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Friday, 23 December 2011 12:25

Smartphones killing point-and-shoot cameras

Written by



Practicality ahead of quality


The advent of affordable and feature packed smartphones has already buried portable music players and PDAs. Now it seems cheap point-and-shoot cameras and low-end camcorders are next to go the way of the dodo.

According to new study by NPD, the overall percentage of photos taken with smartphones rose to 27 percent in 2011, up from 17 percent last year. Meanwhile the number of photos taken by dedicated point-and-shoot cameras declined from 52 to 44 percent. NPD claims point-and-shoot camera sales dipped 17 percent in 2011, while camcorder sales dropped 13 percent.

Although smartphones still can’t come close to even the cheapest point-and-shoot cameras in terms of image quality, they are just more practical. Phones don’t have the proper optics for serious photography, so they can’t deliver wide shots or zoom, and very few feature a decent flash. Nevertheless, many consumers are finding phone cameras sufficient for their needs and who could blame them?

High end phones already feature 8MP sensors and the trend it shifting to 12MP units, so they have plenty of resolution for cropping, although their performance in poor lighting is still abysmal. Compared to cheap camcorders, smartphones stand up rather well. Most already support 720p video and 1080p is also possible thanks to speedy chipsets, although storage still could be an issue for some models.

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Comments  

 
-3 #1 Jurassic1024 2011-12-23 13:50
This is about as surprising as AMD APU's biting into its own low end discrete GPU sales.

This is not news. All you have to do is go out side and look around. I can't remember the last time I seen a camera over someone's shoulder, or even a camera bag for that matter.
 
 
+1 #2 Gix10000 2011-12-23 17:35
i disagree that they haven't caught up with point & shoots.
My Nokia N8 is hands down the best camera i've ever used (non-slr/professional that is)
granted it doesn't have an optical zoom, but the image quality is unparalleled.
 
 
0 #3 godrilla 2011-12-23 18:19
next sony phone will have 13 mp
 
 
0 #4 Vicar in a Tutu 2011-12-23 20:58
People!

It's all about the sensor size, not the megapixels! Metaphorical quality example:

a '720p' 400MB movie vs. same movie (720p) @ 4.37GB. They have the same number of pixels, so the same quality ...right?

Before anyone says, I know the difference between CCD/CMOS size and video compression bitrate, but I think the above comparison has some value.
 
 
0 #5 Jurassic1024 2011-12-24 04:37
Quoting Gix10000:
i disagree that they haven't caught up with point & shoots.



Sure they have, just not all of them. Remember... its a cell phone.

Quoting Gix10000:
My Nokia N8 is hands down the best camera i've ever used (non-slr/professional that is)



Hence the reason for this article. Cell phone cameras are more than adequate for the majority of people. Same can be said about standalone MP3 players. Why carry around an MP3 player - AND a phone?
 
 
0 #6 Jurassic1024 2011-12-24 04:42
Quoting godrilla:
next sony phone will have 13 mp



The number of megapixels does not tell you how good a camera is. Just like how wattage doesn't tell you how good a power supply is. Or how many gigahertz their are in a CPU...
 
 
0 #7 Soldier1969 2011-12-27 05:49
My 8mp smartphone cam is convenient and I use it almost every day but it doesn't compare to my Sony 16mp 3d point and shoot cyber shot. The image qaulity just isn't there yet with phones. Maybe next couple years.
 

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