Many smartphone users find that their handset has now replaced their camera, a Dialaphone poll has revealed. The survey, which has been running on the blog, found that a significant majority of readers now use their mobile phone in place of a dedicated camera for taking photos.
This may not come as much of a surprise, and it’s pretty much the result we expected, but it is interesting to see it confirmed this way. As the results stand, around two thirds of the people who responded said that they do not use a camera any more, with only a third indicating that they sometimes do.
Smartphones have been showing signs of replacing low-end compact cameras for some years now, with photographic hardware that rivals many dedicated cameras and software functionality that far surpasses them.
Looking at the current crop of camera phones leaves little doubt as to why this is, especially when considering that the mobile world can now offer something like the Nokia Lumia 1020 and its 41 megapixel PureView power. Looking over the other specs of that handset, things like the Carl Zeiss optics and optical image stabilisation, it appears more like a camera than it does a phone. This is something that the Finnish firm is well aware of and has directed its marketing of the handset accordingly.
There are other interesting photo-centric phones too, such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom with its distinctive form factor and powerful lens. The device takes the best features of the Korean firm’s Galaxy S4 Mini and adds on a 10x optical zoom lens, lending it some impressive photographic power.
While the hardware now on offer is of a very high quality, the software that smartphones can boast is way beyond anything you would find on many cameras. This point is illustrated by the Samsung Galaxy Camera, which added the Android platform and a large touchscreen to a compact camera, resulting in a brilliant device.
Different shooting modes can easily be accessed and previewed before taking a shot with the Korean firm’s creation and the editing options on offer after snapping a picture are extensive. While compact cameras allow for little alternation after a photo has been taken, mobile software can see you adding filters and effects and cropping images to suit your needs.
The sharing options that the connectivity of mobile phones allows are also the perfect addition to the way in which we take photos. Gone are the days of plugging your digital camera into a computer to move images off it before uploading them to Facebook, you can now do this straight from your smartphone.
There are even apocryphal tales of professional photographers using Wi-Fi dongles to move photos off their expensive DSLRs and onto a smartphone for editing and sharing, bypassing the need for a laptop. While this may not be extensive yet, its does illustrate just how well-suited smartphones are to a variety of photographic tasks.
As far as the casual, amateur photography market goes, we can imagine mobiles may well wipe out dedicated cameras altogether at some point in the near future, leading to photos being captured, edited and shared all from the very same device.