We’d take these cameras over a cell phone any day

Wouldn’t you know it. I write and rewrite this blog piece, shine it up real nice, and then right before publishing I find something I absolutely have to include.

The always excellent Photography for Real Estate blog have just posed a question very relevant to today’s topic: are cell phone cameras suitable for real estate photography?

As Larry from PFRE points out, however, cell phones are most unsuitable for interior photos as they lack both a wide-angle lens and the ability to generate enough light. You are, on the whole, better off using a professional real estate photographer.

Long before YouTube, and even before the written word, mankind relied on pictures to pass down its story to future generations. While the telling of history through the years has evolved greatly, what hasn’t changed is the importance of pictures in explaining where we’ve come from.

Ancient Egyptians drew on walls. European history was often retold through paintings and drawings. The photograph didn’t come along until 1822, and it wasn’t until 1888 that Kodak’s handheld camera made photography accessible to the public.

Once a recorder of history, Kodak has now become history. They have, as blogged in April, filed for bankruptcy and are now in the process of flogging off its photography division.

Kodak may have gone out of fashion, but photos are more popular than ever. Instagram, the golden boy of the photo app world, grew from 16 million unique visitors to 22 million between June and July.

With the rise of Instagram and nearly half of us owning a smartphone, anyone can be an amateur photographer.

Sometimes, though, phones just aren’t up to the job – and that’s when you need to go old school and use an actual camera. Evolution may have passed Kodak by, but many other entrepreneurs have picked up the slack.

Here are some of the latest innovations:

Incy wincy cameras

Your smartphone makes for a convenient compact camera, as opposed to a big bulky thing that won’t fit in a normal pocket. When you see something amazing to photograph, however, your phone won’t always do the scene justice.

Tiny Nikon Coolpix camera

This camera will. Measuring 77x51x17 millimetres, and weighing in at just 96 grams (including battery), the Nikon Coolpix S01 will fit easily into any nook and cranny. You can leave your keys and pens in the same pocket without fear, as this camera comes with a scratch-resistant body. But you don’t, so empty your pockets before bedtime or you’ll stab yourself. You’re welcome.

Anyway, the best thing about this camera is that its tiny frame still has room for a 3x wide-angle zoom and 10.10 megapixel resolution – more than the iPhone 4S and its 8 Megapixels, and far more than my phone’s 3.2mp. For such a wee thing, it sure packs a lot of punch.

Cardboard cameras

IKEA, the chain store that can furnish your entire home in approximately 16 seconds for just $4.99 (give or take), has extended their ‘keep it simple’ philosophy to the camera industry.

Those lucky recipients now own a camera made almost entirely out of cardboard. With a zoom feature, a built-in USB connector, and the capacity to hold 40 photos at a time, it could get completely soaked in the rain and still perform better than my camera phone.

Check out this neat little video on how it works:

Gingerbread cameras

Introducing the 16 megapixel Nikon Coolpix S800c. No, you can’t eat it, but you can connect directly to the Google Play store and all its photo-friendly apps as this camera runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread. From this photo you’d barely even know it’s a camera.

Nikon s800c camera Android Gingerbread

Seems the only thing you can’t do with this camera is make calls, so at least it has one thing in common with my phone.

Crystal camera… bookends

Perfect for the photographers and bookworms in your life. A tribute to the Canon 7D, these beautiful bookends are completely handcrafted out of premium grade crystal. You can’t take photos with this, but no doubt one day some brilliant nutter will create a fully functional crystal camera.

Camera bookends fancy.com crystal

Fancy is worthy of its own blog piece. A little like Pinterest, only deliberately more commercialised, it is host to an abundance of innovative and gorgeous products I never knew I needed. But I really do. Honest. Perhaps I’ll hold onto my old phone a little longer.

crystal camera bookends fancy.com

The public appetite for visual stimulation is ever growing. Photos will, one way or another, be around forever. Smartphones are getting better at taking these, but the camera continue to evolve and stay ahead – and a good camera is still best for capturing those moments truly worth keeping.

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