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Sunday, 05 December 2010

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I agree Mike; and I'm not too sad to see them go. Other than a few outstanding models like the Canon S95 and the Panasonic LX5, the rest of the digicam world is mostly making trash anyway. Today's "smartphones" are fast approaching the quality of these little point-and-shoots, if they're not already there. With the freedom to use all the different apps available for such devices on different platforms, it makes little sense for the average "I was here" facebook posting snapshooter to carry a dedicated "digicam" when to them the slight quality difference between it and their iPhone 4 is not only invisible, but makes no logical sense, either.

I predict a comeback in two to four years, partly driven by nostalgia, which has a very short cycle now. Olympus will come out with a very nice replica of its much loved "Uzi" cameras, and sell quite a few for several months.

A somewhat underrated and overlooked aspect of the camera phone is the extent to which "smart" phone cameras like the one in the iPhone are really a hardware/software platform for many different image capture applications.

My iPhone can do the following sorts of things that not even a $3000 D700 can do:

1. Simple photoshop type adjustments on in-camera jpegs.

2. Panoramas

3. Automatic HDR capture for those high contrast situations

4. Not only video capture, but also video *editing*.

5. As mentioned in the NYT piece: easy sharing of pictures at various Internet sites.

And the list goes on and on.

Maybe you don't want these things. Maybe these are really just shallow "consumer" features. But the established camera platforms can't afford to ignore them IMHO. What the consumer wants and gets usually dictates how the rest of the market goes as well.

Brought my compact 4/3rds SLR to the Christmas party last night and it got some good use. But then I found myself reaching for the iphone with the hipstamatic app because it is so much fun and nobody really pays attention when you shoot with it.

I wonder how much of the sales being down 16% since 2008 corresponds to general decline in consumer spending during this (recession | depression | economic downturn | or whatever you wanna call it).

I supposed if the digicam market has reached a saturation point, it can be interpreted as a good thing.

For years it seemed the manufacturers churned out camera after camera at a pace which the average consumer could barely keep up.

While slowing of this market segment might result in fewer models, it might also spur innovation, and, just maybe, by not diluting their product lines with so many models, result in an increase in sales.

Single use eh?
Which probves the world prefers their toys/apps. And the problems created by same when something goes amiss.
Those one use film cameras with a 27 exposure roll of film, have a dual use, well actually three uses.
One they take the picture with or without flash, two when finished the components are recycled and three, nine times out of ten there is a decent AA size battery inside which may be used in other applications and if you're like me I also hold on to the capacitor which is charged by the battery, handy for oh those so many junk-box projects which one sees from time to time.

And yet, there's never been a better time to buy a full-manual-capable digicam with a fast lens. Not that that contradicts your thesis, which I think is correct -- it's just interesting.

"That's until the next paradigm shift, at any rate—which is also coming. (We just don't know what that will be yet.)"

I think we do, its the total fusion of still and video capture, even at pro/broadcast level - already realised in top end DSLRs. Although HD video still an 'add on' feature to DSLRs at the moment, with quirky feature sets and ergonomics, the next generation is bound to be a seamless integration.

We will just talk about a 'camera' assuming without question it shoots in both modes, just like shooting black and white or colour.

Probably too soon to call it a concrete trend but sadly has the ring of truth.
Made me realise that since I got a smartphone the P&S hasn't been taken out of its pouch - but, still horses for courses here. The phone is good on dull days only and the P&S is good on sunny days only!
For anyone wondering what particular devices have these awkward attributes - Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini Pro and Sony DSC-W130.

Which is all very well unless you're like me and live in an area with no 3G reception so you don't have a smartphone and I'm not likely to buy one just for the camera. I'm still using my antiquated Lumix fx-01 as my point and shoot and am happy with it.

I never managed to get into digicams, but I would say I do not see their appeal at point, as there is nothing to "sit" between the (new) iPhone and the Oly Pens. I have looked at them, but the quality in photo (or just RAW file extraction) came too late — by that I mean after the E-P1, which is when I was most seriously considering it.

I do believe that the "Apps" is a big factor too. the idea of processing a decent photo, and being able to share it instantly (as it were) is of greater appeal than loading it up to a computer and all those delays. the digicam has a great appeal in simplicity, but the phones are replacing that with a "instant-developing" + sharing that cannot be done with digicams.

