iPhone (smartphone) or Camera?

I love having a camera (disguised as a mobile phone) with me all of the time. It’s such fun to be able to ‘catch’ moments that you used to say “I wish I had my camera with me.”

Here is my dog, sitting in my lap. iPhone handy, always ready.

A moment later, I caught her in the middle of a silly tongue lap:

My backyard cutie. He won’t stay at the door for long. iPhone in my pocket.. caught him!

A crazy bug landed for a moment (what is it!? and I hope it doesn’t come back! )

Those are all examples of the unplanned pics, the ones you are happy to have a ‘camera in your pocket’ to grab.

But what about for travel?

Last time I took a trip, I used my iPhone, only. No camera. I enjoyed having one less thing to cart around. I think the pictures turned out pretty good, and I never regretted not bringing a camera:

BUT

I am now planning a new travel adventure, and I’m not sure the iPhone will suit. My first concern is memory space. With a camera you have removable memory storage so that you never run out of space. Although the iPhone holds a LOT of pictures, what if I shoot too many? I don’t want to have to worry about that.

Perhaps you have a REAL camera, and that makes all your photography extra special. I know that many of the bloggers that I visit are taking some awesome photos. For you, the camera itself is important.

But what about the point-and-shooters?

What do you do? Have you abandoned your camera in favor of your smartphone for travel? Or do you break out the camera for the trip?

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35 Comments

  1. Texas’ human here.
    Although I love my iPhone and the camera that comes with it (it is also quicker to get to the iPhone than a camera to document kitty silliness sometimes), I would definitely take my P&S when traveling. The quality of iPhone pics is not as good in my opinion in certain conditions (rain, night).
    I also have a dslr and I would opt for the P&S if I don’t feel like carrying the reflex with me.
    Then it all depends what you want to do with the pics and it should be about the pleasure of taking pics first. If that means just the iPhone, then go for it.
    Hope it helps a little!
    Carine

    Reply
    • Thank you, yes, this is a big help! I was also concerned about the different conditions for some photos. And you are right … I have never taken successful night photos with my iPhone. Thank you for your insight! (and your adorable kitten silliness pictures! :) )

      Reply
  2. Hi there,

    What I do is use the icloud storage with photo stream. That means that any photos will be kept for 30 days until I decide what to do with them. I can then sort them into albums, comment and tag them and then upload them to one of the online photo storage programmes. I use googles Picasa.

    Hope that helped.

    Reply
    • Yes, thank you. That’s a great suggestion! Although I have used photo stream, I tend to forget about using it as a ‘tool’. I will definitely remember that when my worry is storage. Thank you! :)

      Reply
  3. Hi, SC. Your dog is adorable and the other photo is beautiful. Very nice quality. I have to admit, my old camera is shot and I haven’t replaced it because I was taking fairly nice snapshot quality (not “art” quality by any means) photos with my iPhone, and I liked the convenience of it. I think it would depend on what you wanted from your photographs. If you are happy with nice snapshots, the iPhone is usually pretty good, but if you’d rather capture something truly stunning, then you’ll need that camera. Maybe you can take it on your trip, but only carry it when you know you are going to want first rate, better quality photos as opposed to just snapshots? That way, you could pick and choose when to carry it along. Maybe that would work. Like if you are touring the Louvre, you probably want better photos than you can get with your iPhone, but walking through a local bazaar, maybe the iPhone is all you need.

    Just a thought.

    Reply
    • You make a lot of good points. I think I would hate to be in the circumstance of not capturing a memory because I didn’t have a camera with me. Sometimes, in some conditions, the iPhone does let me down. I’m usually perfectly happy with the results, but for a special trip, better to be safe than sorry. :)

      Reply
  4. BTW, I have over 900 photos on my iPhone, believe it or not. I really need to delete a bunch of them, since I’ve already downloaded them to my computer.

    Reply
  5. I use my smartphone for wide-angled pictures and keep my 300mm zoom lens on my really good camera. That way, I don’t have to keep trading out lenses.

    Reply
  6. I pretty much rely on my camera phone when traveling. However, I would like to invest in a good digital camera next year.

    This is so weird, we must be on the same wavelength this week. I have a post scheduled for tomorrow evening that revolves around Space Needle. Also, the photos that are in my post are from the late 90’s before digital cameras were prevalent. I make a comment about how the details of what is nearby is fuzzy in my memory because I developed the photos months later. Camera phones do give us instant gratification these days – don’t they?

    Reply
    • That’s right! With the camera phone, not only do we have the quick photo, but we can share it instantly, too. I enjoy that, as well. Looking forward to your post!

      Reply
      • The camera phone is one of those things that you didn’t realize you needed until you had it. :) Well, I goofed on my auto scheduling…my Seattle photos will post on Thursday evening. Also, I can’t tell that you took your photo with an iPhone and not a dedicated digital camera. The quality looks great to me!

