I’ve abandoned my $2000+ worth of camera equipment in favor of my free cellphone camera (a 2MP Orange M3100). This is partially an effort to take more photos again by using a device that is already always with me, but there’s actually something really challenging about learning the limits of such a simple piece of equipment, and something very stylised about the type of shots it takes that I really like. It must be a bit like taking shots with a Lomo or a Lensbaby, both of which produce a very specific ‘look’ in their output.
The main challenge with the cellphone is the simplicity of its exposure. You have to be very careful about where you point the lens otherwise you easily end up with over exposed or under exposed areas. There’s no capacity, of course, for locking the exposure on the part of the subject that you care about, then moving the lens to re-frame the subject. The subject just has to go wherever the exposure looks best.
The other challenge is low light. It produces a blurry image very easily. It has a simple flash which is actually not bad for filling with a little light, but it’s pretty limited.
One nice feature is that the lens has a macro mode. The macro shots from it can actually be really great (with the right light of course).
Anyway, I’m pretty pleased with the results. You can’t search by camera brand on Flickr, unfortunately, but most of my recent shots are taken with this camera/phone.