So, at least with the hype of social networks and nice sharing (e.g., instagram apps), then the digicams will take a hit. as posted earlier, I do not think that they will go away, just that their market "definition" has been established.

the problem, to me, with phone cameras is that they are too wide angle, so for some, the digicam will be irreplaceable as a walk-around camera, but perhaps they don't need to replace them often to keep the sales thriving.

I have no doubt this trend will continue, but many attempts to assess how far along it is are badly flawed because they are based on Flickr camera popularity. The NYT article cited this.

The flaw is that Apple makes very few phones with cameras (maybe only 3 or 4 are in common use), and the entire smartphone market is dominated by maybe 10 models of various brands. By contrast, new P&S cameras are introduced every couple of weeks. For example, when the Canon S95 came out, the Flickr numbers for the S90 dropped. Yet, the S95 is a smash hit, so by rights one should lump S90/95 together, which would show it moving up in the standings, not down.

Without grouping cameras into equivalence classes, the Flickr numbers don't tell us what we think they are telling us. In fact, my own look at the numbers shows the iPhone way behind P&S cameras.

But gaining, to be sure.

--Marc

Next year will see a huge significant decrease in P&S consumer digicam sales, and within 2 years it will be less than 20% of what sells today. iPhones and other smart phone cameras will just get better and 90% of the people using such want the easy editing, the funky programs (Toy camera, hipstamatic, etc), and most importantly the ease of sharing. This market is not in slow decline, it's in accelerated decline as I type.

It would have made more sense if Nikon had integrated a UMTS modem with one of their partycams instead of a projector, because that's how people share their images nowadays. Instant upload to Facebook via mobile phone network. Plus AGPS receiver, of course. With all the energy this will be consuming, they'd also sell more batteries.

As they say, the best camera is the one that's with you!

Phonecams have a distinct advantage over most digicams in simplicity of use. I recently bought a Canon digicam for an elderly relative. It produces excellent images, but she has trouble using it because of the complexity of its nested menus and unintuitive buttons and functions. Even I have trouble using it. Meanwhile the camera on my Blackberry produces crummy results but it's simple to use. Why can't they make digicams that have decent lenses and sensors and the simplicity of use of phonecams?

Dear Mike,

How interesting!

I think this is in concert with the pattern I wrote about back in "The Shape of Things That Came" (http://tinyurl.com/3qjdtm) -- a roughly dozen year time frame for a particular class of camera to saturate its market and sales to drop off. Happened for consumer SLRs, happened for point and shoots. Why not for digital compacts?

I'm sure you're right about the impact of smart phones. At the same time, though, I think the maturation of technology has something to do with it. There wasn't all that much to drive consumers to trade in their late-model SLR or point-and-shoot for a newer model; they'd gotten "good enough." Similarly, we've probably hit the same point for compact digitals. They're good enough for most of the target market, so why should said market buy a new one?

If the historical pattern continues to hold (I have no idea if it will) expect to see the same thing happen to consumer DSLR sales, mid-decade (for some very loose value of "mid").

pax / prognosticating Ctein

A number of years ago, I asked all my university classes to raise their hand if they wore a watch. One or two hands went up per class. Watches are, at best, an accessory now. Time keeping is done by the cell phone they all have with them 24/7.

For most people, a small digital camera is already on an iPhone or similar hand held device. Why cary around another one?

The only remaining barrier to the one device solution is screen size. We'll need the iPad size screen to comfortably read anything. Once that screen can magically shrink to hand held size as needed, it will be a one device society.

Perhaps one reason for the decline in sales is that P&S cameras have now passed the "good enough" point on their own -- everybody had to buy digital sooner or later, then upgrade because the early ones wren't good enough, and that kept sales going. But now they are good enough that you don't have to upgrade. You *could* upgrade from a Canon S90 to an S95, but only a pixel-peeper would do it.

Small cameras have one big advantage over cell phones, and that's their general excellence as cameras...you will not soon get a 12x optical zoom on a cell phone, to take to Europe on that big vacation.

But here's a hint for small-camera makers - one huge difference between cell phones and cameras is that cell phones are open to all those independent "app" makers, so you get all those crazy and interesting apps for cell phones. Cameras have almost everything needed to use apps...but cameras don't allow them. So I can get an app for my cell phone camera that replicates the looks of old Polaroid instant film shots, and other kinds of "looks" s well...if cameras don't allow independent apps, the manufacturers should at least look at what cell phone apps are doing for cell phone cameras, and emulate them...They'd make cameras a lot more fun.

