I think it was a Nokia executive who declared, a few years ago, that the phone would render cameras, even DSLR’s obsolete. I’m pretty sure most people laughed at him. I’m pretty sure most people are still laughing and will continue to do so for a long time. Lens development is still a long way from packing a DSLR lens into a slim phone. Although his argument may have been poorly framed, there was no doubt even then that the smartphone would have a big impact in photography. The iPhone became the most popular shooter on Flickr quite some time ago now. But as it turns out, smartphones seem to be turning into cameras at the moment. Not the other way round.
The Galaxy S4 looks a pretty intriguing device. I’m a little perplexed by Samsung cameras. After all, in every other arena that Samsung has decided to compete they have produced cutting edge devices whilst also offering the best value going. Their cameras look fantastic on paper. The specs are all there. And yet, the brand just doesn’t seem to have caught on in cameraland. They just don’t seem to be trusted. Perhaps this camera will be the breakthrough. Perhaps it won’t.
Then there is the Ricoh Theta, which links up wirelessly with smartphones to create pretty awesome spherical panoramas. I’d love one, but they are pricey. I suspect that this is not the future. Niche at best. Most likely to be labelled under the fad category as the years pass. Sony’s approach, which can be seen in the image at the top of this post, is more promising. An attachable lens that can be whipped out for a special shot when the camera lens just won’t do. You keep the benefits of having a slimline phone, unlike Samsung’s approach. I suspect though, that the lens will get left at home gathering dust most of the time. Samsung might have judged the consumers mood best of all in my opinion.