Author Topic: I need a MMM-friendly phone that takes great pictures  (Read 4138 times)

MissStache

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I need a MMM-friendly phone that takes great pictures
« on: July 10, 2015, 07:03:22 AM »
Hi all!

 I've been with Republic Wireless for about a year and a half, and lately my service levels have really tanked.  Crappy reception, calls not connection, getting texts hours after they are sent.  I'm getting frustrated enough to switch to another carrier (leaning towards TING, but flexible on this if you have better recommendations).  I currently use the Moto G.

 In the midst of wanting to leave RW, I'm also looking to change to a new phone that takes great pictures.  I run a busy Etsy shop, and I'd love to be able to utilize their app that lets you take pictures with your phone and upload them right to the site.  Now I have to use my digital camera, upload to my computer to edit, and then manually list items the old-fashioned way.  It's a pain, and it really destroying my productivity.

 My boyfriend has an old iphone 4, and even that takes pretty fantastic pictures, especially compared to the terrible ones that my Moto G takes.  I've been an avid no-iphoner for a long time, but I have to admit the picture quality is really making me want one.  Don't need a new one, but I do want something that takes excellent pictures.

So, wise forum, what's a good option for me?  Is there a good phone/provider combination that meets my needs of reliable service and quality photos?

Thegoblinchief

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Re: I need a MMM-friendly phone that takes great pictures
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2015, 07:45:18 AM »
As far as I know, the iPhone's consistently have some of the best cameras for well-lit environments. That said, depending on detail needed, most of the Etsy folks I know insist on a dedicated camera, tripod, etc. Not sure what you're photographing.

The exact carrier depends on your usage pattern (and willingness to change it). I use the phone so seldomly that a pay-as-you-go plan with AirVoice is by far the cheapest option for me. AirVoice and P'Tel are my two favorite recommendations (via I.P. Daley). Ting has both CDMA and GSM coverage. The GSM coverage is via T-Mobile, like P'Tel. AirVoice is ATT-based, which is why I picked them, as T-Mobile's coverage here is too spotty once into the ex-urbs, which I travel frequently enough to need the advantage. Pricing is all pretty similar but will vary +/- a few $ each way depending on your exact usage pattern.

Both are GSM-based, so any unlocked GSM phone will work. For iPhones specifically, I'd probably insist on at least a 4S or newer. (Note: 5C is essentially a reskinned 4S, vanilla 5 is better, then there's the new 6/6 Plus). iDevices are repairable at many places, whereas the repairability of Android phones is a really mixed bag (best being Samsung Galaxy devices, worst being HTC phones, etc).

For acquiring, others may have better recommendations, but I'd choose either a highly rated ebay seller or one of the 3rd party resellers of used phones like swappa, glyde, or gazelle. It's also worth asking local friends if anyone has an unused GSM phone laying around. Many don't bother to resell their old gear, and 4S are past the 2 year upgrade treadmill window many contract cellphone users put themselves on.

Hope that helps! Feel free to ask clarification questions.

Daley

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Re: I need a MMM-friendly phone that takes great pictures
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2015, 07:56:10 AM »
There's a very similar topic from just yesterday that I've already weighed in heavily on:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/cell-service-mvno-advice-switching-from-republic/

The only other thing I might suggest so that camera quality, a function that no cellphone is truly capable of doing well, isn't dictating your handset shopping is to recommend possibly considering getting a digital camera that has WiFi, Bluetooth or NFC support and can do near instantaneous wireless photo transfers to tablets, smartphones and desktops/laptops. Nikon, Canon and Samsung all have varying levels of dSLR cameras that can do this for under $200 new.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 07:58:25 AM by I.P. Daley »

Thegoblinchief

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Re: I need a MMM-friendly phone that takes great pictures
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2015, 08:14:41 AM »
^^ Good point.

Also, if you're happy with your existing digital camera, there are WiFi syncing SD cards. No experience with them personally, but they seem to get decent reviews on Amazon.