JC

Hi!

Recently here in Japan, in the trains I've noticed cell phones being advertised that seem to really push the camera connection, to the point they look like point and shoots.

NTT Docomo's recent L-03c models being a case in point. I thought I was looking at a camera add at first.

http://tinyurl.com/2ej3prp

Dean

I think there's a genre difference between digital compact (point & shoot realistically & easily) and smartphone (process the hell out with apps and social sharing). This discrepancy might get lost in the mass-migration.

When people were forecasting the death of the dSLR, I went out and bought a 550D; now you're forecasting the demise of the digital compact just as I've bought the parents a couple of Lumix compacts for Christmas!

While sharing instantly may be a huge draw I think there are greater forces at work here. People love the "art" filters. Just Google Hipstamatic, Instagram, Retro Camera, and Vignette just to name a few. The first thing I downloaded was the Vignette app for my Droid X. I have all of my beloved toy cameras in one sleek package. Diana, Holga, Instax, SX-70, even film styles are built in. Holga slightly overexposed with Porta 400? No problem, just dial up the preset. There are even combinations that never existed in the non virtual world. Between that and the Photoshop mobile app it all works out to be a rather handy digital sketch pad. I've never printed any of them yet but that's not really the intended output for these things. And since I picked up the Droid I haven't touched my G10 because it can't make phone calls.

You're missing a point on the clock/watch thing. When I was a child, public clocks were common -- but not very accurate. If you went by them, you'd be randomly early or late to most things, depending on the clock you checked most recently. Whereas my watch was at least consistent (and I could regulate the accuracy, too, by setting it as needed).

Atomic clocks and cell phone clocks get around this, by having them all centrally set to the same time.

I still don't understand the cell phone as clock, though. How can you sneak a look without being really obvious?

The watch analogy is an interesting one... but what will the digicam equivalent of this be ?
http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/05/frontal-concepts-infuse-ipod-nano-watch-strap-wins-imaginary-de/

Sales may have dropped partially because the digicam has reached a level where they do not need replacing just for a few new features.
I have had my Sony T100 for several years and every time I look for a new model with some new feature they seem to delete one that I like.

Nobody gives a crap about quality anymore, all they do is look at the cute little picture on the back of the camera. 1.3mp and crappy lenses are fine if you don't make prints!
Bill Pearce

Just ordered a Nokia N8 to replace my dying 5 year old phone - partly because the camera sensor in it is larger than that in most compact digicams.

Oh no! I just decided to buy a new Cannon G12. I am going to replace three of my one use cameras with a the G12. Each of my older cameras has a feature that I like to use, the G12 has all three and more already to go.
My problem is that I usually forget to grab my cell phone when I head out for a day of fun. I seem to only carry it on bike rides and when I am at work.
Sorry but a phone is a phone and a camera is a camera.

Skip

Skip,
Well, it's not like digicams are going to suddenly quit working. They're just as good cameras as they were yesterday. I'm just talking about a market trend is all.

Mike

Yep, I called it years ago (not exactly going out on a limb to predict that one of course). Here in Japan where people have had not-quite-horrible cellphone cameras for a long time, the phonecam is pretty much dominant already.

If you go to a tourist spot you can do some observations:

* Film is a small niche, but a stable one. People of all ages can be seen carrying film gear.

* The DSLR keeps becoming more popular, but mostly the smaller models.

* DSLR body and lens size is directly related to the owner being male, middle-aged (not a pensioner), overweight and balding. Overcompensating a bit there, buddy?

* Everybody uses phone cams - even those who also carry another kind of camera. It's the best and only way to send quick pictures directly to friends and family as things happen, and that makes it insanely popular.

* Camera-phones (decent camera first, simple feature-phone second) seem to be increasing in popularity too. Sony has a couple of interesting ones, and I'd expect both Nikon and Canon to come out with their own phone-equipped cameras soon.

* Video cameras are rare, surprisingly so. It just never really took off the way other camera-related things did. It seems only a fairly modest minority is actually interested in capturing movies. Possibly people give up when they realize the amount of editing they need to do to make something watchable.

Like Skip, I've always got my point and shoot with me, but I'm frequently forgetting my cell phone. Perhaps there will be a phone built into my new digicam when the time comes to upgrade.

