‘Phone as a Camera’ – Syndrome and Evolution

For a photography enthusiast like me, I have never liked the idea of shooting photographs with a phone. Though I sometimes take photos with my camera but despise it. It also happens when I don’t carry my heavy camera bag everywhere I go.

Today every phone – 99% are SMART phones – emphasize on their picture taking capabilities than anything else.

Digital industry is moving fast paced than ever had. Everything is becoming smaller these days. Gadgets are being built and re-purposed to accommodate several functionalities eliminating a need of carrying multiple products. Phone is not an exception. They are being packed with applications (restricted by the storage of course) that allows you to do so many things at your finger tips. I make the most of it. 

Every phone manufacturer is rushing to produce products that spell uniqueness and simplicity for the users. So it has spawned other OEMs who are now designing external camera lenses that you can attach to the existing lens on the phone. These lenses allow some flexibility of ZOOMing and thus captures the market of tech-savvy users who are looking for a bit extra from the phone camera. Selfie sticks are the hot sell I must say. This is another product that everyone has. It is an extension of your arm so you can take wider photos. But it comes with a price. Every one of us knows a critical drawback of selfie…..ACCIDENTs sometimes FATAL. There are numerous accidents all around the world that have occurred due to groups or individuals taking selfies on ledges or at vulnerable spots. As when taking a selfie you are aware of your surroundings to start with, then when one starts focusing on subjects and aligning oneself, one tends to get distracted or oblivious of their surroundings for few seconds until the CLICK happens.

Example of an external lens attached to a phone

Almost 2 decades ago a phone was just a block of electronics allowing one to place and receive a call, included were few games like Snake, Bricks etc. Later keeping the same functionalities they became a bit smaller and lighter when flip-phones were introduced my Motorola (don’t quote me on this as I am not aware who introduced it first, but Motorola is the one I know of hence gave an example). Then came color displays (I had one from Nokia in the year 2002), with an added functionality of ringtones. All such phones either didn’t have a camera utility or had a primitive lens capable of taking grainy pictures. In that era most had a point-and-shoot camera. Now it is forgotten, a history for many and non-existent for few.

Nevertheless, having a better camera on a phone have given the mass a possibility to shoot good photos without the need to purchase expensive cameras, hands down. No doubt about it. And probably phone manufacturers are happy as their models are being bought more due to camera capability than anything else. And that’s why they promote a phone for its camera capability than a good conversational functionality. Good for the industry.

Playing a devil’s advocate I imagine how would the phone manufacturers advertise their products. What could they emphasize on? I don’t fancy the idea of they stating that our models are good for making calls, screens that will not strain your eyes, enough storage for favorite apps etc. These functions have now become standards for all smartphones. The only changing facet is the camera lens. So that’s being pushed and promoted into the market. 

Having said that, for all the camera enthusiast, keen photographers a phone will always be a secondary medium, the primary being an actual camera, be it a point-and-shoot or a D/SLR. 

I would like to hear opinions and thoughts on this topic from fellow camera enthusiast and likes. Please use the following form.

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