why don’t digital cameras have internet connectivity?

I usually have a point and shoot camera with me – or at least, I used to.  In the past year I’ve stopped carrying it around, and instead I’ve just relied on my cameraphone.

What’s surprised me though, is the reason.

It’s not that it’s a burden to carry around a single-utility device.  Yes, it’s great that my phone now checks my email, my bank statements, my friends’ updates .. as well as taking pictures and making phone calls.  And yes, a point and shoot camera does none of those aside from snapping photos.

The reason that I no longer use my point and shoot camera is that it doesn’t connect to the internet.

I love the instantaneous posting that cameraphones enable: quickly posting a photo from a vacation or a get together with friends.

So why then haven’t camera companies (yes, you Nikon, Canon, et. al.) embedded wifi capabilities into their cameras?  There are still plenty of times when the cameraphone just won’t do: low lighting, zooming, and the like.  And people still (at least for the time being) do bring along cameras for special occasions – vacations, parties, etc.,

But for how much longer will this last?  How long can you expect the general public to take the camera home, download the images to your computer and then upload them online?

Yes, there are a few models available – but it represents maybe as much as 5% of the cameras out there?  Meanwhile you’d be hard pressed to find a cell phone without a camera..

On my recent trip to Greece, on a few occasions, I found myself putting the camera away and pulling out my cell phone for the sole purpose of.. capturing a photo – how insane is that?  Just because I wanted to share the picture quickly.

So I’m adding this to my wishlist for my next camera.  I want the Nikon D700 replacement to be wifi enabled.  I also want the next iteration of the high-ISO micro 4/3rds camera to be wifi enabled too.

Come on guys, if you want to stay relevant, you need to move a little faster.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of traveling with electronics

I just returned from a couple of weeks in Greece: Crete and Athens.

The trip was great and I’ll post some photos soon but I wanted to briefly mention what went well (and what didn’t) with the electronics on the trip.

The Good?

I left my laptop behind.  How awesome not to carry that weight.  A smartphone works totally fine for keeping in touch. The only need I’d have for a laptop is backing up and processing photos.  Backing up I can do with a dedicated backup unit (that’s the size of a small portable hard drive). Processing photos can wait until I get home. For this trip, Meghan brought her laptop so I backed my photos up to that.  I think in the future she won’t be bringing along the laptop either.

Another good?  USB charging.  It’s so nice being able to use USB cables to charge.  It’s nice to be able to carry around a couple of small USB cables and charge so many things.  What’s not good?  Having dedicated chargers for the different camera batteries, headphones, iPhone, etc.,

Another?  Public Wifi.  Not only the usual cafes, etc., but Athens provides a few locations throughout town with publicly provided Wifi.  Nice!

The Bad?

My iPhone is unlocked so I brought that along and purchased a Vodafone SIM card.  While I was able to make a call or two, I couldn’t for the life of me get anything else to work.  The Greek text messages that Vodafone sent didn’t help!  On previous trips I either purchased a SIM card in a language I could understand or I had an international AT&T plan. Purchasing a local SIM is the way to go, but dealing with the language barrier will be tough.  In retrospect, I could have looked into buying a SIM on the layover in Germany – at least I could have better understood the language..

Another bad, my iPhone is painfully slow.  I have the 3G (not the 3Gs) and with the latest OS installed it’s just awful to use.  Especially compared to my newer phone.

One more bad?  Many of the places we stayed didn’t have WiFi (or only had it in the lobby area).  This was a minor nuisance. We could plug the laptop into the ethernet connection but my smartphone was out of luck.  I was surprised by the lack of embrace for Wifi.

The Ugly?

I decided to download a free app on the iPhone (while in a public square, connected to free public wifi).  What an awful experience.  For a free app (in a controlled app store) I had to enter my password only to learn that my credit card info needed to be up-to-date (I didn’t have a salutation and my expiration date was old).  Despite the fact that I have credit available in my iTunes account and DESPITE the fact that I was trying to access a FREE app I had to update my credit card information before I could proceed.


People can complain about the Android app store all they want but I find the experience to be SO MUCH BETTER than the iPhone app store.