Sunday, February 13, 2005

Why a traditional digicam can't beat an integrated one

Recently, many new devices contain small digital cameras. Reviewers tend to ignore these 'hidden eyes', as their image quality is not on par with even the cheapest of digital cameras. A simple VGA CMOS sensor can never compete with a multi-megapixel system that has a variety of optical zooms at its disposal-but do you need cutting-edge image quality all the time?
Transfer volume
Actually, I don't. Altough having megapixel JPEG's may be nice for printing, an online publisher usually won't need this enormous quality and can go well with VGA images. Just think of the incredible amout of bandwith a 1.3MP-Image would need. TamsPalm is currently evaluating a new host, which is one of the best and offers 20GB of traffic for just 99 cent. Now think of a 1MB image-20000 visitors and good bye. In addition, not everyone has a broadband connection nowadays. My collegue with his 56k modem is producing lovely Palm Os programs and music-but 1MB of image size would kill his connection!
Next point-availability. Most people always carry their mobile phone and their PDA-adding a third device seems unpractical-thus the digicam has to stay at home as it is the device one needs the rarest. Now imagine that you run into a nice scenery for a photo(e.g. the PalmOne Cube)-you gotta go home, get camera which is probably not charged, go back-and there is a high chance that the image isn't available anymore.
Ease of use
Not everything is keen on beeing photographed-the owners of some things prefer not having their deeds/stuff pictured(all I say is Tungsten T5, etc). A digicam is very difficult to hide, but a cameraphone? Just whip it out and pretend to play tetris, silent the shutter and a few lovely snapshots of whatever victim you have selected!
Lets conclude for now. A digicam definitely has its right to live-but not always. Especially journalists or bloggers should think seriously about which device to get-I was offered a low-end digicam instead of the SX1 but still took the SX1 for the reasons mentioned above.
What do you think?


Blogger PhillyPocket said...

Why do people insist on comparing the two. Aside from the fact that they both take pictures, I don't see the similarity. These are different devices fitting different needs.

Maybe it's my definition of a digicam: digital camera. It doesn' mean or imply cheap or limited. My "digicam" affords me they type of control and flexibility I cannot get in an integrated camera. Not only is the capability greater, but so are the ergonomics, capacity, versitility. This doesn't mean that I wouldn't consider an integrated camera (provided it came attached to a device I actually wanted). But it's usefullness and purpose would be very different that my digicam.

It's like comparing a motorcycle and a humvee. There primary purpose my be transportation, but I wouldnt want to take a motercycle into battle, nor drive a humvee to work (not that people haven't done both, but hey, I can't vouch for anyones sanity)

4:54 PM  
Blogger PhillyPocket said...

Boy, that came off pithy. Sorry. Tech blog indignation overload.

I guess I'm somewhat dismayed that most tech people talk a zero sum game. "This tool fits at the expense of other tools." As opposed to this tool works, and works well, in this situation. You gave good reasons why an integrated phone is a better choice for you. But aside for transfer volume, I'd probably come to the opposite concusion on your other points based on how and when I use my camera.

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Camilo Alvarez said...

Nothing to do with this topic but
i am from colombia an i wanted to congratulate you for the blog.... is greate.... looks exelent on avant go. keep on writing!!!

12:23 AM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi Philly,
altough I don't fully understand your comments(there are no humvees in austria, is it like a quad??), I can definitely agree to your main point. Digicams are something different indeed-but sometimes one can't have both!
Best regards and thank you
Tam Hanna

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Jon said...

Traditional digital camera including SLRs can take high quality images which will allow users to crop, edit etc. With mobile phone cameras, the resolution is too low to allow cropping and there are too much noise.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi Jon,
you are perfectly right-but do you carry your digicam around all the time?
Best regards
Tam Hanna

4:15 PM  
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