As we all know, the ubiquitous nature of phones with cameras these days have more or less decimated the low end point and shoot camera market.
And as the quality of these cameras improve, it is making in-roads up the camera food chain.
Being consumer electronic equipment with volumes in the hundreds of millions, it no doubt dwarfs the enthusiast dedicated camera market and as Ricktas in another thread suggests, R&D dollars are likely being driven my this market.
Of course I, as a photography enthusiast, would like the R&D to focus on the higher end, dedicated photographic tools.
But just to play devil's advocate, I like to open up discussion how camera phones can improve from where they are today.
Some of the mentioned shortfalls of camera phones include:
- small sensor with poor low light performance
- poor photographic ergonomics
- lack of zoom
They are phones afterall and need to be carried everywhere everyday so of course ergonomics must favour this.
The moment someone adds an accessory grip or an attachment lens, the camera phone looses some of its convenience.
So how big can sensors get before making a phone too thick.
The largest I know of is the Panasonic CM1 that has a 1"sensor, followed closely by the Nokia 808 Pureview with a sensor a touch smaller. Subsequently the phone thickness is also at the edge of probably what most people can accept.
The Samsung Galaxy zoom pushes this envelope even further by including a zoom lens but IMO it is probably thicker than what most would find acceptable for an everyday phone.
At 1", the sensor should theoretically be on par with the upper end P&S market such as the Sony RX or Canon G7x.
I'm ignoring lens quality for the time being but image quality of 1" sensor cameras are very good these days.
Without a grip phones are also not very steady to handle. Tapping on the screen induce movement and often needs a second hand to operate. A side button often substitutes as a shutter button but in my experience doesn't have the right tactile sensation.
Can the lower part of the camera bezel be hinged to bend 90 degrees to provide a make shift grip with a dedicated shutter button?
Instead of a zoom, can we have multiple lensor units at various focal lengths eg. 24mm, 50mm, 90mm
At least if the sensors are kept quite small such as existing popular sizes like 1/3"or 1/1.7" (and not the 1" Panasonic CM1's), they are actually quite small and thin lensor units.
At least in Asia, phablets seem to be all the rage so having real estate for extra lensor units shouldn't be an issue.