While Smartphone cameras have definitely come a long way recently, they still can’t compare to professional cameras.

When it comes to edutainment creative photography, there are two important differences between Smartphone photos and Hasselblad photos: (1) the cameras, and (2) who is behind the camera.

Although comparing photo quality between a Smartphone and a Hasselblad is like comparing a Ford Pinto with a Lamborghini, there is a proper time and place for both types of cameras. Here are three things to take into consideration when balancing the payback vs. the cost of these options:

1. Will the Photos Be For Internal or External Use?

If you need photos for an internal newsletter or communication materials, a Smartphone could be sufficient. However, when the photos will be used for consumers and/or influencers, you want your brand to look professional. For external use, it’s well worth hiring a professional photographer who will use top-notch equipment.

2. How Large Will the Photos Be?

We’ve received Smartphone images from clients that they want enlarged for display purposes, and when they see the 40″ x 60″ print they are surprised at the graininess.

In another case we received product images from our client for use on their company website. The photos were taken with a Smartphone, and the client didn’t want to add to the cost of the project by having the products re-shot by a professional photographer. Not only did the images not do justice to the products, but when customers used the zoom feature of the site, the products themselves appeared to be of very poor quality. When it comes to capturing the essence, beauty, and detail of your edutainment product and brand, Smartphone photos are not the best option.

3. What Level of Skill Does the Photographer Possess?

In the example above, the quality problems we encountered weren’t solely because of the limitations of the Smartphone camera; part of the problem was that the photos were not shot by a professional. The beauty of a product can be enhanced in a lot of ways by an expert. In addition, professional photographers have many tools—including high-quality cameras that hold clarity and depth with detail that can’t be beat. Their equipment and expertise combine to make an edutainment product look its best.

We’ve come a long way from film to digital images, and before you know it we’ll probably be comparing old-fashion digital imaging to new age 3-dimensional pictures!