In the recent publicity about our local Kodak factory turning up its toes (Melbourne), much was made of the penetration of digital cameras among the public. In the various statistics, it seems that the cameras built into mobile phones have been included, in order to boost the numbers.

When I look through our family's collection of pictures, the quality is a function of the historical period. The nineteenth century sepia toned photos are very sharp and show no noticeable fading. Black and white from the 1930s are small but reasonably sharp. Kodachrome taken on Dad's Praktica (50mm Zeiss Tessar/2.8) in the 1950s are still vivid and sharp. Colour prints from that era generally faded. Later snaps were taken on the Instamatic (not very sharp and the prints were done at the fast-turnaround booths etc and are faded). Someone had a 110 camera at some time but there are very few prints, so I suppose that was below the acceptable limit for its day.

Now are they implying that a picture taken on a phone is acceptable? They have their uses, such as transmitting a photo of yourself on a beach in Mexico to your colleagues at work, or identifying a spare part, but Really! I'm lost for words.