This trend is inevitable I think and proves that at the end of the day, the camera business is no different from the hi-fi business. While some obsess about quality most are happy with "good enough" and vote for the convenience of multi-use devices.

Witness the prevalence of smartphones used as cameras and MP3 players, satnavs and even ebooks. Convergence is already here and the form factor is pretty obvious. It looks like an iPhone.

Of course, there remain those for whom quality counts, and they still represent a sizeable market of SLR and premium compact buyers, just like there is still a market for hi-fi separates and decent speakers, or for that matter, home cinema blue-ray systems. This won't go away, ever, but I would guess the market size won't grow massively either.

I do wonder about tablets though. For instance is it really necessary to have an iPad and and iPhone? Like an MP3 dock, why not simply dock a more advanced iPhone into a larger display and get much the enhanced viewing experience only when you need it?

For that matter, why not dock your "super iPhone" with your home cinema, TV or hi-fi? All it needs is a few GB of SSD storage and a decent processor and it could compete with an iPad or Netbook if attached to the right peripherals.

Steve

Smartphones are winning over p/s users for another, very useful feature - instant sharing. Now you can take a shot, get it on flickr or facebook or twitter - or all three and more, seconds after it was taken. Being able to share pics - especially those oh-lord-they-think-they-invented-this filter apps with clever take offs of velvia and polaroid effects, has gotten a whole new userbase excited about photography, even if it is barely recognizable as such to many. Those apps are another big draw - instant manipulation and feedback, SX-70 shooters never had it so good!

I used to want my watch to do a lot of things, like have a compass and stopwatch timer and all that. Then I got a phone that could do all that, and tell the time. But then I hated having to take my phone out to see what time it was, so now I just have a simple watch that only tells time. The one-use aspect still triumphs in usability IMHO.

The landscape is really changing. I have completely overhauled my digital camera setup. Gone are the A900 and all of the rest of my DSLR gear. A full set of primes (Contax G, m42, Sony, Voigtlander) for the NEX-5 and my iPhone 4 is all that I really need. If I need more than that, I would shoot my Hasselblad with film, or rent a digital back.

As everyone is saying, it's really the sharing and the apps. It's a pity my own phone's camera is so crappy, else I'd use it more!

On a personal note, I've given up on small sensor cameras; nowadays it's a GH1 that's my small camera. I suspect that EVIL cameras will take over the compact camera niche for serious photographers.

Point and shoot cameras always had pretty bad image quality to start with. A least with camera phones you expect the quality to be bad (and are often surprised with how good it can be!).

They release 100 different models a year that are mosty the same amd they all break right after their warrenty is up. Good riddance! Long live the camera phone.

Compacts are being squeezed by cell cameras on one end and mirrorless systems on the other. The manufacturers really need to decide who their intended customers are.

I tend to believe that there are a number of valuable niches where compacts can still thrive, such as the large-sensored compact (sorry Fuji, Leica, Ricoh and Sigma), but I'm not holding my breath waiting for the camera-makers to get a clue.

It's no surprise that the p&s market is the one squeezed by cell-phone advancements in photo capture. The vast majority of purchasers of the former expect and want very little from their devices - family and holiday snaps predominate - and these can be satisfied by iPhone. But the same limitations that apply to p&s - crap 'viewfinder' options, miniscule sensors and zero options for upgrading - hamstring the new generation phones. I suspect that much of the new-found interest in iphotography is just a factor of the incontinent adulation for all things Apple experienced by those who buy entirely into Steve Jobs's world: 'ooooh, shiny .... must use ...'

Mobile phone use and sophistication in the US was originally years behind Europe and Japan - partly because you were used to free local landline calls.

Sounds like it still is.

I don't know anybody under 70 here or in mainland Europe who doesn't carry their mobile at all times. Landlines are mainly for fast broadband. Don't phone my house, phone me.

"Single use devices" are not dead. Look at these happy girls:
http://picasaweb.google.com/kuprashvili/XX#5547329509500546642

(Taken with cheap android phone: true 0.8mp, vignette app "portra/overexposed/vignetted"- mode)

Next step for camera makers seem to me would be to make modules for smart phones, similar to iphone alarm clocks that interface directly with the iphone. The iphone has built in speakers but it doesn't stop people from attaching external speakers when it is necessary. A camera company can make a module that attaches to the iPhone with the iPhone powering the editing and uploading tools.

