Mobile Phone Cameras

I have misgivings about mobile phone cameras.  They seem like a cheap alternative to digital cameras and means carrying one less device.  I thought I would give mine a go as I’d never really bothered with it.  These were the results.

The problems I had were the speed of the camera.  It takes a long time to go through the menu and get the thing ready to take a picture.  It also tends to reset to the beginning of the menu when you stop using it so you can’t wander around like I would with a SLR – off the lock so that the camera is ready to use.

There is a gap between pressing the button and the picture being taken so in some cases I was moving the camera before it was finished.  Also the focus and the software is a bit slow, so once you compose the shot, it can change before the image is actually recorded.

The exposure needs to be set up 3 points to make sure that the picture is not too dark.  This is a bit rubbish because the camera really should be set properly.  Confusingly, this doesn’t apply to the video camera function which seems to be very well-balanced.  This shot isn’t too bad but there’s quite a bit of distortion and the way the sunlight flares is a bit harsh.  It’s not a great piece of exposure.

Another problem that can’t be fixed by getting a more expensive phone, is the fact that the lens is such a small size that it can’t have any real depth of field and it has a tendency to distort the picture.  This picture is OK but it doesn’t seem too straight.  Considering that the screen is much bigger than the eyepiece that I normally use to view and compose with, it’s a bit disappointing to see my thumb creeping in on this shot above when I didn’t notice it at the time.  Again, it’s the lag in the system which causes it – my thumbs aren’t that big.

The other problem is the silly pose you have to strike to use one of these.  The phone is held at arm’s length betwixt thumb and index with lots of fingers sticking out.  It’s not natural.  I like a camera shaped like a house brick that doesn’t have menus.  You hold it up to your eye with both hands and all of your fingers.

So, overall, not as good as a point and shoot digital camera.  It takes up a lot less space but the results are disappointing.  I’m sure my next mobile phone will be more advanced with 20 MP but I won’t be buying it for the camera.


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