However, the touch screen, being a general purpose control, lacks the agility of a separate camera's dedicated buttons and dial(s).Nearly all camera phones use CMOS image sensors, due to largely reduced power consumption compared to CCD type cameras, which are also used, but in few camera phones.They have larger sensors and lenses than those in a camera phone but lack a viewfinder, display and most controls.
The first commercial deployment in North America of camera phones was in 2004.
The Sprint wireless carriers deployed over one million camera phone manufactured by Sanyo and launched by the Picture Mail infrastructure (Sha-Mail in English) developed and managed by Light Surf.
The latest generation of phone cameras also apply distortion (optics), vignetting, and various optical aberration corrections to the image before it is compressed into a format.' Most camera phones have a digital zoom feature. An external camera can be added, coupled wirelessly to the phone by Wi-Fi. Windows Phones can be configured to operate as a camera even if the phone is asleep.
An external flash can be employed, to improve performance.
Phones usually store pictures and video in a directory called /DCIM in the internal memory.