It seems like every mobile phone manufacturer wants a slice of the cameraphone pie. But growing megapixel counts won’t make a difference to their myriad of other problems.
Can you recall an important event that wasn’t bombarded by a sea of cameraphones glowing in its general direction? No? Me neither.
For most of us, though, it’s probably a familiar feeling to be let down by the results when you pull your phone back down to eye level.
While I won’t deny that mobile cameraphones have been one of the true technology success stories of the last decade, their trump card really is convenience rather than picture quality.
These aren’t cameras. These are phones with small lenses and even smaller sensors slotted into the back of them.
High megapixels won’t help cameraphones
That’s why I feel unconvinced when I hear that Sony is releasing a 16.4 megapixel sensor for cameraphones. I’ve already mentioned my exhaustion at the unnecessary escalating megapixel count in digital cameras, and I suppose it was inevitable that this trend would trickle down into cameraphones.
Half the problem with cameraphones has nothing to do with resolution, anyway. It all comes down to shutter delay. After you press the shutter button, there’s usually a tedious lag before the phone actually takes a shot. Say hello to yet another blurry image.
Also, cameraphones don’t have proper optical zooms like you’ll find on a real camera. Instead, you get digital zooms, which reduce the picture quality as you zoom in.
Manufacturers need to up their game
Yes, they’re convenient. And being able to send a photo as an MMS moments after you’ve taken it is brilliant, and something you certainly can’t do with a regular camera.
But come on, manufacturers. Don’t fob us off with an extra megapixel or two. Squeeze a decent lens into the back of a phone and sort out that shutter delay! Then we might just end up with the kind of cameraphone we’d be proud to wave above our heads.