Camera or I-Phone?

Shakka

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It depends.
I have been into photography since high school, some 30+ years ago, so I've been around a camera or two. That said a few years ago I started seeing what my phone could do. It turns out, a lot. Add a photo editing app on your phone and you get even more. Heck, my Samsung S9+ has a 12 megapixels camera and newer ones are even better. That's sharp.
I have been on three trips to southern Africa and all of my hunting pictures were with my phone, no regrets. And I regularly enlarge them into 8x10 pictures for the wall, a few a bit larger. I have scenics and some close ups of flowers and such from southern Africa and Alaska that I've enlarged too. They're on my wall and get compliments.

Where it fails is zoom. A phone camera zoom in digital so things get grainy fast. If you're going on a photo safari of any sort or even want to get good shots of an animal 10+ yards into the bush a DSLR with a good lens is the way to go.

Ryan, is myIPhone 10 camera up to par with your Samsung?
 

Ryan

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Ryan, is myIPhone 10 camera up to par with your Samsung?
My Samsung is over a year old, I think the Iphone10 is newer. Looking at the specs on the IPhone it's just as many megapixels, so I bet it is just as good.
 

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meigsbucks

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A nice point and shoot camera fits well in a pocket. I used both on my last safari. If I had to choose one, it would be the camera.
On the plane coming home was a couple that went on a photographic safari and just used their phones. In a number of photos, the animals were barely discernible.
 

One Day...

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Do not forget redundancy...

I always have on my hunting belt a best quality compact camera, so I can shoot important pictures with both camera AND iPhone, so that I have redundancy in case I loose one of them (or one of them gets stolen, damaged, etc.). I agree that I do not look at my pics collection very often, but there are pics that I would really not want to loose in the field or on the trip before I could backup them, many of those shot while hunting, fishing, climbing, etc.

I also increase redundancy by purposefully using smaller memory cards that I change everyday rather than shoot 10 days of hunting on only one larger memory card. If the only memory card gets lost, stolen (in the camera) or damaged, you loose everything. If the "daily" card gets lost, stolen, damaged, you only loose one day...

...and quality...

iPhone pics are amazing these days, but still do not offer the level of quality that is achievable by real cameras, equipped with a quality zoom lens even if compact. It all boils down to sensor size, and there is simply no arguing that a "chip" sized sensor on a phone cannot compete with a 1", 4/3rd, APSC or full frame sensor. Period.

An iPhone 1/3.2" sensor has a surface of 15.5 square mm. A classic 35 mm film camera or a "full frame" digital camera has a sensor than measures 864 square mm. 15 mm2 simply cannot compete with 864 mm2 in terms of capturing an image.

+1 on the Sony RX100 a.k.a. "Best high-end pocketable compact" as reviewed by all pro sites and pro magazines (dpreview, c/net, cameralabs, pcmag, etc.) for the last 7 years...

In its 7th iteration for 2019, the RX 100 has not been beaten since it was released in 2012. I still use an original 2012 model and it is still about perfect... The 7 iterations are for the most part more 7 variations (different zooms, different screens, different viewfinder, etc.) than they are 7 improvements per se, and the original RX100 is still being made. Chose a RX 100 I, II, III, IV, V, VI or VII based on what features are more important to you, but they all come with:
  • 1" type sensor (116 mm2) vs. most compact camera 1/2.3" sensor (25 mm2) vs. iPhone 1/3.2" sensor (15 mm2). HUGE difference...
  • capability to shoot in RAW format in addition to JPEG: allows for professional editing of pics
  • capacity to shoot A, P, S, M and full auto "intelligent" modes
  • 28-100mm (equiv), f/1.8-4.9 Carl Zeiss zoom
In so many words, it is a compact with as much or more capabilities than many DSLR, and it is a rare iPhone pic indeed that is better than a RX100 pic, even in automatic mode...

....but shooting pics or bullets, I need to chose...

I have personally given up on taking a full frame sensor (864 mm2 !!! the digital equivalent of the old 35mm film) DSLR camera in the field (mine is a Nikon D3S) with one or two objectives when I am the one doing the shooting. Yes, there is the issue of bulk and weight, but more to the point, I have found that BOTH hunting and shooting good pictures are 100% focused activities, and I am simply not able to do both simultaneously.

To me the compromise is to have great trophy and occasional action or landscape pictures (never enough in retrospect) from a quality compact camera (Sony RX 100) always on my belt, AND acceptable quality - and easy to send - backup pics from my phone.
 
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Mark Biggerstaff

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I have only been on two trips. Took a camera both times and hardly used it. Took alot of photos with iPhone. My PH always has his high quality camera and takes pics then downloads them onto a flash drive and give to me before I leave. I will still take one this next trip to have when we are site seeing.
 

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A couple of years ago, my wife and I took a photo safari to the Maasai Mara in Kenya. There was a guy on our safari vehicle with a Samsung Galaxy and I could look at his phone and then glance at the live animal and then back to his phone. The view from the phone looked better than the real deal! Very vivid colors!

