Are point-and-shoot cameras dying?
The phone you see here is the Samsung Pixon M8800. It was released all the way back in November 2008, but it got a lot of people thinking about the regular old point-and-shoot camera that everybody on the planet had at the time. Could an incredibly capable camera lure people into buying a different form factor? Were the days of the flip-phone over because these other styles offered so much more functionality?
Although the Pixon M8800 wasn't very successful, it paved the way for many of the smartphone cameras we know and love today. Let's take a brief look at how the cameras in our beloved devices have changed throughout the years, and how they will continue to change as our phones get smarter and more capable.
The first phones to have a camera in them had lenses of the fixed focus variety. They didn't offer any way to adjust the settings of the camera lens, and they didn't have a flash either. They were meant as a simple and fast way to snap a picture if you didn't have your "real" camera with you.
As time progressed, however, manufacturers decided that it was time to put better cameras in their phones so they would sell better. The biggest innovations between the time of the first camera phones and the smartphones of today were autofocus lenses and LED flashes.
Today, we are treated with cameras that really are capable of replacing point-and-shoots. The Nokia N8, for example, features a camera with 12 megapixels, a Carl Zeiss lens, and Xenon flash. The iPhone 4 and the Samsung Galaxy S series both include a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash. Many phones can record HD video, which is far from being a standard feature of point-and-shoot cameras, and the quick and easy social/sharing functions can't be overlooked either. Pictures you take with your phone can be up on FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, Picasa, your blog, and your friend's blog in a matter of seconds. You can send them via email or MMS almost immediately.
Do you think point-and-shoots are on the way out? Do you still have/use one?