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Two Megapixel Cameraphone Shootout

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the two-two-megapixels-ah-ah-ah dept.

Communications 143

Siddharth Raja writes "It's been almost exactly a year since MobileBurn published their last 'horribly un-scientific' test of 1MP cameraphones. This time, they take the latest two megapixel models from Sony Ericsson and Nokia and put them through their paces. The tests cover aspects ranging from lens distortion and contrast to exposure. Nokia's phone uses a custom lens solution from Carl-Zeiss, but it looks like the Sony Ericsson phone still has better optics. On the flip-side, the Nokia phone is better with colours and calculating the white balance."

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143 comments

w0rd up 2 tha GNAA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13896464)

what up my nIggAz!!!

Oh my. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13896523)

This just in: "George Takai comes out of the closet!" [metafilter.com]
That explains this [cygnus-x1.net]

Hollywood says : "George who?"

How will this earth-shaking announcement effect the giagantic Star Trek slash-fiction industry?!!!

Just what everyone needs (3, Interesting)

Intron (870560) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896476)

I think that this article is the perfect context for Buy Nothing Day [adbusters.org]. Talk about excess and waste.

Re:Just what everyone needs (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13896507)


Waaaahhhh!

People are buying things they want instead of putting thier money in the bank and having it loaned out to other people to buy things with!

Please. The only way you're going to affect the economy by buying less is if you earn less. If that money is in a bank, it's being used by other people to buy stuff.

Re:Actually, it may not be used for profit (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896585)

Please. The only way you're going to affect the economy by buying less is if you earn less. If that money is in a bank, it's being used by other people to buy stuff.
Note I am not a accountatnt. Actually, that only works if you are place your money into a savings account. The bank they has the right to go use your money and spend it as they please in turn for giving you some interest. Checking accounts probably don't work like that because it would be retarded if the bank tried to borrow my money because I could use my money in the account when the bank just used it.

Re:Actually, it may not be used for profit (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896647)

Actually... they do that on checking accounts, too.

If you don't want them to do that, don't sign up for free checking.

Re:Actually, it may not be used for profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13896723)

What's a checking account? Oooh you mean a current account, now I understand.

And it's a Cheque. A 'Check' is something you do to see if an item or process has passed a defined criteria.

Of all the US-isms, 'Checking Account' irks me the most. To make it worse, you all still do monthly bills by writing out by hand these damn 'checks' !!! Has your country not heard of direct debits???

Re:Actually, it may not be used for profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13896765)

This isn't even a good troll.

Re:Actually, it may not be used for profit (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896766)

I'll feed the UK-troll...

Actually, we DO have direct deposits here.

And, there's paying online. Yep, almost everybody has online bill-pay.

The only reason for paper checks for your checking account is to pay someone who can't accept credit or direct deposit, like an individual, without using cash.

Re:Actually, it may not be used for profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897104)

A lot of spellings in English are a little strange, but "cheque" is blatantly stupid. You don't pronounce it "chee-kwee", do you?

Re:Actually, it may not be used for profit (1)

air1 (520719) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896722)

a bit of macroeconomics wouldn't hurt here.

any money that is put in an account at the bank is coming out the other, being lent to people, through credit card, loans, overdraft.
a certain liquidity ration is required but most of the money in the economy is virtual (computer money).

Re:Just what everyone needs (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896757)

People are buying things they want instead of putting thier money in the bank and having it loaned out to other people to buy things with!

You must have been shoving pencils in your ears to gain access to juicy morsels of eargoo when the teacher explained the concept of compounded interest.

Re:Just what everyone needs (1)

zootm (850416) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896616)

Talk about excess and waste.

How so? Now I don't need a film camera, film, or a digital camera, or batteries for either. The camera on my phone suffices. Waste is having it and not using it, and most people I know with this brand of phone do use it.

Re:Just what everyone needs (5, Insightful)

shawb (16347) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896922)

I'm viscerally against large mega-corporations just as much as the next slashdotter, but protests of this form will not help out the situation. When people Boycott a huge industry for a single day, it does nothing to harm the mega-corps bottom line. As for sending a message, the difference in profits is negligable, so the message sent is that people don't care. Why is the difference negligable? Because people don't change their lifestyle, they just avoid shopping for that one day. They still need the stuff, so they just buy on different days. The only type of business that will be hurt by a "buy nothing day" is... guess what... the small mom and pop type store which most mega-corp fighters claim to support.

Boycotts gnerally only work if you are boycotting a single product which you can replace with something else or do without for an extended period of time. The classic example of a boycott that actually does something is the grape boycott of the early 80's [wikipedia.org] which people help on to long enough to actually bring negotiations between the farmers and the workers. The only reason people were willing to boycott to this extreme is that A)this was a single product being protested B)The product was replacable and C)There was just cause to protest. The grape laborers had been figting for equal treatment for 20 years, working in dangerous conditions for extremely little pay. And it was done in America where the problems were actually visible. A boycott will simply not be large enough to make a difference if the majority of people don't agree with your cause. And most people feel that they are benefitted by our capitolistic society, so a feel good day of not shopping may at the most be a minor annoyance to the maga-global-corporations of the world, but it won't change their ways.

Re:Just what everyone needs (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897010)

That's just silly. "Buy Nothing Day" is a cute idea, but let's face it - not only our economy, but in fact our whole society is based on consumerism, and it's neither possible to change that really nor would it be desirable (unless you *really* want to go back to a feudal "ora et labora" system where you just work on the field all day for your liege lord and hope that you'll have enough left to not starve during the next winter season).

