An extensive test and report on iPhone 4’s usability as a camera published over at AnandTech. It looks reason enough for one not to carry a separate camera device, especially an HD video camera, but still the iPhone 4 — like all iPhones — lacks a physical tribute to distinguish itself as a capturing device that makes it camera-like, camera on/off and a hardware shutter button.
In my experience, non iPhone users always mistakenly press the home button thinking it as the capture trigger, and I have always have to launch the camera app beforehand. In pre iOS 4 software, we can program a double home-button press to launch the camera, iOS 4 multi-tasking capability takes it all away leaving us with nothing but the home screen’s app icon.
A separate physical button would be nice, but impractical, I wouldn’t want Apple to turn the iPhones into those Cybershots camera, the iPhone is always a phone first, everything else later, and let us not change that. But a smart set of programmable button, like perhaps the cough, volume up button as capture trigger (we won’t need turn up/down the volume in camera mode), or cough home button triple press, ringer switch quick toggle, all can be used to improve the iPhone as a point-and-shoot replacement camera.
I have used jailbroken iPhone in the past and someone made a hack just for that, and I can tell you firsthand that it works just fine, people, the only downside is not only we have to explain it to non-iPhone users, but also to iPhone owners due to its non-standard behavior.
Alas, the iPhone is still a phone, the nice camera is just a bonus that happens be quite handy.
So let the floodgate opens.