When Smartphone cameras are better than DSLRs!

Undoubtedly, DSLRs provide the best quality images and a wide room for manual tweaks. Smartphones can’t really match up DSLR standards in terms of image capturing capabilities. But every now and then a smartphone photo receives the comment – “Wow! That looks like a picture clicked using a DSLR!” Smartphones have become the go-to photography device for many reasons-

Handy!

Wherever you go, you take your smartphone with you. You often don’t carry your DSLR with you just because of it’s heftiness and the mere need to carry it along with you for the time other than clicking pics. A small handheld device that serves multiple functionalities in addition to taking images is something we would prefer as a handy option!

Capturing “In a Flash” Moments

When you see something interesting happening in front you and for a short duration, you don’t always get the time to set your DSLR up and adjust the settings. This is where a smartphone comes in as a friendly option. All you need to do is unlock the phone, open the app and click it. It’s not gonna take more than 10 secs. Tadaa!

Smartphone cameras now are Awe!

Smartphone cameras are advancing at a brisk pace. I’ve been using the Google Pixel 2 for the past 8 months and I’ve used it more than my DSLR for snapp scenic spots just because of it’s awesome HDR mode and software tweaks. Read my review of Google Pixel 2 photography here. Smartphones like Huawei P20 pro with the triple camera system are taking the smartphone photography game to a different level. The next few years are going to be damn interesting!

Are Smartphone cameras swiping off DSLR dominance?

I bought my Google Pixel 2 last December. Ever since I bought this amazing photo snapper, I didn’t bother carrying my DSLR along with me. Google Pixel 2 was critically acclaimed as the best smartphone camera and still holds that position in spite of many high-end smartphones making its appearance on the market. The main reason why I jumped from the iPhone 7 to the Pixel 2 was that of its camera. And yeah, the photos are awesome. The HDR options make the pixel 2 camera a very picturesque clicking device. The video modes aren’t that eye-catchy, which I think the iPhone did comparatively better. However, on the photos front, Pixel 2 shines star high!

I’ve tried the pixel 2 in almost all lighting conditions and it does wow! The single lens doing a portrait is an added benefit. I’ve personally tested it along with other dual lens phones and I find pixel’s images far superior. Combine the awesome software along with the Sony-sourced hardware and you get eye catchy images. Here are few samples that you can check out.

If you want to check more images that were shot using the Google Pixel 2 visit my Instagram page.

So does the Pixel 2, the best camera smartphone, out throne the DSLRs of the current era. While I find my Pixel 2 being handy to click pictures wherever I go, I still think you need a DSLR to click high resolution “advanced” shots. By “advanced” I mean macro, wide-angle and zoom shots. Even though you have lenses for smartphone cameras, they can in no way match the brilliance of DSLRs quality. So for highly professional photos you still need to rely on DSLRs. However, for Instagram posts, you are better off with your smartphone. Also you’ve got hell lot of advanced image editors that can your images look better!

Let me know what you guys think about smartphone cameras? Do you think they’ll outshine DSLRs in the coming years? Well, with the recent release of variable aperture lens system in Samsung S9+, I think we are going to see huge advancement in smartphone cameras in the upcoming years!

Photography – My journey and take on it!

Photography – The initial phase

When I first started clicking pictures using my Nokia (some model which I really am not able to recollect now), it was just pictures of my friends, parents, birthday parties, movie posters, scenic places and yeah some beautiful girls I was in touch with at that time (yup with their permission indeed).

As time passed by and I slowly crept into the world of social media, I started to get startled witnessing certain “appealing” pictures that were posted in Facebook pages. I then joined Instagram after seeing a lot of my friends tagging their Instagram pics in Facebook. The moment I joined Instagram, I was then that I felt a spark of love for photography.  I loved photography to the extent that I got an iPhone 5s in 2014 to use it as a handy camera. It was just mobile cameras that crept into my mind when I thought about photography. I got my first DSLR Nikon D3300 recently and it is after that that I actually felt the real bliss because its me playing with the manual settings to click pictures.

Photography – The Transition

It is after this that I learnt that “smartphone photography” isn’t really true and DSLR is what “real photography” stands for. So what does this transition really mean to me?

The joy of clicking a appealing((according to me :D) picture is a joy second to none. It gives you a sense of satisfaction that none can provide. A shrill of happiness that wants me to explore more in photography. For people clicking pictures in automatic mode or in Smartphones, this joy isn’t really possible. ever.

My main learning from photography is that “There is no picture that is really perfect”. It depends on your taste and its synchronisation with the settings that the photographer has opted to go for that particular scene. Manual settings gives the photographer full freedom to showcase a particular scene in whatever way he wishes to portray it. And with the likes of the aperture, ISO and shutter  speed being chosen differently based on the taste of the photographer, there really isn’t a perfect click. A scene that is in front of you, will be seen in an entirely aspect depending upon the photographer.  But a perfect picture is the one that makes you feel happy inside and enhance your outlook to explore more. It gives a sense of joy that equates to a personalised creation of a masterpiece.

People usually make pictures more appealing by adding automated filters to it. (it is more evident in mobile photography, and with the enormous number of photoshop and editing tools). So people new to photography, never get to this artificial tool based photography. You will find no joy in automated photography. Real joy clicks when you set everything manually according to what your heart says and tap on the click button!

Photography – The Ever learning Phase

Yes, I am indeed clicking pictures of my friends, parents, scenic places and parties, but now its more under my control than what it was initially where the machine took the upper hand. Photography helps take off stress and bring out that hidden “creativity” factor out from deep inside your mind and heart. So if you haven’t started “real photography”, then better start it straightaway.