I recently pointed out elsewhere that the Sony NEX cameras have a user interface that was designed by a cell phone company, Sony-Erikson. The Sony NEX cameras are for cell phone up-graders whereas the Olympus PEN E-PL1 cameras are for digi-cam up-graders. I believe that Sony is the only camera company addressing the issue of digi-cam decline and cell phone/cell camera expansion. It was pointed out to me then as now that ease of photo sharing was the real boon for cell cameras. That is true, but I see Sony as the only company that even acknowledges the existence of cell cameras. That is the sort of head-in-the-sand mentality then can get companies and even whole industries into a lot of trouble.

So, what is the lineage of the small mass-market camera? Screw-mount rangefinders, compact fixed-lens rangefinders, 35 mm point-and-shoots, digital point-and-shoots, camera phones… ?

I prefer camera phones that look like cameras to phone cameras that look like phones. That NTT Docomo L-03C looks neat. I want one.

iPhone camera used to document war:

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/finding-the-right-tool-to-tell-a-war-story/

From the blog post: "The photographer takes the picture, not the equipment. Few people care what kind of typewriter Hemingway used."

The trends may be easy to predict. We live in affluent societies, where lots of people buy one or two of everything whether they need them or not. If digicam sales are declining it might be because everyone now has one or two so the shopping fun has gone out of their purchase.

It seems as if people have all bought themselves new D-SLRs too. So what. They all have a drawer full of manual focus 35 mm gear, and another drawer-full of auto-focus 35 mm gear too. And they don't use those either.

As yet more proof that cell phone cameras are indeed becoming our future, Dave Wyman is now offering photo tours of Yosemite National Park geared to cell phone users:

Alternative Photography in Yosemite - Thursday through Sunday, November 17-20, 2011

We will test our creative eyes on this unique trip to Yosemite, where there will be one restriction: no DSLR's. A digital point-and-shoot, a cell phone, Holga, Diana, Instamatic, a Rolleiflex or Yashika Mat, a Polaroid or a pinhole camera? Yes.

For a few days, we will remove ourselves from the burden of weight and the burden of technological complexity, and from the belief that weight and complexity are necessary components of meaningful or artistic photography. Includes accommodations, a couple of meals, field locations. Instructors: Chuck Nadeau, Dave Wyman. Cost: $525 (single supplement available)

From http://www.davewyman.net/iqtours.html

Myself, I'm going the other way. Some years ago I liked the idea of having one device with multiple functions. But then I realized all these functions didn't work as well as single use devices at all!
The mp3 player in phones usually lacks a good interface and (hardware) controls. And it eats the battery in no time. So it was no fun to use and would lead to one device that does nothing because the battery is empty.
So I bought an mp3 player last year, which weighs next to nothing and goes on for days.

The quality of the phone camera is still crap, especially in low light. Not to mention they lack controls and obviously don't have raw. Now this might change if devices like the Nokia N8 are improved upon, but I don't see this happening in the next five years.
My latest smartphone doesn't even have a shutter button, you have to use the touch screen! So annoying, and it's a bitch to shoot a self portrait, reaching around the back of the phone and guessing where the button is..

So I just bought a S95. Great little cam, and could be used for more serious pictures and decent prints. We'll see how much I use it, but I like it. The HD video is great too, I will probably use that a lot for casual vids. It's always in focus, unlike my 5D2, and doesn't get sensor dirt, unlike my 5D2. Good luck cleaning dust from a video..

I just use my phone for visual notes, and occasional I tweet a picture.

I think that if the priorities were switched, as Janne's post suggests, that a cam-phone would be very useful, as opposed to a phone-cam.
Have a camera that can make calls, not a phone that takes pics.

As WIFI hotspot technology becomes cheaper and more widespread, it would be simple to have a DSLR (or P/S) connect directly without a computer. Not only could you post to FB quickly with sized down images, but, bandwidth permitting, you could upload to flickr or your own site.
Of course, the 2 year lock-in on phone/device plans will continue long past the adoption of new technologies. This all should happen before we get our jet packs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2Jzrmji_dg&feature=related

Of course if you can put a digicam in a cell phone, you could also sqeeze a cell phone into a digicam, now personally I do not own a cell phone (the luxury of being out of reach is dear to me), but it would be a bonanza for the twitter and facebook photo community (also not my peace of pudding).

