Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Getting a Better Digital Camera

n95-8gb-camera-windowI was just having this chat with my colleague about upgrading his DSLR camera. His camera is clunky and inconvenient to carry around. Nowadays cameras have advanced so much. How about getting a camera like mine? For all purpose and intent, I’ve got a pretty good camera you know. It features Carl Zeiss optics and Tessar lens, complemented by autofocus system, macro shooting, 8 scene modes, built-in flash with red-eye reduction, and produces high quality 5 megapixel images that make for superb 4R photo prints. It also captures full VGA resolution video at 30fps in MPEG4 format. It is tinier than most compact cameras.

My camera also has lots of other bells and whistles. It comes with bluetooth, which allows me to very easily transfer my photos to a PictBridge compatible printer. This is really very convenient. In fact, it also has other wireless data transfer capabilities such as InfraRed and 802.11b/g Wireless LAN support. I can sync my freshly taken photos directly with Flickr and a variety of online photo sharing websites. Built-in GPS features also let me geo-tag the photos taken.

The wireless network capabilities make this camera gadget really powerful. Included in the built-in software are applications like a full-fledge web browser. Yes, wireless web-surfing with from this little gadget. In fact, it has a whole lot more things: appointment scheduler, address book, VOIP internet phone client, MSN Messenger client, etc.

Okay, if you still haven’t gotten a sense of where I’m headed… here’s a big clue about what my camera gadget is: It also features quad-band GSM with UMTS/HSDPA capabilities, so that I can even make phone calls and video calls with this thing.

Have you gotten it yet? It’s a camera phone actually. More specifically, my Nokia N95 8GB.

Yes, camera phones like the Nokia N95 8GB does work pretty well as a camera. In fact, I like it so much more than a DSLR or even a compact camera because a camera phone is always with me, always on-hand to take photos at a moment’s notice.

Camera phones don’t yet have the speed, image quality, flash lighting capability, lens flexibility and other accessories to match the big DSLR cameras. But how useful is a camera if it is not there when you need to take a photo?

The camera phone has also become quite indispensable at work. I think companies should probably buy camera phones for their employees, or pay/subsidize one that they employee buys, much like how many companies give their employees notebook computers. I find myself taking lots of photos for work related purposes: capture evidence of work done, or work not done, or violation or infringing work, etc. Sometimes it is to just capture images for asset tags, serial numbers, etc, so that I can batch compile them later. How about photographing all the nonsense scribbled on a whiteboard during a meeting for later transcription? Photographing or video recording an activity to document a “situation” for reporting? Documenting the “before” and “after” of an activity? There’s a whole lot of work-related need for a camera phone eh!

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