Phone Cameras Challenge Point-And-Shoot Compacts | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Phone Cameras Challenge Point-And-Shoot Compacts

Play associated audio

Nearly every new smartphone has a better camera than its predecessor. One of the latest is Apple's iPhone 4S — but there are plenty of other cellphones with advanced cameras on the market, such as the HTC myTouch 4G and the Samsung Galaxy SII.

The cameras are so good, in fact, that it raises the question of whether it's worth it for amateur photographers to own a separate point-and-shoot camera.

Keith Jenkins, who heads NPR's multimedia unit, says that when smartphone cameras reached the 6 to 8 megapixel range, they started to approach the territory traditionally held by low-end point-and-shoot cameras.

"As our smartphones become more and more the one device that we use to do everything, it's going to become increasingly difficult for anyone who creates a standalone product that can be replicated inside of a smartphone to survive," Jenkins tells NPR's Ari Shapiro.

With more megapixels and a decent lens, smartphone cameras can take much sharper photos than they used to. Standalone cameras still have an advantage with their larger sensor chips, which allows for more detail and a better depth of field in photographs. And pictures taken with a point-and-shoot tend to look more like what the eye actually sees.

But convenience, and the ability to share those photos — instantly and with anybody — is starting to give smartphones an edge.

That could be trouble for camera manufacturers, Jenkins says. The industry is moving toward connected cameras — housed in smartphones and tablets — and camera manufacturers don't have a strong presence in that market.

"I do think that some [camera companies] will make it, but we've already seen a shrinkage in the market as we went from film to digital," Jenkins says, "and I think as we move from cameras that are standalone to cameras that are connected — and that could instantly put you on the Web or have a photo emailed — it's going to be harder to compete."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Comedian Andrea Martin: 'I Don't Think Age Has Anything To Do With It'

Now in her late 60s, Martin says she's still "excited and enthusiastic" about her work and doesn't have any intention of retiring. She published a memoir in September called Lady Parts.
NPR

Nutmeg Spice Has A Secret Story That Isn't So Nice

Nutmeg is a feel-good holiday spice. But it once caused serious bloodshed and may have even been a reason the Dutch were willing to part with Manhattan in the 1600s.
WAMU 88.5

Special Prosecutors Should Handle Civilian Shootings By Police, Holmes Norton Says

Norton says mayors and governors could stem anger over civilian shootings by police by appointing special prosecutors to handle them.
NPR

Facebook Finds That Not All Users Want To Review Their Year

The social media giant's "Year in Review" app has upset some who prefer to forget 2014's unpleasant memories.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.