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Old Oct 23, 2006, 1:52 PM   #1
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I run the English forum relating to the worlds 2nd largest mobile technology website (Mobile-Review) and we test and discuss a great many mobile (cell)phones.

The focus nowadays is firmly on the picture taking aspect of phone usage, it would be great for a proper digicam site to test a high spec mobile phone and do some relative comparisons with a similar spec digicam.

my members think digicams will be made obsolete in the near future by the advancing capabilities of camphones, what are your thoughts guys?.
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Old Oct 23, 2006, 2:47 PM   #2
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Camera phones are getting better, but in the end they are limited becuse of size/weight constraints. They simply won't be able to house the optics that a large segment of the digicam market has come to expect. Look at the flood of people entering the DSLR world that never owned a film SLR. An enormous amount of people.

I have to admit, I don't follow camera phone trends. I think there will always be a market for them - my teenage nieces and their friends all have them and they work great for getting the quick snap of them and their friends. But the space /weight restrictions on phones will probably keep them from seriously penetrating the digicam market in the foreseeable future IMO.


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Old Oct 23, 2006, 2:50 PM   #3
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I'll bite.

While having the capability to take photo's with your phone is neat, convenient etcthe images you get are still lackluster. I know there are advancement happening with improving image technology but I think that camphone images will hit a wall well below the image quality of a decent point and shoot camera.

The main limitation will be the lensing. You just wont get a good quality image from a plastic lens the size of a pencil eraser. Any larger lens on a cellphone would start to make it too bulky.

So in the future there will be more captured life moments because of the convenience of the CellCam. Imyself have only had my camphonefor a few months and have used it infew times.Drinking with budsat the bar, shopping and you want to remember an item.

But when you are ready to take a memorable photo of your family on Christmas day you will pull out the dedicated Digital Camera........Not your cellphone.

Each will have their place.

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Old Oct 23, 2006, 3:00 PM   #4
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The cellphone camera market will surely kill the low end of thedigicam market in the near future. It has already eliminated the "entry level" segment of one to three megapixel cameras with non-zoom lenses. This is why the major camera makers have let this segment go and are concentrating on higher megapixel cameras and why everyone wants to make a digital SLR now. As was already stated, many people don't want small or tiny cameras, they want a mid-size camera with a big zoom lens, large LCD and real camera controls, this will never be realized by cellphone cameras as they are pocket devices. The two will coexist well I believe, time will tell.

As for me doing cellphone camera reviews - not likely. I can barely keep up with the flood of new digital cameras coming to market. Unless this drastically changes then I doubt we will be seeking any more work.
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Old Oct 23, 2006, 3:03 PM   #5
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Or, let's have him test night-vision goggles. Or maybe the new chips they embed in your eye so the blind can see?
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Old Oct 23, 2006, 5:09 PM   #6
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I have thought about buying a super-compact camera to compliment my DSLR, but instead I anxiously await an acceptable cameraphone. From the sounds of things, its getting close.

I dont need more devices to carry, and with some people running windows mobile on thier phones its obvious that we can, and will, make these our all-purpose devices adding capability rather than adding extra devices. PDA's and cameras are merging, I wonder how long it will be before we get a near full-featured computer in there and connect to nearby keyboards and displays wirelessly.
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Old Oct 23, 2006, 7:16 PM   #7
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Just something I've often wondered: is this site your fulltime job, or something you do in the evenings?

steve wrote:
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As for me doing cellphone camera reviews - not likely. I can barely keep up with the flood of new digital cameras coming to market. Unless this drastically changes then I doubt we will be seeking any more work.
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Old Oct 24, 2006, 9:52 AM   #8
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steve wrote:
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The cellphone camera market will surely kill the low end of thedigicam market in the near future. It has already eliminated the "entry level" segment of one to three megapixel cameras with non-zoom lenses. This is why the major camera makers have let this segment go and are concentrating on higher megapixel cameras and why everyone wants to make a digital SLR now. As was already stated, many people don't want small or tiny cameras, they want a mid-size camera with a big zoom lens, large LCD and real camera controls, this will never be realized by cellphone cameras as they are pocket devices. The two will coexist well I believe, time will tell.

As for me doing cellphone camera reviews - not likely. I can barely keep up with the flood of new digital cameras coming to market. Unless this drastically changes then I doubt we will be seeking any more work.
I still don't think much of a legitimate cellphone camera market exists. If you go into Wal-Mart you'll see little $15-20 cameras that are at least as good as what's in most phones. Cameras are so cheap thatit's trivial to include them. It's not much different than all the games on your cell phone. In as much as "entry level" cameras have become disposable toys for children, they have been added to cell phones.

The average guy's 6 MP Elph is not simply technologically ahead of his 1 MP phone with no flash. It would be very difficult for the phone to come close to fulfilling the same need. Just like a phone isn't going to replace a GameBoy or PSP anytime soon, simply because the screen and controls don't translate to the form of the phone.

I guess I'm reading too much into it, but you make it sound like it's just a matter of time till camera manufacturers abandon everything smaller than a superzoom. That may eventually happen, but there would have to be a total revolution in image sensors -- a revolution to the degree that a $5 sensor that can easily fit into a 0.5" thick phone can take great pictures without a flash, or else a revolution in flash technology to the point that a RAZR-sized phonecan actually fit a good flash.

Anything can happen, but who knows how long it will take. Remember, there were printer/fax/copiers being sold about 12 years ago, and it's just now getting to the point that some of them work OK. A Swiss Army knife still can't do a good job of replacing a screwdriver and corkscrew, and they've had plenty time to perfect it.

I think the direction phones are headed is more towards totally replacing Palm/Blackberry stuff, then eventually having decent webcams.



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