R.I.P. Camera. You won’t be missed.

Just over one week ago, I decided it was time to ditch the Blackberry Curve for something a little more, well, up on the times. Sorry Blackberry, but you just haven’t been meeting my technology needs. This girl needs apps!

But I didn’t just choose a new phone on a whim. I did some serious research. Okay, I hassled my tech-savvy friends into doing research for me and took their opinions seriously.

I left Verizon feeling pretty darn happy about my little device: the HTC Thunderbolt. And then it hit me – with a 4.3-inch screen and 8MP camera with dual-LED flash, I can pretty much say “adios” to my little digital camera.

Why would I carry around an extra device when my phone can basically do the same job just as well? Oh, and my phone has built-in memory of 8MB and a microSD card with 32GB of storage. So I’ve got plenty of room. Plus, I can upload to Facebook and Twitter right from my phone, which is more than I can say about my weeny point-and-shoot.

Oh, and my phone has something else that my camera doesn’t – apps. Photo editing apps. Now, I haven’t had a ton of time to play around with these apps, but the following photos were taken using a few that I’ve discovered and liked. Oh, and since I don’t like paying for, um, anything… they’re all free apps.

Meet Todd, today’s photo model. He was a present from @MKEnerd, who you should be following on Twitter for a daily laugh or two. This photo was taken with Camera360, which offers a variety of photography modes, including color shift, effects, scenery and even funny effects. What’s nice is that you can edit pictures later, after you’ve taken them. Not nice? The constant pressure to buy the premium app for $4.

I’m a sucker for anything that looks old, so I was pretty psyched when I was able to make Todd look like he came from, well, the Jurassic Period. Yes, I know they didn’t have cameras back then. Go with it. Anyway, this was taken with Little Photo, which also gives the user a bajillion options for effects and such. Sharing the photo on FB or Twitter is also really simple with this app.

Purple Todd! This photo was taken using Vignette, one of the most talked about photo apps. Although I do like this app, you don’t get to preview what the photo will look like with a certain effect before you commit to it. I found myself going back again and again to pick different looks. Granted, there are a lot of effect options. And I bet the user experience is better with the paid versions. Darn teaser free versions!

And last but not least was a photo taken with the picplz app. This one requires you to set up an account, unlike the others, but it’s really conducive to social sharing which is nice. It has less effect options than the others, but the user experience is really nice. The photo takes up most of the screen, but on the right you can scroll through thumbnails of different effects, which I like. And it looks like I can use this in conjunction with Camera360 or Vignette, but I’ll have to do a bit more playing around to see how that works.

And yes, I’m very aware that I’m a writer, not a photographer. So please don’t judge my photo-taking skills too harshly!

Anyway, with simple (and free) apps like these and the higher quality cameras on smartphones, are you also saying “farewell” to your point-and-shoot digital cameras?

April 5, 2011 · Posted by in misc, photo  


8 Responses to “R.I.P. Camera. You won’t be missed.”

  1. Pete Prodoehl on April 5th, 2011 8:56 am

    For more and more people, the “camera phone” is good enough, and the fact that it’s almost always with you, and there are great photo apps, and the ability to easily publish/share photos, seals the deal.

    There’s still a ton of limitations compared to “real” cameras, but sometimes the tradeoff is OK.

    Hardcore photo-nerds still love good lenses, and all the other things a camera can bring to the game though…

    On the “This Week in Photography” podcast they’ve often talked about the day when the apps feature of smartphones will merge with digital SLR cameras to create a new super-camera which will allow much more digital manipulation to happen “in camera” instead of the current workflow which requires moving files from camera to computer.

    So while I love my Nikon and the choice of lenses and the megapixels it provides… yeah, my point-and-shoot camera is my iPhone. :)

  2. Chelsey Orlikowski on April 5th, 2011 9:03 am

    Great article! I definitely see more people leaning towards using their phone as their main camera source, especially with rumors of the iPhone 5 being equipped with an 8 megapixel camera and other brands heading down that road as well.

    While I like to dabble in traditional digital photography as a hobby, I am finding myself using my iPhone more and more to take photographs. I was in Las Vegas and Phoenix last week, and took over 200 photographs with my phone, while only taking a handful with my point-and-shoot. There’s something about the accessibility of a camera phone that makes everything easier. Not to mention the fact that I can upload a sweet photo to Facebook, Twitter or Flickr a few seconds after it is taken!

    While I don’t think I’ll ever be able to completely abandon traditional cameras, I really like where phone-based photography is headed. I think the more camera-effect apps come out, the less I’ll be using my traditional device.

    P.S. Todd makes a great model!

  3. Olivia on April 5th, 2011 9:13 am

    Pete, I had no idea there were discussions going on about merging the apps technology with digital SLRs… talk about a super camera!

    Chelsey, you’re definitely spot-on about accessibility being a huge advantage for camera phones. Plus, your phone is a device you’d already be carrying with you anyway. No extra equipment needed.

    Overall, I think that while SLRs will still be majorly important for photographers and other photo-nerds, smartphones will make small point-and-shoots less and less necessary. Why spend $150 on a little camera when your phone can basically do the same thing… and more?

  4. Greg Tarnoff on April 5th, 2011 9:20 am

    As a “hardcore photo nerd” I love that I can do instant retro looks with my cell phone that takes a significant investment of time with my computer an a heavy processing application like Photoshop.

    Of course, I own 17 cameras, only 5 of which are digital and those are the ones I shoot the least with now. the more time I spend with cameras, the more I crave film, especially Polaroid.

  5. Pete Prodoehl on April 5th, 2011 9:33 am

    Greg, I feel like phone cameras are more about “pictures” while DSLRs are more about “photography.”

    You never hear anyone talk about the f/stop, shutter speed, ISO or RAW vs. JPG when they are talking about cameras in phones.

    I like that you can get instant effects on phone photos using apps, but I really do love sitting down after I’ve been out shooting, and processing my photos in Photoshop. (Well, if I’m in the right mood, I love it. :)

  6. Brennan Stehling on April 5th, 2011 9:44 am


    What I really want from the camera makers is a way to sync photos from my DSLR to my phone or other mobile device with apps which would allow me to edit and upload right there. I do not need much more than a little file sharing really to get the files over. Then I would find my DSLR a lot more useful and would use it more. I really do not like having to connect the USB all the time.

    I have looked at the Eye-Fi (http://www.eye.fi/) and the last time I checked it did not do what I wanted.

  7. Pete Prodoehl on April 5th, 2011 9:54 am

    Yeah, the Eye-Fi is nice for what it does, but it’s not exactly what you would need to do what you want. It’s an interesting concept, and while the realist in my can see why it would be really hard (or perhaps unrealistic) to do right now/today, I’m hoping it’s something we might see in the future.

  8. Cory on April 5th, 2011 10:54 pm

    This is a great topic. As some of you know, I am a photographer. Shoot with nikons best camera on the market and edit in photoshop.

    There’s uses and needs for both. I wish my iPhone shot w higher quality because I love those photo apps. I actualy wish psd could get those same apps with the same simplicity. To do that with my 50 Meg file w the 3dx.

    But I will always have a use for my pro camera and iPhone camera. Not sure you can ever mix the two. This super camera? A nikon 3dx that can make calls, text and update my FB and twitter? Ummmm No!! Will it happen? I’m sure it will. Will it be right? No.