What would make more sense would be a "Buy Intelligently" day. Camera phones are a good example of stuff that people don't need and that doesn't make sense when you think about it (why not get a normal phone and a decent camera instead? it's not going to be more expensive, and you get better pictures that way), but blindly refusing anything without discrimination is not a good idea, either.

Meta post (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13896481)

Now taking bets on the number of 'I don't want a camera, I want a phone that functions as a phone - they should get that right!' posts..

Re:Meta post (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896928)

Well, they *should* get that right. I have both a digital camera and a mobile phone (without a built-in camera), and I really don't think mixing them is a smart idea. Would you like a digital camera that has a built-in mobile phone? No? Then why do people think that doing it the other way around is a good idea?

Yes, I know, it's handy if you want to take snapshots of stuff, but, let's face it, the photos you get this way suck. Megapixels aren't anything (and 2 MP isn't even much when you want good photos), and the idea that you can get good photos with a mobile phone is just seriously outlandish. And why would anyone want bad photos? Those don't have any value really - if you look at them later on, you'll always just think "damn, I wish I had used a real camera back then".

And it's not as if a decent digital camera and a camera-less phone cost more than a phone with an integrated camera, anyway.

What is the point? (1, Insightful)

6031769 (829845) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896482)

Seriously - if I want a decent camera, then that's what I will buy. If I want a camera on my phone, presumably I know that it's a phone and therefore I expect that camera to be pretty poor. Right tool for the right job, etc.

Re:What is the point? (4, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896541)

They're getting better. My V635's camera may not be as good as my old Kodak, but largely it's a resolution issue now not a "This looks like an effing webcam" problem, and at 1.2 megapixels, with expandable memory via MMC-compatable "Transflash" cards, it's "good enough" (that is, better than I'd achieve with a regular disposable film camera) quality and overall vastly more useful.

"Aha", I pretend to hear you cry, "But if the Kodak's still better, why not use it?" Answer, because (a) the old Kodak doesn't work any more, and (b) (more importantly) I couldn't carry the Kodak around all the time, it was too big, and carrying it AND an iPod AND a phone AND a wallet is uncomfortable. So, from my point of view, despite being a cameraphone hater two weeks ago, the V635 is a vast improvement on what I had before. In addition to being a cellphone, it's a good-enough camera that goes where I go. And I'd imagine the same is true of the cameraphones reviewed here too.

Re:What is the point? (1)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896561)

There is no way it gets anywhere near the quality of even a disposable film camera.

Re:What is the point? (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896617)

And your basis for saying this is what exactly?

The quality I'm getting, with reasonable consistancy, is closer to that of my old 3 megapixel Kodak than of the disposable film cameras I've had (the Kodak always beat those handsdown.) That's, obviously, at the V635's highest quality setting and with the pictures physically downloaded from the phone via USB or BT, rather than sent MMS.

Like I said, I was a cameraphone hater two weeks ago. This thing's changed my opinion 180 degrees. A good digital camera in a cellphone is a nice extra. That's what's happening now, they're moving away from the webcams.

Re:What is the point? (1)

clonmult (586283) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897347)

The V635 is a pretty good phone, and you're right, it does have a very usable camera. I've seen plenty of pics from them, and they are equal to or better than a cheapo disposable.

The K750/W800/N90 images are better again - they are on a level with a "proper" 2 megapixel camera.

On the V635 .... Im probably going to be getting one for my son for christmas. They're available for silly low prices now.

Re:What is the point? (1)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896729)

Kodak around all the time, it was too big, and carrying it AND an iPod AND a phone AND a wallet is uncomfortable

You don't have to carry all that stuff in your back pocket, yah know. :)

I love the crappy camera on my Treo 600. It's a fun toy and good for getting that quick snap. If I want to take "quality" pictures, I break out my Nikon FM3 35mm camera.

Re:What is the point? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896595)

> What is the point?

To make money for the manufacturers of phone/cameras. I don't know if you've been paying attention but they've been making loads of money for several manufacturers for years now. Perhaps you (and the people who make the exact same comment every single time camera phones are mentioned on Slashdot) could remedy your ignorance by looking into it a little more? The answer you're apparantly after - "there's no point" - isn't ever going to turn up, is it?

Re:What is the point? (1)

6031769 (829845) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897306)

That's not quite it, no.

I do see the point in phone/camera combinations - it's a compromise and (almost) everyone agrees as such. Theres (almost) no argument here.

What I do not see the point in is comparative reviews between two phones on the strengths of their cameras. A camera on a phone (to my mind, and it is only a personal opinion) is a handy bonus, and the most important thing is how it works as a phone.

Feeping creaturism is no better in phones than elsewhere, but when it is taken to be the overriding plus point in which model to go for, something is wrong.

Expand your idea of the right job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13896682)

There are many practical uses. My girlfriend was parking her car and the only available spot was next to a cheap vehicle covered in dings. The owner clearly wasn't a careful person. He'd parked badly, so she couldn't get her car far enough away from his that he'd be able to open his door easily.

She used her camera phone to record his license plate in case he damaged her car with his door when he left.

Her camera phone didn't have very good resolution, so she could only take a picture of the back of the dirty car. Had it been a 2MP phone, she could have taken a picture of both vehicles next to each other and still had the license plate be clear. Much better evidence.

"The right tool for the right job" is a fine mantra, but it betrays a lack of imagination. Often a new tool implies new capabilities.

I've used my camera phone extensively when shopping. "Which kind of shoes did you want me to wear at that party? Picture one or picture two?" It's useful also when telling someone where to pick you up. "I'm at this bench," is better than "Ok, you'll get there, there's a big door on the left side under the sign, about twenty feet to the right there's a bench."

