Death of the Point & Shoot

Remember when the top of the line DSLRs were 6MP?  Now most cell phone cameras have more than that.  As cell phone cameras get better and better, why will people even need a separate point and shoot camera?


Nothing compares with the power and versatility of the DSLR.  Sure, you could drop $15,000 on a digital back for your Hasselblad- if you really think you need to be taking 50MP images.  Aside from that, the good ol DSLR is the king of the hill.  If you don’t mind lugging around the extra lenses and accessories, you just can’t beat the image quality.

The Allure of the Point & Shoot

The beauty of the point and shoot is that it is easier to carry around.  You drop it in your coat pocket or your purse and it is always with you.  Even if the image quality isn’t the same as your pro camera, at least you always have it with you.  The problem, of course, is the lens.  Most point & shoots have such a small lens that the image quality is always going to suffer.  However, if it is just a shot of you and your friends in front of a restaurant – and you are just going to post it on Facebook – isn’t that quality just fine?

Why Carry Both

Which brings us to the cell phone camera.  I can use my iPhone and get images that are perfectly comparable to the images from a standard point & shoot camera.  If that is the case, why carry both?  Why not just use your cell phone?  I’ve noticed this myself on several occasions.  My wife will say, “Should we bring the camera?” and I’ll answer, “Nah, I’ll just use my phone.”

Internet Ease

The other big advantage of the cell phone camera is that you can send the images to friends or upload them to Facebook with the push of a button.  No need to transfer them to your computer first.  If there are two ways to do something and one is easier, I think we all know which route most people will choose.

End of the Road?

camera graveSo is that it for the trusty point & shoot?

Will it go the way of cassette tapes and laser discs?  That sure seems to be the writing on the wall.

What about you?  Which do you use more often – your cell phone camera or your point & shoot?


  1. monterey luxury real estate

    It could be. I doubt it will anytime soon though, I’m actually seeing more people with DSLRs now. Probably because of their hobbies or for show, but it’s getting more popular even with the constant rise of the camera capabilities of cellphones.

    • Larry

      Thanks for your thoughts Stanley. Loved your post as well. I agree that the cell phone will likely never replace the DSLR. The point and shoot, however, is losing ground with every new cell phone camera that comes out. It will be interesting to watch.

  2. DiTesco

    Never heard of Hasselblad before, but I do agree that my cell phone with 8MP px is more than enough to me. I do have a Point-and-shoot camera with 5MP but right now, it t«does not make sense to carry two devices with me, while the cell phone does that and more :)

    Yikes, just went to Amazon and they have a Hasselblad for $28K.. what the @=$%$.. lol. I mean, does it take photos on its own?

  3. Pettina

    I am not that specific with cameras… All I am interested with is that I can able to have pictures with my cellphone camera not thinking how clear it is… Anyway, thank you for the information.

  4. Francoise

    Although Professional cameras are really excellent especially when have great lenses in capturing subject, still it’s just the same with cellphones. What is important is the person who’s taking the pictures. When the person knows how to see angles, whether he’s using a DSLR or simply cellphone, the photo would be beautiful.

  5. Patrick

    Ever since I bought my Canon S90 a few years ago, I never looked at cameras the same way. The image quality that came out of that compact camera was utterly amazing. I’ve since played around with a few cellphone cameras but none of them compare. Today, I took a picture of a cake with my Droid Bionic. The colors were so blah that it made the awesome cake look less desirable. And when I’m capturing memories, I want to remember how awesome that cake was. Sorry, but the cellphone doesn’t cut it.

    • Larry

      Well I agree about the S90- hands down the best point and shoot I have ever owned… although I hear the G10s are nice!

      I know your Droid can’t compete right now, but compare the images from your cell phone with the images the average cell phone took 5 years ago… they are light years better. Safe to assume they will be tons better 5 years from now? Who knows… just something to consider.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  6. The end of the point and shoot cameras seem inevitable. For DSLR’s, I don’t think so. Unless the phones would be able to produce complex photography. I think there’s a reason why DSLR’s are that big. I don’t think a phone will be able to do that. We’ll see.

    Scott McCurdy

  7. Mike

    I prefer my point and shoot to my cell phone.
    The things I like better:
    * 10x zoom lens (not digital zoom), which I use quite often.
    * The image stabilization is better.
    * Flash is brighter.
    * Holds the lens open longer for dark pictures, which about 1/3 to 1/2 of mine are (not pro level, but better than cell phone).
    * Until my most recent phone, only my PNS could do macro focus.
    * My backup (older) PNS still had a lens viewfinder – it wasn’t LCD only. This was very helpful in dark pictures.

    DSLRs are great, but most of the time too bulky for me to carry around – if I were to get one.

    • Larry

      I agree Mike. A good point and shoot still has a slight edge… I just think in 5 years, that might not be the case. Thanks for commenting!

  8. Holly Jahangiri

    I don’t know, Larry – I generally prefer the bulky DSLR (yeah, if I could afford one) – but recently bought a Sony DSC H70 (

    I love it! What my cell phone lacks is image stabilization, a flash (the new one does have a flash), a “sweep panorama” mode, and about 11 megapixels. This is actually cheaper than a lot of cell phones, too, and requires no two-year commitment. The advantage of a point and shoot is stealth – it’s easier to whip it out, point, and shoot. Folks get weird when you’re trying to get candid shots with a bulky DSLR.

    • Larry

      It will be interesting to see how cell phones close that gap over the next few years. I don’t think a 15MP cell phone camera is out of the question…they seem to just keep cramming in features.
      As for the “sweep pano” mode – if there isn’t already, there will eventually “be an app for that.”

  9. Astro Gremlin

    Larry, it dawned on me as I fooled around with my iPhone 4 that it had replaced both my point and shoot and my Flip video camera. Main reason: my phone is always in my pocket! What wonders technology has wrought.

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