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Thread: Point and shoot cameras are fading

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Default Point and shoot cameras are fading

    In Smartphone Era, Point-and-Shoots Stay Home - Yahoo! Finance

    Ariel Dunitz-Johnson, a 30-year-old illustrator in San Francisco, bought a point-and-shoot camera in May. But in July, she bought a smartphone, with a camera built in.

    Soon, whenever she wanted to take a picture, she found herself reaching for the smartphone, a Droid Incredible. She barely uses her point-and-shoot, a Panasonic DMC-LX3.

    “It’s much easier to share those pictures with my friends,” she explained, through social networks or e-mail. “With my point-and-shoot, I have to plug it into my computer and upload the photos. It’s just a few more steps than I want to take.”

    The point-and-shoot camera, which has been a part of American households since 1900, when George Eastman introduced the Kodak Brownie, is endangered. Like other single-use devices — the answering machine, the desktop calculator, the Rolodex — it is being shoved aside by a multipurpose device: the smartphone and its camera, which takes better snapshots with each new model.

    Cameras, mostly point-and-shoots, are still found in 82 percent of American households, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. But for many consumers, the point-and-shoot they have now may be the last they ever own as they favor the camera in their smartphone. It’s close at hand whenever a photo opportunity arises, and can be used to instantly e-mail and share pictures. And it has an expanding menu of photo apps, well beyond the landscape and panoramic settings on a point-and-shoot, that can be used to easily manipulate the images.

    Point-and-shoots do have certain advantages over smartphone cameras, including features like image stabilization and larger lenses and sensors. That does not matter to consumers like Emily Peterson, a 28-year-old graphic designer who lives in Brooklyn and who bought an iPhone 4 in July. “One day I just thought, ‘Wow, I never have my camera with me, when I used to carry it around all the time,’ ” she said. “It’s just one less thing for me to remember, one less thing to carry.”

    Geoffe Haney, a 44-year-old collections manager at a museum in Bay City, Mich., who also owns an iPhone 4, said the device was “my camera first, my phone second.” He added, “I have 40 photo apps on my iPhone — it’s like having 40 different cameras with you all the time.”

    The sales figures tell the story. While smartphone sales in the United States continue to skyrocket, unit sales of point-and-shoot cameras fell nearly 16 percent from 2008, according to the market research firm NPD Group. That corresponds to a decline of 24 percent in dollars, to $1.9 billion, from $2.4 billion.

    Even when the recession eased over the last year, sales of point-and-shoots fell. At the same time, sales of more powerful cameras like S.L.R.’s, with advanced features like interchangeable lenses and manual settings, have increased, by nearly 29 percent in dollars since 2009, according to NPD.

    Analysts say this suggests a split in the market, as casual shooters remain happy with the convenience of their smartphones, and dedicated enthusiasts seek out the more advanced cameras. And they predict that the point-and-shoot market will drop further over all.

    “The compact camera market is pretty stagnant,” said Christopher Chute, an analyst at the market researcher IDC. “The ubiquity of a 5- or 10-megapixel camera phone in your pocket is hard to overcome.”

    David C. Lee, the senior vice president at Nikon, acknowledged, “The market’s peaked a little.” Still, he said he was not worried. “It’s going to go up and down, but it will stay solid,” he said. Echoing other camera makers, he said the smartphone camera would encourage more picture-taking generally, leading to more demand for traditional cameras.

    But the smartphone has proved irresistibly easy to use, especially for people who exchange vast numbers of photos online.

    Facebook says that since the site was founded in 2004, its users have uploaded more than 50 billion photos, making that feature one of its most popular. Flickr, the photo-sharing site, says users add more than three million photos to its inventory every day. Yet Flickr’s data shows that the most popular camera among its 55 million users is a smartphone, Apple’s iPhone 3G. Not a single point-and-shoot makes it into its top five. The remaining spots are occupied by S.L.R.’s from Canon and Nikon.

    Cameras began showing up in phones almost a decade ago. For much of that time, image quality was akin to grainy shots of U.F.O.’s or Sasquatch. In the last few years, though, more powerful processors and better sensors have improved image quality to levels many consumers find acceptable.

    According to a February report from the camera industry group PMA, film cameras were not quite extinct until 2004, when most digital models took pictures with resolutions greater than four megapixels — allowing users to print high-quality images in conventional sizes. The report predicted that camera-phone use would “increase significantly” once those devices achieved a similar resolution.