MissStache

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Re: I need a MMM-friendly phone that takes great pictures
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2015, 08:21:30 AM »
Thanks for the weigh-ins!  I'll check out that other thread (not sure how I missed that!), and also take a look at doing a wifi-connect on my existing camera.  Not thrilled about shelling out more $ for a camera unless it is doing a dual purpose of also being a phone :)

terran

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Re: I need a MMM-friendly phone that takes great pictures
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2015, 08:22:35 AM »
I've had two good experiences now buying used iPhones on http://swappa.com/. We're now on Ting, which as I.P. Daly says might be best for very low usage users (which we are and have become even more so by being a bit more careful).

Daley

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Re: I need a MMM-friendly phone that takes great pictures
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2015, 08:34:31 AM »
Also, if you're happy with your existing digital camera, there are WiFi syncing SD cards. No experience with them personally, but they seem to get decent reviews on Amazon.

Toshiba models are pretty solid and cheap, but not all digital cameras that support SD cards can use the things. Worth looking into, though.

Knew I forgot to mention something, thanks for the catch on that. :)

asiljoy

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Re: I need a MMM-friendly phone that takes great pictures
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2015, 08:49:55 AM »
I've had good luck with my Nokia 1020 on Ting. Got mine used off ebay.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: I need a MMM-friendly phone that takes great pictures
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2015, 08:56:19 AM »
I do all the photography for my blog with my iPhone, for what its worth. No tripod, no fancy lighting - just iPhone and a window. I think it's a 5. It's not the new huge one. Quality is sufficient for food, garden and how to photos, and I'm able to get good clarity even for close detail shots. I think this means the depth of field/macro control is good? I dunno - I just point and click. Here's a photo heavy post as an example.. Not claiming to be a photographer, but it's good enough for me. I upload images directly to various social media sites directly, but usually do simple color adjustments, cropping and watermarking in iPhoto before uploading images for a post.

I'll leave stuff like what network is best and how to hack your rate down to IP. :)

MissStache

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Re: I need a MMM-friendly phone that takes great pictures
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2015, 09:23:59 AM »
Not claiming to be a photographer, but it's good enough for me. I upload images directly to various social media sites directly, but usually do simple color adjustments, cropping and watermarking in iPhoto before uploading images for a post.



Those pictures are GREAT!  And really helpful to see, since you have several different types of shots in there.  Thank you!

MissStache

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Re: I need a MMM-friendly phone that takes great pictures
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2015, 09:24:27 AM »
I've had good luck with my Nokia 1020 on Ting. Got mine used off ebay.

Thanks!  I haven't looked at Nokia phones- I'll do some research into those!

alsoknownasDean

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Re: I need a MMM-friendly phone that takes great pictures
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2015, 07:38:13 PM »
As far as value for money for new phones go, last-gen Android flagships are pretty decent value.

Compare the outright price of, for example, a HTC M8 vs the new M9, or Samsung S5 vs S6. The previous gen is often almost as good a phone for maybe 50-60% of the (outright) cost.

The iPhone 5C is based on the iPhone 5. A worthwhile phone if you can get it at the right price. I hear they're pretty cheap secondhand in the States if you're keen to go down that path.

The flagship phones (iPhone included) tend to have better cameras than the lower-end units. Even the previous generation flagships are often pretty good.

The Lumia 1020 has that 41MP camera, doesn't it? Probably a worthwhile choice if Windows Phone is suitable.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 07:39:59 PM by alsoknownasDean »

asiljoy

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Re: I need a MMM-friendly phone that takes great pictures
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2015, 08:20:04 PM »
The Lumia 1020 has that 41MP camera, doesn't it? Probably a worthwhile choice if Windows Phone is suitable.

It's pretty much a camera with a phone on it vs having a phone with a camera. It takes great pictures and not half bad videos; my biggest irritation is the how long it takes the camera to load.

Windows doesn't bother me, but my husband and I have used Windows phones for awhile now because the first tier Nokias(520's?) were super cheap and reliable. My husband still uses that phone. That said, I'd be lying if I said it doesn't take some getting used to when moving from Android/IOS to Windows. Now, there aren't many major apps that aren't in the app store anymore and Microsoft is hoping that with 10 making it easier to share across platforms, that this won't be an issue in the future. 

This guy's critique is pretty close to my experience: http://www.engadget.com/2014/08/16/irl-nokia-lumia-1020-one-year-later/