GoPro vs DSLR vs iPhone – When and Why I use my Hero 5, Canon 70D, and iPhone X

GoPro vs DSLR vs iPhone is what goes through my head anytime we leave the house to do something fun! Although, I ask myself “which camera should I take?” every time we go do something fun as a family. This is also a question that comes up from my readers and viewers. I can never really give a definitive answer because I kinda just use whatever I feel like at the moment!

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GoPro vs DSLR vs iPhone

Recently, we went on a family trip to Dallas, TX and I had all 3 of my main cameras with me: my Canon 70D DSLR camera, which takes great still photos and is what I use for my YouTube videos, and I look my GoPro Hero 5 Black, and of course I had my phone with me which is an iPhone X.

If you’re interested in the comparison of GoPro footage vs DSLR vs iPhone, be sure to watch my video on YouTube, or watch it right here at the bottom part of this blog post.

There are really two sides to this topic. There’s the “which camera to use” question, and the “how am I going to carry the cameras and gear that I need” question. Honestly, I was hesitant to bring my DSLR with me because it is bigger and bulkier than the GoPro. Moreover, I probably could get by with my iPhone X.

I feel like we could answer the GoPro vs DSLR vs iPhone debate with just common sense and personal preference. But here’s my take based on taking all 3 cameras and using all three cameras while we were out of town.

Related: Should I Buy GoPro as Family Camera?

GoPro and DSLR Size Difference and Camera Features

There is an obvious size difference in all 3 cameras. The iPhone X fits in my pocket or purse. GoPro fits in my purse (or even your pocket). Lastly, the DSLR fits in a backpack or hangs off of me using a camera strap. That can get pretty annoying (especially if you forget your camera strap!).

The GoPro is waterproof. However, since we weren’t really doing anything in or near water, I didn’t really have to take that into consideration. So you have to consider the physical weight and bulk of the cameras themselves. Also, the capabilities and features of the cameras to capture what you’ll be hoping to capture in the environment you’re in. For example, I don’t think I’d ever take a DSLR to an amusement park or anything like that because it’s not necessary and not worth the extra weight.

Image Quality

The next thing to think about though is the image quality. These days I think iPhone 6, 7, 8, and X have really great cameras. So to bring along another camera, I’d have to really think about whether that’s necessary for what I’m shooting.

Anything in like a stage or show setting of any kind in an auditorium, like kids concert or dance recital. For those, your iPhone is going to run circles around your GoPro, and I wouldn’t bother with a DSLR there personally either.

But while the GoPro and iPhone fit in a purse or pocket, and the DSLR is big and bulky, you just can’t substitute the depth of field and just beautiful image quality of the DSLR.

Ya know?

You’ll have to watch the video to see the comparison of all three cameras and how the videos and photos look.

Of course, my DSLR doesn’t shoot 4K and 60 frames per second unless I bring the resolution down to 720p. So in that regard, it’s hard to compare it to a GoPro or even my iPhone.

Related: How to Edit GoPro Videos on Your iPhone or iPad

Why I Like Using my DSLR

Besides the top-notch image quality, another thing I really like about using the DSLR is I shoot in manual mode. Changing the ISO and shutter speed is super simple. I don’t even have to look at the camera itself to make those adjustments. I’ve used the camera long enough that it’s like muscle memory.

Why I like Using my iPhone

On the other hand… It’s nice to have an iPhone that takes pretty great photos on full automatic mode. I don’t really change anything unless I want to focus on something different or change the exposure.

If you didn’t know, you can tap your screen to focus on something, and slide your finger up or down to adjust exposure. So there’s a little iPhone trick for ya. If you don’t use an iPhone, I don’t know. You’re on your own.

Why I like Using my GoPro

I go for the GoPro anytime we’ll be near water (or snow!), anytime I want to be able to wear or mount a camera, and anytime I want to hand a camera to my kids and let them have it. I’ve said this before – the GoPro makes a great family camera because it’s just about life proof.

So basically, what camera you use depends on so many factors but it comes down to your own personal preference. And most importantly, what you’re trying to accomplish.

I know lots of GoPro users bring their GoPro everywhere and capture everything with it, and it’s likely I’ll bring it if I think I’ll need it. Also, I don’t take a TON of photos and videos with my phone unless I’m really trying to capture a lot of stuff.

I will admit though that I tend to leave my DSLR at home because it’s bulk. However, whenever I bring it and actually use it, I’m SO GLAD I DID.

So I think as a personal hack for myself, I should get a backpack that accommodates the DSLR, MacBook Pro, and GoPro stuff a little better. That way, I think I’d be more inclined to bring it along with me more often.

I’m a big fan of using what you have and not getting too caught up in which camera is “best”. I mean honestly, if you’re going to worry about something, worry about learning how to actually USE the camera(s) you have, and focus on capturing the moments. But let me know about your camera habits, what do you carry with you, what do you leave behind? Let me know in the comments and subscribe to my channel before you go!

VIDEO: GoPro vs DSLR vs iPhone

Kinda Related: If you notice my video footage and screenshots here in this post, they are from Magnolia Market in Waco, TX. We visited The Silos recently, and I wrote about our experience and posted TONS of photos over on my post about whether Magnolia Market lives up to the hype. Check it out right here.

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