The Point-and-Shoot: Dying Technology

Recently I have had the chance to play around with two recent iterations of the classic digital point-and-shoot. Now I am not going to start a rant about whether a point-and-shoot is worth of being mentioned on this blog or what not. I am also not going to start up that age old discussion about whether or not they are better than a fully-loaded DSLR. Nope, I am going to discuss the revelation I had when I cracked open the box to a new Samsung MV-800.

Sony and Samsung

During my honeymoon we used a very inexpensive sony dsc-w510.  I must admit that it was a fun little camera to shoot with but I found myself going back to my iPhone whenever I didn’t want to bring my DSLR along. This was a strange thing because we all know that the cameras on the iPhones suck, so why would I choose that over the 12.1 megapixel camera that was almost the the same size?

Well at first I thought that it was because it was in fact a “cheap little camera” It took nice shots but it also felt like a toy. I also thought that the iPhone was more convenient and I used it out of habit.  The revelation came when I won a Samsung MV800 from the Korean Tourism Organization. I had voted on some of  popular blogs and won the draw!

I got the camera in the mail over the weekend and I really liked what I saw in the box. I turned it on and saw an amazing assortment of features and a whopping 16.2 megapixel sensor. It has a flip-out screen that was touch sensitive, funny face settings, frames, smart controls and a whole lot of other apps… er settings. That was when it hit me.

With the rise of camera phones and their apps, they are pushing the smaller point-and-shoots out of the way. With apps like Camera+, 100 cameras in 1, Photogene2, and the Best Camera you can bet that the only difference between your camera phone and the little point-and-shoot is the image quality.

They’ve also got it from other areas too. The MV800 also has HD video ability and that is something that I might take a stab at with some up coming new features to The Sajin… are you ready to see some on location shoots? However with cameras like the gopro that Steve Miller loves and the high end video capabilities of DSLRs now, why would you need something like a little point-and-shoot to do your filming?

The only reason would be if you are my wife and you haven’t quite made the transition to smart phones and you like to keep all of your pictures on your camera…. forever. That was the other thing about the MV-800 that I didn’t like was that for a camera that was released in September 2011, there was no feature to share the photos to facebook or anywhere. So again, the iPhone may have a crappier image quality but I can edit, add filters, and then tweet it, google+ it and put on facebook right from the phone.

In the age of instant photo-gratification, this was a shock. I was left downloading them on to my computer like my DSLR. Now, this is what I normally do, but for a camera packed with so many features, I thought for sure that this would have been something that could have been included. Especially being that the market for this camera is for people who probably don’t want to sit down at their computers and edit each photo in photoshop.

So what is the future for these little cameras? It looks grim to me. The market has moved on to expensive retro cameras like the Fuji X-series, Canon G-1X and other powerful prosumer cameras. People want the power and not the bulk and are willing to pay for it. Hence, prices for the point-and-shoots are dropping like flies.

While the price of the Samsung MV-800 is still high, you can pick a small point-and-shoot up for less than 100,000 won at any Lotte Mart or online shop. I would hazard to guess that in the years to come, these low-end cameras will disappear or be reintroduced in some retro form like the current and pricey items from Fuji.  With everyone having smart phones in their pockets it is not doubt that the cameras in them will get better and certainly put a nail in the coffin of the aging point-and-shoot camera.

Comments

  1. Jimmy Reply

    And let’s not forget the fantastic, and not too pricey, range of mirror-less SLRs that are starting to flood the market nowadays.

    Yep, point-n-shoots may not be dead yet, but it can’t be long now.

    • Jason Teale Reply

      Totally! Those are taking the camera world by storm at the moment. Another nail in the coffin…

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