There isn’t really a proper way to learn the art of clicking pictures. All you need to know is the basics, which I learnt from viewing Youtube videos. So start exploring this and make it as your hobby! You will certainly notice a great contrast to your otherwise normal life!

Take a look at My Photography Page to check pictures I’ve posted starting from my HTC M7, iPhone 5s/6/6s to Nikon D3300 now. Also check me out in Instagram : Neeb Praveen (Username: n.e.e.b)

Cheers!

Few clicks from my shelf!

  1. Stone temples of Mahabalipuram

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2. Panaroma click of Kanyakumari Beach with Thiruvalluvar Statue

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3. Focussed shot of iPhone (with manual lighting)

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4. Flowers from my Mom’s garden in Nagercoil (Kanyakumari)

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5. Christmas Tree in my home in Chennai

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Mobile Photography – My Journey and Tips

Taking great photos with your smartphone depends purely on the way you look at the piece of art in front of you. Your laptop, earphones, pet or even a cup of coffee can be used as objects for photography. It just depends on the way you look at it. A straight linear way of clicking photos isn’t attractive always.

I started developing interests in smartphone photography right from my HTC M7. It wasn’t a great smartphone camera but its Ultra-pixel camera feature wasn’t that crummy. When I then shifted to iPhone 5s, it felt like a huge leap in photography right from the simple interface to the quality images that it produced. It was just a 8 MP camera but was definitely the best amongst other even higher megapixel camera phones. Apple’s software that goes in image processing is definitely well ahead of many similarly priced smartphones. It creates a true to life colour image and doesn’t create that artificially over saturated images which many smartphone companies call “outstanding pictures”.

The best part of iPhone 5s is that its really handy and helps click pictures much at ease. I started clicking photos of objects inside my home and then tried macrophotography with flowers in my garden. Tried clicking flowers with the backdrop of sun rays, and tried exploring the apt lighting conditions that would yield the best out of an image.

Though I missed the handiness of 5s, upgrading to iPhone 6 was impactful in terms of the image quality and the larger screen size. Majority of my skills in photography, I’ve explored through my iPhone 6 camera.

The tips I usually follow while taking pics in my smartphone are :

  • ANGLE

    I make sure I don’t take pictures in a straight linear “angle” (unless I feel its really good or gives that creative feel). Giving that slight tilt or getting down or a tad higher can result in much better images. 7.JPG

  • SHOOTING MODE:

    I shoot pictures with HDR mode on auto as iPhone’s software image processing is truer to life and eye pleasing. Never use your flash unless its really necessary.  Mobile photography is all about keeping things simple.2.JPG

  • EXPOSURE/AF LOCK

    It actually depends on your personal taste. Exposure depends on the lighting conditioning and your own take on the level of light you want “in” a picture. Its better not to change these settings unless needed. Better to lock your focus on objects which you want to completely focus, which gives that slightly blurry background vision, especially when you click image of a single flower in a large garden.6.JPG

  • EXPERIMENT

    Keep experimenting. Try clicking photos at various angles and lightings. Experimentation leads to better images.  Click images of your daily meal, objects that are in front you, your dog and anything and everything that you don’t even think of.3.jpg

  • Filters

    Try avoid using filters, unless it is really necessary. Necessary in the sense if you need to add brightness, exposure or contrast, and not those prismatic kind of feel. Natural images are always the true indicators of your mobile photography skills.4.JPG

  • SELFIE TIPS

    Try using your apple earphones for clicking selfies. It gives a handsfree mode of clicking photos. It also helps at times when you need to cover much wider field.

So, in general, a smartphone camera plays 50% role in creating a good image, and the rest depends on your level of creativity. Start experimenting and innovating mobile photography! Cheers!

Check my Instagram profile if you want to see more of my clicks. There are pictures which I’ve clicked with my Nikon D3300, do check them and let me know your comments on them as well.

Cheers!

Photo Editing Apps – Best for Smartphones

Smartphone photography just like DSLR photography requires certain levels of  software edits to make it more beautiful,  pleasing and at times to give it a different “meaning”. Here are few of my “Go To” Apps that I use for photo editing.

  1. Snapseed

I’ve  used almost all photo editing apps in AppStore. Most of them have their own benefits and flaws, but snapseed has surpassed my expectations. It’s easy accessibility and plenty of editing options makes it a great tool for photo editing. Filters are limited but to the mark. Manual editing is where snapseed scores high. Sliding your fingers on the screen to adjust various features such as brightness, contrast, Saturation, shadows is so simple. It’s auto edit option for specific options is another noteworthy feature. Adobe Lightroom is a closely competing photo editor but requires payment to unlock more features.

Snapseed Photo Editing
Snapseed Photo Editor

2. Aviary Photo Editing

If you are less interested in adding filters but more inclined towards memes, adding texts, comments, mark up on images, then Aviary should be the way to go. It’s filter options aren’t noteworthy, it’s like any other average photo editing application.

Prisma Photo Editing
Prisma Photo Editor

3. Layouts Photo Editing

If you are the one who creates collages more often, this is an amazing option. Collage of various “layouts” is available. Background image editing and default options are great.

Aviary Photo Editing
Aviary Photo Editor

4. Lens Distortions

This is that type of application that embeds a very unique and picturesque look to an image. Try all the type of filters that comes with this app, each and every filter will give it a different feel. An interesting and worthy photo editor that definitely should find a space on your phone’s memory.

Lens Distortion Photo Editing
Lens Distortion Photo Editor

5. Prisma

Prisma is last in my list because I just don’t use it much and recommend the least to anyone who loves photo to look “real”. It is indeed interesting  but shifts the image to a more cartoonistic look.

Prisma Photo Editing
Prisma Photo Editor

Check my Instagram page at @neeb_pr

Cheers!