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THOUGHT: The XDA II and it's camera: more useful than I thought initially
Posted by Arne Hess - on Monday, 06.12.04 - 10:55:03 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 7183x
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When I first got the XDA II and used the built-in camera I honestly thought, "Uups, what kind of useless camera did they build into it!" I played a bit with the camera during the first weeks, but always was disappointed of the bad picture quality and eventually stopped using it... until recently.

Did I Misunderstand the Concept?
There is no doubt, the picture quality of the XDA II is far from what I was used to with my digital 3 megapixel camera, but what I totally misunderstood in the beginning, was the usability concept, the fact that the XDA camera may serve a totally different purpose than my digital camera.

Changing My Mind
But what made me change my mind? Well, during the last months, I was systematically digitizing my life, scanning old documents, getting rid of as much as paper as possible in my daily life, and learned the convenience of having everything easily accessible on my notebook or PDA. During this time I also started to change my habits in taking notes. I usually took notes with my PDA either in "handwriting mode" or used the internal keyboard. But more and more often I came across some situations where I had to capture information fast without having the time to write it down.

One day, I again was in hurry and needed some information from a computer screen, but it was written in Hebrew letters with which I'm not familiar with at all. Searching for a quick solution, I remembered the built-in camera and decided to give it a go as kind of a last resort: click and done. Well, don't ask my about the quality, but as long as the information was readable and transmittable, that's everything I wanted at this moment.

Camera & PDA: Perfect Tool!
From this day, I changed my attitude towards the camera and started to use it more and more often. I became used to the concept of PDA & camera as fast-click solution for taking complex notes. I just hope that with the next XDA, the new 1.3 megapixel camera is going to significantly improve in picture quality so it allows me to use the camera as a simple but mobile scanner.

Final Conclusion

I fully understand that in many companies no cameras are allowed at all, but for the modern digital lifestyle, a PDA with built-in camera is the perfect means for quickly capturing information while on the go.

Cheers ~ W

PS: During my current Xmas shopping I used the XDA&camera for quickly comparing prizes in different stores: very convenient!

Contributed by Dr. Wolfgang Irber, the::unwired Reader and Business Professional


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Posted by Frank on 07.12.04 - 13:42:38

Arne, it doesn't happen very often, but here I disagree with you for two reasons:

I had to leave my XDA II behind several times when visiting customers because they have restrictions regarding cameras. As a result I find myself w/o a phone, w/o my emails, w/o IM and w/o GPRS  8O I may as well go w/o shoes as well  lol

For a camera to be usefull it would need to follow a concept that I saw with the i700 - a swivel camera that can be used for video conferencing as well. But it would need to be removeable from the device, i.e. like a plug-on module.

I think manufacturers will understand restrictions pretty quickly. Isn't T-Mobile just offering the MDA III in Germany w/o camera?

Posted by Arne Hess on 07.12.04 - 13:49:15

[1] Don't kill the messenger. I've just posted it while it was written and contributed by Wolfgang. ;-)
I agree with you regarding the problem of leaving a camera phone if you enter some companies, therefore - you are right both, T-Mobile and O2 Germany, has decided to go w/o camera for the Blue Angel. While T-Mobile have it both, w and w/o, O2 Germany have it w/o only since they are targeting the business market with the Blue Angel aka Xda III.

On the other hand I can also see Wolfgang's points as I did the same in the past, snapping photos of a white board, etc.

It's a trade-off you have to go more and more. Is the camera worth all the trouble it might generates on the other hand.

Posted by Wolfgang on 07.12.04 - 18:49:21


Even though I never encountered the problem of forbidden cameras, I fully acknowledge your opinion.

Yes or no for a PDA with camera is certainly dependent on the question which customer is addressed: private or business, and even for the latter it depends.

In a perfect world, we would have the choice...

But as Arne already said, the little thought simply describes my very personal user experience.

I started to like the built-in camera after one year of constant XDA use: quite a long time I'd say. Hence, it is certainly not a must have, but can be very useful from time to time unless it interfers with security regulations :-)

Cheers ~ W

Posted by bnycastro on 08.12.04 - 05:51:18

We don't have the camera problem here in the philippines... most phones even normal mobiles here have cameras and these are allowed even in the cinemas... I have yet to be stopped by security for having a device with a camera. But then again I'm not in any IT or engineering field so I guess I have very low chances of experiencing it.

I do agree that a mobile camera no matter how low res or what is useful in some way or another. I use the camera on my nokia7610 for snaps when I'm out and about with my friends, when I'm bored and feeling autistic (ehem I mean artistic) and especially when I park in those multi-level parking places (I used to get lost alot in parking lots :oops: )

Posted by Kasper Hyllested on 13.12.04 - 14:55:41

I tried to use the built-in camera in the Qtek 9090 to take a snapshot of a whiteboard with lots of drawings and comments after a meeting. The quality wasn't good enough, when I sat down by the computer and wanted to find out, what we discussed at the meeting.

I need flash and 2 MP camera. But then I think it will be usefull.

Posted by PowerPPC on 13.12.04 - 16:54:18

I dunno about taking pictures in stores, I know some of the big stores here prohibit you from taking pictures, just incase you are their competitor.

But I don't use my still camera, but used my video camera a lot. To send MMS Videos over the GPRS. Which I used a lot.

Posted by Colin Nichollls on 22.12.04 - 13:20:38

[1] What a good idea I have 1.2 mp camera in my rx3715 and it can serve as a kind of mobile scanner.

I work in the medical field and it is often usefull to get a quick copy of referance text to take to the bedside.

Posted by Ray T on 24.12.04 - 07:46:38

Camera problem on restricted premises?

In my case I made a big thin black rubber cover with double adhessive tape to cover the entire black part at the back.

No more problems as of this time. If I need to use the camera, I just lift the rubber from the bottom then take pictures.

After that, cover it again.

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