I recently read an article in the New York Times (well do we really call this sort of thing an article???) about what sorts of “gadgets” people should get rid of or keep.
One of the items in the “lose it” category was point and shoot cameras. Let’s quote Mr. Sam Grobart here for a second.
“It is hard to share photos until you have transferred them to your computer, and there are no apps for cameras, as there are for smartphones, that allow you to quickly apply cool filters and treatments to the shots you took.”
Most of his “ditch these items” comments centered around the idea that everyone reading the article has a smartphone. So, indeed, why have a camera, an alarm clock, an iPod, a video camera or a desktop when you can just carry all of these things around with you in your pocket? Well… some people prefer not to rely too heavily on a single device. What happens, for instance, if you lose your phone? Or break it? Or whatever?
Of course, this person is assuming that everyone is interested in taking photos with digital cameras solely for the purpose of uploading them to Facebook and “sharing” them immediately. Obviously for many people, this is a desire, but for other people, it is… less than desirable. Increasingly I have seen people carrying around this funny looking blue rubber camera, the Blue Ribbon, and as I have seen more and more photos that come out of it, I’m becoming full of envy for one. At a maximum price of $30, this 35 mm camera doesn’t fill me with anxiety at the thought of losing it (and along with it my access to portable music, time piece, email access etc etc). It’s also a lovely thing to behold (and touch).
Sadly for many people who have grown to love them, these smartphones have quickly made obsolete one of the most popular video cameras, the Flip. I’ve never used them before, but my students use them all the time. At $100 or so, they’re reasonable priced for an HD camera. As many people as there are out there carrying iPhones around, the Flips were still in high demand, and I don’t see us handing out iPhones to a bunch of adolescents any time in the near future… it’s a shame for a quick and cheap way of capturing relatively high quality video.