Venerable British photographic magazine, Amateur Photographer, confirms what I already know from chatting to various retailers: the smartphone is killing the mid-range point-and-shoot market but has had no effect on the sub-£50 cameras.
It isn’t really surprising. Buyers of the more advanced, lightweight point-and-shoot cameras are rich enough and probably savvy enough to also own a smartphone. And we all know that the camera of the iPhone 4S can give many cameras a run for their money.
The real budget market, though, is supported by people who want a camera but probably do not have the inclination to buy a smartphone. Spend less than £50 on a camera and you are likely to have a Nokia dumbphone in your pocket.
Fixed-lens cameras are now polarising between the really cheap clickers and the more advanced bridge devices such as Nikon’s P7100 and Canon’s G12. Smartphones will not harm SLRs nor, it seems, the new breed of mirror-less cameras such as Micro-Four-Thirds and Nikon’s new 1 series.