WHAT’S IN A SMART­PHONE CAM­ERA?

HWM (Singapore) - - Ed’s Note - S David Chieng ED­I­TOR

mart­phone cam­eras have come a long way since the 2-megapixel days, when even am­ple sun­light wasn’t suf­fi­cient to en­sure a shot that wasn’t grainy and barely dis­tin­guish­able from that of a cheap we­b­cam.

To­day, mul­ti­ple megapix­els are the norm, and de­spite nu­mer­ous tech­ni­cal lim­i­ta­tions, mostly to do with size and the chal­lenges of minia­tur­iza­tion, smart­phones to­day sport bet­ter im­age sen­sors and much bet­ter lenses (in some case, glass) than ever be­fore. We’ve ex­plored the idea of a smart­phone as a cred­i­ble dig­i­tal com­pact cam­era re­place­ment be­fore, but un­til de­vices like the iPhone 4S (and now the iPhone 5/5S), as well as Nokia’s 41-megapixel won­der (okay, okay, 38 megapix­els, ac­tu­ally), dig­i­tal compacts still worked bet­ter, and were ul­ti­mately far more prac­ti­cal.

Just like ev­ery self-re­spect­ing new par­ent, I’ve found that when it comes to snag­ging that elu­sive mo­ment of my lit­tle ones in dig­i­tal form, I’ve whipped out my smart­phone (pre­vi­ously the iPhone 4S) far more times than I can count, as I’m more likely to have it on my as com­pared to my trusty Canon EOS 550D dig­i­tal SLR, which has spent the past 18 months sit­ting in­side a dry cab­i­net. And in those past 18 months, I’ve man­aged to fill up my iPhone’s 32GB of stor­age mul­ti­ple times (thank you, Drop­box, for the auto-up­load func­tion). The im­ages from my smart­phone, ad­mit­tedly, don’t come quite close to what my DSLR can achieve, but they’re more than good enough for shar­ing with friends and fam­ily over What­sapp, or Face­book.

I’ve since up­graded to the Nokia Lu­mia 1020, in the hopes that the abil­ity to re­frame my shots af­ter the fact can help me frame my mem­o­ries bet­ter. Of course, while con­ve­nient, I will ad­mit that de­vices like my Sony RX100 com­pact cam­era still take bet­ter pic­tures, but ul­ti­mately, dur­ing my reg­u­lar day, I’m more likely to be car­ry­ing my smart­phone around, than a stand­alone cam­era. Now, where’s that por­ta­ble bat­tery pack? DO YOU PRE­FER A SMART­PHONE, OR A DIG­I­TAL CAM­ERA, FOR CA­SUAL SNAP­SHOTS?

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