death knell for compact digital cameras?

Digital camera graveyard

In a blog by Canoe.ca, they say that according to Flickr and PC World the compact digital camera will be going the way of Sony’s Betamax!

This has to be excellent news for professional photographers, since the compact, point and shoot digital cameras have been the bane of their lives.

They also report that WirelessGoodness.com say “While there’s no question that DSLRs and micro 4/3 cameras have found a space at the higher end of the consumer photography market, I wouldn’t be surprised if growth in the low end of the consumer digital camera market slows to a crawl over the next few years.”

With many businesses using these cameras for press releases or product shots they have openly competed with the professional, but without the knowledge, experience and in many instances, the talent.

Despite Apple’s Steve Jobs’s claim that the iPhone4 camera is a higher quality specification than any other “smartphone”, with larger pixel size and the ability to work in lower light conditions, trying to use even the most gadget enhanced mobile phone to take anything approaching professional quality will be unlikely.

The lens on a purpose built camera will always outperform the tiny piece of glass or plastic in the mobile and the reliance on digital zoom to change the focal length of the lens will always be inferior to that of an optical system.

The popular use of mobile devices for quick uploads to social media and websites is obvious and these new phones will fit this market need perfectly, but try and use them where a polished well composed and professional looking photo is needed and you will fail.

This will re-open the door for the trusty professional with the right equipment lenses, lighting and experience.

Yes, it’s true that it’s the photographer and not the camera, that makes a photograph great, but show me a true photographer that would compromise an image by using a mobile phone.

As a commercial photographer in West Berkshire, I for one will not be mourning the demise of the digital compact camera and neither, I suspect, will the majority of photographic professionals.