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The Downside of Camera Phones

24 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

Ok, this is going to sound strange, but I HATE camera phones. Let’s start with the simple fact that not one of them is very good for actually taking pictures. Sure a candid shot here or there, or that pricelss moment when you are walking down the street and see an obscenely expensive car with a boot on it (the only time I was ever happy about having a camera phone Mercedes G Wagon with a boot!) but I digress… how many people go to the birthday party, family get together or wedding armed with their cell phone to capture the memories.

I'm a consultant and as such I am constantly visiting different companies. I currently carry an Audiovox SMT5600 smartphone and it's perfect for me, except for the camera. I'm finding that more and more, certain companies are not allowing camera phones on the premises (banking and engineering firms especially). Now, I also have an MPX200 that I can switch my SIM to when necessary and thanks to the OTA activesync I can keep both phones up to date. My question is this. The smartphone is a serious business tool and I doubt any business person is worried about having a camera on their phone so why put it there? If you are paying 300 to 500 dollars for a phone… I’m sure you can afford a real digital camera anyway.

Lately, I've even had to check my phone going into some of the bars and clubs in town. Seems there have been some issues (and lawsuits of course) with people using the phones to take pictures of people at.... inopportune moments or from certain inappropriate angles... I'm sure you follow.

Now, I understand that the camera is a popular feature, and no company wants to make two versions of the same phone as it’s simply not cost effective. I also buy into the dream that one day the cameras will be used for wireless video communication.

Perhaps someone out there wants to make a kit to replace the shell on some of these phones to obscure the camera…. Something like that.

Bottom line, the camera on my cell phone has caused me significantly more hassle as of late than it has provided any serious return…

Anyone agree?

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Posted · Report post

its starking to be noticed in the uk to, i cant take my phone with me to work, well i shouldnt anyway, due to security etc.

You also arent allowed to use the phones in public chnaging rooms / swimming pools etc

I think there is a space in the market for a good smartphone which has no camera. I fear to many people would see it as a step backwards for it to be launched any time soon

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Posted · Report post

With respect, there's a wave of hysteria fuelling this at the moment.

When it dies down I don't imagine anyone will be worried about camera phones.

After all, industrial espionage didn't start with camera phones. Same with the other issues.

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Posted · Report post

i dont doubt that in some areas thats true, but certainly the industry i work in things are going to get worse for this type of thing :s

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Posted · Report post

its starking to be noticed in the uk to, i cant take my phone with me to work, well i shouldnt anyway, due to security etc.

You seem to be able to browse the web at work, as you post here during working hours (I'm not stalking you - just looked now to prove my point :D ), so they should not worry about camera phones, as it would be easy for you to send away information using your computer... well, in most cases this can be easily done, don't know the specifics of your job.

I think that managers should be trained about security and should observe that a set of security measures that has holes in it is in place only to annoy the employees, not to be effective.

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Posted · Report post

not at work at the minute! long term leave :D

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Posted · Report post

Some manufacturers realise that for business phones, cameras can be a disadvantage. Look at the HP 6300 series (HP's first Ipaq with phone). There are two different models of it, one with camera and one without.

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Posted · Report post

then you can spend the money you save on a decent camera with a flash! :D

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Posted · Report post

@squall:

So no internet access at work either? I feel sorry!

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Posted · Report post

I know what you mean, which is why I like the fact that on some smartphones you can easily change the SD card (and why I won't be upgrading to a C500) This way I've got a decent digital camera with SD card, and a phone too. If I really feel the need to send someone a photo, I just swap out the SD cards, and do it that way.

Maybe a digital camera with bluetooth would be an ideal solution, or perhaps, dare I say it the SPV classic was right all along and detachable cameras are the way to go?

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Posted · Report post

Must admit that in some ways the camera on my original SPV was the best. Used to find ebay sale pics turned out so much better on that then with the integrated cameras since.

My work is fine about phonecameras but I know a friend who works at an establishment that doesn't allow mobiles on the premises AT ALL. Then again, it's not your everyday company in that case...

