How to Choose Between a Digital Camera and a Smartphone with Great Camera

A camera is a traveller’s best friend. It allows you to capture the beauty of all the amazing places you’re going to. You immortalise these magical moments where you watch a sunset or meet lovely. Going to adventure without a camera is just unthinkable!

We all know that smartphones and their cameras have evolved a lot, so you may wonder whether it still makes sense to buy a digital camera for your next trip. While phones are more convenient, digital cameras still boast better image quality. So how do you choose between the two?

Well, it really depends on your purposes. This post will help you decide which option works best for you, by looking at the pros and cons of both digital cameras and smartphones.

Pros and cons of digital cameras

Digital cameras have several advantages:

  • Better at capturing quick-moving targets
  • Better at capturing details in objects like grass, buildings, and people
  • Better depth of field – meaning out-of-focus objects look sharp
  • Deeper zoom range
  • Photos look more natural

However, they also have some drawbacks:

  • The good cameras can be expensive (anywhere from £200 to £1,000+)
  • They are not as beginner-friendly as smartphones—you need to learn about the many buttons, menus, and options
  • Posting pictures takes more time and work
  • You need to transfer the files to your laptop or smartphone

What are some digital cameras worth investing in?

See this selection of three digital cameras that are ideal for travelling:

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI

This high-end camera from Sony is considered to be one of the best travel cameras. It has a handy autofocus system and can shoot 24fps as well as 4K videos. Not only its performance surpasses that of high-end smartphones, but it will also easily fit in your backpack. But keep in mind that it’s more on the pricey side. Regarding this, however, the Toby Deals discount codes you’ll find on PlusVoucherCode help you to spend less. In fact, thanks to the ‘TDGP7’ discount code you’ll get an additional £5 discount on a minimum purchase of £ 500, for a total of £ 764.99, a great savings!

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF10 Kit

Designed for lovers of selfies, this Panasonic camera features a “night selfie mode,” which allows you to take bright and vivid selfies during nighttime. It also has a “panorama selfie” mode that’s ideal for group photos and pictures that are taken in front of scenic backgrounds. Needless to say, the image and video quality is really good.

Canon EOS M100

This compact, mirrorless camera offers great performance without breaking the bank. It’s more intuitive to use than some other cameras, and sharing photos and videos is made easy thanks to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Its small and light design allows you to carry it everywhere.

Pros and cons of smartphone cameras

You’re probably already familiar with the pros of smartphone cameras:

  • Perfect for casual, day-to-day shooting
  • Sometimes better for close-up photos of small objects like flowers
  • Most current smartphones have 4K support

But be aware of their limitations:

  • Pictures can lack detail and have a grainy look
  • Less editing options
  • The sound quality in videos can be less than stellar

What are the smartphones with the best cameras?

Generally speaking, the newer smartphones tend to have better cameras. These are the ones that perform best in that area:

Apple iPhone X

The iPhone almost never disappoints when it comes to camera quality. While it’s expensive, the quality of images is guaranteed to wow you. Its portrait mode allows you to adjust how blurry the background gets, which is pretty neat. And in case you’re wondering how the iPhone X compares to the iPhone XS or XS Max in terms of camera, the latter is slightly better, though the difference is not really noticeable to the untrained eye.

Samsung Galaxy S9

As you would expect from the other powerhouse of high-end smartphones, the Galaxy S9’s camera is a beast. On top of its sleek design and high specs, the Galaxy S9 can take stunning pictures, especially busy scenes. It also has possibly the best phone camera for low-light situations. This is ideal if nighttime is a big part of your travels.

Google Pixel 2

Google Pixel 2 has earned a reputation for capturing beautifully detailed, lifelike images. If you like taking landscape shots, you’ll find that the sense of depth and scale translates really well into the pictures. And here’s another great feature for travellers: Google’s Lens uses image recognition and its vast database to identify the objects around you, from clothes to restaurants menus.

Digital camera vs smartphone with a great camera: which one to pick?

Let’s recap the biggest benefits of both devices so you can decide which option suits you the most.

A digital camera is the right choice for you if:

  • You want to have the best image quality during nighttime
  • You want better sound quality in videos
  • You are a professional photographer and must deliver high-quality images
  • You enjoy tinkering with exposure settings
  • You want to take as many photos and videos as you like without having to worry about your phone running out of battery
  • You are not looking to buy a new smartphone but are not quite satisfied with the camera yours has

On the other hand, you should settle for a smartphone camera if:

  • You want to take pictures quickly and easily
  • You want to be able to share your pictures on social media right after taking them
  • Intricate camera settings are not that important to you and you just want to take pictures that look good
  • You don’t want to learn how to use editing software
  • You would rather save the cost of a digital camera to buy other items like a new backpack or noise-cancelling headphones

In conclusion

Digital cameras provide better image quality in general, which is awesome if you’re passionate and committed to photography. If the performance offered by smartphone cameras is good enough for you, you’ll do just fine while benefitting from their ease of use.

There is no best answer here, it all depends on where your priorities lie.

Will device do you plan to get?

Let me know in a comment below!

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1 Comment

  1. by RateMyCamera on September 15, 2019  12:15 pm Reply

    Hi Vicky. We're looking for travel bloggers and vloggers such as yourself to visit our site and leave reviews of their cameras. With you using them often, your feedback on them will be of interest to others and hopefully help the next person make the correct decision as to which one to buy. We have the RX100 Vi and the Canon M100 listed at and would really appreciate your time and input. We also have a little giveaway that may make it worth your while. Carry on the great work. RMC

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