Wednesday, May 18, 2011

R.I.P. Dear Point and Shoot Cameras {New Braunfels photographer}

Recently while perusing some of my favorite photography news sites I read something that caught my attention. It seems the point-and-shoot (or compact digital camera) field is not doing so well. Sales are declining for the little pocket-sized cameras that pack a whopping 12-15 megapixels into a tiny sensor sized perfectly for on-the-go shooting. Sales in the DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras, however, are increasing. What this seems to say to me is that people are starting to care more about quality photography that they are opting for the DSLRs instead of the smaller point-and-shoot varieties. Maybe. Or maybe people are depending a whole lot more on their camera phones.

New Braunfels children photographerI suspect the drop in the point-and-shoot sales is purely a result of the increased use of the camera phones and the increased ease in transporting them. Yet people still want the higher quality for more important events and are opting more for the DSLRs. Why would they want a little pocket camera when they have their phone?

The problem with this is that I'm seeing a decline in the picture quality of the photo albums of this generation. Or, worse, a non-existent photo album with the ease of collecting digital images on one's phone and never printing them out. How often do you see people pulling a DSLR out of their pocket at a theme park? Go to any elementary school event and what do most people have in their hands -- holding them into the air above the heads of the crowd to snap a photo of Junior on the stage 20 yards away -- their phones. Phones with teeny tiny sensors, slow shutter releases.

Thirty years ago the little instamatic cameras were all the rage. You remember them. Your mom had one with a little cube flash on top. They sold film in little rolls that popped right in. The results were nice.

That's me and my sister in about 1976. It's not a high quality image from a photography pro point of view, but it's priceless to me. It hangs in a frame on my wall. The quality is nice, and the exposure was just right. Most importantly, it actually got printed up rather than left on a phone.

I don't take my expensive DSLRs with me to Six Flags. Who wants to worry about that thing on the log ride. I do, however, have my phone with me all the time -- who doesn't? So this is what I have to show for my most recent trip to Fiesta Texas.

New Braunfels photographerIt's cute. But for my standards it kind of sucks. It's pixelated, it's low quality, and I may never bother even printing it up. Or maybe I will. Maybe I'll print up all the images I shot with my camera phone and stick them in an album for my kids to peruse when they grow up. But if I put that album next to the albums my mom made with her little instamatic, there would be no contest.

I'm hoping the quality of the camera phone will improve for the sake of all our children. I don't see a return for the point-and-shoot. And I mourn the loss of the photo albums the way we saw them growing up.

That reminds me, it's time to print out some photos from Easter. They're still on my flash card.

Lisa On Location Photography

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