General discussion

Is there a camera phone that can rival a point-and-shoot?

Perhaps I'm just a sucker for convergence in my devices, but I figure the fewer I have to carry the better. But all the cameras I've ever used on phones have been poor, to say the least. Photos are low resolution, noisy and look awful in anything but bright natural light.

So, is there any phone out there with a camera that can perform anywhere near a dedicated one? I don't just mean resolution-- in fact, I find image quality and control far more important. Things like some measure of control over the aperture or ISO.

The Cybershot cameras came to mind, of course, since they almost seem like a camera first and a phone second (plus the unlocked c905 has a GPS reciever, making for one less thing I have to carry around). Samsung's memoir gets an honorable mention, too. The problem is that neither have any optical zoom, which really limits the camera's usefulness. Even 3x would do wonders. Yeah, with a high enough resolution you can get away with a little digital zooming, but that's a half-measure at best.

I know Samsung has some camera phone with optical zoom in Korea ATM, but that doesn't really help me here in the US (importing an unlocked one seems obscenely expensive). I also heard about Casio releasing one but never saw it materialize anywhere.

So, anyone have any ideas? Or should I just suck it up and get a purse for all my gadgets?

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Image quality and control- Nope

The higher resolution of some newer models is only solving part of the problem, and arguably, the least important part. The lenses & processors/controls still pale by comparison to a very basic Nikon or Canon point and shoot. Even having some optical zoom isn't a real solution.

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Simple answer

Not ready for prime time.

Will take time before the camera phone will ever rival a regular digital camera. For now, just get different devices if picture quality is that important.

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Oh well.

I had high hopes for the Cybershot camera phones, but carrying around a goofy add-on telephoto lens to compensate for the no-zoom is probably worse than carrying around a separate camera.

I'll call the purse a "European handbag." Or get a utility belt.

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