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Posted · Report post

The company i worked for we not happy about mobile phones altogether. Officially you weren't allowed them turned on inside the buildings. So the advent of camera phones has not changed anything in that respect :D

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Posted · Report post

haha..im not allowed them...but i always have my trusty e200 with me...sure i have a c500..but the gaming is soooo bad...(dodgy up/down/left/right keypad)...cameras on phones are a waste of time in my opinion...i nearly always have my digital slr with me..phone cameras are so useless

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Posted · Report post

haha..im not allowed them...but i always have my trusty e200 with me...sure i have a c500..but the gaming is soooo bad...(dodgy up/down/left/right keypad)...cameras on phones are a waste of time in my opinion...i nearly always have my digital slr with me..phone cameras are so useless

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It's not the phone that needs changing it's the people using them........

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Posted · Report post

I guess I'm still the only one on earth who likes the camera in my phone. Or still the only one that admits it. I do go to parties and such with it and many times, I'm the only one there with any kind of camera at all. At that time, my cameraphone is a lot better than those zillion dollar digital cameras everyone else forgot at home. I know the date of the first time it snowed here last year because I took a picture and uploaded it to a photo blog site (http://www.phlog.net/user/mgamber), along with several hundred other pictures taken over the past couple of years. Sure, they're not the highest quality pictures I've ever seen but they're much higher quality than the pictures never taken by real cameras that weren't there. Just in case someone gives me a hard time about it, I keep a Nokia 6010 in the car but it's never been used except to make sure that it worked. So in the end, it's no more than opinion.

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Posted · Report post

No, me too.

Disapponted with the lack of snow in Coventry, I learnt that my sister was an hour late to work in York.

2 minutes later everyone in the office wants to see the snow pic she sent me from her C500.

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Posted · Report post

I quite like having a camera on my phone, too - I've shocked more than a few people by showing that you can get a reasonable 6x4 photo from a VGA camera phone (admittedly many shots don't come out so well, but with decent, professional printing the quality can be quite acceptable)... for serious use I'll use a dedicated digital camera, but for a quick snap to remind me to look up a book, it's great.

There is a potential issue with security, though. Not so much worried about corporate espionage (the impact on that's probably overblown), but the dodgy snaps. There have been moves to ensure that all camera phones make sounds when taking a picture, though, which somewhat alleviates the problem - it's more often a potential problem when someone can take silent photos so nobody is any the wiser.

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Posted · Report post

my C500 has only ever been used to take the odd picture here and there. i bought a digi camera a while ago when on holiday in New York and i still ended up taking more pics with my old school SPV than the digi camera while away. i could really see the benefit of a nicer camera on a MS Smartphone.

Im not a business user so that side of things doesn't bother me, but im just someone who loves how much you can customise and do with a "SPV" class phone. Id say 2 seperate SPV models could be a good thing. one with a mega pixel camera and a flash for people like me and another more business orientated one without a camera, etc.

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Posted · Report post

I dont think the camera on phones is that much use but without them no one would send MMS would they?? Unless they went to the trouble of putting them on from there PC!!

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Posted · Report post

While some don't like having a camera on the phone, I find this a bit odd on a forum largely about smartphones and pocketPCs.

I'm sure there's people out there that think why put games on a phone, you can carry a PSP/Gameboy, why have backgrounds when I can carry a photo album, why have net browsing when I can carry a laptop, why have PDA functionality when I can carry a PDA or filofax, why have ringtones when I can carry a MIDI sound module, why have mp3 playback when I can carry a mp3 player.

Why? it's handy, you don't want to carry all of that lot around. Having a camera on your phone is about always having a camera with you, you won't ever miss that golden moment. You can then send this pic or movie to someone else.

My megapixel Kodak is always out of power, I keep chargining the batteries but they're always flat when I need them.

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Posted · Report post

As an owner and avid user of a FujiFilm FinePix S7000 Prosumer D-SLR like Digicam, as well as an F10 compact Digital, and now a new swanking Fuji S9500 D-SLR, can I just briefly chip in and say there is nevertheless a HUGE range of times and places where having a camera on a mobile phone is a great thing - even when I am out shooting, it is nice to be able to take a camera pic at the same time, and MMS a copy to family back wherever, there and then, and then show them the real full Digicam set later on.

