What does the Sony NEX-7 have in common with the latest smartphone? For one, both devices are capable of capturing high-quality photographs at the press of a button. A camera’s size doesn’t necessarily indicate its quality or presence in the industry, but most professional photographers still invest in large SLR cameras with powerful lenses and flashbulbs. However, if it’s possible to gain the same clarity from a camera phone, why is there a need to invest in an expensive SLR.

Camera or phone camera?

In 2011, CNN published an article and quiz that asked readers whether certain photos came from an SLR camera or a phone. Unfortunately, the images were misleading, as each photo was a single thumbnail at a relatively low resolution. At that size, it’s hard for anyone to tell the difference. In fact, many photographers used Photoshop to alter the look of the phone’s images. Moreover, the survey proved that it’s only at higher resolutions that a person could really tell the difference between the two devices. The fact remains that any hobbyist or amateur photographer can capture high-quality photos without the need for an SLR camera.

Additionally, with the improvement of apps on smartphones, the popular SLR camera is losing a slice of its competitive advantage: versatility. Digital camera accessories help photographers reach their full creativity. Free smartphone apps, much like Instagram, Camera 360, and PhotoWonder, geared towards editing photos will eventually surpass the versatility of the SLR’s accessories.

Given time, the iPhone or Android smartphone will replace the traditional point-and-shoot camera and camcorder. As companies introduce newer technologies to the public, it’s likely that the camera phone could equal the power of the most expensive digital SLR. If that’s the case, expect more photographers to turn to their smartphones for an instant photo shoot. As far as magazine spreads are concerned, don’t expect the transition any time soon.


[Image via Mikeshouts]