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Choosing between a smartphone camera and a professional model

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Professional digital cameras outperform smartphone cameras, but choosing between the two comes down to price, convenience, and expected use, according to Popular Science Magazine.

About 77 percent of adults now own a smartphone, according to Pew Internet Research, and for general use, smartphones fit the bill.
Smartphone cameras excel in convenience since they provide a decent photo that can then be easily shared with friends, family, and social media. The best phones have features that detect and compensate for low light, with added features that blur backgrounds, add soft light effects and even catch action shots and video.

For the dedicated hobbyist or professional, smartphones are too clumsy, slow, and restricted. This is why press, sports and wildlife photographers choose a professional-grade DSLR (digital single lens reflex), according to Tech Radar. If you want to catch action, this is the best way to do it. DSLRs have continuous shooting motors than can capture bursts of 7 frames per second and much more. If you want to blow up the picture to billboard size, again the DSLR is the way to go since extra large sensors record minute details. For creative control, a DSLR allows the user to set and tweak every setting.

The drawback of a DSLR will be obvious to anyone who has priced the camera and lenses. Professional-level cameras start at more than $2,000 and range up to $5,000 before you get the extra lenses and accessories. Nikon and other makers do have beginner-level DSLRs that start at about $400. These models give the hobbyist about five frames per second in continuous shooting, high resolution relative to smartphones, and the camera body is made for the hand. You also have to tote around a bag with lenses and tripod, although this won’t be a burden to enthusiasts.

Mirrorless cameras (CSCs) are another option. These models, introduced in 2008, are smaller, lighter, and simpler than DSLRs, with continuous shooting options that range into 20 frames per second. You can change lenses on the cameras and tweak shots. Pros have stayed away from this type in part because they don’t allow the user to look right through the lens to the shot. Instead, they have rear screens or electronic viewfinders. The simplicity of these cameras appeals to the serious hobbyist, although they don’t get a price break. Beginner models start at just over $400 and range up to $4,000 for professional models.

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