Printing from Your Camphone

Analysts predict that five billion prints will be made from camphone photos over the next year. That's a tiny percentage of the tens of billions of camphone photos that they say will be taken, but still an impressive number.

It's important to remember that your camphone prints will never be as good as a better than average digital camera print. (See "Will Camera Phones Replace Digital Cameras?" earlier in the chapter.) First of all, the prints from your camphone will be smaller, because the photo files have less data (see Table 16-1). Then, there's the fact that the optics aren't as good, control over exposure and color is nonexistent, and the pictures tend to be noisy in low light—in other words, you're not dealing with top-quality photographic technology.

Table 16-1 Camera Phone Photo Print Sizes

Resolution Approximate Print Size

You have several options for printing photos from your camphone:

■ Through your computer—Of course, you can simply transfer your photos to your computer (see earlier section on how to share) and output them to the connected printer.

■ Memory card transfer to a direct printer—Many inkjet printers have memory card slots for printing directly from your card without a computer. (See Chapter 20.)

■ Wireless transmission to a printer—An increasing number of desktop printers have infrared or Bluetooth, which means that you can beam your photos directly to a printer.

■ Printing kiosks—As we discuss in Chapter 20, vending-machine-type photo kiosks are sprouting up everywhere. Many can take input from memory cards and output lab-quality prints. We expect that a high percentage will soon be enabled with Bluetooth and/or infrared for printing directly from camphones.

■ Online printing—Once you get your photos up onto a photo-sharing Web site, you can use their printing services. In fact, just as we were finishing this book, announced an email upload printing service for camphones, which we expect others to quickly emulate. After setting up your account on the site, simply email your picture to [email protected].

Just because you can take a picture anytime, any place with your camphone doesn't mean that you should take a picture. Good taste, common decency, respect, and reciprocity should be your criteria for whether or not it is the right or nice thing to take a picture. Are you catching the subject unawares in an embarrassing, awkward, or compromising position? Will your taking a snapshot hurt someone? Most importantly, would you want someone taking your photo in the same circumstances? So, think before you whip outyour camphone and begin clicking away. Privacy is precious, and so is dignity.

SVGA (320x240) VGA (640x480)

1-1.3 megapixel (1024x768-1280x96) 2 megapixels (1280x960)

2"x3" 3.5" x 5" 4" x 6" 5"x 7"

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