October 10, 2008, Newsletter Issue #171: Click! Digital Cameras at Your Fingertips

Tip of the Week

Finally, everything you need can fit right in the palm of your hand. Not only can cell phones make phone calls, connect to the Internet, and send text messages, but they can also take digital photos with built-in digital cameras.

While you probably don't want a cell phone camera if you're becoming the next Ansel Adams, these digital cameras take pretty decent photos that can be uploaded to a website provided by the carrier, sent (by phone) to other friends and family members, used as a screensaver or on caller ID, or even printed out.

Plan to take many vacation snaps? You can sign up with your carrier to have unlimited or limited photo options that may or may not use up your minutes. Plus, most carriers will include an online photo album that lets you or anyone you allow log on in order to view and print the photos.

But do camera phones function the way regular cameras do? Most mobile phones that have digital cameras will include a flash option, self-timer, image controls, fun tools, and the ability to change camera settings. The self-timer can be used to take a picture of the user just as a regular self-timer on a digital camera would be used. The fun tools may include fun frames to put around the picture taken (the most common frames on camera phones include holiday themes, graduation designs, wedding bells, picture frames, or birthday borders).

Other fun tools include the ability to change the look of the picture being taken (by applying sepia, black & white, negative, posterization, or embossed photo features).

An additional fun tool may allow the user to take up to two or more shots at the same time for motion pictures or just a double take. The image controls manipulate the brightness and white balance of the image.

Lastly, some camera settings include options such as resolution, quality, shutter sound, status area, and auto delete. These are just some of the enhanced basics available on many digital camera phones.

Of course, if you're looking for outstanding quality, you should invest in a real digital camera. The cell phone digital camera is made mostly for fun and opportune moments, but the images do not have the exact same quality as a regular digital camera.

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