Building a camera into a phone makes total sense. These days, nearly everyone carries a cell phone with them at all times; and nearly everyone owns a small digital camera to take snapshots of things that are happening in their life. So putting the two together was a no-brainer. Why carry two things when you can carry one?
A fundamental problem with most camera phones is image quality. It's often pretty bad. The sensors are incredibly tiny; the lenses aren't very good; and the range of light they can capture is pretty small ... even in comparison to an inexpensive compact digital camera.
Well, the iPhone has pretty much revolutionized camera-phone photography. Of course, before the iPhone, there were other phones that had cameras built in; and now there are phones that have more advanced cameras than the iPhone has. Still, the iPhone has a cult-like following, and lots of photographers, even seasoned professionals, are using the iPhone to make great and compelling images. In fact, some iPhone photos shot with the Hipstamatic app recently ran on the front page of the New York Times!
Why all the fuss? Plenty of people ask why the iPhone is commanding such attention from photographers. In my opinion, the answer is short and simple: It's the apps.
The iPhone apps make the iPhone ...