If we look at the trends when it comes to spending and even in how people consume content, we can tell that people click on and purchase what they really, really want and not necessarily what they need. This is evident in the fact that so many people don’t buy real cameras with zoom lenses and instead just do the whole digital zoom thing on their phones. But using a phone camera is fun–at a recent serious art event I saw a few young women stand in front of a neon sign for at least 10 minutes taking pictures of themselves. This is the dominant mentality–it’s about convenience and fun. I mean, come on–there’s an app called Huji that simulates what a disposable camera can do. But the truth is that the modern disposable camera just isn’t sexy. The further, not sugar coated truth, is that manufacturers are very busy creating cameras for an incredibly incestuous community.
This community that I’m speaking of is the serious photographer. These photographers are so busy spending time, money and brain cells trying to create “the best photos.” Or they’re trying desperately to “capture the moment.” This is how the point and shoot camera market lost to smartphones. I genuinely don’t believe that it was convenience because my generation was a huge part of it. I think that manufacturers just failed to make cameras fun.
The most fun I’ve ever had with a camera was with the Olympus Pen F digital. Its black and white film simulation was great. The same thing applied to the Fujifilm X Pro 1, the X100 series of cameras, etc. But those are really seriously minded for the most part. What I’m specifically speaking to though is the fact that the cameras out there just don’t have wow appeal. How do I know this? The Contax T2 is the most expensive point and shoot camera on the market.
So this is what I just really don’t understand. Why can’t manufacturers just make a small camera, with solid image quality, that doesn’t necessarily have all the major complications of photography, and instead just puts fun up front and center? Here’s what I’m talking about:
I guess this doesn’t matter as much if you’re Apple, Google, Samsung or Huawei with lots of money for computational photography. But just imagine if Sony, Panasonic, Leica, Nikon or Canon made a full frame point and shoot with computational photography capabilities. That would be insane. Obviously, once again, it doesn’t matter because folks are very happy with the sensor in their phones. But it could help out since full frame isn’t available on a phone yet.
Make it small. Small is optimal because it can be slung around on a wrist strap, be tossed into a bag, slipped into a pocket, and always be on you. I get photos from a friend texted to me everyday as she encounters new things and I always wonder why she doesn’t bring her Leica with her everywhere. It’s because it isn’t as convenient or as fun. A small size could help make people realize that this small, full frame camera is meant for fun.
I bought a pink Fujifilm Natura S because it was pink. No one will ever take a pink camera seriously. It’s fun. That’s it. Nothing more. Give us a pink camera. Or maybe a blue camera. Or how about something else not typically marketed to the snot nosed folks like me. I adore my leather and brass on a camera; but this doesn’t need it. It just needs to be bubble gum pink.
A Nice Prime Lens
I think that phones have proven that a zoom lens isn’t needed. Instead, give this camera a nice pancake prime lens with solid image quality and that can see in the dark really well. Oh, and give it the ability to create a lot of bokeh. You know why? EVERY PHOTO SUCKS UNLESS IT HAS BOKEH!!!! <—– that is obvious sarcasm.
Flash With a Fun Film Look
The elitist amongst us will say that flash ruins images, but flash can be fun in photos. Look all around the web and look at what you get at parties. The rendering can be very appealing and charming.
This is what we need: something that is just fun, and centered around having fun. Instax does this to a point; but digital could overtake it easily.