Polaroid have announced their entry into the smart phone arena on Friday (though they didn’t seem to mention that it is a phone at the time. Leaving an incredible amount of confusion between different websites). They have finally done what I’ve been wanting on a phone for years OPTICAL ZOOM.
Mobile phone cameras have come a long way. It seems the days of just shoving mega pixels onto it and claiming it’s better seem to be all but behind us. A picture I took on my Samsung Galaxy S 2 the day before writing this look excellent
and it’s “only 8MP”. My compact camera I carry around in my pocket is 14MP but it gets completely owned by my 10MP Nikon D60 DSLR. The problem with phones have always been only digital zoom (or as I call it, Bullshit zoom) which when used is just awful. They either just do a crop of the picture (throwing away your mega pixels) or worse take that crop and enlarge it back up to your mega pixel count.
Anyway back to the Polaroid phone camera. It runs on Android which is great because mine runs on Android so all I do is link it to my Gmail and BAM there’s all my contacts ect. Also it should give it a bit of future proofing with updates from Android.
All this seems good until further investigations reveal this is actually a rebranded phone from well over a year ago which in mobile (especially Android phones) is positively ancient. Also there is no information about the actual photo taking part and I have this horrible feeling the camera software is going to be basically the same as on most phones I.E. very limited. So many smaller cameras and phones only allow +/-2EV on exposure control and there’s been plenty of times where that’s not enough (like at gigs. Just can’t get the auto on my compact to go low enough in the auto modes so have to use manual). All this and it sounds like it’s barely going to be cheaper than my Samsung Galaxy S II.
The idea’s there but again it’s not. If they got my Samsung, made it fat enough to accommodate the lens (and take up the extra space with a bigger battery), make sure there’s a physical button for the shutter and make sure there’s full camera controls (including manual) then it would have been bought NOW!
PS. One caveat about the digital zoom. For video it makes sense because you’re only going to be using up to 2MP. Annoyingly enough on both my