Camera Phone or Digital Camera?

On August 4, 2004, in MacRelevant, Opinion, by Tim Robertson

Every time I turn on the television, it seems there is another company advertising a new Cell phone which double duties as a digital camera. Is this something you need in your life?

Digital cameras have changed the way we take pictures. Remember in the old days, about five years ago, when you had a 35MM film camera? You would take it to all the special events, such as a little league game, a wedding, on vacation, or anywhere you wanted to capture the moment. But being a film camera, you were choosy in your picture taking. You did not want to “waste” the film after all!

Digital cameras have changed all that. There is no film, and consequently, we become picture-taking maniacs. We take the camera everywhere, snapping pictures wherever we may be. With a large enough digital media card in the camera, say 128MB or more, the camera’s batteries would probably run dry before we fill the camera up. Besides, we can always delete the picture we don’t like on the fly.

But digital cameras are usually pricy and bulky. You can’t take it everywhere with you. But if your Cell phone were also a camera, you have the best of both worlds. Cell phones are small, even a Camera Phone, and if you are not at home, chances are your cell phone is with you.

A few things to keep in mind before deciding if a camera phone is right for you.

The resolutions in most Camera Phones are not very high yet, usually in the 1.3 mega pixel range.

The average price of a Camera Phone is high. Look for prices to drop as the popularity of these units grow.

If you already own a nice digital camera, do you really need a Camera Phone as well?

Many places of employment are starting to ban camera phones in the workplace for fear of trade secrets getting out. If you need your cell phone while at work, a barebones cell phone may be a wise choice.

Are there any service fees for transferring your Camera Phone pictures to another person? It is great to share your photo with a compatible phone, but not if it costs you a dollar every time you do so.

Cell phones are one of the most lost and stolen items in the world today. Find out if your insurance company covers these units before spending a few hundred dollars on a Camera Phone.

Combining a digital camera with a cell phone sounds like a great idea whose time has come. But if you want high quality digital pictures, the Camera Phone is not for you. Give it a few more years for the technology to develop, and spend the money now on a higher resolution digital camera.

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