As a self-described nerd, I like keeping updated when it comes to the latest news in technology and computing. The most popular stories in 2013 seemed to announce the end of the personal computer and the death of professional cameras (and professional photographers, along with the death of cameras). The death of cameras, according to the articles, will be brought upon by portable devices, such as smartphones and multimedia devices, such as the iPod Touch. I found this prediction of the demise of professional style cameras, such as the DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex)fascinating... and completely ridiculous. To illustrate my belief that "real" cameras will not be going anywhere, anytime soon, I decided to compare the devices that are, supposedly, in direct competition with the camera - the iPod Touch, and an iPhone. Here are the results:
Taken with an Apple iPod Touch 4th Generation:
Taken with an Apple iPhone 5c:
Taken with a DSLR with a Sigma 50-200mm HSM DC Lens (Focused Manually):
As you can see, the photo taken with the iPod has a greenish tint and while the highlighted area is well-lit, the areas in the shaded area are quite under-exposed, leaving the overall image very dark. The iPhone 5c improves the scene, handling the lighting a bit better, but the overall appearance is still quite dark. The coloration of the iPhone 5c is also a little bit too far on the magenta side - over-correcting the iPod's green tint. The photo taken with a Canon DSLR body (Digital Rebel T1i, in this case) with a Sigma 50-200mm HSM DC normal-to-telephoto lens provides a beautiful, evenly lit scene... very warm, but yet color-balanced. Also notice that, while the iPod and iPhone photos are both technically in focus, the image has a slight "crystalline" appearance, causing straight lines to appear somewhat jagged, while the DSLR camera gives true clarity to the elements that are in focus.
In addition to the quality of the images these devices produce, it is also important to consider the resolution of the photos that each device offers. While the portable media devices and smartphones are built with social media sharing in mind, real cameras are built for print. If you attempted to print a photo from a portable device, you would be lucky to get a 5x7 from the images. With SLR cameras, prints as big as 20x30 and beyond are possible with minimal loss of sharpness.
While the iPod and iPhone (and similar devices) are wonderful tools for spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment means to capture those special moments, the DSLR still reigns as the right tool to capture life's important milestones - including everything from weddings to family portraits. Portable media devices and mobile phones have made astonishing leaps in quality, over the years, but nothing beats a real camera when it comes right down to it!