Food photography tips · Photography

Camera vs. Phone

Today I am gone show you a case study about food photography. Using the same light and settings I took photos with my professional camera and my phone camera. The subject was a cup of blackberries from my garden.

My phone doesn’t have a very good camera. Has only Auto with just a few settings so I am not using for my food photos. I can’t compare a professional camera with a phone camera, but for this case study I wanted to show you that you really need a good camera. It can be a phone camera, because there are a lot of phones with great camera. I had a Nexus 5 and I was very happy with it.

If you have friends with good telephones ask them to let you take some food photos and see the differences.

On my blog I already told you about food photography. You can apply it to any type of camera you have.

My phone camera is not working at all in low light, so most of my times I am using the flash. I am not a big fan of flash but when need it I am using it.

Another thing to use when you have low light is using a tripod or a bag to cancel the shaking of your hands.

Light is coming from left and from the back

The photos in the case study are taken with the camera and the phone in my hand without the tripod. It was in the afternoon with good light.


Size Dimension Resolution F – stop Exposure time ISO speed Focal length
D700 6.3 MB 2832 X 4256 300 Dpi f 2/8 1/125 sec 400 70 mm
Phone 850 KB 3120 X 4160 72 Dpi f 2/2 1/17 sec 155 4 mm
Phone with flash 2.68 MB 3120 X 4160 72 Dpi f 2/2 1/17 sec 175 4 mm


I let the phone camera to use the best settings for this photo. ISO for my phone goes till 1600 and it was on AUTO.

At 1/17 sec is very difficult to get a sharp photo with the camera in your hand. You need to not shake at all.

As you can see the photos taken with my phone are not sharp at all and the quality is poor.



A good camera gives you quality. You don’t need to buy a professional camera when you can buy a phone with a good camera. Play with it in the shop or ask all your friends to let you take photos and see how good they are. Good luck and have fun!


90 thoughts on “Camera vs. Phone

  1. Thanks for the tip. I’m not good with cameras. I kind of manage with my iphone 7s maybe it’s about time I start experimenting with my camera which is still in the box 🙂

  2. Hi Gabi! I haven’t used my SLR in years. Normally I just shoot with the automatic setti gs on my phone, but there are also controls to adjust aperture, shutter, and film speed. Plus there are the filters in Instagram. But then I’m not shooting on the same level as you where pro and semi-pro gear is necessary.

  3. This was very interesting. I have been using my phone to take my pictures and edit them, but this is motivating me to look seriously into some good quality cameras for the long run. Thanks!

      1. Ok. Let me be more clear. There is no such thing a professional camera. The brands may market their products as such but it’s a false idea.

        Definition of professional:
        (of a person) engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as a pastime.

        There are professionals who are capable and professionals who are not.

        There are amateurs — (of a person) engaged in a specified activity as a pastime — who create excellent photography and some who create garbage.

      2. Yes, taking food photography with an iPhone will be frustrating. But it’s not becuase the camera isn’t professional. It’s becuas​e it’s not capable. You are undervaluing your talent by suggesting that your skills are connected to the “professionalism” of the camera. Lots of professional photographers with exp​ensive camera take shitty photos.

  4. My phone is six years old and my husband’s phone is a year old. Whenever he takes a picture I always say, “WOW! Your phone takes such better pictures than mine.” Mine are blurry compared to his. It is funny!

  5. I’m still using an old Kodak Digital with 5Mp Not the greatest, yes I would like to get something better for my Food Based Website. But hey it works just now. We even had an Irish woman, we know pretty well, she owns a local B&B here, and she saw my picture of Irish Soda Bread and just had to come to buy it for her guests, her words were “The Picture Sold It”, the picture is under our home page on the New Items page.
    So, for now, I’ll stick with what I have, but I am looking at upgrading to a bigger DSLR at some point. Possibly a Canon or Nikon, I do love Minolta’s, I still have my SLR Minolta, but they don’t seem to make them anymore! Shame, they were good cameras.

    But I liked the post, it proves a very good point!

  6. I enjoyed this. I can’t afford a DSLR but my Huawei has a great camera I need to take advantage of more.

  7. Anytime I want to take a picture of something more than 5 metres away or in low light, I swear that I need a “real camera.” Most of the pictures I take are on the fly; I’m usually out and about, hiking, and so on. No way. I’m far too lazy to lug a camera around with me. Fortunately, Samsung phones have quite decent cameras.

    All of this said, you’ve certainly demonstrated the value of good quality equipment. The berries shot with the Nikon are gorgeous.

  8. So far I have been using my phone camera. I have a Galaxy 7 and a Galaxy Note 4. I use them both. I have a professional digital camera. It is a Nikon. I even have a tripod stand. I just have not made the time to learn how to use it. It is on my list of things to do.

  9. Hmmm…🤔 I’ve only used my phone camera. I have a iPhone X and it’s pretty good quality. Nothing compares to a great camera tho…I just don’t care to buy one right now. Thanks for the tips!

  10. Your photos are always gorgeous!! I use an iPhone 7plus, for me it has been taking good pictures, I get a lot of compliments but not from photographers. I like the portrait setting and I do a lot of photoshopping on my computer, but I know if I used a camera, my photos would come out better! Maybe someday, but I’m in my 60’s, so it would have to be soon🤣

  11. Nice article. Thank goodness for the photo- editor on my phone! The camera is 5mp but has no optical zoom so I have to crop every photo. I’ve learned to work with the limitations and can get the best out of it. Next time I’ll upgrade.

  12. I’ve gone through several set ups with my mirrorless Sony in my kitchen I cluding tripods, lights and stands. Each time, I found it cumbersome and cluttered for my kitchen. So, I slowly reverted back to my Pixel XL (which has a very nice camera for a phone). Perhaps I will make another attempt and try to strip down to just the tripod and a compact light. Any thoughts on compact lights that provide natural lighting?

  13. If you regularly take pics of food, it might be a good idea to upgrade to a phone with a really good camera. It is so much easier to share pics from a phone. Even though my camera has bluetooth, I can’t get it to work, so have to upload to my laptop before sharing. I enjoyed your article.

  14. I’ve not used my Nikons since the days of Kodachrome. 😂. I love my iPhone 6 Plus for most everything except portraits. The Wider Angle allows more room for composing in the frame. I enjoy your blog.

  15. I use iPhone 7 for my food pics but my son’s S9 captures even better. I think it is time I start using a professional camera

  16. I see that you really love taking photos, writing about fruit juice, healthy food, right?

  17. Hi Gabi, Thanks for the food photo tips! I wish I had a natural light set up like yours where you can light your subject from two windows set at 90 degrees. Do you also use studio lighting for any of your food shots? Best regards.

  18. Interesting article, and thanks for the tips. Ihave a passion for foodie but not a photographer (unfortunately) but trying to make the most with my phone. Youre right, you dont reach the same quality but appreciate the pointers to improve quality. Thanks! I like your blog!

  19. Thank you for the tips! Currently I use my Iphone 11…it takes decent pictures. My main issue is with composition rather than with quality. Do you have thoughts on photo compositing? 🙂 hope I can update to a camera in the near future. 🙂

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