First it was capturing a moment in your life with a camera, when this gadget became an integral part of everyone’s life. Little postcard-sized photographs were the only way to your childhood days. It was all about treasuring. The more its matted-Eastman colour faded, the more nostalgic it got. Enter 2010AD, and it’s no more about treasuring, but all about sharing. With the youth spending more time on social networking sites than their classrooms — or even with their lovers, for that matter — ‘pics’ are for uploading and garnering instant reaction. And the biggest tools aiding them in this are the little cellphones in their pockets.
Captured in a cell, “It’s all about immediate uploading now,” says Ajay Sharma, country head, HTC mobiles. And with almost every mobile in the market loaded with social networking applications, there isn’t any need to wait. “You can’t recall a mood or moment, or even a situation, again,” says Shalini Sethi, head corporate communications, Aircel. “And who would run to the cupboard to fetch a camera then?” she adds. “This is the age of sharing, that too, instantly,” says Navin Paul, head of Marketting, Spice mobiles.
And for youngsters, sharing pictures through mobile phones is the cheapest way out, and the ‘coolest’ thing too. “It’s a great high when you upload something on Facebook and comments starts following almost immediately,” says first year English Hons student Soham Adhikari. Not only is it a high-point, it’s quite a competition against time, too. “What’s the use if I can’t show that I’m standing with Shera (the CWG mascot) right now,” says Shalini Pathak, a medical student from Kanpur, visiting the city for a conference. “After all, mobiles are not for creating albums, but connecting instantly,” she adds.
Mobile photographers and a few understand this growing trend better than those in the business. “Be it Chinese-made handsets or branded ones, all youngsters want is a camera and Internet,” says Javed Hasan, a shopkeeper in Palika Bazar. So much so that the music components — which was the most sought after thing till a couple of years ago — has become the second fiddle.
“Social networking, and a decent camera to aid that, has become very important to us,” says Paul, whose company has recently launched a 12 mega pixel camera-phone. “A camera aided-social networking phone is like having your basic hygiene, it’s a must-have,” says Sharma.
But will this mobile-culture make cameras redundant? “For those on holidays, or wanting to be creative — besides professionals — cameras will always be the first choice,” accepts Sharma. But Paul doesn’t rule out anything. “It’s not beyond imagination, you don’t carry a camera always” he says. “If mobile phones can shoot videos that can be used for hardcore news reporting, anything is possible,” adds Sethi.
Saved for the last, and we don’t mean any offence to the camera makers with this — if you get a ‘camera’ for Rs.6,000, on which you can ‘talk’ and ‘send SMS’ too, isn’t being ‘mobile’ a clever option? No wonder, mobile phones are the hottest gift you can expect this festive season.
Easy on hand
You don’t really need a hi-fi camera on phone for uploading pictures. A 2or 3 megapixel camera works fine.
A news channel has a section called Citizen Journalists, where many ‘file’ there stories shot on mobile.
The new age cellphones come with huge memory space as well, to store a lot pictures, and even films.
Handy and Trendy
Shoot and upload: Don’t have a passport photo? Click it right there and mail it.
Be a star: Do you want to show to the world something that the news channels haven’t been able to cover? Take your mobile, shoot the ‘news’ and upload. And here’s some business tip: if it’s really worth a buck, sell it to the channel/newspaper of your choice.
Show your style: Flaunt not only the designer dress or the pair of shoes, but also your work. Architects, engineers and designers working in any area, can easily upload the progress of their work for the clients to see via mobile internet.
Hype it up: Bollywood has been doing that with great effect now. From Salman Khan's Dabaang to Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One — you found all their “first look” and “inside pictures” on Twitter, of course, posted by the stars themselves.
Make it large: The Cellphone Cinema Festival and Mobifest are the film festivals that showcases feature or docu-feature films shot with mobile phones. More and more directors are now opening up to the idea of making movies on cellphones as it gives a real feel.
Master it yourself: An option on Facebook allows you to edit and modify the pictures uploaded. So the next time you see a brilliant picture, don’t entirely drool over your friend's photography skills. But then, editing too, requires skill. A user device on the HTC phones called the Sense, allows users to upload their snaps simultaneously to Facebook and Twitter.