I’m back from Burning Man and still catching up on the latest mobile technology news… This year was my first time in the desert without a dedicated point-and-shoot digital camera – the above pictures were all taken with my Nokia N95!
For me it all started with Sony Ericsson’s W800i – arguably one of the first decent camera phones (and by decent I mean featuring a flash, auto-focus, macro, some manual control, and decent hardware/software). Once I was able to take decent pictures anytime, anywhere and optionally send them via e-mail or multimedia messages, I was hooked :)
Until then I rarely used my (albeit better) dedicated point-and-shoot digital camera. Why? Because the best camera is the one you have with you.
I soon learned to work within the limitations of camera phones (mostly poor low-light performance and slow startup/focus). My next device was Nokia’s N80, but the lack of auto-focus was both a blessing (fast shots) and a curse (less control). I currently use Nokia’s N95 and (more seldom) i-mobile’s 902, both very decent camera phones. My i-mobile 902 is the better camera (CCD sensor and xenon flash), but the phone is only adequate for a Symbian power-user like me.
Ultimately, I think this is a turning point – camera phones are finally decent enough to replace dedicated point-and-shoot digital cameras in most situations. Picture quality is steadily improving (especially low-light performance) – only the lack of optical zoom is still a significant problem at times.