Camera Phones Are Not (Color) Cameras


Since I refused to carry a Sharp/GX-30 around, I have been somewhat limited in terms of moblogging versatility lately. Irritatingly enough, none of the phones I've tested so far have cameras beyond VGA resolution, and all of the optics invariably suck - which makes economic sense. After all, these things have low-quality screens anyway, so why bother?

Well, here's a reason to bother, folks - convergence is coming, and I bet most people won't be satisfied with either the Nokia/7610's camera or the SonyEricsson/K700's oversampling (it has a VGA CCD, but uses oversampling to boost the resolution). Especially not in 3G phones, which are for the moment being sold mostly as video telephony terminals (and hence effectively use only a small portion of the CCD anyway), but which should have a percentage of their premium price assigned to increasing camera resolution.

My bet is that people will expect at least 2.0 megapixels by Xmas (at least in discerning markets), and some sort of MMS-to-photo-quality-print service (which already exists, by the way, but the end results of printing a VGA photo on a postcard are dismal...).

So, in the meantime, I've resorted to using my phones as a sort of moody, blurry (some would say "expressive") black and white camera. RGB data also carries luminance information, anyway, and the overall results not only get rid of most of the hideous color grain but also look somewhat like old photos... Blurry, VGA photos.

Oh well.