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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:54 am 
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Hi folks,

"Yes, Bob has finally lost it," you think. "He wants to talk into his DSLR!" .. :lol: :lol: :lol: .... Well, even I am not that sad! ;)

Smart-phones are getting pretty crazy these days in terms of what they can do but they are still arguably underpowered as cameras when compared to compacts in the same price range.

Take the wildly popular Apple iPhone4:
    Image
Yes, it has a 5MP camera and video (and GPS and all the other Smart-phone goodies) and its dimensions are 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm and it weighs 137 grams.

Now take the newly announced Panasonic DMC-FH27:
It has a 16MP :shock: sensor behind a 28 - 224mm (35mm equiv.) f/3.3- 5.9 LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens and its dimensions are 99.2 x 56.5 x 27.7 mm and it weighs 159 grams. Not much in it weight-wise but the FH27 is substantially thicker of course.

Smart-phone owners certainly won't want thicker phones but I'd argue that including an unlocked 4G capability into the better compact cameras might be a tad more useful than GPS for the average owner. But heck, let's have both. :twisted:

So the question is, if your compact camera had all the Smart-phone goodies would you dump the Smart-phone?

Bob.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:59 am 
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That would mean a phone priced > 1000 dollars for:

Sufficient storage (both songs, videos, and pictures).
Sufficient processor for images, and sufficient processor for the phone itself (apps).

Perhaps the RAW conversion can be done on the graphics chipset (often a PowerVR), but doing that on the main processor (Cortex or snapdragon) would probably be horrible inefficient.

Then there's the ergonomics.


Still, I like the idea.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:43 am 
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I think the charm of a smartphone is the way the image quality isn't stellar. Install an app like Hipstamatic on the iPhone and you can get your creative juices flowing. But on the other hand, it would seem nice to have an iPhone that had some more customizable options (aperture, ISO)...

Which brings me to the WVIL camera. A hoax most probably, but incredibly cool if it were released some day... Here's a video.

- Bjorn -

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:38 pm 
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To dump the smart phone I'd have to get one first! To me they haven't quite managed to transition from "expensive toy" to "essential tool". The open question is what do you hope to achieve by merging that and a camera?

I wouldn't mind, for example, custom apps to allow you to configure the camera to do certain tasks more easily. Perhaps more complex exposure bracketing, built in focus stacking for example. But as we've seen, camera manufacturers aren't known for exposing the inner workings so this would require quite a major mindset change. Also this might be far beyond the needs of the casual snapper.

The connectivity side might be more interesting to the facebook generation, but then again that's already there isn't it? Does that application need a "better" camera?

Maybe I'm lacking vision, but so far I'm struggling to see the benefits.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:54 pm 
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I think the thickness is an issue.

Smartphones will slip discreetly into just about any pocket, whereas even a small compact requires a bit more space. As such you'd take the phone with you all the time, whereas the camera may be left at home sometimes.

I'm not sure many people would be comfortable holding a traditional compact camera up to their face for phone calls. Obviously bluetooth headsets or speakerphone capabilities render this a non issue, but there's still some of us who hold a phone up to our faces!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:24 pm 
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Ah, how quickly they forget... :P

@Gordon I guess I'm atypical in that a mobile of any description is something I rarely use but always have with me when I'm away from home. So far as the ergonomics are concerned it might actually be more comfortable to hold something chunkier even if it doesn't earn much in the way of street cred. Maybe if it had a Leica badge on it... :lol: :lol: :lol:

@popo I don't have a smartphone either, though if RIM ever bother to introduce the Style 9670 on this side of the pond I'll be tempted. But with mobiles encroaching rapidly on the low end compact camera market I can't help wondering if the traditional compact camera manufacturer's might dip a toe in the water. :?

Bob.

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OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:38 pm 
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Some of those latest Androids enabled phones are not for of compact camera sizes.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:38 am 
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I also think compacts should be implemented more heavily into phones like we have seen several examples of over the years, but thickness usually ends up being the key argument for why this is not doable. I generally don't agree, cause I have had a thin smart phone for some time now. A Samsung S8500 Wave and I can't help feeling its pretty awkward to hold compared to my old Nokia 5800 Xpressmusic. Yes it fits far better down in my pocket, but that really isn't a huge problem anyway, however actually holding the device is very relevant and thin phones are far worse to hold imo.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:00 am 
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Ah, how quickly they forget...

errrr I remember having one of those :shock:

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