Camera phone

A camera phone is a mobile phone which is able to capture still photographs (and usually video). Since early in the 21st century the majority of mobile phones in use are camera phones.[1] Most camera phones are simpler than separate digital cameras. Their usual fixed focus lenses and smaller sensors limit their performance in poor lighting. Lacking a physical shutter, most have a long shutter lag. Flash, where present, is usually weak. Optical zoom[2] and tripod screws are rare. Some also lack a USB connection, removable memory card, or other way of transferring their pictures more quickly than by the phone's inherent communication feature. Some of the more expensive camera phones have only a few of these technical disadvantages, which apply most acutely in low light conditions and in any case have not inhibited their widespread use. Most model lines improve in these regards every year or two. Some, such as the Droid Incredible only have a menu choice to start an application program to activate the camera.[3] Others, such as the BlackBerry Storm2, Droid X, Motorola V980 and Nokia 5800 also have a separate camera button for quickness and convenience. Windows Phones can be configured to operate as a camera even if the phone is asleep.[4] Some camera phones are designed to resemble separate low-end digital compact cameras in appearance and to some extent in features and picture quality, and are branded as both mobile phones and cameras, including certain Sony phones. The principal advantages of camera phones are cost and compactness; indeed for a user who carries a mobile phone anyway, the additional size and cost are negligible. Smartphones that are camera phones may run m

bile applications to add capabilities such as geotagging and image stitching. A few high end phones can use their touch screen to direct their camera to focus on a particular object in the field of view, giving even an inexperienced user a degree of focus control exceeded only by seasoned photographers using manual focus. The camera phone, like many complex systems, is the result of converging and enabling technologies. There are dozens of relevant patents dating back as far as 1956. Compared to digital cameras of the 1990s, a consumer-viable camera in a mobile phone would require far less power and a higher level of camera electronics integration to permit the miniaturization. The CMOS active pixel sensor "camera-on-a-chip" developed by Dr. Eric Fossum and his team in the early 1990s achieved the first step of realizing the modern camera phone as described in a March 1995 Business Week article. While the first camera phones, as successfully marketed by J-Phone in Japan, used CCD sensors and not CMOS sensors, more than 90% of camera phones sold today use CMOS image sensor technology. Over the years there have been many videophones and cameras that have included communication capability. Some devices experimented with integration of the device to communicate wirelessly with Internet, which would allow instant media sharing with anyone anywhere. For example, in 1995 Apple experimented with the Apple Videophone/PDA.[5] There were several digital cameras with cellular phone transmission capability shown by companies such as Kodak, Olympus in the early 1990s.[6] There was also a digital camera with cellular phone designed by Shosaku Kawashima of Canon in Japan in May 1997.[7]