Do I need to take my DSLR ( or other real camera ) on vacation or will my smartphone photos be good enough? That is a question many of us have faced since smartphones have been available. How good is good enough for photo quality? This past summer I traveled to Switzerland to visit my wife Juliann’s uncle who acted as our tour guide. We also took a short side trip to Prague since we were so close, relatively speaking.


Juliann and I took hundreds of photos with the Canon T6 DSLR equipped with the Canon 18-50 mm kit lens and 70-300 mm Canon zoom. We also made hundreds of photos with our Apple iPhones as well. Looking over the whole take I noticed that most of the photos I liked the best were taken with the Canon DSLR. It wasn’t so much an issue of the quality of the iPhone photos as the precision lens handling I was used to working with DSLR’s.

The depth of image quality was also apparent once I took a closer look. I shoot nearly all DSLR photos in RAW mode and process them for optimum saturation and vibrance to suit my eye. Some of the iPhone photos that I liked lost tone in the highlights that I could have retained with a RAW image.

Perhaps it was reaching out with a real zoom lens to capture exactly what interested drew me to the DSLR so often.

But I did have some occasional fun with the image controls on the iPhone.

I’ve enjoyed sharing photos with my iPhone and DSLR. Each has its purpose, advantages and shortcomings. I really can’t choose between them so I’ll likely continue to take both on vacations for some time to come.