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I know this is a site with very good professional photographers and this might appear like a silly question but I'm just a beginner who loves photography. But I still don't have a camera so all I do is use my phone. I would like to know whether it's OK to practice photography with phone's camera until I buy a camera or buy a camera and go ahead? Thank you in advance.

  • What problem are you having with your phone's camera that you think will be solved with a dedicated camera? – Michael C Jun 4 '17 at 1:32
  • @MichaelClark Mostly the image resolution and focusing issues. – Curiousity Jun 4 '17 at 16:55
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    I note that the question says "camera" but the upvoted answers say "DSLR". Maybe they're stuck in 2010 or something... – fkraiem Jun 11 '17 at 2:36
  • "Dedicated camera" or "Interchangeable lens camera (ILC)" would probably have been a better choice of words than SLR/DSLR. But there are still many photographic applications for which DSLRs do an as good as, or even better, job than their mirrorless counterparts. – Michael C Oct 25 '18 at 20:12
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You should shoot with your phone - best way to get better is to shoot more, which is great if you already enjoy it.

But you should get a dedicated camera if you're interested. They work differently than phones and will let you learn about stuff like focal length, white balance, aperture and shutter speed and why they matter.

My recommendation - buy, borrow or rent a low end DSLR with a 'nifty fifty' – the cheapest prime (single focal length, not zoom) lens made for your camera. Set everything to manual and figure out what everything does.

  • Oh thank you so much for the answer. Are there any specific brands that you can recommend as well? – Curiousity Jun 3 '17 at 13:10
  • If you know someone who already has one and can lend you lenses or help you out, get that system. Otherwise I'd probably recommend Canon, but Nikon, Sony or Panasonic are also good options. – Jeremy S. Jun 3 '17 at 13:19
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    @JeremyS. Don't forget Pentax dslrs or mirrorless cameras – Janardan S Jun 3 '17 at 15:06
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    It's always worthwhile to ask what problem (that you have) the DSLR is going to fix. I know that is a bit hard to know if you have not used one, but you should (if you practice) start being able to say what problems you have. Photography is about subjects, situations, emotions, colors, framing and composition, lighting (making or finding), and capturing the image. The camera matters only (well, mostly only) on the last part. People worry too much about it and forget the rest (and their work suffers for it). – Linwood Jun 3 '17 at 20:54
  • @JanardanS If you're buying new gear Pentax has a good cost/benefit ratio. But if you're looking for real bargains you're more likely to find them in the most popular brands because there is simply more of their stuff in the marketplace. – Michael C Jun 4 '17 at 1:30
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Although a "system camera" (an interchangeable lens camera made to work within a certain system of lenses and other accessories) captures way better pictures than a phone, still the art of photography lies in the person behind the lens. You should first develop the skill of taking good pictures at the right angles and adjusting the light requirements and various other features. Hence a phone with a decent camera is a good way to get started. Keep on practicing with it until you are reasonably good at what you are doing. Then you should buy a dedicated camera if you are motivated. These cameras are really fantastic at capturing truly magnificent pictures if you get the settings right. So practice with it and slowly you will master the art of photography .

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I would like to know whether it's OK to practice photography with phone's camera until I buy a camera or buy a camera and go ahead?

Of course it is. No photographer can take photographs without a camera. And you can only take a photo with a camera you have with you. And frankly, most dedicated cameras outpace their owners by a good bit in capability. :) A phone camera may not be what's holding you back.

You can certainly learn composition with one. Some apps even give you exposure control (on my iPhone 5S, I can adjust the exposure in the camera app just by dragging up and down). And depending on the apps you're using, you may have more control than you think.

But if you want more control, over the lenses you use, over timing, over autofocus, aperture, iso, shutter speed, a dedicated camera may be able to give you that. Move to a camera when you've exhausted everything you can do with the phone or your phone is beginning to frustrate you from the lack of control it provides.

But realize that a lot of us "serious" photographers who own dSLRs or mirrorless or any of the "expensive" cameras--well, we all take photos with our phones, too. Because a phone is always with you, and sharing photos from a phone is really easy. There's no reason to think of this as "camera or phone"; think of it more like "camera and phone".

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First generation DSLRs or DSLMs can be had very cheap secondhand - anything that isn't flagship, special, or above 16 megapixel often goes for ridiculously low prices.

A 10 or 16 megapixel, full featured, system camera will not hold you back seriously just because it is missing 14 or 8 megapixels compared to the state of the art. The more limited lowlight capabilities of older models could be a bit of a limit IF you are very focused on night or non-flash indoor photography.

However, not having the opportunity to practice with semi-automatic or manual exposure modes, or manual focus, or real flash hardware, WILL limit you.

Also, consider getting an old film SLR just for fun - but take someone experienced with that kind of gear along when shopping for one. They can be had for even more ridiculously low prices these days.

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