It all started in a hospital room where Philippe Kahn invented the very first cameraphone—while his wife is getting ready to have their baby! He stood there watching his wife deal with the labor pains and trying to nag her about Lamaze (healthy birth practice). She finally told him to shut up and mind his own business. From there, he told his assistant to go to Radio Shack and buy some wires for him. He started messing with his cellphone and digital camera—linking them together. Philippe Kahn started posting pictures to the internet. That is when his Photoblog and the billion-dollar business on cameraphones started.
The very first cameraphone sold in the market was from Sharp. The model name is J-SH04 and it was released in November 2000 in Japan. It has 110,000 pixels. Back in those days, that kind of camera quality is like a joke for photographers. It is very impossible to create a great picture using that camera on the phone.
Over the years, the quality of camera phones has improved greatly. Thanks to innovation and competition of mobile phone companies around the world, the camera phone is now considered by many as their digital camera as well. From 0.1 megapixels to 20 megapixels—amazing huh?
Since cameraphones have become available in the market, the majority of mobile phones manufactured have cameras in it. Cameraphones used to be way simpler than separate digital cameras. The performance is very limited and its fixed focus lens and tiny sensors make it impossible to take pictures in low light. Not to mention its lack of physical shutter and flash. But mobile phone companies have surprised us in so many ways.
Nowadays, cameraphones are functioning as good as digital cameras. With the rise of xenon flash, Carl Zeiss optics, CMOS image sensor technology, and especially the growing popularity of iPhones and its 9000 camera apps, lens accessories and etc.; mobile photography is rising greatly and professional photographers are even into it. The idea of pushing the boundaries of cameraphones in order to create a magnificent image—image that can only be achieved by using DSLRs 10 yrs ago is very exciting for most photographers. Iphoneography was born and mobile photographers are increasing in numbers around the globe. Mobile photography is indeed the future of photography. Watch out for more changes and developments in the following months. Mobile photography will be the essence of photography.