Phone Camera vs Digital Camera: A Comparison

Phone vs Digital Camera

Hobby, passion or professionalism, whatever you are infected with, photography and cinematography are two of the trending activities more or less done by all in today’s life. The major drivers cover sharing photos and videos on social media, with friends, and for professionals, it’s totally related to their work. Due to technological evolution, both smartphone cameras and digital cameras are competing side by side for having their position in the consumer’s preference.

Do you want to know how these two types of cameras differ from each other, and what can be the best option for you? Scroll down and get wiser.


Can you tell why and how good your pictures are? It has to do with the sensor. Before I explain how sensors differentiate a smartphone camera and a digital camera, let me first explain how sensors work. Image sensors sense information in light waves to produce images. They convert the wave’s variable attenuation into signals; brief bursts of current that convey information.

As compared to DSLR cameras and mirrorless cameras, smartphone camera sensor sizes are small. This is one of the key distinctions between a digital camera and a camera phone. Larger sensors also have high-end point-and-shoot cameras. By scale, we don’t mean the pixel count, but the sensor’s actual physical size.

Handling Convenience:

If you are the kind of person who doesn’t like to have extra baggage or accessories with you while going out, don’t be fooled purchasing digital cameras for yourself.
Smartphone cameras are built into the phones, so you don’t need to struggle with them and don’t have to be an expert to use one. On the contrary, digital cameras are relatively big devices intended for taking pictures or taking videos. To take a digital camera anywhere, you need to carry extra accessories such as a camera bag and camera lenses.

Point and Shoot:

Walking through a beautiful valley? If you need a sudden click without any specialized setup at that moment, smartphone cameras work relatively faster. That means just take out the phone from your pocket and click. Although a digital camera takes a little while to open, it often allows the user to take the best photo. If your subject is far away from you, your smartphone camera can give you a decent whole picture but not as the desired photo which you can probably take with a digital camera such as point and shoot.

Picture/Video Quality:

Have you ever bothered with picture quality or video quality captured with your phone camera? Wonder why? Small sensors in smartphone cameras make pixel sizes smaller than in digital cameras, so the detail capturing capacity, light entering space through sensors is also lower. On the other side, digital cameras have an advantage in low light such as for night photography, or action photography since they have bigger sensors and apertures. This does not mean, though, that smartphone cameras fall short in terms of quality; advances in technology have spawned features such as night mode and manual control, which have a noticeable impact on the visual quality.

Interchangeable Lenses:

Next, we are going to talk about the lenses. If you don’t want to sink in the sea of lenses, and never want to be confused, a smartphone camera or point and shoot are the best choices for you.

Smartphone cameras have fixed lenses, which makes them good for midrange photos, but digital cameras are great for all situations owing to their variable lens of various zoom lengths. However, many third-party smartphone manufacturers make portable lenses that extend smartphone camera functionality to a certain extent, for instance, to take macro photographs. As a professional, you might want a bokeh or blurry effect and manual focus options to capture specific subjects, but those are not options unless you have a DSLR camera.

Long-Lasting Battery:

You are at the theatre watching your favorite celebrity perform, and you just point your camera at him and the camera battery runs out. In this situation which camera will help you, we will tell you so, because we know how frustrated you feel at that moment. As cameras are a part of smartphones, battery drain is directly related to how much you use your phone – therefore, you don’t anticipate using all the juice while clicking and shooting. If manufacturers accept this issue, they will develop longer-lasting phones. However, with a digital camera, you can make the most out of the battery life as digital cameras have significantly higher resolutions than smartphones, so their battery consumption is acceptable.

You can recharge your smartphone faster and easier than digital camera batteries because you just connect it to your power bank. Your digital camera battery will need an adapter and sockets to charge, which may require a hassle for you. If you’re a pro or care about the best outcomes, you’ll need to be motivated to charge your battery.

Viewing, Editing, and Sharing:

Imagine a café, and you want to share the beautiful latte with your friends on social media. So, what are the best options to view, edit and share it? Here’s what’s what:

These smartphones offer a larger screen for viewing photos and videos, as well as a higher quality display that can produce mesmerizing visual representation. However, small digital camera viewing displays with low-definition LCDs cannot display video and photos vividly when previewing. You can edit your photos from Google Play’s built-in editing software, but these free apps often reduce the quality of your photos and videos. While digital cameras have limited editing capabilities within the camera, they can be enhanced using software like Adobe Photoshop in post-production. Even better, these programs don’t harm your photos or videos at all, instead, they offer effects and filters.

You can share your captured photos and videos via social media, Bluetooth, or third-party apps using your smartphone, so you just need to click and share. If your digital camera has built-in wifi or NFC features, only then you can transfer files from the camera to other Bluetooth-enabled devices. Otherwise, you will have to transfer first into a computer, then you can share your images and videos.


We assume you will either buy a phone or a digital camera, be better at your job, or share your clicks with friends. But you are oblivious what phone or camera to buy? A good smartphone of good quality can be purchased for $150, and the price goes up from there. Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, and Google Pixel smartphones nowadays offer impressive cameras, such as the Galaxy S and Note series, Apple 12 series, and the Xiaomi Note series. On the other hand, an entry-level digital camera that is of good quality will cost between $50 and $150. For DSLRs or Mirrorless cameras, you will need at least $500 to make the purchase.

Intended Use:

If you enjoy taking pictures and shooting videos only for personal reasons, social media uploads, and sharing them with friends then smartphone cameras are for you. Digital cameras come in handy for people who print pictures and sell videos. As a pro, you need shallower depth-of-field and high definition pictures you can print accordingly. Furthermore, high-quality raw videos can be edited according to your clients’ needs.

Wrapping Up

We’ve come to the end of the article when we know enough to be able to say that smartphones and digital cameras have different purposes and they cannot be put into the same scale of judgment. Rather, you should know why you need both: a smartphone camera and a digital camera. We hope you rock with your cameras and amazing products and spread your light globally. Until then, just keep on clicking and shooting.

Joe Pfeffer

Joe Pfeffer

What started off as just a dream for Joe Pfeffer, turned into his passion and livelihood. He started his career as a wildlife photographer and then transitioned into becoming a cinematographer. With a decade of raw on-the-field experience, Joe Pfeffer has all the technical knowledge about the ins and outs of cameras. Now, he uses his vast experience to educate others about photography.