Myron Kassaraba's weblog about digital photography on the web

Friday, April 30, 2004

Camera Phone Summit

Great near-real-time coverage blog from this week's Cameraphone Summit in Maui. This looked like a great conference with a mix of big companies and startups. One of the more interesting companies looks to be GoPix. They have something very similar to an app my friends Mark Halliday and Karen Donoghue created almost 10 years ago called CoolCards.
I took the plunge again today (don't tell my wife!) - another new camera and I didn't even wait for B&H or someone to have it discounted. Paid full $349 retail from J&R. This time it is the
HP PhotoSmart R707 - I have been happy but not thrilled with the Nikon 3700. Great for outdoor snapshots, not so great on tougher shots. This HP camera has a lot of things that attracted me to it. 5.1 Mp (who needs that much resolution, but why not), in-camera red-eye (this will become standard for all cameras in a year or two) and a whole bag of in-camera intelligence called RealLife imaging. I've been saying for a while that it will be the cameras that make an average amateur snapshooter get pictures like a pro that finally bust open this market for software/printing/online services.

This is the value proposition that really drove the last big growth spurt in consumer photography - point & shoot 35mm and APS cameras that were idiot proof and made you smile when you picked up your prints and proud when you showed the off to friends and family. Right now, the results I have gotten from the various digicams I have owned have not met that criteria - most of the really good prints I have were the result of post processing in Photoshop or PhotoLightning.

This is one of the reasons I think camera phones will have some great novelty, productivity (visual note taking for example) and communications uses but will not replace the need for a high quality digital camera for true preservation of memories. It will be part of the mix of devices feeding into your digital shoebox but for most high value occasions (birthdays, holidays, vacations, etc.) you won't be capturing those with a camera phone.................