What is the point of a 0.3MP camera?
I do not carry smart phone in my daily life. Most importantly because I am someone that is easily addicted to technology and it would consume too much of my free time. There is also the problem of all the tracking and telemetry going on with (most) smartphones, along with a requirement for a Google or Apple account.
I do own a few (modern) feature phones however, from higher end Punkt (MP01 and MP02), Lightphone II and Mudita Pure, through to various cheaper Nokias. The reason for the range of phones is that I have never quite found the combination that works right for me. Indeed I have almost given up looking. The market for people like me is a pretty small niche. Thus all my phones have multiple, strong compromises. One of the things I would really like and cannot find at all on modern feature phones is a decent camera. The "fancier" phones like the Punkt or Lightphone¹ have no camera at all, and most of the Nokias have a paltry 2MP camera, with several of them are equipped with 0.3MP cameras! 🤪
That said, I tend to favour a phone with an absolutely shit camera over a phone with no camera at all. Why, you might ask. Well, obviously you are unlikely to use them to capture cherished memories or create great photographic works of art. However, having almost any digital camera with you is still surprisingly useful for digital note taking.
Some examples of things I take pictures of include:
- Timetables (e.g. public transport)
- Maps (local area, transport, etc.)
- Hand written notes (e.g. shopping lists)
- Addresses (physical, email, phone, URLs, etc.)
- Future purchases (e.g. book covers)
- Menus (for takeaway restaurants)
- Show times (cinema, theatre, etc.)
- Sharing directions with another (I take regular "bread crumb" pictures of a route and send the whole set to someone else)
- Opening hours (for museums, shops, restaurants, etc.)
- QR Codes and other barcodes (either for later processing or to use instead or the paper printouts [e.g. tickets])
All of these things would obviously be better when using a higher quality camera but can often be readable/useable with even a very basic camera, particularly if the phone has some image zoom ability.
Now obviously I am not alone in using my phone camera like this. I see many people with higher end smartphones (with very good cameras) doing some of these things but they tend to forget that when they question why I even bother with such a terrible camera.
So in summary, even a terrible camera is still a pretty great thing! 😉
¹ The Lightphone II actually does appear to have a camera on the front but it is purely used to detect ambient light conditions, so that the backlight knows when to switch on behind its e-ink display.
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