Camera phone or ultra compact?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Smileyguy, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. Smileyguy macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2004
    Hi guys,

    Need a little advice urgently re: a camera. I'm a journalist in the process of starting a new website (which I've discussed here: I really want to be able to take pictures and video on the move (be it at certain events or just when the opportunity strikes), and to this end for the last week or so I've been researching the best camera/video phones within my budget range (Nokia N82, LG Viewty, Samsung Tocco & G800, SE K850i) of about €200-€250 max. The reason I've been going the phone route is because I've reasoned that I will ALWAYS carry my phone, so I'll always have a camera on me.

    However, having seen sample photos and video I haven't exactly been overwhelmed by the quality of the options out there, so I've been starting to think this evening about maybe getting an ultra compact camera with decent video capabilities (presuming such a thing exists?). Trouble is this is a Christmas gift and if I'm going to have to order online I need to decide right away. So I have the following questions:

    1) Has anyone decided before between a camera phone and an ultra compact digicam, and if so how did it work out?
    2) Does anyone out there carry a camera with them at all times, and is it a habit that's easy to develop?
    3) Are there any ultra compact cameras out there with decent video capabilities?
    4) Also, if anyone has any thoughts on any of the camera phones I mentioned, that would be great.

    To be honest the more I think about it the more I lean towards going the phone route - I'm favouring the Sony Ericsson K850i. That would mean I could buy a proper SLR-like or SLR camera in the future to take to when I know it will be needed, and use the phone on the move.

    Any advice would really appreciated,

  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    1. Buy a small camera.

    2. Buy a man-bag/murse.

    3. ??????

    4. Profit!
  3. Smileyguy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2004
    Ha. You thinking of that South Park episode by any chance?

    So any suggestions for an ultra compact that's good with video anybody?
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    What kind of criterial to you have in terms of image quality? Do you need a flash? How far away are the subjects?

    Will the images only be used for 3 inch wide shots on the web or will you go full screen or to print media. If print what size and what process?
  5. Smileyguy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2004
    The thing is I'm not expecting to be taking any one particular type of photo a lot - I need something quite versatile. Probably a lot of people shots though. Flash is a must.

    Photos will mostly be for posting on the web so printing isn't crucial, but it would be nice to have the option to print out at a small size.

    It doesn't necessarily have to be extremely compact. I've been meaning to buy a man bag (I hate that phrase) anyway, so it doesn't have to be totally tiny, but it does need to be quite small.
  6. chase71320 macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2008
    Nikon P80

    You might find that a good compromise would be to go for the ultra-compact Nikon Coolpix P80. I just bought on (on Black Friday) and it is the epitome of an ultra compact camera. It sounds like, from your needs, you would be hard-pressed to find a camera-phone that would take shots as well as P80. Plus, its small enough that you could fit it in a man-bag.
  7. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    Hmm.... I smell an SX1 in your future.

    And then, within about 24 months a D90, or its equivalent.

    Not to say that you won't be happy with a cell phone image for journalism, but hey- what do we know- you're the journalist, we're the ones with the heavy camera bags.
  8. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    I have a 5d but I probably photograph more with my Ericsson phone. Mainly because it's always with me. Plus it does video. I wouldn't say the quality is that great, but it serves the purpose fine.

    My "art stuff" is set up with the big DSLR. Documenting my life is done with the cell. I doubt I would carry a pocket camera around nearly as much as my cell.
  9. svndmvn Guest

    Nov 6, 2007
    I've had a Nikon Point and Shoot for almost four years, the video is really bad, especially in low light situations, things might have changed in the mean time.
    But I remember my friend's Canon, back in 2006 shooting better both videos and pictures in low light. PnS as well, but a bit bigger, I believe they've gotten more compact in the mean time. Sony could be good at shooting video as well.
    As for the cellphones mentioned by you, I believe the Sony Ericsson is the best, and LG seems to be good competition.
  10. Chocolateballs macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2008
  11. drichards macrumors 6502a


    Nov 30, 2008
    Never skimp on a camera. If you only have a cameraphone, you don't need the shot that badly.
  12. Smileyguy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2004
    Thanks for the advice guys - I think I'm going to get an LG Viewty phone. They're going pretty cheap and take amazing video footage, and photo quality is good for internet publication. I can look into buying a digital camera with less emphasis on size in the new year.
  13. PCMacUser macrumors 68000


    Jan 13, 2005
    The Nokia N82 is worth considering for photo quality. It also features both a xenon and LED flash. Great for low light situations. And it's a Zeiss lens.
  14. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."

Share This Page