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QotD: Camera Phone Craze

Question: Has the camera phone craze peaked?

My Answer: I think so. Usage may still be increasing, but I don't know that I'd call it a "craze" anymore.

Since I almost always have my cell phone with me, I don't mind the convergence of cell phones and cameras. What I do mind is the altogether crappy resolution found in camera phones. As that improves, usage will continue to increase, but the "hot new thing," the craze, is over.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

6 Responses to "QotD: Camera Phone Craze"

  1. I think that the cameras in cell phones will continue to improve over time. I am glad that I can still get a cell phone without a camera too though. I am not really into having both together just yet, because the camera in the cell phone isn't worth it.

    My wife has an awesome phone that she got through her company. It has a camera in it that is decent, but makes the phone very bulky. This doesn't bother my wife at all though, because it also has bluetooth. I think that combination is the way to go. If Canon made it so their high-end Elph's could also act as cell phones with bluetooth they might sell well with women who love photography. Having a purse makes the whole thing so much easier... you keep the cell/camera in the purse and with the bluetooth set you talk whenever you want just by touching the button on you earpiece.

  2. i'd agree. the NEW "hot new thing" is far more useless... TV and paid music downloads. lame.

    i AM looking forward to having my phone be a viable replacement for a point and shoot camera, but my old Sony 1.3MP camera is at least 10 times the quality of the 2.0mp Phone. (and i believe that's quantifiable.)

  3. From a conversation with a Cingular representative last week, there are going to be more phones coming out in the near future with all the bells and whistles, but without a camera. I say it's a good thing. I want Bluetooth, but I can't have a camera. And that takes out most of the "cool" phones currently.

  4. Sure, and there are many reasons for this. Apart from the fact that (at least in Europe) many people are not allowed to have camera phones at work because they might take pics of confidential material (imagine e.g. a car manufacturer) although they might need pro features (such as Symbian, Bluetooth, Organizer, etc.), technology does not allow for unlimited convergence.

    The cell phone might have assimilated the PDA (as seen with the SonyEricsson P910i and Nokia Communicators) and that was like a natural fit, especially with iSync and Bluetooth, but there are some devices that should stay separate. Look at the beauty of the iPod and its interface: impossible to do the same with a multi-purpose device like a modern cell phone. The same goes for cameras. Moreover, if you look at compact cameras in the sub-500 USD range, you'll notice pretty quickly that it takes a minimum sensor size and a quality lens with proper zoom that you won't even find in that category in order to take really nice pictures, and those cannot be accomodated in a camera phone due to the size alone... just imagine a really good lens like this attached to a cell phone 😉

  5. I agree with you. Camera phones are too ubiquitous to be considered a "craze" but their popularity isn't going to diminish any time soon. They've become somewhat of a standard feature in phones, so consumers are expecting that more and more phones will include them.

    The resolution (VGA and even megapixel) is good enough for those people who don't miss being able to actually control the shot the way you can with a real camera.

    Since most people aren't interested in doing real "photography" with their digital cameras -- and if you only want capture candid snapshots in the moment -- the current quality of cameras in phones is better than you'd need.

    So many new phones have cameras built into them anyway (and they are often really cheap too), why wouldn't consumers keep buying them?

    Check out this list of current Top 10 phones. The first half of the list (and seven out of the 10) are camera phones:

  6. The Plaid Cow pointed out my dilemma (sort of). I've worked at a job (and could work at another someday) where we're not allowed to have a camera in the building, including cell phone cameras. This means I really don't want a camera in my cell phone. But the only Bluetooth-enabled phones I could get using the $100 discount from renewing my Verizon contract had cameras. I ended up getting a camera phone, because I wanted Bluetooth syncing with Address Book.

    Of course, to add insult to injury, the only way to transfer the pictures off the camera is by using Verizon's web service -- the bluetooth file transfer capability has been disabled. And I don't feel like jumping through hoops with a seem editor to fix it.

    In my area (MA), Verizon has great coverage, but their phone selection sucks. I am considering switching to another provider (probably Cingular) when my contract ends. Who knows if the situation will have improved by then.