I have a 10 year old entry-level DSLR camera. I am considering switching to a new camera, but I am interested in what kind of things are suitable for achieving the image quality of my latest phone camera.
I mean that with my question. I understand that the camera sensor is larger and should therefore provide a higher quality image (e.g. less noise, etc.), but my relatively new phone often offers higher quality images in low light and scenes with high contrast (apparently with a kind of "Instant HDR" that my camera needs a tripod to try at all, and still with poor results. I can often only "show and take pictures" and get a great picture while myself With many manual settings on the DSLR – assuming the moment is not over – I often get photos that look inferior. I like to have full control when I need them (and even to be able to shoot sequences in.) some sort of scripting language if possible) but I find that I often do this only to bypass camera problems, for example it's not uncommon that I overexpose 2 or 3 apertures when shooting objects such as airplanes or birds in the sky so that they are not underexposed.
Then why don't I just use my cell phone? I do this in many cases when things are informal, when I don't need a lot of control, and when I don't need a safe ergonomic design that I can shoot over long periods of time without worrying about dropping and breaking something. No phone can really have the DSLR's range and take a decent picture. At the moment I can only take portraits in the camera (and that works very well), time-lapse animations, everything that requires zoom or telephoto, and large panoramas (with approximate gigapixels).
I don't know how many of my age difference issues (e.g. 1 year old phone versus 10 year old DSLR is a 9 year window in which technology has improved) and what I should look for now , since I took refuge, haven't really kept up with the new camera technology since I bought my current camera.
I really only identified one hard criterion – every new camera I get doesn't have an "optical low pass filter" because I've never been satisfied with the natural sharpness of the pictures I take. Another criterion is that I want GPS coordinates to be recorded automatically, although with some new models this will only work if you pair your phone with your camera, which is fine with me. I also had various sharpness problems (lost a lot of pictures because the camera decided to go in focus when I tried to press the shutter button with the target already focused) or cases where for some reason it didn't work either to determine the sharpness to low contrast or not to find out which moving object to focus on.
I know that new phones have a lot of sophisticated software to improve their image quality – for example, the Pixel Line has a "night vision" mode that combines multiple shots, sensors and some kind of AI algorithm to get phenomenal results to achieve images with very little discernible blur (at least in my experience!) Some phone cameras also have an internal burst mode, which takes a whole series of images in full resolution in succession and then selects the best that is displayed by default. I don't know how much camera software (or firmware / image processors) has evolved to keep up.
From what I've read, a mirrorless camera appears to be superior in some ways and allows it to approximate some of the good points of a camera phone while providing a better sensor and lens system. With a mirrorless camera, I often have to shoot through the lens. For example, when I take panoramas with a telephoto lens, I rely on the markings in the lens to align the next shot, which may be more difficult on an LCD screen. Over time, I could take photos with the camera all day. Often these are not possible unless I take pictures without the screen switched on to extend the battery life.
I'm not sure I have given enough details for specific brand / model recommendations (although I can add my current brand / model / lens recommendations), but generalizations or comparisons would be welcome if they illustrate the trade-offs between different ones Brands and models even exist that have classes of cameras. For example, is there a sweet spot where I should pay a little more for a medium-weight camera to get a particular feature and where I would just waste my money?
Edit: According to the comment, my current setup is a Nikon D5100 with a Nikon 35mm f / 1.8 prime lens and a Tamron 18-270mm f3.5-6.3 VC macro zoom lens. (It is clear to me that the latter is considered by some to be pretty crappy, but it fits my budget for the focal lengths I aim for. In the future, I would prefer a somewhat higher quality in the range of 150 mm to 600 mm.) Because the majority my shootout is at the top of my current range and I would like to go further in some situations.)