Seriously, if you can't see why having the ability to instantly communicate a visual image wirelessly to anybody at any time is important, the failure is yours.

Re:What is the point? (1)

jsveiga (465473) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896707)

I agree, but I look like an overloaded miner's donkey with a phone, camera, mp3 player, and PDA all hanging on my belt and pockets. Not to mention the portable game, and a notebook (the right tool for email processing).

I don't expect my 1.3Mpix phone to match my 35mm (film) SLR, but it's better than nothing if I need to capture something unexpected and I'm not carrying the real camera. And the two extra lenses. And the tripod. And the silica baggies. And the lens cleaning brush. ...

Sure the mp3/pda/game/camera/email cell phone may be bigger than a plain phone, but it's smaller than my old Nokia 2160. And if I need small, I just pull the SIM from the V800 and slap it on a T610 or C65. (no, wait, these also have cameras. A T68 then.)

The pervs are happy (3, Funny)

NerdBuster (831349) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896512)

Expect to see an sharp increase in the number of lockerroom and bathroom pics.

Re:The pervs are happy (0, Offtopic)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896532)

Next up: SHOECAM!!!

Re:The pervs are happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13896588)

Next up?

Someone just needs to take the bold step and move a shoe-cam DIY kit to mass production

Re:The pervs are happy (4, Funny)

mattbot 5000 (645961) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896545)

Expect to see an sharp increase in the number of lockerroom and bathroom pics.

Not to mention the quality. You've never looked better in a towel than you do on a phone w/a Carl Zeiss lens.

Re:The pervs are happy (1)

dividedsky319 (907852) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896622)

Expect to see an sharp increase in the number of lockerroom and bathroom pics.

It's not like camera phones are new. For a long time now, cell phones haven't been allowed in locker rooms. (at least at the gyms around me)

(besides... Girls taking pictures of girls? Guys taking pictures of guys? How often do you think that would happen? I understand it could be a "business", but I doubt it'd happen too much anyway)

Re:The pervs are happy (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896735)

Guys taking pictures of guys?

Obviously, you're not familiar with the word "homosexual".

I have a close friend who is gay, and he likes to send me some weird stuff, just to get my reaction. One was a cameraphone pic of someone's junk. Ew.

Re:The pervs are happy (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897079)

Obviously, you're not familiar with the word "homosexual".
In that case, why not just look down your own pants?

I want a comparison with 2-megapixel CAMERAS (5, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896517)

What I really want to see is a comparison between a 2 megapixel cameraphone and a half-decent 2 megapixel digital camera, such as were top-of-the-line just a few short years ago?

My Canon SD110 "Digital Elph" served me very well for three or four years, until I replaced it with a 4-megapixel model. It had very pleasing color rendition. I've been quite satisfied with 8x10 enlargements from it even though they are very slightly softer than the pictures from my wife's 5-megapixel camera.

So the question for me is: if I was happy with a good 2 megapixel "digital camera," if I bought a 2 megapixel cameraphone would I be equally happy with it?

Re:I want a comparison with 2-megapixel CAMERAS (3, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896582)

Being that the diameter of the lens on the camera would be an order of magnitude greater than the lens on the phone, I don't there's much question.

Re:I want a comparison with 2-megapixel CAMERAS (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897000)

Well, there are sample images from the cameras in the article, why don't you both just look and see? IMHO that N90 [mobileburn.com] shot on the front page doesn't look half bad, especially for an indoor shot.

Personally I use the phone on my PDA mostly for capturing text, so I do wish they had more shots of that.

Re:I want a comparison with 2-megapixel CAMERAS (1)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897189)

Being that the diameter of the lens on the camera would be an order of magnitude greater than the lens on the phone, I don't there's much question.

I'd add that the article's pictures, regardless of what was written, clearly shows that the "camera" in these phones are lousy. Lousy to the point that it doesn't matter what the diferences are.
In a comparison to a "real" camera, just as you said, there would be no discussion. Take two pictures and post them on the web. Who cares about the details when the difference is that significant.

Do you? (1)

Inoshiro (71693) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896808)

Compare:
"What I really want to see is a comparison between a 2 megapixel cameraphone and a half-decent 2 megapixel digital camera, such as were top-of-the-line just a few short years ago?"

"What I really want to see is a comparison between a 2 megapixel cameraphone and a half-decent 2 megapixel digital camera, such as were top-of-the-line just a few short years ago."

One of these is a statement about what you want, the other is a question-sentence. One of them makes sense, the other does not.

Re:I want a comparison with 2-megapixel CAMERAS (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896970)

Short answer: no.

Long answer: it depends. Megapixels aren't everything, as you point out; so if your 2 megapixel camera was otherwise a good model, you'll not be satisfied with a 2 megapixel camera phone.

Re:I want a comparison with 2-megapixel CAMERAS (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896995)

I'm thinking the separate camera is likely to be better given that fewer compromises, such as those made to make a camera small enough to cram into a phone package. The available zoom factors w/o going to digital zoom, flash brightness, the size of the lenses, the size and type of the sensors and onboard software are all factors that affect the image.

That said, there's always the idea that the integrated device is "good enough" and that portability is a greater concern. For example, neither the clock nor the tuner on my clock radio are necessarily very good, but I need something that will wake me up at a certain time in the morning. A $20 clock radio is fine, I don't need a dedicated radio or an atomic clock.

