Wednesday, 19 October 2011

I have a phone.

My phone is small, cheap, and works well -- as a phone. For instance; I can use it to make and receive phone calls.

It has a camera in it.

This was unavoidable at the time -- it's not a very good camera as these things go. It does not, for example, have hardware zoom, or the ability to adjust exposure time, take time-lapse images, or any of those things. To me, that's kinda like pointing out that it doesn't do the ironing. It is a camera in my phone. It takes OK photographs.

I also have a camera.

Occasionally I like to take photos that are not just OK. Not often but it happens. My camera has these hardware things that my phone lacks due to being, you know, not a camera. This, in no way, reflects negatively on my phone.

I do not feel the need to take really good photos, so my camera is about middling as these things go. Someone may point out that my camera cannot send the photo to another phone or to my email account. That's all right - it has a USB port and I can use that to send the picture to my mini tablet - which is what I use for mobile computery things like image processing and networking. I can do this with any computer. If I am not carrying my USB cable, the camera has large storage which is removable and almost everyone has a card reader. Besides, if I have to wait a bit before sharing my latest cute-kitten pic I find I annoy fewer people.

If I really really need this functionality, I can actually buy a camera that has a phone (or some other network device) in it. The phone in these things is not at all useful for making phone calls: that's OK, nobody cares, because the camera is awesome and you can send your photos where you like right away.

Between them my camera and phone cost less than, say, picking a device completely at random, an iPhone.

I occasionally see people discussing (to push a definition of the word "discuss" somewhat) the various comparative merits of different cameras that are in those phones that come with cameras. These multiuse appliances all seem to their owners, or the owners of a competing brand appliance, (or wannabes - it's hard to keep track) to these people to be somehow deficient in one or some or all of their functions. If by some miracle the sweet perfect appliance has been manufactured, it mysteriously failed to sell and has been discontinued.

This message is for you.

Here lies the path to happiness:

You want to take a photo, use a camera.
You want to make a phone-call, use a phone.

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