I have had an iPhone for years. It goes everywhere with me, so I always have a camera ready. I also have a Canon G12 that I don’t use very often, even though it’s a great camera (and was really expensive). It’s small but I still only take it on trips and special occassions. So, I guess in many ways, my iPhone really has replaced my camera. Mostly because of the convenience. My iPhone 4 takes great photos, and I can edit them and change the filters right on the phone. I can order prints right from my phone and 9 times out of 10 they turn out pretty well, even as a 5×7 or 8×10.
The blogs on my blogroll don’t really cover this issue, mostly because they are instructional guides or app reviews. I did find a couple of articles on the web that make some pretty good arguments.
PC Magazine points out that while the iPhone lacks in optical zoom, it has a fast shutter speed that allows you to take lots of photos in sequence. They argue, however, that while the iPhone still provides a great camera, if you’re going to be somewhere, like a family event or vacation, the iPhone is always going to beat the iPhone in terms of quality.
Ars Technica tested out the theory and compared iPhone pictures with other smart phones and digital cameras. They argue that while the iPhone doesn’t take photos as high quality as a digital camera the differences are fairly minimal, and the apps and tools make it strong enough to replace a digital camera.
While I don’t think that my iPhone has replaced my camera completely, it does always win due to convenience. I still wouldn’t ever replace it forever for my camera.