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Photography/Cell phone cameras & Digital cameras


I know little about photography aside from what my eyes perceive as pleasing or not pleasing. Comparing today's cell phone cameras vs. a digital camera of unknown age:

Why would a seemingly lower quality cell phone camera produce image sizes of about 2-3 MB while a digital camera only produces sizes around 160 KB?

Same scenario above. What's the explanation for the fact that the cell phone camera's results can be enlarged on a PC with pleasing results, while the photos from the digital camera can't without being distorted?

Would it be wise or advantageous to utilize a tripod with a digital camera for large group shots or do professionals considered this equipment to be unnecessary?

Cell phone cameras are usually poor in low light conditions. How can this situation be overcome with a higher end digital camera? What features or specs of a digital camera would be necessary to achieve better results in the aforementioned conditions?

Your advice is appreciated!

Older digital cameras had much lower resolution (i.e. number of pixels).  On newer cameras, you can select several levels of resolution.  Highest resolution requires the most memory space per photo.

Yes, using a tripod is always preferred if it is convenient, and is essential for portraits and group photos.

Digital cameras often have better low-light capability as compared with a cell phone, due to the more sensitive (and more expensive) light sensor.

For serious or semi-serious camera work, you should have a single lens reflex (SLR) digital camera.  This allows you to look through the same lens as that which produces the photo, and they have interchangeable lenses.  Changing the lens for portrait work vs. landscapes, etc,  and using telephoto for far-away shots allows greater flexibility ancd capability.  You should also be able to set the exposure priority among shutter, aperture, or auto.  Some cameras have lower light capability than others.  Built-in camera flashes are helpful in a pinch, but do not give the best results.  You should normally use a flash that attaches to the top of the SLR camera.  That proivides a few inches distance between the lens and the flash for better results.  For portraits or group shots, I usually also use one or two remote flashes.  The remotes are set to automatically flash when they see the main flash.  You should also read a photography book to understand photo composition, the effect of shutter speed, aperture size vs depth-of-field, filters, color temperature, lighting and flash.

Hope this helps!



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Dave Nyce


I have used SLR cameras for 30 years and have taught classes on photography at work for my co-workers. I had a darkroom for 20 years, but now am using mostly digital cameras. I can answer questions on equipment and techniques for photography, but am not an expert on specific model numbers of cameras or accessories.

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