Re:I want a comparison with 2-megapixel CAMERAS (4, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897559)

Right. I had that same sort of question, and I suppose the answer is no. I have yet to see a camera phone that delivers a picture as nice as my 1.3 megapixel Elph from several years ago. Then I look at how small other things are getting:
  • The RAZR is thin, in spite of being pretty feature-rich
  • The iPod nano is tiny, has 4GB of storage, color screen, etc.
  • The PSP isn't too huge, considering it has all the power of a PS2
  • There are new tiny 5-7 megapixel cameras from most major digital camera companies (like the new Elphs and the Sony DSC-T? line)

And, stupid as I might be, I can't help but wonder, why can't someone make a good mp3/camera/phone that isn't too enormously huge? Like, just the phone parts of the RAZR, with no mp3/game/camera stuff, and how much space could that take up? How small and light of a phone can we make, if it's just a phone?

Now, most of the parts are replicated for each device. The LCD screen, the memory, casing, battery, etc. So take those out of the equation. How small could Canon or Sony make a camera (even, lets say, a 1.3 megapixel), ignoring the LCD, casing, battery, or memory? If you took those parts, and integrated them into the just-phone-parts of the RAZR, how much space would that really take up? Now find a way to squeeze in enough parts to replicate the functionality of the nano, but again ignoring the casing, battery, duplicate functions, etc.

Ok, so maybe it stil wouldn't be the tiniest device ever, but given how these various companies can make single-function devices that are really tiny and most of the space is taken up by elements that are common to all of these devices, I'm consistantly disappointed by the attempts to make an all-in-one device. Even the expensive ones are horrible.

Can't someone make a decent camera-phone with mp3 functionality and 4GB of memory built in, and put it in a reasonable-sized package? Where's the culprit in preventing this? Bad engineering? Cell-phone carriers? Sony not wanting to damage their digital camera business?

Now, *this* is the phone I want... (4, Interesting)

pieterh (196118) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896526)

Nokia has dropped the ball and are believing their own marketing fluff. No-one actually wants a Carl Zeiss lense on their phone. No-one cares how good the optics are on a phone. Optics snobs buy cameras.

Seriously - rather than trying to turn phones into appliances, Nokia should learn from Apple and see that what people want are tiny, elegantly simple gadgets that do just one thing and do it very well. Instead of a phone costing $900, make one costing $20, and you can expect people to buy many.

How about a phone stripped down to just:

  - GSM module
  - speaker
  - mike
  - battery
  - on/off button

Carries a single number and dials this when it's switched on. About the size of a fat CF card. Pretty colors. Very cheap - $10-20. I wrote this idea up on: http://www.shouldexist.org/ [shouldexist.org].

Re:Now, *this* is the phone I want... (1)

rotinom (926619) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896591)

http://www.fireflymobile.com/phone/ [fireflymobile.com]

Basically, it's a cell phone you can give to your kids, with prepaid minutes, locked phone numbers, and big buttons (one for mom, one for dad) Small size for small hands.

Neat idea, but i'm floored thinking about a 5 year old with his own cell phone to call me with...

Re:Now, *this* is the phone I want... (1)

pieterh (196118) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896643)

It's close but still too large and too expensive. I'd like to be able to give out smart business cards with my number on them to my clients, random good looking ladies, aged relatives, etc.

Re:Now, *this* is the phone I want... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13896756)

Why not make them 10pcs/$1, that'd be even better! And they could be powered by gravity. I wonder why no manufacturer has done this already, after all - the idea was presented on Slashdot! If any kid can imagine one of these, why can't engineers make one?

Re:Now, *this* is the phone I want... (1)

shawb (16347) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897067)

I've already seen this product [target.com] at Target. Okay, it has a couple more features than that, but basically there you have it. Only includes 30 minutes of prepaid airtime, but this phone seems like it is supposed to be primarilly for emergencies anyways. Caveat, from the user reviews it seems that more minutes are fairly expensive, at 25 cents a minute. But if it is used as an emergency device rather than a "mom, I'm ready to be picked up from soccer" this shouldn't be a problem. Of course, if it's for emergencies only, the batteries might be dead by the time it's needed.

Re:Now, *this* is the phone I want... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13896657)

Along with leading edge handsets like N90, Nokia DOES make basic phones exactly fitting your description. In fact, Nokia is the leading maker of no frill, low cost handsets in the global market. It reported to have sold 15 million 1100-series handsets, which costs less than $50, in the past quarter alone.

Ever heard of market segmentation?

Re:Now, *this* is the phone I want... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13896710)

To put this figure into perspective, Nokia sold 7.1 million smartphones (which includes the N-series) worldwide in Q3. And Nokia is the leader in smartphone market by a long shot.

Source: http://www.tekrati.com/T2/Analyst_Research/Researc hAnnouncementsDetails.asp?Newsid=6002 [tekrati.com]

Source for the 1100 data:
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_45 /b3958061.htm [businessweek.com]

Re:Now, *this* is the phone I want... (1)

pieterh (196118) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896839)

No, the Nokia 1100 does not fit my description (though I agree it's a good model). I'd like to see the screen and keyboard dropped, and the size and cost reduced much further, to the point where you can buy these things by the dozen, where a two-year old can use them, where companies will literally give them away as promotional material, where people will collect them like baubles. If Nokia made such a device they would sell billions of them, and I don't think this is exaggeration.

Re:Now, *this* is the phone I want... (1)

dabadab (126782) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897236)

"If Nokia made such a device they would sell billions of them, and I don't think this is exaggeration."

And to whom, exactly? Basically, anyone who can afford the cost of calls (which has a lot to do with building an expensive infrastructure) can surely afford some of the basic handsets - like the 1100.
Also, I really don't see the point of purchasing mobile phones "by the dozen" - why would anyone do that?

