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Ilse Jurriƫn : January 22th 2017 - 01:00 CET

Are camera phones a thing of the past?

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NewsAre camera phones a thing of the past? When I was a kid, I took lots of pictures using my trusted Smena 8M camera. With the number of positions limited on the film, I had to be extra careful when snapping pictures - I had to save a few shots for later at all times. Seeing the picture was not instant, as it is today, but it took quite some time (and effort, as in taking the film to a developer). Later, in turn, I got in tune with technology, replacing my Smena with a camera phone. For most of you, this might still sound strange in a world where each phone has its camera. After a few tries to find the best one, I finally found Sony Ericsson's (that was a big brand back in the day) K750i, equipped with one of the best mobile cameras ever.
Sony Ericsson K750i

Camera phones
The K750i phone had a 2MP sensor, which is not much by today's measure, which was coupled with a lens that made it capable of snapping incredibly beautiful pictures. When it inevitably became obsolete, I switched to a smarter model - Nokia's Lumia 620. Again, it came with a better camera - the 5MP sensor hidden behind its (unnamed) lens was capable of snapping high-resolution photos and HD video. Alas, it wasn't capable of taking a picture as vivid and rich as the K750i. Since then, I've seen a lot of smartphone camera pix, and I have switched phones as well, but the quality of the pictures snapped by the handsets was on a downward spiral despite the resolution. Could this mean that the camera phone is a thing of the past?

How we use our smartphones today
Camera phones have managed to push many compact digital cameras out of the market, and seem to have stopped at that. Instead of pushing forward with better cameras (perhaps with optical zoom included), smartphone makers are today focusing on the entertainment side of mobile computing. Any smartphone user can quickly access a ton of fun activities on the go, from the amazing games at 7 Sultans online casino to the hundreds of thousands of apps available for download. Mobile fun is accessible - the 7 Sultans Mobile is just a tap away, running in a web browser - and simple to consume - learning any game at the 7 Sultans only takes a minute or two. This quick and easy entertainment is apparently what smartphone users are after: each day, thousands of players indulge themselves with the 7 Sultans' games, and millions more use native or browser-based ones on the go. No wonder manufacturers focus on what the public wants - faster, smoother gaming - instead of increasing the quality of the phones' onboard cameras.

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How could the camera phone return?
Although the sensor is important for the quality of the pictures taken, we can't ignore the importance of the lens, which often makes all the difference. And this is where smartphone manufacturers usually like to cut corners. There are solutions allowing them to add optical zoom to their phones without adding millimeters to the handsets' thickness - see Varioptic's liquid smartphone camera lens revealed over a decade ago. The technology is here - the manufacturers now need to find the willingness to use it.

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