The smartphone camera has come a long way since the early days of smartphones. From the HTC Dream/G1’s 3.2MP shooter to the Pixel 2 XL’s 12.2MP shooter. Apple’s first iPhone housed a 2 MP camera, fast-forward to today and the iPhone X has a 12MP dual camera. Not only has the smartphone camera gotten more megapixels, it has also benefited from better software and aperture values among other things.
There is no question that the smartphone camera has replaced the point-and-shoot camera for the average consumer. The old saying goes — the best camera is the one you have in your pocket. But in the fast-paced world of smartphones, OEMs are always trying to find ways to outdo each other.
We’re seeing more smartphone camera software with more options than a Honda minivan. From pro modes, beauty modes, gif modes, portrait modes, black and white modes, and the list goes on. The UX on smartphone camera apps has become a sea of confusing options for the average user.
I acknowledge that there are those who appreciate these options and often use them. But, from my experience, the average consumer does not and just want the camera to shoot great photos right out of the box.
This is why the iPhone X and Pixel 2 XL are such great choices. While they offer options, they also shoot amazing photos the second you open the camera app. A mother wanting to capture a cute moment of her newborn isn’t going to bother putzing with options. She’s going to grab her phone and expect it to shoot a great photo in that instant.
I recently slightly harped on a smartphone camera that just didn’t take amazing photos out of the box. Don’t get me wrong, it took good photos, just not amazing photos. A few days later I was asked if I had used all of the options in the camera app, specifically Pro Mode. My response was yes. But if I handed the phone to my wife, brother, mother, friend, or just about anyone else who’s not into smartphones, well, they wouldn’t be poking around to find Pro Mode to adjust ISO, shutter speed, and f-stops. They would just point and shoot.
OEMs — don’t try and outdo each other with options and features, just make a kickass camera that people want to use out of the box and you’ll be golden.
Do you think smartphone cameras have gone option/feature crazy? Do you think they should just shoot amazing photos right out of the box? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.