I feel that there is a place for smartphones as they have taken over the role of point and shoot cameras but there is always a place for the mirrorless, DSLR, medium format, etc.
I haven’t seen images from a smartphone that come close to the flexibility and quality of those from a camera. Obviously there is significant advances in the software used but megapixels are not the major part of the sensor equation.
The current crop of sensors, especially for smartphones, rely on more megapixels which come at the expense of photon size of a pixel.
The smaller photon size (pixel size) combined with more megapixels gives more noise because the sensor needs more surface current to operate in low light.
But it is the best camera if that is all you have in hand …
I agree 100% with Don @AiDon. The megapixel ‘race’ is only sidetracking. The most important factor is the size of the camera sensor because this determines who much information the camera can write on your card. I remember that my first digital SLR (Canon 300D) had only 6 Megapixel but could shoot very good photos. My current 5D Mk IV does 30 Megapixel but has a full format sensor.
On the other hand like Don said, if you do not have your camera handy but your phone - take the shot!
@dvine I think that the majority of photographs are already done on phone cameras. If you look at the sheer volume of posts to just social. And, that’s probably a fraction of what people have stored on devices and in the cloud.
I also don’t see professional studios switching to iPhones or Galaxy phones for commercial work any time soon. Unless it’s a promotional stunt like the Lady Gaga video filmed on iPhone.
But at the same time, you can’t really deny the the amazing capabilities of those tiny things. And I agree with @AiDon too. The best camera is indeed the one you have in hand.
I’m beginning to think more about what might be called ‘computational photography’.
I agree with everything said as applied to classic heavy glass-lensed cameras. But I’ve read that averaging multiple exposures of a single subject image reduces noise, AI when applied to GPix processed images preserves detail while adding pixels to the image that were not even in the original scene, and AI assistance can create images not easily obtained without such assistance.
I agree the pros might not use iPhones, but more because smart phones are more unwieldy to hold for image creation than cameras and because a pro arriving with a smart phone doesnt look like a pro.
But the day seems near when the pro will spend more for camera software than camera glass.
Well if any company that is really good with their camera exists then it would be Sony, though I also like Canon for some of their amazing specific cameras. Overall I would say Sony is the best and will keep holding the flagship.