D3300 vs iPhone 7 plus

edited January 2017 Posted in » Nikon D3300 Forum
Just been comparing images from my D3300 and an iPhone 7 plus. I am using the 18-55mm kit lens. The images look a lot sharper on the iPhone. They make the images on the D3300 look soft by comparison. Is that normal?


  • edited January 2017
    Smartphones often have very impressive software to process images, as well as automatic choices on focus and the like, which will produce very good pictures. The SLR has a good bit more versatility but you pay for that in some ways by having more ways to get a picture wrong, and less automatic processing. In addition, the very small sensor of the phone, combined with the very short focal length of the lenses, results in great depth of field.

    For many things, you may well find that the phone gets the job done more quickly and with less fuss. I still like the results I get with a dedicated camera, and since I live in a fringe area without reliable cell reception, I don't have a smartphone, but there's a huge amount of work being done on the technology of phone cameras, and it's proving a challenge to the conventional photo industry. The same is true of some iPad cameras. Within the range where they work best, they work very well while requiring very little input from the user.

    I was recently on a trip through Peru, including a stint on an Amazon cruise boat. Taking pictures of things like monkeys in trees, and birds in flight, and many scenic shots where composition and color balance and sharpness are important, nothing performs like an SLR. But on the boat, or in villages with people as the subject, iPads and camera phones got snappy images with good quality and exposure with ease.

    If you're finding the pictures from the D3300 soft, I suggest you do some careful testing. Make sure you're getting good focus, keeping the camera steady, and so forth. Try putting it on a tripod if you have one, and doing some test shots simply for sharpness, to make sure the lens and camera are behaving properly. Remember that sharpness is relative and subjective, and not necessarily the same as resolution. You can make a picture look sharp with software that does not necessarily make it better focused, but makes edges more pronounced. What works well, and what price is paid for it, will vary depending on the subject and the size of presentation. It's hard to beat a camera phone for some applications, and if you have both, use what works best when that's the case.
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