Are Smartphones Killing Point-and-Shoot Cameras?

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r3dd4wg

I'd have to say the camera in my smartphone (LG G2X T-Mobile) has obsoleted my Canon A520.  I brought both on a trip last week but ended up shooting all my pics with my phone, PLUS, I was shooting video with the phone too.

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mhouston100

I think the reason most of the photos on the net are so shit is the same reason most of the content on the net is shit.  Just because everyone has a 'camera' on them now doesn't automatically make everyone a photographer.  

Apply the same rule to ANY web content - Having a blog doesn't make you a writer, a Wordpress site doesn't make you a web developer and a Youtube account certainly doen't mean your a director!

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bling581

People that are serious about taking good pictures still use a camera. For most people smart phones are becoming a good replacement because the camera quality is increasing. I was amazed at the difference between my 3GS and 4S.

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visibly_stealthy

In my experience, the reason most people's pictures on the net are crappy is because most people don't know to set all the settings on their camera to their max settings and adjust all the other settings until you get the best picture. 95% of the time my pictures come out amazing! the other 5% is usually cause my daughter was moving....

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Mortal_M

I use my DSLR 95% of the time and the other time I use my phone camera but it's only when taking pictures of stuff that don't need IQ.

I really hate using the camera on my phone but I do it from time to time because I can't always have my DSLR with me and I always have my phone on me. But if I had to choose between taking a picture with my phone and a point and shoot I would go with the point and shoot.

But I like photograpy, in my experience everybody else is satisfied with "good enough" pictures and that makes me mad :D

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kixofmyg0t

Im not a professional photographer.....therefor I dont carry around a DSLR at all times. Hell I dont even carry around a point and shoot at all times. 90% of the pictures I take are from my cell phone. Actually the only reason I dust off my point and shoot camera is if Im trying to take a picture in low light and my phones camera has too much noise. 

 

 

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thechipper

Phones are really just missing all the goodies that cameras have(stabilizer, digitizer [better focus] etc.). Why do more pictures get taken with a phone than before?

Everyone has a phone attached to them these days. You would be hard pressed to find someone walking around with a camera all the time. So in a pinch you just resort to it. Why carry 5 things around when you can do it all on one?

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titan8813

I appraise real property so a point-and-shoot fits my needs perfectly.  Takes better photos than my cell phone (which I have used in a pinch, like when I leave my SD card plugged into the computer at the office) and isn't cumbersome when walking through a house writing stuff down like a DSLR would be.  The one I have now I even purchased because it records 720p video and can zoom during video shooting, so it doubles as a poor man's camcorder for my kid's football and basketball games.  It has a better/wider field of vision than my cell phone, and especially in low lighting situations (pretty much everywhere inside someone's home) it whoops my cell phone.

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JCGPZ9

I do use my phone to take photos and it does so quite well, but when I know I'll be somewhere interesting or with something interesting occuring I'll bring along my Canon S95. While the current crop of smartphones have nice cameras, especially the iPhone 4S, they still don't compare to a dedicated camera.

I'll even shoot short vids on my phone as well but I would use a dedicated video cam for big events. Even my GoPro HD does a better job than my Thunderbolt and nothing beats the GoPro when it comes to attaching to a vehicle or body for action shots.

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JohnP

John Dvorak went through this a while ago. "Jack of all trades and master of none". Like some other posters, I have never shot any photos with my semi-decent phone camera and tons with my Casio point and shoot. If nothing else, the point and shoot has so many more features that I consider essential, like stabilization, good focusing, great adaptability for different light conditions, high resolution, terrific video capture, and a fantastic zoom. When all that can be squeezed into a smart phone that also does all the other things well, then I will give up my point and shoot.

I feel the same way about a dedicated GPS vs a smartphone app. I can leave the damn phone in my pocket and have the GPS mounted and ready to go without doing any button pushs or worrying about battery life. Just not worth the hassle to make a phone do what a GPS naturally does.

 Don't get me started on e-ink vs smartphones for reading....

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kixofmyg0t

Watchout we got a badass over here. 

 

 

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znod

We have some nice 12 megapixle point and shoots. They are very good. My wife also uses a digital SLR--which, of course, also is very good. She uses RAW, does a great deal of photo shopping, etc. But, for a great many purposes, our iPhone cameras are completely sufficient--especially when we don't want to be burdended by our gear. So, why are there some many bad mobile photos on the internet? I'd say that a lot more photos produced by the untalented are being taken and posted on the internet given cameras on cell phones. If you have a photographer's eye and don't try to use a cell-phone camera under conditions it can't handle, you are bound to get some very nice photographs.

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Belboz99

I shoot with a Sony Alpha 350 D-SLR virtually 100% of the time.

I shoot on full-manual 90% of the time, 100% RAW.

I prefer using AC-powered mono-lights with stands and a backdrop, wirelessley triggered strobes when lighting on the go, or of course available light whenever it's abundant and of the right quality.

I think the main reason people use the smartphones is that poeple don't like fiddling with settings.  Just the other day I was talking to someone in charge of taking pictues of a large number of people at her workplace.  She took my picture and I immediately realized something was wrong.  Despite the simplicity of the camera, she had selected "night portrait" instead of "portrait" which was only discernable by the way the icon was inverted (black background vs white). 

Back in the day there were fixed-lens cameras that made up a large share of the novice market that the smartphones use today.  Having a fixed lens meant that it didn't require fancy electronics to set an exposure.  In bright daylight it took a proper exposure based on fixed settings that the user didn't even know were in-place.  In low-light the user enabled the flash which also had fixed settings allowing the camera to get a good exposure more often than not.