        Reply
        • I think the iPhone does an awesome job on sunny days. I agree, I love having it in my pocket. I take pictures in stores, too, of a product I might be considering, or a price I want to remember… silly stuff , but convenient! :)

          Reply
  7. Much as I love my iphone camera, I wouldn’t travel without my Canon G12. It takes incredible photos on auto in all kinds of light conditions. I turn the sound off so no one even knows I’m taking photos, and also usually turn off the flash. It is usually around my neck when I travel. The minute I put it away in my purse or bag, I’m reaching for it again! I don’t travel with my SLR. That’s too much baggage for me.

    Reply
    • The baggage is a definite issue. I like how your camera hangs around your neck (no fumbling for it) AND the silence thing. Your camera sounds like a goodie! :)

      Reply
  8. I’m being given a new camera for Christmas. My old one died, no so long ago, and I’ve been wondering how to replace it (new iPhone or new camera)? I’m still not sure, but then I’ve still a few weeks in which to make a decision…
    I think I’m leaning toward a good camera. We’re heading off in January for a South Pacific holiday… Think I’d rather have a super duper new camera for that…!
    Loved your pics… Those little animals (even the funny scary insect) are wonderful…!
    Is that cute bundle in your lap a ‘silky terrier’…?

    Reply
    • My cute bundle is a Yorkie. She’s only 3 pounds. Just never grew, so she is just a handful of love and affection. A South Pacific holiday! How wonderful! Anxious to hear more about that! Hope you’re planning to share photos with the new camera (that you will probably get) :)

      Reply
      • She is adorable…! So tiny, too…
        Picture sharing: Yes, well; I’m hoping… I’m no great photographer however, one never knows; I may capture a good shot or two… Here’s hoping…! ;)

        Reply
  9. Your doggie is so sweet & adorable! Not a photographer per se, usually use my phone because it’s handy! :)

    Reply
    • The doggie is a dear. So affectionate! And you are EXACTLY right… the iPhone is just so HANDY! Camera of choice…. usually. :)

      Reply
  10. I use both. My iPhone takes great close up photos, but is not so good at the distance ones

    Reply
  11. A Yorkie! I have two Yorkies :)

    Reply
    • Double the love! Aren’t they wonderful? So affectionate. I originally got her because she is a non-allergenic dog, knowing nothing about the breed. But she is a treasure. I’ll bet your two are fun to watch together! :)

      Reply
  12. Hi my dear,

    I LOVE your dog! She is super cute -:)! Last few weeks my life has been turned up-side-down, and prolonged stretches of no internet happened! I need not say more -:) Managed to visit your blog and what I found – lovely photos -:)! Guess what … you may not believe this , but I am even contemplating buying iPhone 5 (thanks to your blog -:))

    Take Care,
    Daniela

    Reply
    • I’ve been worried about you and yet I didn’t want to be a pest. I was so happy to turn on the computer and see you here this morning. :) I hope things settle down for you, soon. Considering an iPhone 5? Yay! I know you’d enjoy it! :) (and thanks for the doggie-love. She is a dear. So affectionate and funny. At this moment, all 3 pounds of her is on my lap, underneath the notebook computer I am typing on… she is so tiny, she fits anywhere. )

      Reply
  13. What cute pictures.
    I have a problem! I changed my gravatar…big mistake. It is showing up on my page where I put my avatar near the top of the page. And I see it where I have made comments on my own page.
    BUT when I add a like to somebody’s page…like this one, I don’t see my gravatar but just one of the default ones. I worked for hours…..I mean hours last night to get the new gravatar up. But I don’t know what I am doing wrong that it won’t appear when I put a like or comment. Any ideas?

    Reply
  14. Oh brother! I went in there to the profile and fiddled again. It never fails to happen. You struggle and struggle and then ask for help. Then try again and something works. LOL I set the type to PG the first time I guess. Then changed to G and the darn thing appeared. I am worn out. :(
    I just wanted something for the holiday season. Bah Humbug!

    Reply
  15. I don’t use a phone for taking photos because it is too old. Duncan has moved into the modern era and has just started taking photos with his phone but has a fancy SLR digital camera for high resolution images. I have a compact digital camera I carry around with me – it has an excellent macro lens option which I love and don’t think you can get on phones yet. It also has an underwater capability bought for a trip to the Caribbean. Sally

    Reply
  16. I LOVE that you showed us your furbabies ~ and that you got a pic of your sweet kitty! They are adorable!!! I think the photos are great! I vote to take one less thing on your trip, but then I’m no expert! I read your blog to know what the expert advises! :) Hugs to you!

    Reply

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