Discussion in 'Photography Forum' started by maroun.c, Feb 21, 2018.

Your Guide to Aquarium Photography #4 - Shooting with a DSLR Camera vs. Mobile Phone

This article will focus on the differences between using DSLR cameras and mobile phone cameras for aquarium photography. The discussion always...
  1. maroun.c

    maroun.c Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    1,910
    Likes Received:
    1,221
    Location:
    Lebanon
    In our previous article in this Your Guide to Aquarium Photography series, we looked at camera settings/parameters and how to get them right for fish, coral, and FTS photos. Today's article will focus on the differences between using DSLR cameras and mobile phone cameras for aquarium photography.

    The discussion always used to be DSLR vs the point-and-shoot camera for aquarium photography. Social media, discussion groups and dedicated applications on mobile phones coupled with improvements in mobile phone camera technology have made for more use of mobile phone cameras for aquarium photography.

    There are many differences between using a DSLR or a mobile phone and these also vary between mobile phone brands and advances with each new version. We discuss a few here, but this will not be an exhaustive article.

    DSLRs are clearly the way to go for the perfect shot yet this comes at a hefty price (camera body and lenses), a steep learning curve, and the need for post processing most of the pictures which means a longer workflow:
    • Copying pictures to computer
    • Raw image processing and conversion to JPEG (if shooting in Raw)
    • Further processing of JPEG images
    • Resizing for web
    • Uploading to albums or forums or copying to mobile to share on social media or other applications






    LT side shots are Raw Pics converted as is to jpeg. Right side shots have received the following RAW converter: cropping, adjusting white balance and exposure, contrast boost Photoshop: levels and colors adjustment, cloning out any spots, sharpening filter resizing and saving. I usually also add a watermark. All of these take less than 45 sec per pic as most of the Photoshop process is automated in actions.

    Mobile phones cameras offer the following advantages:
    • More frequently available on hand and doesn’t require transporting large and delicate equipment
    • Shooting pictures, basic editing and sharing or uploading to albums via dedicated applications is a breeze
    • Some applications offer built in cameras with basic editing options for pictures and video for a more instant photo capture/basic edit/share functions.
    This added flexibility comes at a price and that is picture quality. Most of the shots on mobile camera phones (Especially for moving fish) are out of focus... A few mobile phone cameras allow limited focus selection point, shutter speed via pictures modes and few other functionalities but this is not close to the capabilities of a DSLR. I must admit that mobile phone cameras can do a better job at white balance than out of camera DSLR shots yet when one masters post processing techniques there is no comparison.

    It’s also interesting that human minds have evolved to accept a certain degree of out of focus and blue tinted pictures just because of the flexibility mobile phone cameras bring. I believe it’s a bit less noticed as well because viewing of internet photos is mostly on smaller mobile screens. Also, high ISO noise performance is very far from DSLR cameras.

    Another factor to consider is that photographers had their workflows when using DSLRS for importing, editing, uploading, and archiving options on PCs which is not necessarily the case when shots are taken and shared on mobile phones and end up deleted at times. Cloud based archiving options also make picture taking on mobile more versatile than DSLRs because, when given good internet access, one has access to his albums at all times.





    Mobile phone camera shot which looks rather good on mobile phone screen size. Yet when blown to 100 percent shows a bad focus, DOF and noise. Better image quality can of course be achieved with mobile phone cameras, but I doubt it’ll be anywhere close to image quality DSLRs are capable of.

    Hopefully this article has helped you to understand some of the differences between using a DSLR vs. a mobile phone camera. As you have questions, feel free to join in the discussion thread, and be sure to check out Your Guide to Aquarium Photography #5 - Taking Better Pictures with Mobile Phone Cameras.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2018
    Tags:

  2. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2018 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Messages:
    36,457
    Likes Received:
    28,534
    This is a great addition to the series! Well done sir!
     
    jsker likes this.
  3. maroun.c

    maroun.c Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    1,910
    Likes Received:
    1,221
    Location:
    Lebanon
    Thank you :)
     
    jsker likes this.
  4. drernesto

    drernesto Well-Known Member Platinum Sponsor

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2013
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    448
    Location:
    Beirut, Lebanon
    Great article! Keep it coming
     
    jsker likes this.
  5. chicago

    chicago Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    154
    Location:
    chicago
    nice..
     