Greetings Ed (who is wondering wether an 1976 Nikon 80-200 and a 2010 GF1 will be best of freinds soon).

Rudy: Sony-Ericsson had no hand in the design of the NEX; it's all from Sony's imaging division. SE is a joint-venture that exists as a separate entity.

Philjel, Janne: Ever since I got an Android phone, I've been waiting for a large sensor camera with an extensible OS (Android at this rate) and either a 3G radio or a Bluetooth connection to use my phone with. That way I can share photos easily and quickly. I'm also certain that users will come up with new and imaginative ways to utilise the new tech too.

I find all this so refreshing.
This market trend unequivocally marks the end of the photography pioneering era and the beginning of the full developement of photographic language. We must be careful not to mistake gear complexity for language itself.
No doubt more vintage-inspired cameras like DSLRs carry a strong fetish value, but this has nothing to do with the imaging process.
I'm aware the idea of losing the photographic technical monopoly hurts somebody. In history, the same happened with reading and writing, with traveling, with music listening, with driving vehicles.
Happily there are different perspectives, as Jeffrey Gogging points out.

For the trend, it may be 3D. Just get a big 3D TV and it works (the shutter glass for the family is more expensive than the S95 though). That might fight back and I guess you cannot take 3D for a while with iPhone, unless Steve on it. Waiting for a good 3D camera. I have heard the Fuji one is not good enough.

But do not discount the digicam. Got a secondary school alumni gathering and whilst I actually have my Hassey 203fe with me (and 50mm lens), I found it very odd when you saw 20 digicam to take photo for the records. It does not seem right to put it out and for that matter a 8x10 or a D700. I also have not got my iphone 4 out even though it is in my pocket, but as the light in the rest. is too low for it and you need a proper flash (or go to ISO 1600, as one lady loan me her digicam).

A small camera with flash has its place and like in 1990s it is the norm to have a digicam as in those time a Nikon/Canon point-and-shoot $200-$300 camera.

No doubt compact cameras have hit their peak in terms of sales volume, but there's a way to go in terms of image quality and to some extent ergonomics.

I'm a dedicated p&s user and hope Canon (think S95) and Panasonic (LX5) keep developing the capability of these units.

The top-end P&S do a good job in the hands of a photographer. I think part of the bad rap is that most p&s users are just happy-snappers; the phone-cam is a great option for them.

I suspect many hobby photographers would settle for a top-end P&S (acceptable IQ, great convenience, discreet) but get "pushed" into a DSLR.

I do TV news for a living and spend all day carrying around an HDTV camera. But I also carry an iPhone. That way when spot news happens I can grab a quick :30 clip with a little improvised narration and send it back.
This can immediately go on the web but in the right situation it can also make air. I don't mind the single focal length lens on the phone but my favorite camera in the whole world is an ancient Rollei 2.8f. That's one of the advantages of being really old.
During storm coverage when the live trucks are not usable for safety reasons we supplement our coverage with iPhone clips all the time. Occasionally a reporter will send back three clips and an editor at the station will string them together into a short package.
If you tell the viewers that the reason they are seeing iPhone clips on the air is because an electrical storm makes live trucks too dangerous to use they don't seem to mind at all.
Being about video makes this a little bit off topic but all you are out is some electrons and screen space.

Actually, the best attribute of the particular digicam used to illustrate this piece is the ability to take it into the surf, or the deep end of the pool.

Try doing that with your smartphone.

I still don't find phones (even the iPhone) remotely *close* to a match for the image quality of a p&s. Cell phone photos display that milky look of an inferior lens and I'm still amazed how many people take vacation photos with a their phones! I cringe seeing photos of, say, ancient Turkish ruins with some crappy phone camera. Until sensors and lenses on phones get markedly better, I will not stop carrying a p&s (though my main cameras of choice are a Canon DSLR and Olympus Pen).

More camera manufacturers should equip p&s cameras with wifi and upload capabilities, though, some do now at least. That is the one edge phones have, the immediate upload to Flickr, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.

I agree with John Camp (see above). Simply by adding more creative apps to p&s cameras, manufacturers could extend the life of this market. The cameras I am attracted to these days (Olympus EPL-1 and Ricoh CX4)have a slightly fuller menu of artistic options than do many brands. I would love to have a p&s that I could download open-source creative software to.

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