Nikon v iPhone

I always dreamed of owning a Nikon camera and finally, 10 years ago, I bought one. A Nikon D5100 with an 18-105 zoom lens. Honestly I never learned everything that it can do, but I was super happy with it.

It’s not always convenient to walk around with a big heavy camera, so I also had a small compact digital camera. I think it was a Panasonic. It took pretty good photos too. On a trip to Norway in 2015 I had my iPhone and Panasonic camera. After taking lots of photos with both, and looking at them closely after the trip, I decided to ditch the small digital camera because my iPhone took photos just as good and as so many people experience, taking photos with your phone is so easy!

Every year Apple improves the camera on the iPhone and honestly the improvement in camera quality is the main reason I keep upgrading. Pretty soon my Nikon sat neglected in a closet.

Last year In 2019 (it FEELS like last year) DB and I went on a road trip, from Southern California to the Grand Canyon, through Four Corners, Durango, Telluride, Arches National Park, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. It was such an amazing trip! Oh I long to go back! I took my Nikon camera and my iPhone X. I look loads of photos with both and was really undecided about which gave me the best quality photos. Frankly, with everything going on with selling the house, and then packing up and moving across the world, I didn’t spend much time with the photos.

Now here we are in 2021 and what else am I supposed to do in lockdown? I’ve wrecked my shoulder by knitting too much so I got out my camera and started playing around with it. Now let’s see what the difference is between a 10 year old DSLR and a 3 year old iPhone. This is completely unscientific and I’m sure there are much better comparisons on more professional web sites. This is for my amusement and maybe yours too.

First I took some photos inside my house. I have not edited any of these photos except for cropping to get close ups. There are no filters used. The Nikon was set on the Auto mode. No flash used. Here are the results:

The first two photos are from the Nikon, the last two with the iPhone. Clearly the Nikon creates clearer and crisper images. No question.

Today when the sun was shining I took a couple of photos outside. Again, the Nikon photos are first.

So again the Nikon clearly wins this competition. Both cameras have about the same number of pixels. This is not difference. It’s purely the quality of lens optics which, not surprisingly, will win out over digital every time. At least for now!

I started to think about what holds me back from using this fantastic Nikon camera. Too heavy? Too complicated for every day use? I remember on the road trip, hiking and having that heavy think around my neck all day, bouncing on my body. Putting it in a comfortable carry case is not the answer because by the time you get it out of the case and take off the lens cap, that bird, or deer or sunlight is gone. And I have to look at the situation and think about the best setting to get the best photo. Is something moving quickly so that I should change from auto to “sport” setting? Would this low light situation be better with or without a flash? With iPhone you don’t have to think about anything. Just touch the button and you have a pretty good photo.

I think that I’m going to research strap options to see if I can find something more comfortable to use while hiking and biking, but also leaves the camera quickly available to use. And I’m really and truly going to practice with it, so that changing settings becomes more automatic for me. And I will READ THE MANUAL to find out everything it can do. Like automatically creating the fun photo above at the top of this post.

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