Why don’t phone manufacturers add a dedicated camera button


Of all the things I am going to miss about Windows Phone, I think the single biggest is the lack of a hardware camera button. It is a small thing, but it makes such a difference for one handed operation.

Considering the amount of me-too features in phones these days, one would think that would have been recognized as an idea to borrow. If everyone can get on board with a notch, why not something that is actually useful?

End of rant.

Comments (16)

16 responses to “Why don’t phone manufacturers add a dedicated camera button”

  1. evox81

    Both iOS and Android approximate the behavior well enough to be a passable experience these days. Between things like double tapping the power button to launch the camera and using the volume up button to take a picture (these shortcuts vary by manufacturer) It's just not that big of a loss.

    • wp7mango

      In reply to evox81:

      I disagree. Given the quality of the cameras in phones, a passable way to control them results in a poor experience. Windows Phones had a two-stage dedicated camera button, just like a real DSLR, and it did feel like a much better camera experience. I too miss it.

      • PhilipVasta

        In reply to WP7Mango:

        For me, while I liked the idea of a two-stage camera button, I found that it just caused me to shake the camera and get blurrier pictures. The important thing for me was just to be able to open the camera app quickly, which double-tapping the power button does well. I do get it though, it would be nice if at least some manufacturer would give people that choice of a dedicated button.

  2. Jhambi

    I have a Moto right now and its a double twist of the wrist which I find convenient when out and about.

  3. jimchamplin

    "These days?" This is 2018, and the current push is toward less physical controls. That's actually good since it's less mechanical pieces to fail and require repair.

    • skane2600

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      Good quality buttons are likely to outlast the useful life of the phone. The failure rate of displays are probably much, much higher than buttons.

    • AnOldAmigaUser

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      The only device I have ever used that had a mechanical button failure was a Harmony 880 remote, and it had fussy little buttons anyway.

      The freaking touch controls on devices these days, such as ovens and cooktops, are a nightmare; and as you grow older, you will find that the conductive capability of your fingers goes down...and not uniformly so different fingers work better than others. I have yet to notice any change in my sensitivity to pressure however, so physical buttons still work great with all of my fingers.

  4. wunderbar

    the buttons are gone because no one was using them in great numbers, and less mechanical buttons means less complicated devices and fewer things to break.

  5. dcdevito

    On Android just double press the power button - done.

  6. Marin

    Almost all the Sony Xperia phones have a two-stage dedicated camera button. They got rid of the headphone jack in the latest gen but that button continues to be there.

    It does help to avoid blurry pictures, but I love that I can activate the camera app as soon as I grab the phone by pressing the dedicated button. No unlocking, just picking the phone.

  7. Minke

    I find it is far better to use the on-screen button instead of pushing a physical button, which is sure to wiggle the phone. I soon learned just the right amount of pressure to get the on-screen button to trigger without moving the phone. I take lots of low-light and night shots, and I love the on-screen buttons and silent mode without some ridiculous artificial sound.

    • AnOldAmigaUser

      In reply to Minke:

      The on-screen button sort of requires two hands in my experience, and I very often need to take the picture with one hand, because the other one is typically holding something else.

  8. Joseph King

    Yes, it was an absolute nightmare taking photos with the old SLR and earlier primitive cameras where you had to press a button to initiate the image taking process. The Box Brownie though did cause me to lose a lot of images to blurriness :-)