Many people have already heard about Cisco stopping production of their Flip video cameras. The death of Flip has many people questioning why it failed. Was there a demand for it? Did it fail to appeal to the masses. Was this death inevitable? Some people say the writing was on the wall. Many point and shoot cameras could perform just asВ well as the Flip Mino/Ultra HD. NotВ only that, but high-end smartphones could record video in the same quality. Today, people are willing to pay a bit more for convenience and all-in-one gadgets just make sense. The niche FlipВ fulfilled was dying.В Carrying one smartphone that takes pictures just as well as a point and shoot camera means less things to carry. Cell phones cameras are getting better every day. Does this mean we are seeing the end of point and shoot cameras? Maybe not completely but smartphones will cause some damage towards this market.
Point and shoot cameras are pretty much the same
With a few exceptions, today, point and shoot cameras are pretty much the same. They performed fairly well in good lighting conditions and fall short in lowВ light. The gap between point and shoots and DSLRs is big while the gap between point and shoots and smartphones is closing. Most high-end smartphones have built-in LED flash and at least a 5 megapixel sensor. The image quality is good enough for web use but its not quite asВ good as point and shoots. The difference, although noticeable, is not that big in the grand scheme of things. Theres a new point and shoot on the market. They come in the form of the mirror-less micro four thirds standard. This camera system is a step up from point and shoots with interchangeableВ lenses and a larger sensor but its still not as good as a full size DSLR.
Currently, only Panasonic and Olympus support the micro fourВ thirds standard. These cameras are also much more expensive compared to entry-level point and shoots. A micro fourВ thirds camera can cost up to $700. This is a small fortune when most people want to take photos that are just good enough. Today, a smartphone camera fits the needs of many people plus it can do many other things a standalone camera cannot. There are cases where using a smartphone to take pictures orВ video may not be a goodВ idea. For example,В the GoProВ HD cameras fill a specific niche. They are rugged and waterproof. You can use them to take amazing action videos that would be perfect for video streaming sitesВ likeВ YouTube. Using a smartphone where water may be involved may not be the smartest idea. Like most multi-tools, they are good at doing lots of different things but they are not great at doing one thing. The question isВ whether itВ is good enoughВ for you. Some people likeВ to use them to replace gadgets like GPS while others need a standalone device. Personally, I prefer using a dedicated GPS so IВ can save batteryВ life on my smartphone and keep it free for incoming calls.
Whats The Point?
Point and shoot cameras have ventured into some exclusive niches. Theres a new line of rugged cameras that are shockproof andВ waterproof to a certain depth. This market is nice for beach goers and backpackers. Although branching out is a good idea to capture some possible markets, the industry as a whole will likely be on a decline unless something drastic happens. The way I see it, smaller yet powerful point and shoots like the micro fourВ thirds standard needs to be adopted by more manufacturers in order to bring the cost down. The average consumer isnt going to pay $700 for a point andВ shoot. You would expect them to get better over time but many people are now aware of megapixel marketing. Fact is, a 12 MP photo doesnt look much different from a 8 MP photo from point and shoots. Is this the end of point and shoots? Unless camera manufacturers recognize the trends and react to the market, then yes. The way I see it, if smartphone cameras keep improving at this pace, carrying a point andВ shoot will be like carrying a beeper. Whats the point. What do you think? Are point and shoot cameras dying?