Apple’s new iPod Touch is slimmer, faster, better, yadda yadda yadda. That’s neat and all, but what really matters, and what might just spike its sales into the crazy numbers, is its new camera. It has 5MP, it has auto-focus, it has the iPhone 5’s new panorama feature, and it starts at just $300. Why the hell would anyone buy a regular point and shoot any more?
This upgrade takes the iPod Touch’s pathetic excuse for a camera and makes it as good as that in the iPad 3. Better, in fact, because it has the neat scratch-resistant sapphire cap on the lens, along with an LED flash. It also packs the new panorama function, 1080p video and face recognition.
But this is beside the point, because what the new iPod Touch really means is that you can now get a more-than-good-enough camera in a tiny pocket-sized package that can run every single photo app the iPhone does. And all without a cellphone contract.
Take pictures, edit them, geotag them, upload them and generally do what you like with them. Try that with a $300 point-and-shoot. Or a $3,000 DSLR. No, you can’t change lenses, nor can you enjoy that sweet, sweet shallow depth-of-field from big-sensor/wide-lens combos found in “real” cameras, but who cares?
I have found that I use my iPad more than my Lumix GF1 these days. It looks dorky as hell to take it out and snap pictures, but once I have, the photo is ready to view on a big screen, and to edit and share. The camera, on the other hand, keeps everything on a little plastic card until you find a computer to plug it into. That’s sooo last decade.
I’m almost certainly going to buy my first iPhone when the new 5 launches in Spain next month, but now I’m seriously tempted to grab this iPod instead.
But the iPhone isn’t going to be cannibalized by this new iPod. The new Touch is instead going to take a huge chunk out of the cheap camera market. Enthusiasts will continue to buy mirrorless and SLR cameras, but for anyone else, why buy a camera when you can have a camera that comes with a free iPod and pocket computer?
From now on, if anyone comes to me and asks what cheap camera they should buy, then I’m sending them straight to the Apple Store.