As The Doors once said “This is the end. My only friend, the end” and it certainly looks that way for the digital camera following the unveiling of Sony’s Idou, the 12.1 megapixel smartphone at the Mobile World Congress 2009.
For a long time now we’ve been told that smartphones will soon have the power and functionality of a digital camera and, until yesterday, I accepted that as something that will happen in the next three years or so. That reality is a lot closer now Sony Ericsson can boast a smartphone with face detection, touch features such as a 16:9 widescreen format and a xenon flash. Other than the camera features the Idou also has GPS, WiFi, and the Symbian Foundation OS.
So why is this the end? Well, I own a Sony Cybershot (camera and mobile) and I can honestly say that my 3mp Sony camera phone takes better pictures than my 5mp LG. If the Idou has the quality of the Cybershot range then your average Joe photographers will be hard pressed to lug a camera as well as a mobile around.
The digital camera market could soon be for professional photographers only, going down the same road as the film-loaded SLR cameras.