Friday, November 4, 2011

Wish List: iCamera

Okay, I know this isn't strictly 100% iPad-related. But bear with me.

The iPad has revolutionized taking, sharing, and printing photos for me. I have an Eye-Fi card in my camera, so all photos are automatically uploaded to a private folder in Photobucket (and to my desktop, sorted neatly by date taken). Then I use the Photobucket app to look through them, move some to a public folder for sharing, order prints of some, and download some to the iPad.

Once on the iPad, I have the wide world of iOS photo apps at my fingertips to play with. Right now I am especially digging Pic Stitch and Instapic, both of which help you make simple photo collages (the two apps make very different styles of collage). Very useful for sharing several photos at once, with style! I can also upload to FaceBook albums thanks to the new FB app (finally!). And then I upload edited pics back to Photobucket for more sharing and printing. Everything is 100% iPad.

This is pretty awesome, and I am loving it. But this process could be even better. For one thing, this is a lot of tedious uploading and downloading, one pic at a time. Having Photobucket as the main storage space, rather than just where I put pics to share or print, is not ideal. Second, and related, I wish I had some of these filtering, etc apps on my camera! Downloading a pic just to see if an app would be a good fit is more tedium. Plus some will even preview the filter as you point the camera, but taking pics on the iPad, well, mostly sucks. So that functionality is lost to me.

What I really want is an iPod Touch with an iPhone camera. No expensive voice/data plan to buy (and keep buying). Just the functionality I really need - taking pics on a palm-sized camera, right within iOS, playing with the apps right away, then iClouding it all to the bigger screen for detail work, sorting, uploading to sites, etc.

Now, on the one hand, lately people have been tolling the iPod touch's deathknolll. Sales are down, it's hard to see how it fits between the iPad and iPhone, and the lack of an update this fall does look like the first coffin nail. This kind of thing could revive it - sure, no one with an iPhone would buy it, but they wouldn't buy it under any circumstances. But iPad owners without an iPhone would have a real use for it, since taking photos is one thing something that size is better suited for than the iPad.

On the other hand, if they want to let the touch die, give us an iCamera! Hobble it to only run photo apps, but turn it into a full-featured pocket megazoom. With better zoom lenses and control over things like exposure and f-stops, even iPhone owners might want one.

Either way, this product would be the perfect photo companion for the iPad, and a sure way for Apple to get a couple hundred more of my money.

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