The Japanese — especially women — are printing more camera phone photos than you might imagine, according to a study conducted by the Mobile Imaging and Printing Consortium (MIPC). However, printing and wanting to print doesn’t necessarily mean people understand how to adjust the resolution of their photos!
The MIPC was established to promote printing of photos using a variety of methods (such as Bluetooth, infrared, WiFi). The organization’s survey says more than 40 percent of people surveyed said they had printed camera phone photos.
More than 50 percent of working women and grandmothers said they had printed camera phone photos.
Digital camera versus camera phone
In addition, more than 50 percent of people surveyed said they used their camera phones several times a day. Twenty percent of female high school students said they used their camera phones every day.
Forty two percent of the survey’s respondents said they use a digital camera “for important photos of special occasions and major events, and a camera phone for snapshots." The MIPC release notes, “The results point to a difference in the ways digital cameras and camera phones are used depending on circumstances.”
This certainly isn’t a surprise. But we’re also seeing — and will continue to see — people using their camera phones with increasing frequency instead of digital cameras as the quality of camera phone images improves.
Sad lack of knowledge
One interesting, but rather sad, aspect of the survey is that more than 60 percent of people surveyed said the most frequently used photo size was “standby display” (240 x 320) and VGA (640 x 480). The majority of users take photos with the default resolution.
In other words, the respondents indicated either they didn’t know about changing the resolution or didn’t care. I strongly suspect it’s the former.
The press release says that with increasing camera phone resolutions (especially in Japan where three megapixels to five megapixels aren’t unusual — unlike in the United Sates), “many users have expressed dissatisfaction over print-image quality when taking photos using the ‘standby display’ and ‘VGA’ size settings.”
More education needed
Well, duh! Of course they don’t like the quality of photos at these two low resolutions.
I don’t know how camera phone education is in Japan. But cellular operators in the U.S. generally have done a terrible job of educating consumers about how to best use their camera phones (among many other phone features).
The MIPC release says, “It is believed that a vital key to increasing the print rate of camera phone photos will be increasing user awareness of how to change photo-size settings to enable higher image resolution compared with default settings, and how to adjust other camera settings.”
For years I have been complaining about the operators’ lack of customer education. And I will continue to do so. The operators don’t seem to understand is the more customers understand how to use their phones for different applications, the more those applications will be used. Another duh.