I just got back from a family vacation to New Hampshire. And you know what? I didn’t take my camera bag with me on the trip.
What a breath of fresh air.
That’s right. I left my camera at home and took my camera phone instead. Specifically, the iPhone 3GS.
The iPhone 3GS offers a three-megapixel digital camera, autofocus, and good-quality video with sound. It’s a huge upgrade over the camera in previous versions of the iPhone.
Nick Campbell at greyscalegorilla  summarized some of the camera’s capabilities:
It’s a wider angle lens so that helps take better landscape. The macro focus is super useful (especially for taking photos of beer labels.) The touch to focus feature is brilliant. What really blew me away though is the fact that the touch point on your photo also regulates exposure and color temperature … With the old iPhone cameras, backlit photos were impossible. Now, just touch on the person’s face and take your shot.
It’s all new to me. I’ve never had a camera phone, and I didn’t intend to buy one until my wife got an iPhone; a few minutes of playing with it and I was hooked. The day before we left for vacation, I purchased the iPhone 3GS and decided to give it a test run while on the road.
My first goal was to broadcast my daughter from the airport informing everyone that we were on vacation. I quickly made a video in between planes at Chicago Midway Airport, uploaded it to YouTube and published it on Facebook. Comments on the video started pouring in before we’d even caught our next plane.
Throughout the trip, I took pictures and posted them to Facebook at least twice a day. I felt like I was learning how to be a photojournalist again. Fortunately, there were no deadlines — only my own self-assigned story and a sense of responsibility to entertain and inform my friends on Facebook.
We played with empty pill bottles at Aunt Helen’s, rode the chairlift at Grandpa Great’s house, enjoyed a ride on the plastic moose at the welcome center in Vermont … and all of it was published and broadcast. I posted a total of 17 images and three videos from a week’s worth of travel.
Next time you’re on vacation, leave your cameras at home and enjoy the walk through airport security carrying only a phone. Who knows? It just might allow you the freedom to see again.