A lot of the quality is decided by the quality of the lens. If you are photographing through a low quality lense you will get high resolution, low quality photographs.
If you take a camera you will more than likely get better photographs. The payoff is you will either use lots of heavy batteries and an extra charger, and access to a power supply to charge them. Plus of course the extra weight.
If you take a phone you will, presumably, still have leads with you to charge your own phones.
Phones also have the benefit of being able to automatically back up your photos to the cloud - even if only over wifi, so if the worst happens you dont lose them.
if you are looking to take pictures then a camera will be better than any smart phone. phones will have a limited storage capability and its focus, wide angle, distance capture, lighting and your ability to see the image clearly in bright sunlight will not be as good as a dedicated camera.

the battery life on a camera will also be better than a mobile phone. even holding a camera will be easier than holding a mobile phone when you are taking a shot.
Thanks for all the comments so far. Can anyone enlighten me about the huawei google hangout and which models that would affect?
aircanman14/01/2020 21:33

A stand-alone compact camera has a larger image sensor and will always …A stand-alone compact camera has a larger image sensor and will always capture more detail than a smart phone, however these days smart phones processing power is so high, they outperform compact cameras and even dslr on some levels to produce a ‘pleasing’ image, right out of the box. 9 times out of 10 you will only ever need to take a photo with a smart phone, no editing required. If you want detail and image quality, you are looking at £3-400 on a compact camera. Same for a dslr but you will need to look at lenses and practice technique. For you it sounds like you just wanna point and shoot. If the zoom on a camera phone is enough for you and the lighting is decent, go for the iPhone. The 8, XS and 11 etc are all good cameras. If you need low light, go for a pixel if the budget won’t stretch to a 11/11pro


Thanks. I’ve got to admit, my iPhone 8 camera is really only any good in good light conditions. As soon as things get dark and I can’t light an area, it looks terrible. Do you know how the pixel camera compare to huawei’s?
LoOpDiGGa14/01/2020 22:48

Thanks for all the comments so far. Can anyone enlighten me about the …Thanks for all the comments so far. Can anyone enlighten me about the huawei google hangout and which models that would affect?


Get the Huawei P30 Pro. It's one of the few mobile phones with an excellent zoom function.
Have a look at DXo mark to see how good it is
generationz14/01/2020 21:56

Phones also have the benefit of being able to automatically back up your …Phones also have the benefit of being able to automatically back up your photos to the cloud - even if only over wifi, so if the worst happens you dont lose them.


Yep and I think I’ve grown so used to being able to do this that I’d really feel the inconvenience if I was having to use a memory card.
LoOpDiGGa14/01/2020 22:48

Thanks for all the comments so far. Can anyone enlighten me about the …Thanks for all the comments so far. Can anyone enlighten me about the huawei google hangout and which models that would affect?


* huawei’s google block
Have a look on those mirrorless camera?

Used Sony A6000 is within your budget
Edited by: "Cisco060606" 15th Jan
aircanman14/01/2020 21:33

A stand-alone compact camera has a larger image sensor and will always …A stand-alone compact camera has a larger image sensor and will always capture more detail than a smart phone, however these days smart phones processing power is so high, they outperform compact cameras and even dslr on some levels to produce a ‘pleasing’ image, right out of the box. 9 times out of 10 you will only ever need to take a photo with a smart phone, no editing required. If you want detail and image quality, you are looking at £3-400 on a compact camera. Same for a dslr but you will need to look at lenses and practice technique. For you it sounds like you just wanna point and shoot. If the zoom on a camera phone is enough for you and the lighting is decent, go for the iPhone. The 8, XS and 11 etc are all good cameras. If you need low light, go for a pixel if the budget won’t stretch to a 11/11pro


Don't forget £300 for a new compact means it will be a lot less with light use on eBay etc.
Probably not a requirement most people think of, but if you go to gigs often, you want a decent zoom camera.

Though, when I had a bridge camera I'd be threatened with getting my camera getting confiscated because security thought it was a DSLR (this was before smartphones were everywhere, they probably don't care any more - everyone has cameras/smartphones at gigs nowadays).

Compact superzooms don't seem to pose a problem with security, haha.
Edited by: "louiselouise" 15th Jan
generationz14/01/2020 21:56

Phones also have the benefit of being able to automatically back up your …Phones also have the benefit of being able to automatically back up your photos to the cloud - even if only over wifi, so if the worst happens you dont lose them.


I thought many cameras could do this too?
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