I was crazy about disposable cameras as a kid. I must have blown through close to a dozen on my family trip to the Virgin Islands in sixth grade and another seven or eight during our trip to Hawaii. But that all changed once my sister got her first Polaroid i-Zone camera.
The ability to take a picture and instantly show it off — despite it being about 1 square inch — blew my mind.
But now, several years and cameras later, my iPhone 4 is all I need to instantly share photos and videos with — not only one or two — but hundreds of my friends. And the point-and-shoot video camera industry has also realized that.
This past week, Cisco announced that it “will exit aspects of its consumer business,” which means the popular Flip video camera is no more.
The Flip camera took the industry by storm when it was released and became the top selling video camera this past year with 26 percent market share. But with today’s smartphones and other hand-held gadgets — even the iPod touch has a decent camera — the future of mobile video and photography will not be found in a stand-alone device.
The Flip camera’s crutch was the fact that it needed to be connected to a computer to put video online. Smartphones allow users to instantly snap a photo or record a video and wirelessly upload it to YouTube. People don’t want to wait to share their content, just as I don’t like to wait for Avril Lavigne’s next album.
Smartphones offer the best of both worlds — a great camera and an ability to share content across multiple platforms with one click.
But it’s not only mobile video that is on its way out the door. Video’s cousin, point-and-shoot photography, is next on the list to be overrun by smartphone technology. Polaroid is in the midst of attempting to revamp its line of cameras, with the help of creative director Lady Gaga, but even Miss Poker Face herself might want to consider folding this hand.
Polaroid, as well as Nikon and Canon, might want to rethink their stance on hand-held and video cameras, considering the advancements to mobile technology during the past few years.
Smartphones are at the forefront of recording and sharing digital photography on the go.
But, while smartphones might be able to upload video and photos directly to the Internet, I haven’t yet come across a mobile device that allows me to recreate the experience of Final Cut Pro or Photoshop on the go.
I might need to wait for the iPhone 7 for that.
Andrew Weiser is a senior journalism major. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org