Evidence after car crashes and bumps is handy too, as well as PROVING you are in a meeting (hence why I think you SHOULD be able to take a photo silently). Many a time I have rejected a call while in meetings, and taken a photo of the committee, without them knowing, with the clock on the wall above, and sent that to whoever didn't beleive I was genuinely in a meeting, and thought I was just avoiding them for an afternoon.

Downsides though, as have been mentioned in here... well here's a curious but obvious one, albeit with a gender twist to it...

I was recently working the Doors Bouncing again (I do this as a night-time job when I feel like it), and I was at a certain lap-dancing club near where I live (there are only two in our City, and I have worked both as they are sister-clubs anyhow, same company, so easy to work out where I mean if you know it).

Anyhow, I had invited our lass and her mate along (clearly, as the avatar shows, it's something that appeals as much to her as us blokes *lol*).

Well, our lass is TERRIBLE for texting - indeed her main SIM is an orange TEXT ONLY account of 3000 texts for £20 a month.

And she was sitting in the club, texting away to her mates no doubt telling them what a great time she was having etc etc..

And I as Doorman, and her partner at that, had to go over and have words with her about her use of the phone, as she hadn't realised she kept 'pointing it upwards' to read it easier as she typed, and it of course looked like she was constantly taking photos, so I needed her to stop in case the manager took it the 'wrong way'

Such is the issue of simply having a camera on the back alone...

So there will never be an easy answer to this one.

The argument about future business phones not having a camera on (as two out of three of the forthcoming Nokia 'E' series Enterprise phones will not have) seems a bit of a none-starter to me, as many other sites are these days highlighting the benefit of a camera on a phone for business, sales, and out in the field users...

So even 'business use' does not mean camera not wanted or needed anymore...

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Posted · Report post

dont blackberrys omit a camera? and are mainly business use?

most companies where you need a mobile as part of the job will provide this type of device..

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Posted · Report post

With respect, there's a wave of hysteria fuelling this at the moment.

When it dies down I don't imagine anyone will be worried about camera phones.

After all, industrial espionage didn't start with camera phones. Same with the other issues.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The hysteria might calm down, but hardware manufacturers won't stop integrating cameras as standard until the network providers (who lean on them) feel they've got enough got non-voice revenue to get them out of the 3G licenses hole they dug - i.e. never...

...so irrespective of whether or not workplaces/etc. like them, we'll be hard pushed to get any decent phones in future that don't have cameras.

I agree with some others here that the camera is wasted space/cost/effort/complexity in many phones. I would rather they offered models without them that were that little bit smaller/cheaper/simpler software as a result of not having a camera.

...for that matter I could easily (and have since my first phone in 1999) live without MMS, picture messaging, DJ-nonesense, albums and all that other multimedia stuff

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Posted · Report post

dont blackberrys omit a camera? and are mainly business use?

most companies where you need a mobile as part of the job will provide this type of device..

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It does indeed (for now).

And when you think about it, isn't that a bit bizarre.

Because you have, in a Blackberry, a PERFECT device for sending Photos FULL size (i.e. via built in full email client), yet, not means to take said pictures.

So, if you are in Marketing, and attend a trade show with betas or suggested designs on show, and bearing in mind of course it is permitted to use a camera, you could take a reasonably decent image, and send it full size, not a tiny MMS thing, using the Email facility of the Blackerry, straight back to Head Office there and then.

That is just a quick and simple, contrived example of its uses. By the same token, having a Camera on a Blackberry at a trade show could indeed PREVENT you from being able to take your Blackberry into the show, if cameras are barred, so there is an equally contrasting slant to this of course.

But I just thought it important to highlight that the example of a device you mention that does not have a camera on it, doesn't really mean anything - it could equally just as usefully, if not more so that normal phones themselves with small MMS pictures only, be an argument FOR cameras on it, not against!

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