[Editorial] Has Your Smartphone Completely Replaced Your Point And Shoot Yet?


As we now enter the last quarter of the year, I think it’s time once again to ask the ever-popular question that’s in the title. Has your smartphone completely replaced your point and shoot yet? Honestly, we’ve seen some great entries into the smartphone market this year but one area that’s been focused on is smartphone cameras. While we haven’t seen a widespread drastic increase in megapixel count, manufacturers have continued to work on phone cameras by adding new imaging chips, new software features, and overall just trying to improve the quality of existing camera sensors. But with all of the camera power built right in your phone, do you really use a secondary camera like a point and shoot anymore?

I’ll just make it clear right now that I’m not talking about replacing DSLR’s with your smartphone. This isn’t going to happen with any of the current smartphones on the market and isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. I’m talking specifically about replacing point and shoots and even lower-end video cameras.

So now that we have that out of the way, I want to talk about how my phone has nearly replaced my point and shoot. I’ve always had an interest in photography but I’ve never particularly done much with that interest and am no great shakes at photography. But ever since I got my first smartphone, I’ve taken many more pictures than with any other camera and almost all have been with my phone. Even though I own two point and shoot’s, I almost never use either of them anymore.

Having the love of cars that I do, I attended an auto show this weekend and as such, brought along both a fully charged point and shoot and phone. During the entire two and a half hours that I was there, I took just one photo with my point and shoot while I was there. In comparison, before I deleted many of them, I think I took between 150-200 with my phone. It wasn’t so much that my point and shoot was bad but that it lacked the ease of use that my Galaxy S III gave me. It was simpler, probably faster, and much easier just to use my phone.

Not just that though. There was one factor that made me use my S III more and that was that it felt natural. All around me, people were using smartphones to take pictures. In fact, during the whole event, I saw not a single point and shoot besides my own. Everyone was either using a smartphone or iPod to take pictures unless they had a DSLR which there were a fair amount of. Using a point and shoot just felt awkward, unnatural, and clunky. Like I was using an outdated device. That’s what it boils down to.

And camera quality isn’t something to worry about as much anymore. This image is one that I took with my phone that isn’t the greatest but for some reason I grew attached to it. As you can see, it’s not the greatest picture ever but it looks decent and rivals many point and shoots on the market. Yet it was much easier to take the picture with my phone and then immediately share a version of it after having its quality ravaged by Instagram.

This next image is one of the very first ones that I snapped with my S III and just like the previous one, it’s nothing extraordinary. Similar to something that you’d see from a point and shoot but this was taken from my phone, on a bike ride. That’s the beauty of using your smartphone as a camera. You almost always have your phone with you so if it’s your camera then you almost always have your camera with you. I almost never take my camera on bike rides as it’s bulky in the pocket and there’s no guarantee that I’ll even use it. But with a phone, I don’t even think about not taking it and then it’s there and ready to go if I need to snap a shot of something that I like.

But they don’t always have to be just decent. They can be great like this next shot that I took just using the macro option on the S III. The depth of field is wonderful and the focus area is exactly what I wanted it to be. The best part is that I didn’t need any sort of attachment to get a nice macro shot from my phone. It goes to show some of the advancements in both software and hardware that manufacturers have made as earlier handsets would often have trouble getting good macro shots without being out of focus. While point and shoots can also take some nice macros, there’s still the reasons listed above that can keep you from having it or wanting to use it when you have a perfectly good camera on your smartphone at your disposal.

Hopefully the above shots and reasons outlined some of the benefits of using your smartphone as your primary camera for day to day things instead of a dedicated point and shoot. In fact, the only thing that I use my point and shoot for anymore is if I have to film a video of something on my phone. Video recording is just abysmal on many point and shoots and is especially so on mine so I’m seeking to get a DSLR sometime in the future to replace it and fully complete my break-off from point and shoots.

But now it comes down to you guys and your thoughts. Have you guys left your point and shoots by the wayside in favor of your smartphone? Or perhaps you actually enjoy having both a smartphone and point and shoot for taking pictures. No matter what you think, let us know in the comments and give us some good feedback. We’re always willing to hear it.

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