Editor's note: We offer our long-term sponsors the opportunity to write posts and tell their story. These posts are clearly marked as written by sponsors, but we also want them to be useful and interesting to our readers. We hope you like the posts and we encourage you to support our sponsors by trying out their products.
We were walking the streets of San Francisco and happened to witness a street band in the process of setting up shop. On the cue, almost all the observers around the band fished out their cellphones and started snapping pictures and video. Which lead us to ask this question: Which is the greatest camera?
A renowned photographer pointed out to us during Macworld Expo that the greatest camera is not the one that gives you the best quality picture or the best resolution. The greatest camera is the camera in your hand. Going by that, I guess it makes the mobile camera the greatest camera of our time.
Mobile photography has really blossomed in the past few years with almost every cellphone worth its merit having a camera built into it. We now have cellphone camera capturing with up to 12.0 megapixels. We have citizen journalists providing breaking news of the Indian Ocean earthquake through phone footage.
Let's step back a little. There are 110 or more million cellphones with camera on them. Add the dimension of them connecting to social networking sites, and that really makes things interesting.
But there is a raging debate as to whether the cell phone camera can really be called a "camera". Maybe it depends on individual choices. However, from personal experience we have observed that people are passionate about photography from whichever source it comes from.
The sheer volume of photos taken using cellphone cameras makes mobile photography a serious affair. (For instance, our iPhone app Camera Plus has been downloaded 5 million times.) Consequently,the ecosystem around mobile photography is also blossoming.
The range of photography applications in the iPhone App Store is the testimony to how serious mobile photography is. The apps have covered all aspects of photography from the actual capture of the picture to editing, managing and sharing them all within the phone itself.
No Limits for Mobile
Surprisingly, the limitation of the phone hardware here is not stopping the application developers to dream any less than the digital camera manufacturers. If anything, they're dreaming bigger. You can use multi-shot to snap photos, adjust anything from brightness, sharpness of a photo, and add funny effects to them. With most of the cameras having GPS, users can also geotag their photos with just a click. It does not stop here. You can also instantly share your photos on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and other social media platforms all from the phone itself!
And things have also started moving on the video side. Did you know you can not only capture video using a mobile but also add effects like black and white, sepia from within the phone itself? And of course, you can share your videos on YouTube.
Now just step back and wonder whether you can do all the above from within a digital camera, and you realize that mobile photography might not be that primitive at all. To put things in another perspective, you can liken the use of a cellphone camera to the use of a Swiss army knife. This was the theme around which we built our photography application Camera Plus Pro. Both Mobile Geeks and Kodak have some tips on learning how to use all the tools in the knife.
With all the mobiles around, we can now reduce the disappointment of the sentence - "I wish I had a camera right now."