It doesn’t seem like it has been more than 20 years since the first camera phone was released. In just a couple of decades, camera phones have become so good, people have stopped buying compact cameras as much, and full-length feature films have been shot on the latest iPhones, most of which come with portrait, angle, wind, and even macro modes.
When the camera phone (Opens in a new tab)They were released for the first time, and no one really knew if they would take off. They were expensive to buy, it was expensive to send pictures and your friends could only see the pictures if they had a similar phone. There was concern that unlike the texting trend that people immediately took on, sending picture messages might be less of a concern… 22 years later, and that’s clearly not the case.
One of the latest and greatest iPhone 14 Pro Max (Opens in a new tab) or Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Opens in a new tab) For more budget phones like the Honor 50 (Opens in a new tab)Today’s phones would be nothing without their cameras. Smartphones are intrinsic to the way we navigate the modern world, and since those first early models, we’ve seen them improve in almost every aspect from picture quality to picture control.
Camera phones aren’t just great for capturing photos and videos of your daily life, many companies are now relying on camera phones to quickly capture content for social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. (Opens in a new tab). With used clothing apps like Vinted and Depop growing in popularity, taking pictures on your phone is the quickest way to upload them and start making money.
During covid, people without camera phones were a little behind as QR codes became the new way to order, look at menus, and of course record your check-ins. Having a phone without a camera is putting yourself at a disadvantage in many ways.
So where did camera phones start? A search of the BBC YouTube archives gives us a report showing the first reactions to phones capable of taking pictures. It’s strange to look at recent history – and yet see a world that was so different from our current reality, where smartphone cameras are big business, having taken over the compact camera market.
When camera phones first existed, they had almost no memory, poor image quality, and transferring images from one device to another was not easy. You either had to pay for an MMS or spend ages trying to send it over infrared with the phones next to each other.
The first ever camera phone was made by Samsung in 2000. The SCH-V200 could take 20 0.35MP photos and you had to connect it to a computer to access them but the technology was revolutionary. Two years later, camera phones arrived in the United States in the form of the Sanyo SCP-5300. At $400, it certainly wasn’t cheap, even in today’s economic climate, but it had flash functionality, a self-timer, and even white balance control.
After six years of insanity, Sony Ericcson changed the camera phone game with the K800i — Sony’s trademark 3.2MP camera phone that took really good photos. It was released in 2006, I was only 12 when it came out but I remember it was yesterday. My dad went out and bought one shortly after it was released and after playing on it I was craving one too. I liked the lens cap that you could slide on to activate the camera and the image quality was great for such a small phone.
These days, camera phones are in a league of their own compared to where they started. Phones like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra feature a 108MP camera while the iPhone 14 offers anamorphic video modes, different lenses, and incredibly smooth stabilization. Over the past 22 years, modern smartphones have made cameras smaller (Opens in a new tab) Almost obsolete – an achievement that no one could have imagined at the beginning of the millennium.
with the The best iPhones for photography (Opens in a new tab)-You can take high quality photos wherever you are.