Compact digital cameras are better than ever. Prices have come down and you get a whole lot more features than those similarly priced only a few years ago.
Still, there are areas in need of improvement.
Better image quality, not more modes
Image quality is very good on most digital cameras but far from perfect. Some produce images that are too soft, have highlight clipping, purple fringing and contrast issues. Some have more barrel distortion than should be expected. Sensors have gotten better but many at the time of this writing still produce an unacceptable amount of image noise over ISO 200.
I’d prefer improvements in photo quality rather than some of the stuff manufacturers pump into digital cameras. Some are useful but others seem outright silly. Here are a few examples:
Digital camera is your tour guide
One of Samsung’s new digital cameras has a built-in tour guide. It gives travel information covering 4,500 regions in 30 countries. As one travels along the road, I can’t help but wonder how many photographic opportunities will be missed while looking down at the camera reading the guide.
Smile Detection mode
The shutter won’t go off unless your subject is smiling.
Pet age mode
Some of the new Panasonic digital cameras have a pet mode. Pet mode allows users to set the birthday of their pet. The pets’ age is automatically recorded onto the image and you can see the exact age of your pet in each photo.
I wonder how the mode deals with cats that have nine lives.
Click a button and lose 10 pounds
Well, okay. This one is tempting. But really, my “favorite” mode is the slimming filter found on some Pentax and HP digital cameras (and maybe others). According to HP, the slimming feature is a “subtle effect that can instantly trim off pounds from the subjects in your photos!”
Wish it was that easy in real life.