The Future of Point-and-Shoot Cameras

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As fans of both the art of photography and the complex tools that help us to capture images–namely cameras–we at Digital Photographer would like to pose a question:

What do you think the future holds for point-and-shoot cameras, when it’s possible that in, say, five years time the cameras built into cell phones will meet the level of shooting sophistication of most consumer level digicams? Will point-and-shoot digital cameras as we know them today become irrelevant or, perhaps, extinct?

So called “instant cameras” have been around on the consumer level since 1948, when the Polaroid Model 95 went on sale (ref. The Impossible Project); and beginning in 1963, the Kodak Instamatic began to make photography accessible to the masses.

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As it stands today, there are over 130 new compact digital cameras on the market, offered by Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus, Pentax, Samsung, Fujifilm and Kodak, and each of these manufacturers seems to be in a never-ending race to crank out more. Meanwhile, most anyone who owns an Apple iPhone (like myself) would agree that the image quality of the camera feature in the phone is inferior to even the lowest level point-and-shoot digital camera on the market. Sure, the 3MP camera boasts a built-in auto focus (iPhone 3GS) and a tap-induced digital zoom, but most digital cameras being produced by the above named companies come standard with, at the very least, an 8MP image sensor and 3x optical zoom. Oh, and there’s also always a little helpful feature called flash, which the iPhone still lacks. But the iPhone does record video as well as stills–something that a large number of the current point-and-shoot cameras on the market cannot also claim.

Join the discussion by posting a comment with your thoughts here, or at the DP page on Facebook.

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4 Responses to “The Future of Point-and-Shoot Cameras”

  1. David Scherer says:

    David Scherer
    Photography

    500 Shaindel Dr
    Williamsburg VA 23185-4356

    =================================================================================
    757-258-5915 dscherer2@cox.net

    12/21/09

    When checking features for a new camera you (& I) never ask about battery condition indication because it is just always there. Even on low cost cameras. Except for some NIKONS! I bought a Nikon P6000. It is an expensive pocket camera at $500. In the middle of a days shoot the battery failed. Oh sh*&^t. The Nikon S630 & probably more also lack any battery indication (except for just before shutting down)!

    That is a serious defect & should be noted in your reports.

  2. Chas Savich says:

    I am prepared to suspend my disbelief to enjoy a great show

  3. Canvas Photo says:

    Please analyze more where can i buy digit camera cheapest.I wanted camera tools.My wife want it

  4. [...] what do you think? We’ve had this conversation before. Is the iPhone your pocket cam of choice or do you still prefer to use a dedicated digital camera? [...]

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