Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Can Your Mobile Phone Replace Your Digital Camera?

At the turn of the millennium, the first handsets integrating a digital camera into a mobile phone arrived, leading to huge declines in the usage of more traditional cameras. As mobile phone technology became more ambitious, so too did the potential for taking photos and videos without the need to carry a standalone digital camera.
It’s fair to say that camera phones of today can easily outdo the earliest digital cameras but, even in hindsight, those older camera models were pretty handy considering their cost and convenience – plus you could edit and delete dodgy shots right there and then.
Today, smartphone specs really do rival those of modern digital cameras – take a look at the aerial photographs taken by professional photographer Jason Hawkes on his Nokia N8 and you’ll see the kind of outstanding and dramatic pictures a mobile camera can take. Not only that, but with the likes of the HTC Sensation and the Samsung Galaxy II offering 8 megapixel cameras and features like blink-detection and anti-shake, plus a range of modes and effects, the choice between mobile and a traditional camera is made much more difficult.
But where mobiles really do trump digital cameras is with their versatility and the ability to share images with the world at the touch of a button.
Phone users can instantly upload pictures to their Facebook, Twitter or Flickr accounts and whilst high-end digital cameras do come with Wi-Fi access, so you can upload where there’s a connection, mobile users have the advantage of data allowance and 3G connectivity, making it easier to submit pictures directly from where they are. This has fuelled the rise in ‘citizen journalism’, and has allowed ordinary people finding themselves in the middle of a breaking story, such as the recent London riots, to broadcast their geotagged photos and videos to the world, well before the news crew has arrived.
Mobile cameras also score points thanks to their handy software, which allows users to touch up images, with apps like Photoshop Mobile and Photonasis letting you crop out undesireable encroachers in the background, add effects like sketch or black and white or sharpen the focus or contrast.
Whether or not you can replace your camera with a phone depends on your snapping intentions. Those looking a professional finish may want to stick with a traditional camera, but mobile cameras are certainly not to be sniffed at. But for a versatile, everyday camera, mobile is increasingly becoming the way forward.


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