I read a New York Times article earlier today on Yahoo News which discussed the future of the point-and-shoot digital camera (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/In-Smartphone-Era-nytimes-1102949571.html?x=0
). The basic premise of the article was that the point-and-shoot camera market was going to take a serious hit because people taking photos fell into two categories: the serious photographer who would more likely purchase a digital SLR camera and the casual photographer whose needs could be met with a camera built into their cell phone. If photographers fit into these two categories, then there would be little market for the point-and-shoot digital camera.
Two reasons cited for the move to cell phone cameras were the convenience of only carrying one device and the ability to easily share photos. Although I don’t use a point-and-shoot digital camera, I found one key component missing from the article – quality. A quick review of the first 150 digital point-and-shoot digital cameras on the B & H Photo website (http://www.bhphotovideo.com
) showed that, with the exception of one or two specialized cameras, the resolution of these cameras was from 10 – 15 megapixels. Most cell phone cameras have a resolution of 8 megapixels or less. In addition, the optics on point-and-shoot cameras, other than the throw away models, have advanced significantly and may even include zoom capabilities.
A significant number of those who commented on the Yahoo News posting disagreed with the article but the tendency is for those who agree with an article to not comment. While I understand the convenience argument, I’m not yet convinced that people are going to be satisfied with the quality tradeoff in years to come. The real question may be whether this move toward convenience results in lost opportunities to share the legacy of our friends and family through photos.