A decade ago, a point and shoot digital camera would have been the perfect gift to someone thatвЂ™s into gadgets and technology. Unfortunately, the era of point and shoot cameras is coming to an end. Today, a smartphone replaces your average point and shoot and you donвЂ™t have to carry an extra device. Progress has spoken but is there a still a place for the old point and shoot?
The Good Old Days
I remember in 2004 when I used to own a FujiFilm point and shoot. It was great. I loved taking it to the park, snapping pictures of my friends and uploading them to Photobucket. That camera was lost and I upgraded to a newer model the next year. I recently logged into my old account and browsed through my old pictures and the amount of nostalgia it brought up was bit overwhelming. Good times indeed. Flash forward today, I noticed I donвЂ™t have any point and shoots. I do have a camera on my desk but itвЂ™s an interchangeable lens system. While I can set it up to be as compact as my point and shoot, it doesnt have the same вЂњspiritвЂќ. 10 years ago, when I walked out the door, I carried my wallet, keys, and camera. Today, itвЂ™s my wallet, keys, and phone. When cell phones started having cameras built-in, it was clear that the era of the point and shoot would come to an end. As image quality got better, especially with smartphones, it was hard to justify pocket real estate for a point and shoot.
Weird To Carry a Point And Shoot?
In the past, it was relatively normal to carry a point and shoot. Today, itвЂ™s considered a bit weird. Why would people carry a point and shoot when the average smart phone can do the job just as good and share the images better? With the point and shoot, you would have to take the pictures, upload it to your computer, upload it to an image storing service or attach to an email, then share it from there. With a smartphone, you can share it directly to Twitter, Instagram, email or any other medium in a few taps. There was В a time where the image quality of point and shoots were considerably better than cell phone cameras but that is all but eliminated today. The mega-pixel marketing war has come to and end as conscious consumers realize that having massive print sizes were useless when sharing images online, not to mention a pain to upload 10MB files.
A Rugged Future?
As technology evolves and point and shoots gets replaced by smartphones, what s their future? Is there still a market for them and where? The most obvious trend for point and shoots is their aim at the rugged market. Taking a cue from the popular GoPro video cameras, more point and shoots are being offered as being water-resistant/proof and shock resistant. This appeals to the people that donвЂ™t like to worry about dropping their cameras or getting it wet at the beach. IвЂ™d much rather bring along a waterproof rugged camera while fishing that to risk dropping my $500 smartphone in saltwater.
A few phones like the Samsung Galaxy Active and even some cases like Lifeproof are designed to protect your phones from the elements. While excellent as options, I donвЂ™t think the trust is there yet among consumers. IвЂ™d still rather drop my rugged point and shoot over my rugged cased smartphone. Even still, rugged smartphones will likely emerge and overtake that market. What will happen to point and shoots then? The portability, price, and convenience of point and shoots allowed them to flourish when the only other option was lugging around a huge DSLR. Smartphones do everything a point and shoot can, but better.
As smaller mirrorless systems get more popular, more manufacturers are making very expensive bridge point and shoots that covers the gap between a standard point and shoot and the full-size DSLR. These bridge cameras takes very impressive photos for their size but the majority of consumers dont see the improved photo quality as enough to justify its price hike. As a result, bridge cameras remain a niche product all while point and shoots fall further into obscurity. This paints a bleak picture of their future. Do you still use a point and shoot? The next point and shoot Id own would have to be a free one. My money is going towards mirrorless systems.