Smartphones with ever better on-board cameras are ruthlessly encroaching on the point and shoot camera’s territory, which goes a long way toward explaining why lots of digital cameras now come equipped with touchscreen LCD’s and other smartphone features. If you use your camera ONLY for snapshots, recording impromptu video clips of your children and pets, and producing “selfies” to upload to Facebook and YouTube, then you’ll probably be fine with just your phone cam. However, if you use your camera to record memories from those once in a lifetime trips or special family events – then your phone cam is going to come up short when compared to even auto-exposure only compact P&S digital cameras.
Phone cams lack the flexibility, ease of use, creative control, and better quality optics offered by even the simplest point and shoot camera. At just shy of an inch thick, the svelte Canon ELPH 510 HS is a truly pocketable camera, but the law of diminishing returns comes into play here. The Canon ELPH 510 HS was designed to appeal to casual photographers – it is not a camera that professionals or serious photographers would select for their own use. And while it will produce consistently better images than any currently available smartphone, those images won’t be radically better. Whether you actually need a P&S camera in addition to your smartphone is an important question and consumers will have to answer that question based on their gadget budget and personal preferences.
- 12x zoom
- Relatively inexpensive
- Very good to excellent image quality
- Below average battery life
- Imprecise touchscreen controls