The Smartphone’s Camera Is All That Matters – But Does It Really Matter?

The Smartphone’s Camera Is All That Matters – But Does It Really Matter?

Since yesterday, I just can’t help asking: What’s next for mobile phones? When will the next leap happen?

Here is what occurred: I finally found the time to browse through my news feed and found that great article by Om Malik. It is very likely that you have read “In the future, we will photography everything and look at nothing”, too, since it went viral the instant it hit the net. The heading says it all but here’s a roundup (and quote) of it:

 

“[W]e have come to a point in society where we are all taking too many photos and spending very little time looking at them.”

 

To be honest, Om Malik raises several issues but, I guess, this thought is what struck readers the most.

However, this great article, written by the guy I always love to read or hear (TWiT) from, is not the sole reason for getting ‘philosophical’. The other reason is the enormous amount of news about the best new smartphone camera that clutters my feed.

 

Just a few weeks ago, we (the writers, the reviewers, the users) could almost agree on calling the Samsung Galaxy S7 the mobile phone with the best camera on the market. And we (the writers, the reviewers, the users) do take it for granted that the Apple iPhone 7 is going to beat it as soon as it is released.

Those who have a bit more interest in tech news than the average person also heard about the LG G5 with its camera module, the Asus ZenFone Zoom with its optical zoom technology or the Oppo F1 with its 16 MP front camera.

Putting all the information together, one can easily see that mobile phone companies and/or their marketing departments have a strong focus on their device’s cameras. That is not a new insight, of course, but with regard to Om Malik’s article we should wonder why anyone even cares?

 

Or let’s raise another question, if smartphone producers are right and buyers are first and foremost interested in a good camera, why have all past attempts to build cameraphones failed? Why were mobile phones such as the Samsung Galaxy K zoom and the Panasonic Lumix Smart Camera CM1 not a success?

 

Huawei just announced the P9 which is going to “change smartphone photography forever”. The newest HTC device received less attention from the press, though it claims to be the “best ever smartphone for shooting photos and videos”. Probably because it lacks the prestigious partnership with LEICA?

In future, so it seems, no one needs a standalone camera anymore – our smartphones will be shooting DSLR-like images. Which doesn’t mean that we will be able to tell the difference for this would take us to actually look at our photos.

 

I personally don’t care too much about my smartphone’s camera. I know that, acccording to reviews, it is okay for a low-end device. I can’t tell, I think the photos look great for snapshots and I do have a DSLR for photographing. Not that I’m spending much time looking at them at all …

Besides my smartphone can do what almost any (if not broken) mobile phone can: make and receive calls. And that’s the problem every mobile phone company faces now: when telephone and camera quality are no longer a reason to buy a specific brand, which innovation will be?