iPhone Might Kill DSLRs? Um, Not Quite

I’m writing this about iPhones almost a year to the day that Nokia’s VP declared its smartphones will replace DSLRs.  The sensational headlines and Apple-associated stories are a bit out of control since the NY Times reported on the iPhone 4’s popularity (based on the number of images uploaded) on Flickr.

The latest claim from “The Pop Herald” is that the “iPhone 5 might kill DSLR cameras…” and that the “iPhone 4 is now becoming the most popular camera device.”  Out of fear that it might actually lower your IQ to read the article, I’m avoiding linking directly to it.

Rather than rehash the relevant stats that mitigate or outright debunk some of these sensational claims, check out the salient points over at 1001 Noisy Cameras.

True, the camera you have with you is what counts.  And the iPhone is likely digging into the point and shoot market because it works quite well as a casual snapshot camera – and because of the instant ability to get your photos on Flickr, Facebook and Twitter.  But just because a lot of people are uploading photos of their lunch to Flickr (try a Flickr search for “iPhone” and “lunch”) doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to displace the DSLR market anytime soon – and it doesn’t necessarily replace the need to carry a point and shoot camera.


I don’t have an iPhone any more (it was more AT&T than anything to do with the iPhone hardware); however, I use my HTC EVO’s 8MP camera all the time – and it’s better than a lot of phone cameras out there.  However, I don’t use my EVO for weddings, portraits, or even to document family vacations.  I use a DSLR for those things – because I want better photos than the grainy, over-processed JPEG images that EVO (or iPhone) cameras deliver.

People who want quality photos are going to recognize the limitation of a tiny phone camera sensor and plastic lens.  I’m not knocking the iPhone and other smartphone cameras for what they are, but I’m not going to make larger than life claims about their capabilities either.

Keep shooting what you love.