    The iPhone, various Android models and phones on Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 operating system have already crossed that threshold.

    Even some professionals are advocates of picture-taking with smartphones.

    And while dedicated cameras have long had settings and modes to adjust the quality of the picture taken, smartphones have apps like Hipstamatic, Camera Bag and OldCamera that allow users to apply filters — black and white, sepia, vintage — to images, often just by poking a finger.

    “The apps make things look so professional,” said Ms. Peterson, the graphic designer. “I just came back from a trip and my pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge look like a postcard. I don’t think my old camera could even have done something like that.”

    Glyn Evans, 42, from Yeovil, England, said, “The apps were a turning point for me.” Mr. Evans, who works in information technology and founded the Web site Iphoneography.com, dedicated to photography taken with Apple’s iPhone, added, “I have a camera, but it’s gathering dust.”

    Mark Romanek, director of the coming film “Never Let Me Go” and an avid photographer, has also abandoned his point-and-shoot.

    His Web site, markromanek.posterous.com, features his photography, all of which was taken with an iPhone and using camera apps like OldCamera. He likes the “lo-fi” quality to the images, but also likes always having his camera at hand.

    “When a camera of this type is always in your pocket,” he wrote via e-mail, “every moment seems like a potential photo-op.”

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    thats how i feel too...when i go on vacation i'll usually bring a point and shoot, but i never end up using it...just grab my phone

    its more incognito as well, and you dont look as much like a huge tourist.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    All my shots were taken on my phone.. easier to use, more convenient, faster to fiddle with, and takes great shots.

    Now if I could only find a good smartphone with a better than 5 megapixel cam that didn't run on fucking Symbian, like the very hardware pretty but ultimately software awful Nokia N8
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    Bronze Member Sunshine's Avatar
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    I love my point and shoot with lens. I can do more with it than the camera phone. I guess I use mine more for art and it can't be replaced by a camera phone. I can't see using a camera like Liebowitx at $100 a shot for the negative. Sometimes I hate progress. I miss my little drop in film camera with the flash cubes. I loved it when I was a kid.

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    This makes me sad, my dad owned a photo studio when I was young.

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    I don't even own a camera any more and just use my crappy ancient mobile. It still takes some nice shots like these from New Year. I know they are a bit fuzzy and I could do better with a camera or a newer phone but coughing up for either is not an option right now.





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    Beautiful shots, Kitty. Just lovely. Where was this? I so want to go there.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    My phone is mostly a camera with a phone attached to it. Takes great shots, especially in black and white.

    Flickr: grimmlok's Photostream
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    Elite Member bellini's Avatar
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    ^^Those are really good! You have a great eye.


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    The other thing that's dying out because of cel phones are watches. When was the last time you saw a person under 40 wearing a watch?
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Watches are kind of sliding into being fashion timepieces. I see a lot of people with really interesting watches.

    Fob watches are also making a sort of comeback.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    True. The people who do wear them are putting more into style. It's pretty rare to see that around here anyway.
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    my phone takes shitty pictures and i don't have any desire to change it or get a smartphone with a better camera.
    and i actually want a point and shoot because i have a dslr camera with a big lens and it's heavy and you can't take it everywhere so when i just want pics when i have a night out or something it would be nice to have a really small camera.
    but for anything artistic or that i put any kind of effort into, i like having my real camera. yes, camera phones can take fantastic pictures but if you want to print them and blow them up, you're way more limited.
    grimm, you have a great eye.
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    Elite Member nancydrew's Avatar
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    My failberry takes such shit pictures, I am stuck with my panasonic digi cam until I get off my ass and upgrade to a better smartphone.
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    Elite Member o0Amber0o's Avatar
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    I'm not much of a picture person to begin with but I tend to use both my digital camera and my cell phone for picture equally. However I just upgraded to a BB Torch which has a 5MP camera and a lot more options than my current digital camera which is also 5MP so I'll probably stop using it for casual pictures. I'll still bring it with me when hiking and stuff because I wouldn't want to kill my cell phone battery when out in the wilderness for safety reasons.

    I always find it interesting how some people take an insane number of pictures on an almost daily basis when I may take like one a month. I always try to make a conscious effort to capture images, but it's just not in my nature I guess.
    All you can do at life is play along and hope that sometimes you get it right.

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