Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Photo Shootout: Bulky Phone vs Bulky Camera

In my last post I suggested that the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra's camera was a step up from previous phones I'd owned. The most obvious improvement was the inclusion of a functional telephoto lens. So can I stop hauling around my heavy Canon T6s with 75-300mm lens?

Let's take a look. Here's some pics from a recent blueberry picking expedition we enjoyed at Butler's Orchard. Note that each photo is annotated with the device that shot it.

I see two ways to look at these photos.

On one hand, the Canon with its 300mm lens definitely has more reach than 10x zoom on the S22. The Rebel's photos also seem less digitally processed to me. Finally, I was able to snap pics of the soaring turkey vulture with the DSLR that I didn't even attempt with my Galaxy. So yeah, the Canon T6s continues to outperform my cell phone.

On the other hand, the Samsung let's me tell essential the same story with the photos that the Canon did, all while fitting in my pocket. For example, I wasn't able to zoom in quite as tight in the bee pics using the phone, but I still got close enough and clear enough photos to see the expression on the child's face as he peered into the bee hive.

Also, I can clearly see room for improvement in the Rebel's pic quality; they aren't are sharp as I'd like. I'm not sure whether there are settings I need to tweak, or if it's time to consider a lens or body upgrade. If I factor in convenience and consider how close the phone came to matching the DSLR, I could argue that the Samsung won the day.

Alas, I think the answer to my original question continues to be 'no.' No, I can't opt to leave the DSLR at home and expect to capture the same photos with my phone. For action and wildlife photography, where I'll be at a distance and I want to capture as much detail as possible, as quickly as possible, the 300mm lens and Canon T6s are still my best option.

With that said, the S22 Ultra continues to impress. Should I be without my Canon I'm more confident than ever that I can capture the story of what I've witnessed; which is the ultimate goal.

Here's to hoping that Samsung continues to find ways to bend the laws of physics and that my next phone contains a high quality 100x lens.

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