Upgrading a smartphone for a 'better' camera?

Published by at

Juan Carlos Bagnell has a reputation as an outspoken geek, but he's also quite a well-informed one. In the video embedded below he makes the very good points that (semi-obviously) a) for most lighting situations any phone camera from the last 5 or 6 years will be easily good enough, and (most pertinently, and the reason for this mention) b) that as phone camera sensors and optics get larger, the depth of field can get so shallow that you start losing subject definition - he says there really is a sensor sweet spot for phone cameras (where you can't control aperture) - and it's surprisingly not at the current cutting edge...

(It's also noteworthy in that, out of nowhere, Juan includes several shots of the classic Lumia 1020!)

Here's his video editorial:

(Oh, and there's a recurring typo in his video, in which the sensors in the modern Sony Xperias should be 1/1.76", not 1/7.6", as labelled. Just thought I'd mention that, Juan!)

In fairness, the depth of field issues with the largest phone cameras only really apply when you're getting arty with close-ups of flowers and insects and, one might argue, if you're doing that then you should know all about focal lengths, depth of field, and so on, and should realise the downside of larger lenses and apertures.

The point about the majority of phone cameras being good enough for the majority of lighting conditions and subjects is well made, but the readership here always wants more, of course, which is why I test extremes of light and dark with regularity - and often with zoom thrown in for good measure. Watch this space for more!!

Source / Credit: YouTube