Since 2007, i’ve had a decent mobile camera in my pocket every single day. Up until recently, i rarely used it though. Why? Because with my old n95, taking a photo was a slow process. I’d need about 15 seconds to get the phone out, open the shutter, wait on it to start up & focus properly, that’s if it wasn’t on video mode in which case i’d have to wait whilst i switched it to picture mode….
With the iphone, i can get it out and be ready to take photos in about 7 seconds. Much quicker. So i do take more photos these days on the move not just because i can get the camera feature open quicker, but because i know i have 30GB of free space plus the photos will be of a fairly high resolution plus i can upload them right there and then if i want to because i’m on a bill pay package with 2GBs of data which i haven’t used up, so i’m not gonna pay prepay prices i.e. €50 per kilobyte to upload them online.
Let’s forget about quality for a second and concede that if you want the best quality photos possible, you’re not going to use a device that slips in to your pocket. There, that’s the DSLR people taken care of. For the rest of us living in the real world, we know that convenience and cost is more important than quality. Full HD TV’s a great example – how many of us would pay extra for a Full HDTV as opposed to HD Ready? What about blu ray? 3D TV anyone? Of course, if we could all afford them we’d buy the best possible…
If you have a mobile phone, you more than likely have a camera in it. If you’re reading this blog post, you’ll have a phone with a decent camera in it. If not, i must be attracting the wrong kind of readers 🙂
Whether you use it or not is another question, many people i’d call ‘tech’ people don’t seem to use mobile cameras. When i see a lecturer draw a diagram on a whiteboard i don’t instinctively try to jot it down myself, i instinctively say to myself “hang on a second, can i not just take a photo of this?”. Nobody else seems to do that though and i don’t want to look lazy so usually i’ll just draw it down on paper by hand. If it’s uber-complicated, i’ll take a quick undercover photo just to make sure i haven’t missed anything.
It’s the same with important lectures too. Isn’t this why mobile phones have voice recording software? But none of this is the norm. This doesn’t happen in college. I’m not sure how it would be received either. I think it’s just smart and using technology to free up our thinking time in class. Of course i’d also like to see lectures put up on youtube or available as podcasts… the more technology the merrier 🙄
Foursquare could tell us who’s in today and who’s not in… or facebook events… if only EVERYBODY used the same technology… So believe it or not, i’d say people are the biggest obstacle to mobile photography really taking off. We need to embrace it more.
Speed & Cost
The more mainstream it becomes, the cheaper it becomes and then the more all of us can afford to use it and the greater the need there is for faster mobile networks to cope with larger data transfer… we’re now seeing quality apps like instagram pop up which encourage us to take more photos on our mobiles and share them with the world.
Pictures should be as easy to publish as tweets but they’re not because our networks are too slow and a picture isn’t just a thousand words, it’s about a million if you’re comparing filesizes between 140 characters and a 2mb image.
We need more speed, more compression…. we need more more more and we’ll only get it once there is a need and demand for it.
Whenever i’m heading away anywhere, i’ll typically take more photos. Photos of streets, trees, cars, cats… stupid things i wouldn’t normally snap at home. That’s because i’m just in holiday mode and i’m not thinking about college stuff or web stuff. It’s natural when you’re in a new environment to take pictures of it… However, if you’re out of the country you’ll be robbed by roaming rates.
That’s a real problem for us – we don’t use the internet abroad as much as we’d like to because we know we’re gonna pay ridiculous roaming charges. Yes there’s internet cafes and world sim cards etc but that’s all just ‘hassle’ for the average user. They want to pay the same rates everywhere. Which is why free wi-fi is important and will only become more important for bars, hotels etc… it’s another selling point.