The SMARTPHONE - be it an iPhone, Android or otherwise - has replaced a variety of personal items and stand-alone gadgets. Planners, note pads, maps, alarm clocks and most particularly - your affordable pocket point & shoot digital camera.
The picture quality of smartphones now rivals those of dedicated point & shoots and sharing them has never been easier and quicker. Such things cannot be done with your point & shoot. But hold on. That being said, however, there are still some very good reasons to have pocket point & shoot.
Those cameras vary in feature sets but for the purpose of this blog, I will be describing the Samsung ST77 (sold as ST76 in other countries) that I recently bought for QAR 376 (approx. $100) with free camera case and a 4Gb Micro SD card (that's right, not SD but Micro SD).
|Smaller than the Samsung Galaxy S3's screen.|
1. It is smaller than my Samsung Galaxy S3. A little thicker but definitely smaller. I can easily slip it in my jeans pocket or hang it in my belt with the free case.
|Standard mini USB port for your computer connections and for battery charging. Yes, my Galaxy S3 has the same port so phone and camera can share chargers.|
2. It is much easier and quicker to operate. Just press the On/Off button and it's ready to shoot in 2 seconds. With a smart phone, I have to unlock the phone then touch the camera icon and then wait longer than 2 seconds before it's ready to shoot. With bad luck, you might accidentally touch the 'Back' or 'Home' button and you need to do the whole process again.
|Power button, shutter release button and wide-tele toggle switch on the camera's top plate.|
3. It has a physical shutter button. With half-press to focus then full press to shoot. The on-screen shutter icon of smart phones are often awkward to use. With an iPhone, the 'volume +' button acts as a shutter release button in camera mode . . . but how many iPhone users know that?
|5X optical zoom lens|
4. It has a real 5X optical zoom. No other phone has that. The Samsung Galaxy camera is not a phone - it's a camera with a built in tablet.
5. It's cheaper to loose. We've all been to this scenario. We wanted a picture of ourself with the whole family but we forgot to bring the tripod. So our solution? Ask a stranger to take the picture for us. But when you do, you have to realize that you are entrusting a QR 2,500 ($685) gadget, unlocked, and with all your information in there. Such stranger could just easily run away with your phone.
6. Only the top-of-the-line smart phones are fitted with good cameras. There are not really that many out there that can replace your pocket point & shoot. If you're on a budget and all you can afford is a cheap smart phone, then a cheap point & shoot still makes a lot of sense.
|Micro SD card slot shares compartment with the battery.|
It also a variety of fun features that is more extensive than what you'll find in your smartphones. That includes various face-detection modes, smart auto, smart filters, motion panorama . . . . etc.
Sharing? Did I mentioned that my ST77 uses a Micro SD memory card? Well, I can just put that Micro SD in my Galaxy S3 and I'm good to share away!