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Old Nov 29, 2004, 11:52 AM   #1
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I'm really serious about my photography so I'm a little skeptical about all these cell phones coming out with built-in cameras and video captures. In any case my contract is almost up and I'm considering a cell phone with a camera. LOL

I've narrowed it down to a Motorola Razr V3 and would like to get some feedback from someone who has this phone and has used both the camera and video capture feature. I saw it at http://www.hellomoto.com/us/v3. Looks like MPEG4 is as good as it gets huh?
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Old Nov 29, 2004, 12:01 PM   #2
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your not going to get the quality that you would get with a real camera.....



anything that has a built in camera, or is not made to be a camera by itself, is going to have bad quality....
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Old Nov 29, 2004, 1:22 PM   #3
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"Rumor" has it that early next year a newer crop of 1.3MP camera phones will be coming out with image quality that is improved over most you see these days. I have a new Sanyo (er.. oops! SAMSUNG) that does 640x480 and it take a decent amount of tweaking to get the pics even at a decent email/web quality.

I knew this when I bought it however, and simply use the camera phone on those "I have no other camera with me, this is better than nothing" moments, which is currently what they are good for. Give them a generation or two (2-3 years in our time) and they'll mature to the point I think, where you'll actually get 4x6 prints out of them that don't look bad.

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Old Nov 29, 2004, 1:57 PM   #4
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atlantagreg wrote:
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"Rumor" has it that early next year a newer crop of 1.3MP camera phones will be coming out with image quality that is improved over most you see these days. I have a new Sanyo that does 640x480 and it take a decent amount of tweaking to get the pics even at a decent email/web quality.

I knew this when I bought it however, and simply use the camera phone on those "I have no other camera with me, this is better than nothing" moments, which is currently what they are good for. Give them a generation or two (2-3 years in our time) and they'll mature to the point I think, where you'll actually get 4x6 prints out of them that don't look bad.

Greg

Itried one of the older Sanyo models(SCP-5300) that was 640x480 with a built in flash quite a while back. It's quality was pretty bad (but probably not as bad as some models). It at least let you set the quality level (amount of JPEG Compression). Even for onscreen viewing, unless you had pretty good light, it was bad though.

I've got an SCP-8100 now (only 320x240) that's much worse (no flash, no control over JPEG compression). It's not even suitable for on screen viewing of a photo. Trust me, I didn't get it for the camera (I carry a little Konica KD-510z around with me in a pocket for that). ;-)

I don't know if the newer models with 640x480 give you control over how much JPEG compression is being used or not. If not, they're probably heavily compressed, and more suitable for viewing on the camera's screen than for anything else.

I think part of the problem is bandwidth. Some of the carriers give you unlimited bandwidth for internet browsing, sharing photos, etc. (my Sprint plan does this). So, if they sold cameras with higher resolution and less compression, it would eat up a lot of their network resources.


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Old Nov 29, 2004, 7:23 PM   #5
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Well my current phone is a Samsung A670 which as mentioned has a 640x480 camera. It's probably in the mid-range of image quality regarding camera phones. I've seen much worse, but only a little better out of other models.

For the curious, below I've put a URL link to a photo sample. These are some movie theatres on the other side of Atlanta where I was driving one day (bored). On the right you'll see the photo as I took it out of my car window with my arm resting on the window ledge to prevent camera shake. It's cropped just a little so not quite 640x480. To the right of it is a quickly "tweaked" version - resized down a bit, with a little color correction/contrast adjustment, and a small amount of sharpening.

As you can see, the corrected image still isn't going to win any awards, but it's an improvement over the out-of-camera image, and would be ok for casual use on web sites or via email. Again, as time and technology goes forward, things WILL improve, but camera phones are not quite ready yet to be considered as anything more than a "convenience toy".

http://www.mindspring.com/~gregory-h...honesample.jpg



Greg


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Old Nov 30, 2004, 8:45 AM   #6
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The shortcomings of the mobile phone cameras are:

(i) they practically have no control
(ii) the megapixels are still low (usually 1 MP max)
(iii) have no optical zoom

So to put it another way, these cameras suck... the only benefit is that you can take candid pics, which you may not be able to with a normal camera because these things are very small (and you are likely to have your mobile phone with you at all times)...

===

In other news, I think Samsung (?? or was that someone else) is supposed to be coming out with 3 megapixel and 5MP phone cameras. That should improve the cameras a lot...

I personally think the mobile phone cameras will kill off the low-end digicam market. These can't compete with $200+ cameras but a 3MP, 2x optical zoom camera is likely good enough for the low-end mainstream market...
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Old Nov 30, 2004, 12:43 PM   #7
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One last thing to keep in mind though, is that when you hear the reports of these megapixel-cameras, they are almost always going to be released in JAPAN, long before they reach other countries, especially the states.

Here (states) we have a very chaotic cell phone system when compared to Japan and some European countries. We're scattered, with different systems in place, and slow systems to boot.

On top of this, the cell phone companies have a LOT of power, and they're very greedy. Most of the phones do not have removeable memory cards, and nearly none of them will even allow you to upload your pics directly into your computer.The current cell carriers charge customers a monthly fee to use their camera phone's picture ability. Example - you may pay an extra $5.00 and for that you can take let's say, 40 photos a month. You can store them on your phone for nothing, but if you want them on your computer you must send them via the wireless network to your email address. Go over the 40 (or whatever) a month, and you pay extra. You can bet the cell companies are doing their best to keep this system as long as possible, all the way to trying to pursuade cell phone makers to stall making the megapixel phones for use in the U.S, especially models that allow direct downloading of pics into a computer.

Greg


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Old Dec 2, 2004, 8:23 PM   #8
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Yep.... no zoom...no flash...no control of shutter speed/exposure...no autofocus...no manual focus etc. Basically a poor excuse for a camera. But may come in handy if you want to capture a picture where quality doesn't matter so much...but as long as you have some image captured.
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