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Cell Phone to Displace Digital Camera

February 7, 2007

A study by the optical component specialists Schneider Kreuznach confirms the potential of cell phone photography. However, image quality requires optimization through the addition of higher-resolution sensors and more powerful lens systems.


BAD KREUZNACH, Germany /PRNewswire/ -- The photography sector is facing another upheaval: Toward the end of the 1990s, digital cameras started replacing analog models. Now there is a new trend to replace digital cameras with cell phones with camera capabilities.

A representative study carried out by optical component specialists Schneider Kreuznach confirms the potential of cell phone photography. Around 1000 users in Germany, China, India, and the U.S.A. were interviewed about their specific usage patterns relating to picture-taking with digital cameras and cell phones.

International Comparison of Usage Patterns
One out of four respondents indicated that in future they would exclusively use cell phones for picture-taking (early adopters), provided the quality matched that of today's upper mid-range digital cameras, with approximately 6 million pixels. Under certain circumstances, 43% would be willing to replace their digital camera with a suitable cell phone. At present, only 32% would still prefer a digital camera.

Users in India and China were particularly open-minded toward cell phone photography: In these countries, 8 out of 10 of those questioned (79%) could imagine using only cell phones for picture-taking in future.

While in India and China more than half of all respondents (60% and 52%, respectively) already take pictures with their cell phones several times per week, and in the U.S.A., more than a quarter (26%), Germany has the lowest number of so-called "power users" (12%), and at the same time, the highest number of nonusers (59%).

Image Quality—Room for Improvement
The image quality of cell phones currently available on the market is regarded as mediocre in all four countries. One result of the survey indicates unanimously in all four countries that unsatisfactory image quality is one of the main reasons for not using the cell phone camera.

Cell phone manufacturers have recognized the need for optimization and are developing models with higher-resolution sensors and more powerful lens systems. This is where specialized lens manufacturers come in. Through their professional know-how, they will play a key role in improving the camera function of cell phones.

Click here for detailed information on the study.

Jos. Schneider Optische Werke GmbH (Schneider Kreuznach for short) was founded in 1913 in Bad Kreuznach, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. The international Schneider Group also includes the subsidiaries Pentacon in Dresden, Praktica (U.K.) in London, Schneider Optics in New York, and Century Precision Optics in Los Angeles. The German headquarters has a staff of 340 employees. Schneider Group employs 600 people worldwide.

The Group operates in five business areas: photography, cinema/projection, industrial optics, ophthalmic optics, and servo-hydraulic systems. Well-known brands include Angulon, Symmar, Xenar, Xenon, Variogon, Cinelux, and B+W Filter. Schneider Kreuznach has been among the global market leaders for high-performance lens systems for years. The company is the "international number one" when it comes to cinema/projection applications. Furthermore, the Schneider Group is also active in the seminal areas of digital projection, home cinema, e-cinema, and simulation. Its key markets are the U.S.A., Japan, China, India, South Korea, Brazil, and Europe.

Further information can be found on the group's Web site.


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