Will the New Apple iPod Touch Weaken the Point-and-Shoot Market?

Take a look at the way that the majority of people take photos. I’m not talking about the photo enthusiasts. I’m talking about the average person that has a camera and isn’t a total photo nerd. After careful observations, you’ll notice that they take a majority of pictures with their phone. This goes double or triple for iPhone, Android or Blackberry users. The reason for this is because of the instant sharing capabilities. As you know, most point-and-shoots can’t do this. Sure, a standard point-and-shoot can deliver better quality images, but this group of users won’t be able to tell the difference. Apple doesn’t seem to have incorporated any of the features that I asked for a while ago, but the audience of people I’m talking about here just want to point, shoot and share. So does this mean that the new Apple iPod touchwith its snazzy new camera could in turn destroy the point-and-shoot market?


This screenshot was taken on Sunday September 5th, 2010. As you can see that according to Flickr’s Camera Finder, a phone that is around two years old at the time of writing this posting is seriously kicking butt. The reason for this is because of:

– Simplicity

– Immediate sharing abilities

– Various apps and support for different services like Flickr, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, etc.

– Users are generally satisfied with the image quality

– The best camera is the one you’ve got on you at the moment. The iPhone 3G could be the camera that lots of people had at the moment.

– The fact that there could be 8GB, 32GBor 64GBbuilt in.

Now, despite how popular the iPhone is on AT&T, the new Apple iPod touchcould cater to those not on the network. Therefore, a whole new slew of users could potentially come in and upload like crazy. To be fair, Flickr also has a lot of photo enthusiasts and pros that display their work there.

Tech Specs (from Apple’s website)

  • Video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio; still photos (960 x 720) with back camera
  • VGA-quality photos and video up to 30 frames per second with the front camera
  • Tap to control exposure for video or stills
  • Photo and video geo tagging over Wi-Fi
  • Ambient light sensor


  • 3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen. Multi-Touch display
  • 960-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 pixels per inch


  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz only)
  • Bluetooth® 2.1 + EDR
  • Maps-location based service
  • Nike + iPod support built in

Image Quality

Once again, let’s get something straight here: the iPhone don’t kill DSLRs or larger sensor cameras. If you don’t believe this, OKCupid recently confirmed this. Even though iPod Touch’s back camera sensor isn’t like the iPhone 4’s, it could still potentially be quite a big contender. I mean, the thing has an F/2.8 lens and an ISO up to 1000. We reviewed the iPhone 4 camera and thought it was pretty solid actually. Hell, the type of people I’m talking about even wondered about how they can get better images.

The secret in all this lies in the marketing. Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic and all the others are working on trying to get their customers the best image quality possible. Apple is taking a different approach: creating an all-in-one device that will lighten your pockets or your bag. For what it seems, the general populace tend to value Apple’s approach. And it makes sense. Why carry another device when my iPod can do it all?

We as professionals tend to think similarly. For example, photojournalists will much prefer to carry a DSLR that can shoot video instead of carry a DSLR, lenses, and a camcorder. It not only saves money but it also saves space in the camera bag. But even for people that don’t have DSLRs, think about what the security guards will allow these people to carry into the next big concert you attend: a DSLR or an iPod?

Expect to see changes in how we use our devices and holiday sales with the introduction of this little device.

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.