Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sony NEX-5
We don’t presume to know everything, here at The Indian Geek. What little we do know, we like to share it with the big wide world. For several years now, we have been watching as the market for point-and-shoot cameras (the basic digital cameras) has been dwindling. For several years too, in our private conversations, we have discussed how it just doesn’t make sense to purchase a point-and-shoot camera. We decided to pen our thoughts on the subject, and let you be the judge.

Point-and-shoot cameras are meant to be just that – point it at the subject, and shoot. With the advent of decent cameras in our modern smartphones, the point-and-shoot camera is pretty much redundant. Most smartphones that cost around Rs. 15,000 and above can take decent-enough photos that we wouldn’t mind leaving behind a point-and-shoot camera that cost us around the same amount. The only catch? Optical zoom is yet to make its way to our smartphones, and that seems to be the only area where these dying point-and-shoot cameras have an advantage.
On the higher-end of the segment, manufacturers have become expert at releasing super-zoom cameras. These are basically point-and-shoot cameras with semi-professional features, such as manual aperture and shutter controls. These cost upwards of Rs. 15,000 and can go past the Rs. 30,000 mark. Sony’s latest RX1 is definitely a point-and-shoot, but the sensor size (it has a full-frame sensor), the features and the cost (it costs about $2,700 which works out to approximately Rs. 1,45,000) put it definitely in the professional category. So if you are planning on spending above Rs. 15,000 on a digital camera with semi-professional features, you might as well look into purchasing a full-fledged DSLR, like the Nikon D3100 or the Canon EOS 1100. If that’s too costly or the camera too bulky, look into Sony’s NEX range. In our own review of the 2010 Sony NEX-5, we found that for Rs. 24,990 it was a steal of a deal. The camera has an APS-C sized sensor, which is far larger than the sensor found in point-and-shoot digital cameras, even the super-zoom models. The MRP of the NEX-3 is currently just under Rs. 15,000. At this price, you get a camera with an APS-C sized sensor, and easy control options.

From these points we have made, I think we can safely say that most point-and-shoot digital cameras below the 15k mark are trounced by most smartphones, while most point-and-shoot digital cameras above the 15k mark are battered by the NEX cameras from Sony, alongwith other DSLR models from other manufacturers. This is why we feel that point-and-shoot cameras are no longer a wise buy. Please let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.


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