Having said that, I use my I-phone for most hunting trips but also bring a Sony digital camera and 400 mm telephoto lens. The photos from the camera are noticeably better than the phone.
 

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I took a Nikon DSLR, a Panasonic Lumix and my I-phone. I used the Nikon mostly around camp and the Lumix mostly for trophy photos, the I-phone was a backup for either of the other cameras. Whenever possible I took redundant photos with different cameras. I also took a separate SD card for each day of the trip for each camera. I look at my photos all the time and am very glad I took as many as I did, I wish I had taken twice as many.
 

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I take two cameras

Canon Powershot SX720 HS , with 40x optical zoom. On my belt or in a pocket of my vest.

Canon Powershot SX50 HS, with 50x optical zoom. In by backpack.
 

curtism1234

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I have found that BOTH hunting and shooting good pictures are 100% focused activities, and I am simply not able to do both simultaneously.

I think this is the best takeaway from this thread, and the most difficult for someone to stick to. This is certainly a very important advantage to hunting 2x1 / with observer. If you are hunting by yourself and take tons of photos as I do, I personally would let this be known when trying to get matched up with a certain ph. You don't want to be running around taking pics every 10 seconds but you also want to make sure you get a ph who isn't going to be annoyed about semi-frequent stoppages.

As to the question at hand, I think the best option is to have a small point/shoot along with your phone. The point / shoot I think are better taking landscape shots.

If adding game drives to your trip or if you want to be able to zoom in on animals a couple hundred yards away, then a good detachable lens camera is needed. Otherwise all you have is a grainy blob of an animal.

Only you know your photo tendencies. Be sure to match your equipment up to those even if that means carrying around a big blocky camera.
 

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Just saw that Costco has good deals on Nikon and canon cameras with a decent zoom lens- also you can rent really good user friendly equipment from many camera stores.
I would take both camera and phone. If you are going to “blow pix up” bigger for use in a book or magazine for example ( think scrapbook on Shutterfly) the camera will outshine the phone. But it’s sure fun to text photos home while you are in camp-
 

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I use my phone and camera for taking photos with the animals I killed. For scenic photos and videos I use my camera for zooming in on distant animals and landscape.
 

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I use both iphone and a compact Leica with zoom and also video. Both work great, and the combo of pictures captures everything as I remember. iphone allows for immediate posting and sharing, while traditional camera can capture some long distance or zoom images phone can not. And as mentioned before, having a backup when battery runs down or I forget to recharge is insurance I don’t miss anything.
 

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And as mentioned before, having a backup when battery runs down or I forget to recharge is insurance I don’t miss anything.

I got tired of the times that I was going to take a picture and have a dead or almost dead battery in my point and shoot camera. One time I missed taking a lot of pictures of a old mine that my dad used to own, I need to go back there some day. Since that time I carry 2 or 3 spare fully charged batteries with the camera. A quick couple of seconds and I can have the battery changed out and taking pictures again.
 

rookhawk

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Just wondering what you all do here to take pics while in Africa...especially trophy pics.

I’m not much of a photographer and I don’t even own a camera but i do want to get the best quality photos possible. With all of the advances in I-Phones these days, I am wondering what your opinions are on using one as your main camera.

An I-Phone would be most convenient of course but I am willing to buy a compact affordable camera.

What do you think?

I use a leica d-lux typ 109. For the same money, ~$1000, you can get an iPhone 11 XS max with three camera lenses built in. The quality of the newest iPhone approaches luxury digital cameras for close portrait work. Only reason to have a digital SLR is for 300-600mm zoom telephoto work.
 

Shakka

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So, it seems that unless I spend $1,000+ for a decent camera, my I-Phone 10 is just as good...quality wise, excluding the zoom feature.

This sound about right?
 

rookhawk

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So, it seems that unless I spend $1,000+ for a decent camera, my I-Phone 10 is just as good...quality wise, excluding the zoom feature.

This sound about right?

Which iPhone 10?

An xs max with dual cameras is 10x better than an X.
 

JimP

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What it comes down to if you are satisfied with the type and quality of pictures that your phone takes then go ahead and take your phone.

But there is always that animal that you would like to get a picture of that is standing out there a hundred yards that you'll just have to remember in your mind.
 

Shakka

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Which iPhone 10?

An xs max with dual cameras is 10x better than an X.

yes I have the XS, and I’m primarily concerned about trophy pics, not animals at a distance
 

CJW

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So, it seems that unless I spend $1,000+ for a decent camera, my I-Phone 10 is just as good...quality wise, excluding the zoom feature.

This sound about right?

Certainly not. Sub $500 will get you a great camera with lots of zoom if you shop around. I speak with personal experience with a Canon t6 and a 75-300 zoom. The problem for some is this is a decent size package. Definitely not something to carry on a hip. Carry in a backpack kind of thing. Picture quality is great. Especially after some editing afterwards if desired. There are also other options sub $500. Not saying it's pocket change, but considering it's going to africa it is miney well spent for some.
 

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