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THOUGHT: What do you use your camera (phone) for?
Posted by Arne Hess - on Wednesday, 27.07.05 - 11:33:00 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 11812x
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Most of today's mobile phones as well as all Smartphones (except the first generation phones) but also many Pocket PCs and Pocket PC Phone Editions have a camera today - in different qualities. From QCIF to 1.2 Megapixel and some (regular phones) even have 2 Megapixel cameras with auto focus instead of widely used fixed focus technology.
As always, if you have something new, you have to find the cases you want to use it for. An MP3 player is easy, listening music on the go and a camera seems to be a low-brainer too, snapping photos - but in which situations do you snap pictures and what do you do with the shots?

Mostly I'm using my camera in the following situations and I wonder how you use it?

  • Snapshots: Sure I make snapshots to store it on the device (sometimes I even transfer the shots to my Media Center) and share it with others by showing it right on the device display.
  • Sharing: Also, from time to time I share these snapshots via MMS. In 2001, when I bought my first MMS camera enabled phone (a Ericsson T68m) it wasn't that easy to share these pictures via MMS because most of my friends hadn't had a MMS enabled phone. However, time has changed and now most of my friends have a MMS enabled (camera) phone where I can send the photos to.
  • Reminder: Since I'm a consultant, I'm traveling pretty often by airplane and if you are in the parking garage it can becomes a serious problem to remember in the evening or next day where you have parked your car. This is one of the cases where I'm using my device fairly often to make a photo, either of the parking lot or of the environment to remember where I have parked my car, like last weekend when I traveled to Paris:

    Another reminder for me is to photograph white boards during meetings - as a kind of task or idea reminder.

As you can see above, there are many reasons to use the camera of your device, even if it can not compete (today) with a regular digital camera. What do you use your camera for, if you use it or don't you use it at all since the quality is too poor for the cases you would like to use it?

Cheers ~ Arne

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Posted by simon on 27.07.05 - 11:41:55

i use my i-jam camera wiht fotofield (

so i can index all the photos i made under different templates. For example when i was looking for a new flat.


Posted by farnold on 27.07.05 - 12:34:10

I don't use my XDA II camera at all - it's the one feature that I would swap immidiately if I could... camera for video telephony would be useful for me though.

Posted by krypticide on 27.07.05 - 17:21:46

I never had any problems with my Clie's camera at IBM Research, and I sorely miss the camera on my X50v. Besides the occasional interesting and impromptu shot, the camera was handy for instantaneous information capture. No need to copy text or pictures over to the PDA: just take a picture of the screen and you're set.

Posted by Graffiti on 31.07.05 - 17:08:19

For work, I use the camera on my Motorola E398 to take quick snapshots of locations and events I need to write articles on. Most times they end up being simple thumbnails in the articles as well. I also photoblog my travels - makes it faster to locate the closest loo right after getting outta a 13-hour flight ...

In-between, I take snapshots of faces of my contacts in the phone contact list and link them. I therefore get an immediate visual cue who's calling instead of names - I'm bad with names ...

For leisure, I use it pretty much the same way you do, Arne - as visual memos of where my car is, errands I need to make, groceries I need to get.

Posted by SvenJ on 31.07.05 - 18:38:20

I use my camera as an irritant. It forces my to leave my phone in my car or at the front desk at the many places I go that don't allow them. Why don't I just get a phone without a camera? Have you tried getting a decent smart phone with BT and without a camera?

Posted by Arne Hess on 31.07.05 - 19:50:07

SvenJ wrote:

Why don't I just get a phone without a camera? Have you tried getting a decent smart phone with BT and without a camera?

Yeah, I know this can be a pain and it was one reason, for instance, why O2 Germany released the Blue Angel/Xda III without camera.
But I can tell you that many manufactures have recognized this problem too and will release business version of their (GSM) phones without a built-in camera in near future. Unfortunately I'm not aware of any Smartphones which will comes without a camera since the word smart means for me at least: Camera, MP3, HTML/xHTML and POP/IMAP support.

Posted by JaredY on 01.08.05 - 23:57:01

I use my phone's camera to photograph that pipe that I need a coupler for.  Then I show the pic to the guy at the hardware store and he says "Oh, yeah!" and I get the right thing the first time.

I also use it to take pictures of hard to reach places (like under my car) so that I can see what a problem is without getting all dirty.  Or to email to the parts guy so he can see if he has the right part.

I like to use mine for picture based caller ID as well.  I like to see my wife's face when she calls.

And if you're ever in a car accident...  Or see a celebrity...  You're prepared.

I have yet to have an instance where I wasn't allowed to carry my camera phone.  And I've had camera phones for several years.  For the average business person I don't think it's really a big deal.  Maybe in extremely large corps or in the military.  But most of us are regular joes, and Wal*Mart doesn't care if you have a camera or not!

Posted by SvenJ on 03.08.05 - 06:31:17

Arne, I would actually consider a converged device as long as it had no camera. Right now I carry a PPC and SP, because I can leave the SP in the car, take my PPC and still have access to all my info. With just a SP, which has a copy of the majority of the info, I'd have to leave it all behind. With a PPCPE, with a camera, I would have to leave it all behind as well. With a PPCPE sans camera, I could just leave the exilm or the SD camera behind smile  I saw a while back that T-Mobile Germany was offering an SDA without camera.,485 … 2,00.html, but I don't hold out hope I could get that here. You are right, some OEMs are at least indicating that non-camera versions will be available. Hopefully they will actually be produced, not just get part numbers and web space.

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