Has the smartphone dealt a fatal blow to the conventional camera ❓

I remember when Dixons Photographic announced twenty or so years ago that they would no longer sell film cameras but instead concentrate on digital versions.

Today my attention was drawn to the offer above and I viewed it simply to see if it would rekindle my interest in a hobby I was keen on for many years. I have to say my interest was more in the cameras and film technology than producing artistic prints.
After reading the specifications of the camera above I realised that I am now perfectly happy with my iPhone.
So are the days of the conventional digital camera numbered :question:

No. Only most people don’t necessarily need one anymore. The best camera is the one you have on you, but phones can’t compete against the benifits of a dedicated camera when you need high resolution high quality photos.

Both have their plus points and negatives. But phone cameras have their obvious downsides for anything that needs detail or distance.


Yes. This is true all day long. Back in the day I was heavily into photography and people would always be asking me what SLR they should buy for their holiday snaps. I always recommended they buy a compact zoom for this reason.

Having said that, if you need the best technical quality photos, taken in a wide range of demanding conditions (maybe 0.5% of all photos), then a ‘proper’ camera is needed.

How long that will remain true, I don’t know.


I think it will always remain true. Phone cameras and even compact cameras have come a long way but lenses are lenses, you can only bend and gather so much light from such a small lense and there’s not much getting around that.

I’d quite like to see cameras up the game in the software department it would make them far more versitile. I like backing up photos as I take them and thats a pain with the still 90s stage wireless tech stack cameras use.


Phone cameras now with their multi lense set ups and honestly, insane software processing that goes on now mean that for a non-camera enthusiast, like me, my mobile is going to be the best camera I own.


For me, I’ve taken some bloody awesome shots with my iPhone 11 Pro. I’m not a photographer of course, but some have been so good that people have assumed it was with a “proper camera”.

I am sure that technical cameras will continue but at what price ?

One of your images wouldn’t go amiss on here :blush:

The conventional camera will always exist in some form (might not have film, might not be DSLR, might be some kind of compact mirrorless, or might be innovated in ways further that haven’t been done yet).

There will always be people who need that high resolution, or specialist lenses, or depth of field.

Sports photographers, fashion photographers, landscape photograpers, etc. Any number of fields where they need better than the ‘good enough’ a phone gets you.

It might be that more ‘normal’ cameras will move towards Hasselblad pricing territory due to economies of scale falling. But they’ll still exist.

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It is probably more true today than ever before that most people’s viewing of images are not those that have been skilfully printed on high quality paper.
Years ago most photographs were seen in newspapers and magazines. The difference between a high quality print and a newsprint image will be like chalk and cheese.
Today most people only see digital images and I can imagine that in the same way some children haven’t seen a chicken in the wild similarly they wouldn’t have held a printed photograph.

For point and snap photos, smart phones have killed the compact camera.

But a smart phone will not replace a dedicated camera system, as much as I love my pixel 4 it will not replace my Sony A7III and lenes

Even my youngest baby relative has parents whose own childhood photos are physical (and at some point early on children always reach a point where they want to see what their parents looked like). Even if the parents haven’t kept any photos, in most cases the grandparents have loads.

Photos may be as LPs were to many people of my generation, where they were something known even if never used. (Strangely, the situation has reversed with the renaissance of LP sales and possibly children born now are more likely to be familiar with LPs than children born decades ago!)

Also, you may be forgetting advertising. There’s still billboards and posters everywhere. Those photos have to come from somewhere, and with the large size of billboards especially, cameraphones aren’t quite up to it yet.

And you may have overlooked the growth of digital bill boards. Why would a company like Pearl&Dean, as was, pay for an army of men in company vehicles to travel to different sites to paste up a 24 sheet poster rather than to download a digital image from an advertising agency and within a very short period put the image on a screen all over the country by simply pressing "send” on a screen or keyboard?


The photos for those billboards will be massive resolution even the digital ones, they won’t be shot on camera phones


Here is a shot that I wouldn’t have been able to get on a smart phone


You are quite right. For the moment equipment costing thousands will be needed.

But arguably can be improved on an iPhone :thinking:

If you think that’s better you have no clue about photography :joy:


Wow that’s shady, shoving some naff iPhone filter on someone’s photo without asking, and then telling them it’s better.

Oh, and it’s not better.


“Arguably” it can be improved.
I didn’t say it was better, some may feel it is