Why would you go out and spend a couple of benjamins on a point and shoot camera when you can get the same quality out of your phone? That’s the question that camera companies have to be asking themselves now that news has broken that the iPhone 4 is amongst the most popular cameras on Flickr.
Canon, Nikon, you better watch out. Apple’s coming for your lunch.
Okay, camera companies aren’t going away any time fast. Everywhere I look it seems like people are opting for dSLRs over point and shoot cameras, amateur and professional alike. That kind of camera will never be replaced by an iPhone, at least not in the immediate future. But those crappy Cybershot and FinePix cameras might not last much longer. Gone are the days of one device, one job. Just ask Cisco how a convergent device like the iPhone affected the sales of Flip cameras. Cisco recently announced that the Flip had reached the end of the line. It’s being discontinued.
The Cybershot and Finepix lines might be safe still. They do hold a technical leg up on most smartphones, and the iPhone in particular, but it would do Sony and Fuji a world of good to realize that consumer cameras aren’t just about more megapixels. It’s about easy to use, fun to shoot cameras. It’s about making cool images with as little effort as possible. We’re living in a slacker generation. We prefer to apply a filter rather than actually tweak RAW settings ourselves. Make it easy, make it social, and you might have a chance.
But probably not.