This is the entire concept of the disposable camera in a nut-shell, but was also the basic idea behind such cameras as the Brownie, of which my mother claims was the last camera she could use and get really great photos.

Virtually all of the P&S cameras are loaded with options, and even if all you have to do is put it on "P" for program auto, it still freaks out the novice user when they see the other multitude of buttons and features littered around the body of the camera and in the menus.

I have used a Mamiya C3 TLR from 1963 with no built-in light-meter, and it's suprisingly easy to set the exposure with a few rules of thumb.

In an effort to make taking photos easier, manufacturers have overloaded cameras with mostly redudant features and buttons and have ended up making them far more complicated than necessary, at least in appearance.

Dan O. 

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MattyMattMatt

I work retail and I would have to say no. We still cycle through those cameras quickly and most people know that phone cameras arent as good, though they do focus on megapixels and zoom instead of sensor.

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noghiri_x

I think the reason that there are so many bad cell phone camera photos is because A) not everyone has a good cell phone camera, and B) a thin light object is harder to hold steady than an object that is twice the size and sometimes even has a grip.  Also, a dedicated photo trigger on top and mechanical zoom is so much better than software zoom and tapping a screen to shoot.

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Mortal_M

And C) The censor size in the phones is crappy and small

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ETNPNYS

A friend once said it best: "The best camera is the one that you have with you." 

My wife and I haven't used our point-and-shoots since we got our EVOs. Some phones (Samsung Infuse) take better photos than our point-and-shoot, and while our EVOs don't match that statement, we have our EVOs with us when we want/need to snap something that the kids are doing. 

FYI: We also have a really good DSLR: Canon EOS10D. A little old now, but great. Quality is amazing. But we only bring it when we are specifically going with the intent of pictures. 

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haboh

I hate that saying. If the picture that comes out is crap I'll scrap in anyway so what's the point in wasting time taking a picture with a bad camera? I want a good picture or no picture. So I take it with my DSLR, or maybe our good P&S. Cell phone cameras are garbage

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Mortal_M

Well said, I still laug at those phones with 8-10MP when you can't do anything with those many pixels because the senzor is crap and the photos are crap also.

But I have seen that they keep getting better and better (and phones keep getting bigger) so I think that very soon we'll see phones taking good pictures.

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firefox91

I rarely took pictures to begin with before my smartphone. It just wasn't my thing and hauling around even a small point and shoot was just a pain in the ass for me. Even for situations where I thought I would need it. Same goes for the video camera. In comes my Android with an 8MP camera and 1080p video. I always have this thing on my hip and decent pictures are never far away. Of course it can't compare to an SLR in terms of quality, but I would never own one of those anyway. So without my phone cam, I would likely have no pictures. With it, I have something that isn't all that bad. Win for me.

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Kinetic

Um.... No?

Well, maybe for all the teenage girls taking duck-face pictures if themselves in the bathroom mirror to post on Facebook, but people who want or need to take a quality picture will likely choose a dedicated camera for the foreseeable future.

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ETNPNYS

Dude the purpose of a point-and-shoot camera is so that it's small enough to carry with you anywhere. If you want good quality pictures, you get a DSLR. 

Thus, I can answer "Yes" to the question posed by this headline. For me, my wife, and all of our immediate friends at least. 

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Kinetic

"Dude the purpose of a point-and-shoot camera is so that it's small enough to carry with you anywhere. If you want good quality pictures, you get a DSLR."

I would disagree. Unless you're a professional photographer who makes a living off their work -or really into photography- an SLR or DSLR is overkill for most people, and very expensive overkill at that. I would go on to argue that for most people who don't know anything about photography, but want to take some nice mementos they can frame for around the house or send to their relatives, a point-and-shoot digital camera is more than sufficient. Not only are they just as easy to use as a cell phone camera anymore, but they're incredibly cheap at around $100 or less on sale, take nice pictures, and have all the versatility cell phones cameras lack (especially when it comes to distance and low light, my 8mp HTC Inspire's nemeses).
Until cellphone manufacturers worry more about delivering the most accurate colors, and functionality in anything below daylight environments, and less about how high the megapixel count is, I'll take my good pictures with my Sony Cybershot and leave my cell to handle anything less important.
That's just my opinion though.

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Mortal_M

Look at our phones, they have a 20MP camera but you can't print them any bigger than 4x6! </sarcasm>

 

And it's funny because I have been to places like Walmart and Best Buy and in the photo center they have those posters to help you choose the best camera for you, and they all say that you just need to get a camera with the most MegaPixels you can afford because MP=Image Quality and people believe it.

When is the MP war going to end?

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JCGPZ9

The Canon S90 and S95 are compact, has a nice sensor and takes very good quality pics. For the pro-sumer cameras I like Sony's Alpha NEX and it is pretty compact.

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JBaz

I never use the camera on my phones, I haven't owned a point and shoot since 2002 and so that leaves me with my expensive DSLR's to tote around and take pics. My point and shoot is my old trusty 30D while everything else goes for the 1D or the 5D bodies I have laying around. Kinda boggles my mind that at one point I had 6 bodies and 100k in lenses and then considered it "just a hobby".

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CaptainFabulous

They're getting better but still don't take as good a picture as a dedicated camera. There is more to a good picture than megapixels.

Camera phones are convenient for quick pics, but for any kind of important shots (say, of your vacation) you'll still want a real camera.

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eastbayrae

Please make better smartphone cam's so all those females taking pictures of themselves in the mirror look like they were at least shot in the last 5 years.  Thanks.

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