We are in a new era of photography. The Mobile Revolution has fundamentally changed the nature of how photos are taken, where they are taken, by whom they are taken and, most importantly, how often they are taken. People now take photos of everything and share them to other phones, social media sites and all over the Web. You could argue that the rise of Facebook was predicated on photos and Instagram is now the de facto photo app for millions of would-be photographers. 

The photo has come a long way. From the camera obscura of French inventor Nicéphore Niépce in 1822 to the daguerreotype from Louis Daguerre in 1837, the “Brownie” camera around 1900 and later the invention of the Polaroid in 1947. Photo quality has increased as cameras have become cheaper and more widespread. One of the first camera phones came from Kyrocera in 1999 and by the mid-2000s, almost every flip phone on the planet had a decent camera attached to it.

How Smartphones Changed Photography

The smartphone has caused another paradigm shift for photography. Not only can the masses take lots of pictures, they can take good pictures – and look at them as well – right on their mobile devices. Before smartphones, many people actually used to print their photographs.

The rise of Apple’s iPhone can correlated to its attention to detail in its camera hardware and software approach. Samsung’s BlackJack released in 2006 had a decent camera (even if it was running Windows Mobile CE). Nokia has recently made camera quality a priority with its PureView camera phone and features like Carl-Zeiss optics in its Lumia series.

What The Hell Is An “Ultrapixel?”

Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC wants to remind people that it has also been on the forefront of camera technology. In the infographic below, HTC outlines the history of the camera and its own contribution to the Mobile Revolution. The HTC Incredible was one of the first smartphones with an 8-megapixel camera. 

HTC thinks it is on the cusp of the next great iteration of smartphone photo technology. Its newest smartphone, rumored to be called the M7 and scheduled to be announced on February 19th in New York, is said to have a “4-ultrapixel” camera with an entirely new photo experience. What the heck is a 4-ultrapixel camera? Who knows. I will be on hand for HTC’s announcement later this month and will be sure to figure out if the manufacturer’s claims hold any water.

Check out the infographic from HTC below. Do you buy a smartphone based on its camera capabilities? Let us know in the comments.