How to Mess Up a Perfectly Good Camera

The New York Times makes a valiant attempt to understand the rise of camera phones:

As the technology that powers smartphone cameras has steadily improved, the point-and-shoot has become an endangered species. 

However, writer Nick Bilton quickly veers off track:

Companies are producing dozens of inexpensive smartphone attachments that can easily convert a mobile phone into a mini-professional camera.

Oh boy, I can see where this is going. As in: What can be sold to these people that they really don’t need?

For iPhone-toting paparazzi who want to snap a picture of Lindsay Lohan at a bar, Photojojo sells a powerful telephoto lens kit for $35. This lens can zoom up to eight times as close as a normal iPhone camera.

Besides the obvious life re-examination you should perform if you actually find yourself in this situation, a simpler solution would be to move closer to your subject.

Of course, every photographer with a kit of lenses needs a tripod.

We’re still talking about camera phones, right? So, now we’re carrying a kit of lenses and a tripod, which, if your male, probably means you’ve stretched your pockets to their limits - unless a murse is the next item for sale.

There are also attachments for experienced photographers who already own high-end camera equipment. Photojojo, for example, sells an iPhone S.L.R. camera mount for $250 that can attach Nikon or Canon lenses from a normal 35mm camera.

Oh, that old chestnut. But what’s with the notion that this highly impractical, even comical, accessory has anything to do with “experienced” photographers? By the way, the “normal” cameras are now camera phones, not 35mm cameras. Check Flickr.

Last month in San Francisco, hundreds of smartphone photographers attended the 1197 conference, where photojournalists and authors offered talks about tricks they have learned.

Now, we’re back on track. I love the idea of this.

Meanwhile, there’s the AstroClip — a plan to produce an attachment that would marry an iPhone to a telescope or microscope. 

And just like that, we’re back off the rails. News is broken.