The Great Debate: DSLR or Cell Phone Camera

Please note that this post was written in September 2013 and a lot has changed in cell phone camera technology.  But the question still stands…. DSLR or cell phone camera?

I consider myself a photographer. I was lucky enough to have a wife who splurged on a new Canon Rebel XSi when we were newly weds. Which I was very thankful for when we had the Rookie almost 3 years ago. But it started a great debate every time that I wanted to take a picture, DSLR or Cell Phone Camera?

I recently started going through pictures on my computer and quickly discovered that the last time I pulled out my camera. It while I was on vacation, to take pictures of the Rookie in the spring of this year. I started wondering where all the pictures that I am taking are at?

I am sure that as I was asking myself this question, I received a notification on my phone so I started to mess with my phone. I look up from my phone, which was in the foreground of the computer that I was just working on and saw my son playing with his trains. I began thinking, that this would be something to share with all my friends on Facebook and Twitter. I get down and snap a picture with my phone and instantly upload to Instagram to share with the world.  It was then that I realized that most of the pictures that I have been taking are on my cell phone.

DSLR or Cell Phone Camera - The Rookie Dad

The inception of the smartphone has changed the way a lot of us takes pictures, especially parents. There are so many of us who do exactly what I just did, take a picture with your smartphone and share it. It is so much easier to do it this way and nearly foolproof. So many of our family and friends who want to see our children growing up are now on Facebook and Twitter that anymore it is a one stop shop.

It isn’t so much that this transition is taking place. For me personally, it is the fact that I have been too dang lazy to pick up the Canon Rebel and take good pictures of my son. My DSLR takes MUCH better pictures than my iPhone. Don’t tell me the iPhone or any phone will be able to take as good a picture as a camera where the shutter setting can go up to 4000. Wait until the picture of little Johnny scoring the game winning goal in a soccer game and you will wish that you had a better camera.

I remember when I went to edit pictures from our vacation to Baltimore. I had over 400 pictures to go through. At one point I thought, “Ain’t nobody got time for this!” I said screw it and just uploaded all the pictures to Google and it was done. I am not one to just be content with how the picture looks straight out of the camera. I am that photographer who has to take pictures into Photoshop or Lightroom to turn make sure they meet my high standards for photography.

My Canon Rebel is sitting on the kitchen counter almost taunting me to take it down and take a picture with it. My dear friend, there will be a day when you and I meet again, and until then keep taunting me because eventually I will become your best friend again.

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  1. oneofthosememories September 26, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    I have the same debate with my Husband all the time. I convinces him to let me buy a new point and shoot camera for our trip to Disney. I am taking my DSLR as well as the point and shoot and my phone camera. He doesn’t understand why I need to take 3 cameras but they are all used for different types of photos. Do I need an extreme depth of field when Adam is hugging Mickey? No? When I want to take photos of the animals running – yes I need an DSLR. Honestly I go by the motto another photographer told me – the best camera you have is the one you have in your hands the moment you need it.

  2. Jonathan September 28, 2013 at 4:56 AM

    I really enjoyed reading this, it’s a really interesting topic. I seem to take the majority of my photos of our five month old son with my smartphone camera, which I guess is just because I almost always have it with me. I realise that the quality of the photos is often less good than it would be with a proper camera (especially if the light isn’t perfect) but, like you say, the ability to share photos is a real plus. I loved being able to e-mail photos of our son that I’d just taken to my parents and in-laws straight from the maternity ward.

  3. Shawn October 10, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    I just try to have my Canon with me. Not during the week on commutes, but I do have occasion to come upon a great scene sometimes and wish I had it. While it’s bulkier and more to have with than my iPhone, it’s really a tremendous tool. Don’t get me wrong; there’s a time and place for a cell phone camera, and with tools like Instagram or Adobe Revel or others, it makes things easy sometimes.
    My home desktop just went to computer heaven, which is where Photoshop lives. I have to figure that out soon; the pictures from the apple orchard and last trip to cabin are waiting for my edits.


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