Monday, June 03, 2013

Why You Still Need A Pocket Camera

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!



Ellaine Regala said...


alexdpx said...

In what way Ellaine? Shooting with a point and shoot or smart phone shooting anything? :)