Re:Now, *this* is the phone I want... (1)

pieterh (196118) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897437)

Well, it should be possible to squeeze the electronics and battery into a thing about 2"x1"x0.5". If a cheap mobile costs $50 now, then removing screen and keyboard and associated hardware should bring the cost down further. It does not a large battery, since it'll only be switched on to call the one number it's programmed to call.

Now, if I could buy such a thing today, I'd be putting *my* number on it and handing it out as a kind of interactive business card.

Re:Now, *this* is the phone I want... (2, Interesting)

x102output (536049) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896727)

no way. After buying a Nokia 3650, I am obcessed with the idea of having a digital camera on my phone. It's great because it is always with you. Whenever someone forgets to bring a camera, you got a backup. For that hot girl, that awesome concert, or even to sneak picturs at the museum. what sucks the most is when you look at the pictures on your computer, the 1-megapixel just doesn't cut it. I can't wait till I got 5 mexapixels on my phone

Re:Now, *this* is the phone I want... (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896855)

I can't wait till I got 5 mexapixels on my phone

Unless your phone gets a *lot* bigger it won't be able to accomodate a large enough lens to make good use of 5MP. I'm sure that 5MP phone cameras will be available in a few years, but I wouldn't expect the image quality to be much better than what you get from these 2MP units. And both will be inferior to a 2MP camera.

Re:Now, *this* is the phone I want... (1)

KozmoStevnNaut (630146) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897442)

http://www.3g.co.uk/PR/March2005/1182.htm [3g.co.uk]

It's a new camera phone (more like camera with added phone functionality) from Samsung called SCH-V770.

From the looks of it, it's got proper optics to actually make some use of at least most of the 7MP. But then again, it looks a lot more like a proper camera than a phone.

I think it looks rather [w3sh.com] silly [eprice.com.tw], personally...

Re:Now, *this* is the phone I want... (1)

clonmult (586283) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897387)

You want an XCute DV2 ... I think thats the model number. Its got a 6megapixel camera.

Re:Now, *this* is the phone I want... (1)

exhilaration (587191) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897425)

1 megapixel? The 3650 only produces 0.3 megapixel pics. I *wish* it could do 1 megapixel.

Re:Now, *this* is the phone I want... (1)

MKaufmann (58554) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896861)

I own
* mobile phone
* GPS
* video camera
* photo camera
* organizer
* small flashlight
* radio clock
* mp3 player

All these things are just laying at home - except the phone. It's too much trouble to carry them around. But my K750i replaces most of them. It lacks the GPS and the video quality is really bad, but beside that it's perfect. I'm taking much more pictures now, because the camera is always available. If I have unexpectedly to wait and kill some time - I've my mp3 player and the fm radio with me. And it's not $900 either - I just pay for my mobile contract 10 Euro/month (for two years = 240 Euro).

I am the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13896979)

"3. I am the world. Example: I don't listen to country music. Therfore, country music is not popular."

Scott Adams

Re:I am the world (1)

pieterh (196118) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897291)

"Example: I don't like the sound of nails being scratched over a blackboard. Therefore, nails on board is not popular".

It's a poor way to discuss my idea. I actually like all-in-one phones. Mine takes pictures, has a full keyboard, and lots of little gadgets. Still, if I had the capital, I'd be making and selling these little phones myself.

Just one thing? (4, Insightful)

mblase (200735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896987)

Nokia should learn from Apple and see that what people want are tiny, elegantly simple gadgets that do just one thing and do it very well.

The latest version of the iPod, besides playing music, will also display album art and lyrics; store contacts, text files and to-do lists; play a few arcade games; time your laps while jogging; function as an alarm clock in multiple time zones; display photo slideshows; and play video on its 2.5" screen.

I love Apple's iPod, and it's still a superior music player, but let's do away with the "does one thing well" myth already. It's moved on quite a bit since then.

camera phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13896546)

Who needs this crap?

Camera phones are always going to take shitty photos because of their ultra small optics. If you want decent pictures, spend money on a real camera. You can spend almost nothing and get better shots than with a camera phone.

Re:camera phones (1, Interesting)

manojar (875389) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896623)

we are not talking about people who would be carrying around their cameras all around (even though they might become very small to fit in the pocket), this is for people who would like to capture that interesting scene which would disappear by the time you switch on your camera and aim at that. Also, why to carry many devices when one would do the job as well?

Re:camera phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13896659)

You have pretty much proved my point. Camera phones are for taking pictures of your buddy teabagging your other buddy. Who cares if it's 1MP or 2MP.

You said "why carry many devices when one would do the job as well?"
There are VERY few cases where a camera phone will "do the job as well" as a real camera.

K750i Good and Cheap (2, Informative)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896564)

I've got the K750i, and I'm impressed.

Thanks to network subsidies it will cost me around $10/month for the entire contract, and that includes a decent amount of calls. That, combined with a decent camera make it a good deal.

As for quality, to my eyes it is BETTER than a Konica Minolta Z3 - it is far less grainy. However the Z3 is a 4.2mp unit with a decent zoom lens, and the actual print quality is much better. The quality isn't a touch on my old 2pm Canon A60, but the difference isn't fatal - the pictures are perfectly acceptable in good lighting conditions, and will look nice printed at a standard size :)

Camera phones with a decent camera in are a great idea for the reasons posted with the article, although they'll never be a replacement for an SLR.

