Just announced in Japan (and currently only available to the Japanese market), the LG L-03C is a point and shoot camera with a built in phone module.
We’ve all become used to camera modules built into mobile phones, in fact, any phone announced that doesn’t contain a camera module is newsworthy in itself because of the lack of the ubiquitous camera. However, while they may be improving all the time, phone cameras are still limited in their capabilities and quality of output.
LG’s announcement could well be the first point and shoot camera to hit the market with a built in phone.
The camera itself is a fairly standard, 12.1M pixel, 3x zoom affair with 720p HD video recording, much like the majority of the current crop of compact shooters. However, this camera also packs a GPS receiver, WiFi plus a 3G/GSM phone module. Finally, a true camera that can potentially upload photos to online services and share them almost immediately after they’re taken. For photographers, imagine the benefits of coming home from a trip to find the day’s photos already waiting for you online or on your computer?
While this particular camera is unlikely to be available anywhere but in Japan, it sets a welcome precedent and shows us the way that the integration of new telecoms technologies can be used to enhance the photographic experience (as opposed to the photographic experience enhancing the telecoms technologies).