    jsker likes this.
  6. scott11106

    scott11106 Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2018
    Messages:
    473
    Likes Received:
    427
    Location:
    Fletcher NC
    great article ! well done.
    maybe as an addition we can help people with tricks and ways to get the best pictures from the smart phone or tablet since most people are using these?

    also would like to see the difference between a dslr raw and a iphone raw and then a dslr post processed and a iphone post processed.
    just a thought. (i would do it but i dont have the gear or the expertise, not to mention i dont have fish, coral or even water right now...lol, building a new tank)
     
    jsker likes this.
  7. jsker

    jsker Reefing is all about the adventure Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2018 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2015
    Messages:
    17,295
    Likes Received:
    28,042
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Great read, keep it rolling:)
     
  8. Addie_Coral

    Addie_Coral Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    4
    Awesome article! Very informative
     
  9. maroun.c

    maroun.c Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    1,910
    Likes Received:
    1,221
    Location:
    Lebanon
    Thanks for the interest,
    It's a series of articles, not sure Ifnu checked the previous 3 that were already posted. Next article should be posted next weeks and it's got some of what you mention above. Make sure to check it out next week.
     
    kruley and scott11106 like this.
  10. maroun.c

    maroun.c Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    1,910
    Likes Received:
    1,221
    Location:
    Lebanon
    Thanks all.
     
  11. scott11106

    scott11106 Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2018
    Messages:
    473
    Likes Received:
    427
    Location:
    Fletcher NC
    I did not but i will do that now and will most definitely stay tuned for the next. Thank you for your time and attention to detail.
     
    maroun.c likes this.
  12. HairyGary

    HairyGary Why do all your fish look like trout? R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    846
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Great work. Looking forward to the next one!
     
  13. Bob E

    Bob E Active Member Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2016
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    124
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Great read, Thanks
     
  14. maroun.c

    maroun.c Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    1,910
    Likes Received:
    1,221
    Location:
    Lebanon
    Thanks all
     
  15. Sleepydoc

    Sleepydoc Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2017
    Messages:
    572
    Likes Received:
    484
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Nice article. I would add that for many people, a cell phone is the only digital camera they own, so a cell phone that you own always beats the DSLR that you don’t!
     
  16. maroun.c

    maroun.c Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    1,910
    Likes Received:
    1,221
    Location:
    Lebanon
    Sure thing. Hence coming article which provides tips on how to make the best use of mobile phone cameras. Still entry level DSLRs have come down in price and image quality keeps getting better so it's not a huge limitation anymore for the photo enthousiast.
     
    A_game43 likes this.
  17. A_game43

    A_game43 Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2017
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    463
    Great article, I will continue to follow. I am new to taking pictures in this hobby, it is very frustrating and my only source as stated above by a lot of fellow reefers is a digital phone camera. I bought a "lens kit" and this has helped a lot but I am on a steep learning curve, which is ok. The end result with a great looking picture of your tank is worth the effort and time.
     
  18. maroun.c

    maroun.c Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    1,910
    Likes Received:
    1,221
    Location:
    Lebanon
    Thanks.
    Post some pics in sure ull get a lot of input which will help.
     
  19. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2018 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Messages:
    22,565
    Likes Received:
    16,891
    Location:
    Ontario, California
  20. careefer

    careefer Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    Great article. Good point you make about how nice photos can look on a phone screen vs how poor they can look when you get them onto your PC or zoom in. I do some paid photography work from time to time and shoot with a Nikon D750 but I have some photos from my Galaxy S8 that I have blown up on canvas to 16x24 and they look great. However, they are almost all landscapes where everything in the field is far enough away that pretty much everything is in focus. Once you get close to something like an aquarium with a busy field and a lot of objects that are not just close to the phone/lens but at very similar but slightly different distances the phone starts to struggle to figure out exactly what you are trying to take a photo of and the quality of the results with the phone is very variable. As you said in the article, this is not to say you can't get some great shots with the phone, especially if you dig into the advanced camera settings on the phone. A DSLR allows very specific selection of the focal point and light metering which yields much better results. As you point out this comes at significant cost and also, if you are taking a photo with your phone that most other people are going to look at on their phone, is any of this really a big deal?!
     
    maroun.c likes this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
Loading...