Re:K750i Good and Cheap (1)

everyplace (527571) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896644)

I have the d750i (same phone and camera, just different color) and it really is a fantastic phone / camera. My fuji f710 bit the dust with the purple recalled ccd earlier this year, so I've been without a camera for over 6 months. I've been eyeing a camera around the range of the Canon 20D or the unreleased Nikon D200, but I just can't afford it right now. I wanted a new phone though, so the idea of having a phone with an actual decent camera attached to it appealed to me greatly.

Every photo on my flickr [flickr.com] account in the last month has been taken with this camera, and there are some decent ones. It is a little bit tricky getting the low-light photos to come out without a lot of noise, but there are some ways around it.

I'm by no means saying that this camera is anywhere near as good as the fuji, or even in the same league as something like the 20D. But the ability to upload somewhat decent shots to flickr anywhere I am, right when I want to (thanks, t-mobile gprs) is fantastic.

Re:K750i Good and Cheap (1)

gilesparsons (919174) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896654)

absolutely; in britain my k750 was free with the contract. it's not as good quality as even a cheap digital camera; but having a camera with the ability to take such detail is brilliant for noting timetables, articles, and so on, and i always have it with me. best of all, the flash can be used as a very bright torch. on the down side, though, mine has already broken once in the three months i've had it, and the sony ericsson joysticks are very dodgy.

Re:K750i Good and Cheap (1)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896754)

I'm in the UK too ;) However 90% of /. are too stupid to do the £>$ conversion, so I help them out ;)

I have Sony's CE kit, but the SE phones have always been fantastic. Much better than Nokias (and I'm an ex-Nokia whore).

Consumers are more interested in camera phones (2, Insightful)

vivekg (795441) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896593)

According to a recent survey [about-nokia.com] conducted by Parks Associates, reveals that US consumers are more interested in camera phones than music phones. According to the report 52% of US consumers intend to buy a cell phone with an integrated camera and 30% were planning to purchase a phone capable of downloading music.
So will see more camera phones, and it is easy to carry phone, talk and take snaps. Soon we may see 2-5 MP mobile phones and they could be killer phones.

Re:Consumers are more interested in camera phones (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897052)

I really don't see the conflict.

A lot of the camera phones play music too. The ROKR has an integrated camera as well, though only VGA.

I don't see it as a problem as a phone capable of taking pictures has everything that's needed to play music.

Warning: rant ahead (4, Interesting)

Control Group (105494) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896598)

[RANT]
Am I the only person who wants to know how, exactly, deciding which cell phone was better became deciding which camera was better?

What does a camera have to do with a cell phone, really?

When I went to buy a phone recently, the only thing any salesperson wanted to talk to me about was the cameras. I could not care less about the camera, but I ended up with one anyway. At the same time, a feature I really wanted to have - that my old, dying phone had - I couldn't find on any of the "better" new phones: a nested phone book, so that one name (one entry in the phone book list) could be associated with multiple numbers from which I could choose after selecting the name. Instead, every phone I saw had a strict one-number, one-listing phone book.

I really don't care if a phone has a feature I'm not going to use, but I do care if it has that and not features I actively want. Particularly when the features I actively want actually have something to do with being a phone.
[/RANT]

Re:Warning: rant ahead (2, Informative)

GoatSucker (781403) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896668)

So you didn't get offered a Nokia, then? All Nokia phones have a 'nested' phone book, so I can store as many numbers, addresses, email address, etc per contact. And yes, Nokia also (still) do phones without cameras.

Re:Warning: rant ahead (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896716)

Yep, Nokia's got that.

Heck, I think Samsuck has it too.

Of course, /dev/phone (my free Nokia 6225) has a camera on it...

I wanted a cheap phone that Sprint had unlocked for their "Vision" service (wireless web). This, along with some fugly Nokia (something in the 3000 series), was one of two free Vision-capable phones. The cheapest Vision phone without a camera was a Samsuck (the VI-660 - it's now free) for $30, and I know that model very well. There's a reason I call it Samsuck.

So, I got this. I didn't even *WANT* a camera.

However, I find myself using it because it's there. It comes in handy for quick snapshots. And, the images aren't half bad.

This is a pic that I took at Dawes Arboretum. Note that it was fairly foggy -that's not a problem with the image. Also, my lens is hardly clean (crud gets in on the inside, so I have to crack it open and clean it).

http://img398.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dawespic9 vh.jpg [imageshack.us]

Re:Warning: rant ahead (1)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896683)

When I went to buy a phone recently, the only thing any salesperson wanted to talk to me about was the cameras. I could not care less about the camera, but I ended up with one anyway. At the same time, a feature I really wanted to have - that my old, dying phone had - I couldn't find on any of the "better" new phones: a nested phone book, so that one name (one entry in the phone book list) could be associated with multiple numbers from which I could choose after selecting the name.

    ALL Nokia's Series 60 phones have this feature starting from the several years old 7650 to the latest 6680 3G phone (with the dual cameras). That phonebook entry can also include email addresses and such if you want to send a text message to his or her inbox.

Re:Warning: rant ahead (1)

Simon Woodman (265465) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896693)

Most Nokia phones have such a nested phone book. Personally, I'd recommend the 6310i [nokia.co.uk] which doesn't have any of the camera rubbish, just a basic phone and a very long battery (>2weeks in my experience). I'm not sure how worldwidely it's available but it is certainly in the UK/Europe.

HTH.

S.

Re:Warning: rant ahead (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896696)

Posts about the unnecessary features in new phones come up every time, and there's no reason for you to complain - It's not like you _can't_ buy a phone that does what you want. The Nokia 8910 supports nested phonebooks, has no camera, a black and white screen, bluetooth, very long battery life and a nice tough titanium casing.

