I have the following problem: I may buy top smartphone for 1000 eur or smartphone+some camera. Smartphone aside photos is used for whatsapp mainly. So my question is: is it possible to find camera for 700 eur which will be better than top smartphone.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You haven't said why you want a camera. What do you intend to do with it? A "pro" camera or a "prosumer" camera will give you far better ability to control the exposure and other qualities of a picture when you use it, but a Smartphone is more likely to be in your pocket when you see some unexpected thing that you want to "snap." \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 19, 2020 at 20:12

3 Answers 3


If you want a nice camera, buy a nice camera. If you want a nice phone, buy a nice phone.

Rule of thumb: specialized equipment is often much, much better than generalized equipment at what it does.

For 700 euros (~$800 US at time of writing), you could get high quality used gear - a Canon 5D Mk. II + 2 basic lenses / 1 moderately good lens, for example - for taking photos. It won't be the fanciest setup out there, but until you get very good, the camera will be capable of taking much better photos than you are. It certainly will have a larger sensor (which is good) and more important options (which is very good) than any smartphone. Particularly, telephoto shots are far easier on a DSLR or equivalent.

Also, if you want to learn photography, get a real camera. Part of how smartphones take good pictures is they hide all the technical stuff. It works great when you want the exact picture the smartphone produces, but if you want to change anything, good luck!

Downside is that the DSLR won't be able to send texts, browse cat pictures (except your own), or connect directly to WhatsApp.

There is a place for smartphone cameras: replacing point-and-shoots that don't have much zoom. For shots of kids, birthday parties, selfies, etc., you can't beat the convenience of a smartphone.

Personal experience: I care far more about photography than my phone, and the money I spend reflects that. I'm quite happy to have 8x more invested in my camera/lenses than my phone. How much you care about each is up to you.

So, bottom line - do you care more about having a really nice phone or really nice pictures? There's no way you'll get as many camera features on a smartphone as you would on a camera, but for selfies, you don't really want telephoto capabilities, anyways.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank You. In reallity i need a phone for 300 eur, and nice photos. So I think about Nikon D5600. \$\endgroup\$
    – zlon
    Commented Jul 19, 2020 at 6:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ That seems like a reasonable choice to me. :) What sort of subjects are you interested in photographing? That will dictate your lens choice and, probably to a lesser extent (for most people), your camera. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 19, 2020 at 6:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ You added a (in my opinion) very important point by adressing the fact that it is a lot easier to learn the technical stuff with a "real" camera. This is often overlooked since many comparisons only focus on the sole image quality \$\endgroup\$
    – jng224
    Commented Jul 19, 2020 at 10:06

It can be said that you should purchase as much technology as you can reasonably afford. It will last longer, and not be superseded by newer technology as quickly. You should be able to find a decent brand name DSLR or mirrorless camera for the amount you are looking to spend.

There is an important distinction to be made between “taking” and “making” a good photo. One can “take” or “make” a photo with either a camera or a smartphone. But making a photo using a DSLR (or mirrorless) is a longer and more satisfying journey than taking a photo with a smartphone. When making the comparison between DSLR and smartphone, what is often overlooked is aperture, shutter speed and ISO (sensor sensitivity). All three are about controlling the amount of light going into the sensor. These are the technical elements that you control. Smartphones are very good at “seeing” this for you, but you have given up the control and they will be making an algorithmic guesstimate. Do you wish to snap a scene, or express your vision of it?


In my opinion the lifetime is what really sets products apart.

I used my Canon 20d (bought 2004) until two years ago, then I gave it to my 9 year old niece who got interested in photography.
It still works just as it did when it was new, sure batteries has been replaced, and memory cards have been upgraded since it was new, but apart from that, as good as new.

I bought the cheapest phone I could find about 3,5 years ago.
It was an Android Huawei and it was working fine back then, now it's not as good anymore.
If I want to take a photo it's not uncommon that the screen goes off between the time I press the camera button and the camera actually starting.
The battery needs to be replaced, but it's not worth the investment.

Sure it was the cheapest phone I could find (about 150 euro), but about six months before I bought my own phone I got a new work phone. iPhone 6. It was the newest model at the time as far as I can remember.
Today it's in worse condition than my own phone. Camera is almost unusable, it takes forever to open and the battery has two states. 100% or 1%, I have not seen anything else in a very long time.

So about four years later, both the cheapest phone and the "high end" model are both more or less useless for taking photos.
That is a poor investment in my opinion.

Another bad thing regarding the phones is in my opinion the way the cameras evolve currently.
Not that long ago you only had one lens phones.
Now there is three or four lenses and lasers and all that.
Unless you buy the top notch model it will be old in a few months.
Real cameras have a much slower pace. Your camera will hold it's value much longer and probably perform better the older it gets (because you get better at composition and editing :-) ).

I carry my DSLR on a strap around my shoulder, no lens cap, always on.
If I need to take a photo, I reach back and take the photo.
How long does the same take with a phone? How long will it take in a few years?

This is just talking about the "hardware" part of one vs the other.
Then there is the actual file you get. Jpeg vs Raw.
Some argue that you don't need Raw, but it does make a difference when you did not get the exposure perfect.

Most of the high end phones do so much software edits to the images it makes them look plastic in my opinion.
Linus tech tips made a video not long ago where they compared the iPhone vs some Chinese cameraphone (not phonecamera) vs a Fuji DSLR.
Sure the DSLR did not win all the time but the iPhones images looked too much on everything. Perhaps you can do something about it in the settings, I don't know.

And then there is the sensor size as has been mentioned by the other answers.

The only thing I think a phone wins with is the carry around part. A DSLR is heavy and not something you put in your pocket.


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