For and against compact cameras
The debate for and against compact cameras is an increasingly interesting one with the newest entries of cameras and camera phones into the market. While compact cameras can be remarkably gimmicky with their special functions and buttons that you are enticed to press to achieve certain results, many of them lose their sense of being a useful and versatile camera under the weight of marketing incentives.
As a result of the surfeit of good quality products like the iphone, many of the people who traditionally would have always carried a compact camera in their bag have found it no longer necessary, replacing this now seemingly redundant piece of equipment with a more multi functioning unit.
But it will be by returning to the roots of photography that camera manufacturers will succeed in stopping the abandonment of compact cameras by a once strong and enthusiastic amateur photographer base.
Features such as variable ISO speeds of greater latitude, combined with a wider range of apertures and shutter speeds are far more important to develop in compact cameras than special functions such as a ‘best shot’ button or a ‘we will slim down the larger person in the photo by applying a photoshop pre- prepared application, that will ultimately just confuse everyone’ button.
The whole point of using a compact camera is to not have to think too much about what you are doing, the classic ‘point and shoot’ camera that gives a great exposure over an array of varying situations is a true masterpiece and should never be buried under economic imperatives.
The Olympus mju film compact camera was a classic of the genre and Olympus have followed the transition into digital with the ‘Tough’ series of mju cameras without losing the things that made the original such a joy to work with.
It seems though that the Nikon Coolpix series of digital compact cameras has had more variations and incarnations than any other, though Mark Pekelharing, Product Line Manager of Consumer Products at Nikon says the latest in the Coolpix stable of compact cameras, the S8000 is “… for those who don’t want to spend time getting to know the ins and outs of a camera but do want to get it out in all situations and take the best pictures.”
While it has a refreshing simplicity of style and exterior design, the greatest asset appears to be an extremely wide range of ISO speeds, a 30 to 300mm lens range and a huge 30 frames per second. According to Mr Pekelharing it is its lightness that is fundamental to its success as a camera. But though it maybe the slimmest compact camera on the market at the moment unless it does the job of taking a great photo then really, what are a few ounces between friends?