OK so I succumbed to the siren call and bought a new 3Gs Apple iPhone. For the past handful of years cell companies tried different internet access schemes. I've tried a few and found them to be lacking. I had imagined that this would be the "Killer App" for cell phones, portable internet access.
The iPhone does a very fine job of accessing the internet but it turns out it means a whole lot less than I had imagined. It's the Apps. Little single function programs that start instantly, run quickly and cost nothing ... or close to nothing. The 3 most popular prices are Free, $.99 and $1.99. Accessing the internet, although faster than I remember on previous phones, just isn't important in most cases.
Camera. Here's the fun part for me. The camera isn't great, but not too bad either. 3 MP f2.8 fixed aperture, variable shutter speeds and variable ISO. The images are small but more than adequate for the screen and seem to hold up well for 5x7 or 8x10 prints (most do). The screen displays the image prior to taking the picture, like any LCD viewfinder. Touching the screen forces the focus, exposure and White Balance (yes white balance) to adjust for the spot touched.
There are several photo Apps, I have close to 20 loaded on my phone, and I'm finding that for the most part I use a half dozen regularly. One very good App allows me to perform many standard Photoshop functions on the image. Most of the other Apps let me play, different effects, filters, text. One of my favorites simulates images from Holga or Lomo cameras.
There are several sites dedicated to reviewing the latest Apps, and countless personal photographer's blogs displaying nothing but their iPhone images. I learned on one of these blogs that the photo site Flickr lists the iPhone as the one responsible for the most uploads.
I'll probably write more about photography with the iPhone here but for now here are a few images.