I say it every time these topics come up: Basic model phones don't get news articles because they aren't interesting, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

Re:Warning: rant ahead (1)

DaEMoN128 (694605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896699)

Take a look at the samsung phones. most of the ones I have played with and both that I own have nested address books. My (older) a460, sgh-e105, and SGH-c225 all have nested address books. You might notice they these phones only work with tmobile... but a little shopping around should find you what you are looking for.

Re:Warning: rant ahead (1)

zootm (850416) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896702)

I couldn't find on any of the "better" new phones: a nested phone book, so that one name (one entry in the phone book list) could be associated with multiple numbers from which I could choose after selecting the name. Instead, every phone I saw had a strict one-number, one-listing phone book.

Every phone I've seen in the last few years has this. The SE one in the review (and its early ancestor the T610, and I assume every intermediate version) certainly does.

Re:Warning: rant ahead (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896724)

First, THANK YOU for saying "could not care less" (and not writing "careless" instead of care less) - it's a small thing, but it made me take your comment seriously. Heh.

Now, to answer your question - yeah, the salesguy was an idiot. If you weren't after a camera, he shouldn't have gone on about them. But the major issue here is that cameras and cellphones are both devices you want to carry around with you, and to some extent, they both "compete" even if they perform entirely unalike tasks - they compete for pocket space.

I have this very real problem. I have an iPod and a mobile phone. I can't justify carrying both around with me, so I tend to leave the iPod at work. I also have a camera, which is now broken, which is also something I'd carry around all the time in an ideal world, but, well, has difficulty fitting in a pocket by itself, let alone with an iPod and a cellphone. And somewhere I have an Ericsson PocketPC thing (you know, with the keyboard, a clone of the HP units), but add that to an iPod, a mobile phone, a wallet, a camera, a... well, you get the idea. I have only so many pockets. I have too many gadgets. It's a PITA to take all of them, even though they're all the type of thing whose usefulness is defined by their portability. A mobile phone is worse than a landline if kept at home. A camera that you can't carry around with you is almost as useless. A PDA is worse than a desktop computer, unless you take into account its portability. etc. etc.

Enter "integration". As hardware gets smaller, they're able to integrate various devices into one. The first generation of camera phones were awful, but as I've said further up the thread, I recently got one that's an adequate substitute for my old 3MP Kodak and I couldn't be happier. Mobile phones with PDAs have been around for a while, and have largely not been as successful as they could have been because of the cost and they're still having difficulty getting the UIs right. The iPod Mobile Phone has yet to appear, though phones that play MP3s have started to come around (but none with the storage capacity of an iPod), but it's a matter of time. Eventually, all of these should evolve into a multipurpose device - like a computer - that's the size of a cellphone, has the capacity of an iPod, has a 2 or 3MP prosumer-quality camera, and is arbitrarily programmable. It will not be today, but it'll happen. Nokia has its prototypes for this, the latest being the 9300/9500 smartphones. But we're waiting on the size and UIs to become right.

Now some people will be old fashioned and only want a phone. That's fine, because as long as there's a market for them, those phones will continue to sell. Motorola makes a crapload of camera phones, but it's still updating the V18X series, identical to most of their other high-end phones, but without the camera. Nokia's still producing ultrabasic phones like the 6010, which doesn't even have USB or Bluetooth. Most of the phones made for the US prepaid market are cameraless, and I don't see that changing soon.

But, yeah, there's a good reason for camera phones, as long as the cameras are decent quality. They're a replacement for something you wanted to carry around with you like your cellphone, but just couldn't. And as time goes on, we'll see more and more of that. And that's a great thing.

Re:Warning: rant ahead (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896904)

Glad you liked it. ;)

Anyway: I won't disagree with your point. They are competing for personal real estate, and integration helps address that problem. And, as you say, with camera phones getting better every generation, they might be an adequate replacement for other types of always-carry cameras.

Which is why I don't care that my phone has a camera - I don't use it, but it's not as though it ever gets in my way. Much like my phone's polyphonic ringtones: I don't bother them; they don't bother me.

My only complaint is when obvious features - features that help the device be a better phone - are left out, while exraneous features are crammed in. It's not the existence of the (to me) extraneous bits that bothers me, it's the lack of relevant bits.

But perhaps I'm working from too narrow an experience on this one. A lot of people have commented (enough that I'm not replying to all of them, here's hoping they read this) that Nokia phones provide the nested phone book feature I mentioned. I'm sure they're right, and perhaps it's a result of me not doing enough internet research before making a purchase, BUT: I had already decided on a carrier, Cingular (for a variety of reasons, at least one of which was a show-stopper for other carriers), and I based my comment on my experiences in the two Cingular stores in my area.

I looked at literally every sub-$300 (net) phone they carried, and not a single one of them had this feature, though every one of them (past the most basic brick) had a camera. I don't recall whether or not they carried Nokia phones. I only specifically remember LG, Motorola, and Samsung as brand names I looked at (this was ~11 months ago, so this may be different at those very stores now).

I can accept that the problem is the way phones are marketed, distributed, or sold, but from my POV, it doesn't matter. The camera phone feature has become so dominant in the marketing or distribution phases that I was unable to discriminate on other features important to me.

Re:Warning: rant ahead (1)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897043)

I have a 99 cent Kyocera SOHO1 and it has that feature. My last two cell phones before that had that feature as well. Are you sure you didn't buy a phone from the 90's thinking it was new?

