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Compact Cameras Are The Future

By: jwilder

Compact Cameras are the Future
Ricoh GR III by Ricoh.

Compact cameras are dead. Long live compact cameras!

There are many articles that claim the smartphone killed off compact cameras, but that's old news, and it's not true.

What they are really saying is smartphones killed low cost point-and-shoot cameras. Low cost point-and-shoot cameras are, well, pointless when every smartphone packs a camera.

However, smartphones will never kill off compact cameras because, compact cameras are the future.

The Compact Truth

There is a market for a highly portable (compact) camera designed specifically for the photography enthusiast.

Let's just leave that right there.

What Is a Compact Camera

There is a major difference between a device that HAS a camera and a device that IS a camera. Smartphones are general purpose computing and communication devices that have cameras. An iPad has a camera. Even doorbells have cameras. But they aren't cameras.

Compact cameras are designed to be cameras. They are portable and should be powerful. They are the cameras photography enthusiasts always take with them, wherever they go.

Compact is Not a Trend

There is much confusion in the compact camera segment, mostly caused by recent trends.

An old trend was to position the compact camera as a travel camera. It's easy to carry and they usually had a huge zoom lens. Travel has not gone away, but camera companies seem to care so much about this market today.

The current trend for Camera manufacturers is stuffing video centric features to support vlogging and content creators. This will probably continue as video creation will continue to grow.

Another trend is nostalgia cameras and buying old point-and-shoots. That is a fad fueled by social media.

Compact cameras do not need a trend to make them useful.

Should You Care About Compact Cameras?

Should you care about compact cameras? Yes! All photography enthusiasts and professional photographers should care about compact cameras.

Photography enthusiasts demand pure camera design with some of the modern features of smartphones. They want to use compact cameras for the joy of daily photography, but also have more control over settings, and better image quality.

Best Modern Compact Cameras

The modern compact camera does not exist today. There have been several attempts, but have failed for a variety of reasons.

What are the best modern compact cameras? That's a good question, because it's ridiculously hard to find the answer, and the answer changes every year.

I bought a Ricoh GR III in 2021 because I wanted a truly pocketable compact camera that was designed for photography enthusiasts.

With the popularity of the Ricoh GR III and even the Fujifilm X100 series, maybe camera companies will begin to see a photography ecosystem that includes an advanced compact camera for everyday use.

Then again, maybe we will just keep waiting until a serious disruptor enters the market.

But one thing is clear. Compact cameras are the future.

If you are wondering what compact cameras are available in 2024, check out Everyday Carry Cameras for 2024.

Surprisingly for 2024, I had to remove several cameras from the list because they are not available anymore (yet the Ricoh and Fujifilm cameras are selling like wildfire).

The future of compact cameras is about a real long-term camera segment with plenty of room to grow.

James Wilder

James Wilder is the owner, writer, photographer, designer, and developer for MOTOR Texas.

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