Smartphone Camera VS DSLR: Is It Worth The Investment?

In the age of rapidly changing technology, is it worth it to purchase a DSLR camera anymore?  The answer actually depends on what you need the camera to do for you.

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to appreciate the beauty of a photograph taken with an expensive DSLR.  But, if you are looking for a camera to take casual family and vacation photos, or to use for social media, then a smartphone camera may be more than sufficient.

There is a race in the world of smartphones to have the best camera on the market.  You can certainly enjoy the convenience of your smartphone camera. It is always right there in your hand or pocket when you want to take a picture or shoot a video.  

Let’s explore the pros and cons of each option.


Your smartphone camera has come a long way in the last ten years.  And you can expect a lot more in the coming years. One major area that smartphone cameras win is with size.  DSLR’s tend to be heavy and bulky where a smartphone is lightweight and can easily slip into your pocket and is protected with a case.

Even the biggest smartphone can still be comfortably carried around.  Because of this ease of transport, you can get shots at places that you would not usually carry a camera.  With your smartphone, you also have editing software right at your fingertips. You can have your photos Instagram ready in seconds.  

Smartphones cameras can be great at landscape and scenic photographs but can fall short when trying to focus on a specific object and separate out the background.  When you are trying to blur out a background naturally, you need a bigger sensor than a smartphone offers. This sensor helps to create a shallower depth of field which creates that blurred effect.


Regarding the quality of photos, DSLR or Digital Single Lens Reflex camera’s quality is second to none.  While smartphone cameras have continued to improve, they are still far away from the quality a DSLR camera can deliver.  

This is why web developers, graphic designers, and even realtors prefer the quality photographs that the DSLR products.  Think about it, if you see an ad that says, “Homes for sale in Phoenix, AZ,” accompanied by lousy photos, you will likely show no interest.  On the contrary, if that same add boasted quality images that captured the essence of Phoenix, you would likely consider looking at the homes.  The same is true with a website. Quality images are vital to visual appeal.

The range of color saturation, lighting, and crisp edges necessary to offer visual appeal to viewers are unmatched by even the best smartphones cameras.  The settings controls are an important factor also. While the smartphone does allow control for the most basic settings, the DSLR enables nearly full control.  

Even the least expensive DSLR will outperform the smartphone in this regard.

Where the DSLR camera falls short is with its weight and bulkiness.  Size really does matter. You may miss some critical shots because of not wanting to carry the camera around with you at events.  

Studies have shown, however, that people that own DSLR’s do tend to take more pictures with their smartphone than people that rely only on their smartphones as their primary camera.


There is a place for a DSLR to live with a smartphone camera.  They both bring unique features to the table and depending on what your needs are that day; one may be better suited to your needs.  Try out both options before you make your purchase decision.