Re:Warning: rant ahead (1)

shawb (16347) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897185)

You should have asked about those features. If the salesperson didn't give you a straightforward answer, walk. It's people caving in to the pressure of these annoying salespeople that keeps annoying salespeople employed and annoying you. And as a slashdotter, you probably should have done some basic research online prior to making a purchase. I bought two phones without reading reviews and got lemons or phones I really didn't like. After doing about half an hour of research, I found a phone I was comfortable with (a basic Nokia) and have had it for the last two years (well, 23 months, I got it thanksgiving weekend 2003) I plan on getting a similar one (after some more research of course) in a month when my contract is up. I'm starting to get some memory on the battery, which is pretty much expected after two years.

Re:Warning: rant ahead (3, Interesting)

nblender (741424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897471)

I didn't want a camera phone either. Then someone gave me a T610. It had a camera; albeit crappy. Then I bought a K750i which came with an equally unwanted camera but it turned out to be good enough to take pictures of the scene of a minor car accident I was in. The other driver lied to his insurance company and they refused to cover the claim. I produced pictures taken by my camera phone to prove he lied to his insurance company. They fixed my truck and he doesn't have insurance anymore. Now I like camera phones.

You guys are missing the point (2, Informative)

air1 (520719) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896636)

which is to use the camera with the phone to do things, IE email your pix to your flicker account in realtime. for instance.

during the london bombing, we were able to bypass the medias thanks to people keeping a low quality photostream of the events constantly updated.

Sure, your mobile phone's not as good as your Ipod, but hey, it's here, it works... it's getting better.
the more we'll get integration with the internet, the more the line between real life and net life is going to be blurred.

OT: under-$20 digicams (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896701)

The other day I saw a handful of under-$20 digital cameras, most aimed at kids and most or all under 1 megapixel or they didn't state their resolution. One was a keychain-mounted camera that would be good for auto-accidents and spur-of-the-moment photographs.

I'd love to see a comparison of these including technical as well as "fun-for-kids" features.

Too bad I didn't have $ to buy one of each and do a review.

Re:OT: under-$20 digicams (1)

radja (58949) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896738)

hmm.. interesting... might get one and mod it for IR photography...

Re:OT: under-$20 digicams (1)

RandomPrecision (911416) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897330)

I've got one. Needless to say, it's not a very high-quality device. I don't have the model or company as I don't have it with me at the moment. The battery, an AAA, tends to die within a day or so of being put in the camera, even if I don't use it, and I can't carry it in my pocket because it will take pictures to all of its capacity in my pocket, and I don't recall if I can even delete individual pictures. The resolution is sometimes good enough that you can make out what the camera was aimed at when the picture was taken, provided that there was plenty of light on the subject, since the camera has no flash.

I really wouldn't recommend it for keychain-mounting, auto accidents, or any spur-of-the-moment photographs, but I suppose there may be better models in existence.

Camera Phones DO Prove useful... at times.... (2, Informative)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896784)

I just wanted to add to this discussion one little thing. I used to be in the avid "Just want a "phone" phone." group. However recently, my finacee was in an accident. She thought the person in front of her had gone so she started out and popped the rear of the car in front. The woman immediately jumps out of the car and starts yelling and screaming for the police. Basically, this woman was being a bitch.

As soon as the police showed up, they looked at the woman and asked (many times) "where's the damage". As soon as my finacee took out the camera phone and started documenting the accident, everything settled down and the bitch^H^H^H^H^H^H Lady finally left.

I basically just wanted to say, camera phones do serve(rarely) a purpose and I'm glad I have one now.

Sony usually has Zeiss lenses too (1)

Alkind (449960) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896814)

Sony always uses Carl Zeiss lenses, maybe they do not see a reason put a name on it this time. The Carl Zeiss lenses used for the lower end digital cameras are made in Japan. Kyocera might be the manufacturer as it has licensed the name and technology before. There has been one lens assembly that got the Carl Zeiss brand name on the Sony digital camera and the Canon name on a Canon model and there was even a third camera manufacturer using the same lens assembly. 5 MP cameras AFAIK. So no reason to selsct the Nokia for its lens.

Phones will take over low cost point and shoot (2, Insightful)

GauteL (29207) | more than 8 years ago | (#13896817)

The single most important thing with a camera is having it with you when a photo opportunity arrives. Always carrying a camera around is normally not an option, while carrying a phone arround is perfectly fine.

Sooner or later, camera phones will have picture quality and usability that is "good enough" for point and click purposes and low end point and click cameras will see a sales drop. Low-end camera producers should look into partnerships with mobile phone companies for this reason.

Higher end cameras will always have a market as a combined high-end camera and phone would be a huge and complex monstrosity that noone would touch. High-end cameras you bring when you know you are going to take photographs anyway.

Re:Phones will take over low cost point and shoot (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897041)

Of course always carrying a camera is an option. :) It might not be if you want to carry around an SLR with a big flash and an even bigger lens, but most non-SLR digicams aren't that much bigger than a mobile phone.

Re:Phones will take over low cost point and shoot (1)

Itanshi (861931) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897194)

perhaps auto emailing a photo on the new phones you speak of will conserve space?

I'm still waiting... (1)

MrFlannel (762587) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897098)

for a phone with a lens mount (for my... uh... pocket sized lenses?)!
And when will we get cell phones that come with tripods?

for those who complain about carrying too much (0, Redundant)

jred (111898) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897289)

I think you bitches need to go ahead and get a purse.

Camera phones are better than cameras because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897352)

... the best camera is the one you have with you. I almost never carry my camera, but I always have my phone. That said, the phone's camera (Treo 650) bugs me because all the pictures look pink. I would definitely be in favor of improvements in this area.
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