Sony Ericsson K800i Mobile Phone vs
Canon 350D / 18-55mm EF-S vs
Canon 5D / Tamron 28-75mm f2.8
7x5 inch print comparison test
Everyone needs a day off. What better to refresh a palette jaded by the testing of $2000 optical exotica than to put a free camera phone through its paces.
Seriously, though, the 3.2MP Sony Ericsson K800i is a breakthrough gadget that could – indeed, should – impact on the low-end point-and-shoot market like a brick on a greenhouse.
For some time many have questioned the folly of the megapixel wars: boffins lament the lack of attention to dynamic range and adequate flash performance; others highlight the importance of 'per-pixel sharpness'. My objections have been pragmatic and summable with one question: how big do you need the print?
In response, most pro's will regale you with a billboard tale; everyone else will point you to an framed A3 on the wall – at best.
Today, the vast majority of captured images never make it to hard copy. I'm not going to get sidetracked into debate over whether or not this is a Tragedy, but I'd lay short odds that somewhere in your house there is a box or drawer stuffed with cherished prints – little, photographic memories. And I'd lay even shorter odds that very few of them are bigger than 7x5 inches.
For amateurs and professionals alike, usage patterns haven't changed for a century: if you're serious about the shot, you capture it with the best gear you can use, afford, or carry. But when the purpose of your journey is more than merely taking pictures, you tote the most Convenient Tool. And once in a while, almost accidentally, you capture something special with your Convenient Tool – and you enlarge the print and you put it on the wall and everyone marvels at how great it looks considering you didn't shoot it with a 'proper' camera.
From 2006 onward – from this phone onward – I submit that the mobile phone is at last a credible candidate for the title of Most Convenient Tool for image capure.