On cameras in mobile phones

I took most of the photos for the first instalment of my new Think Retro Macworld column on my iPhone 6. They would be better with an SLR and a good bit of macro glass, but on a technical level they’re perfectly good enough, especially with a little tweaking in ACR.

The last shot though was taken with a Sony Ericsson W800i in 2006; it replaced the K700i I’d had before that, and I eventually replaced it with the K800i, my last featurephone/dumbphone before I got the original iPhone. The first three generations of iPhone had a camera that was essentially just another input sensor – acceptable for documenting stuff but certainly not a creative tool. They were a big step back from my Sony Ericssons.

It’s become clear over the years that the camera is the most important hardware feature to me in a carry-anywhere device like a smartphone, so it’s a testament to the allure and novelty of the iPhone that I allowed myself to suffer a worse camera for three years.

Here are some shots from my Sony Ericssons that I uploaded to Flickr; remember, some of these are shots from a phone nearly 10 years old. (The soft-focus in the second is artificial!)