The iphone has seen the rise of this medium and the Android platform has had plenty of great photo Apps, the new version of the Android platform – Ice Cream Sandwich- now includes time lapse video and 180 panorama as standard. The image above being taken in pano mode. Now, this is not the old style take picture, overlap, take another etc. this is a fully one click pano, simply line up the start point, release shutter and pan, and seconds later the pano is ready to view and share.
This is where the phone camera comes into it’s own for many people, the ability to take a shot and share it either by e-mail, MMS or upload to the web from pretty much anywhere.
Looking under the hood there are other features of interest to the more serious photographer, ever been on a family trip but not had the DSLR, tripod, right light etc.? Grab a shot on the phone and geotag it for future reference.
Google appear to have taken this approach a step further, with the integration of their Latitude software into their web based picture suites such as Panoramio. Uploading an image from the DSLR I noticed that the big G was cross referencing the time and date from the images EXIF file with the location my phone was in at that moment and this was given as a suggested location for the image, it was pretty close to the spot I was stood in as well. Obviously this can be turned off for those that like their privacy but I was impressed with the functionality of the system.
So back to the original question, can a mobile take a good image? I think for me the answer is yes. OK, I accept the limitations, the image is never going to grace the gallery wall, the image size and quality are just not good enough, but for all the negatives there is a resounding positive; I always have the phone on me, I am always ready for that picture and I think I am looking for pictures more than I used to.