Camera Makers Push Back Against Cell Phones

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As Panasonic says in its latest ad campaign, "if it has a ringtone, it's not a camera."

It's difficult to find a cell phone these days that doesn't have some sort of camera built in, which means that nearly everyone with a cell phone also has a rudimentary camera.  It may not give the best picture quality, but low resolution photos are enough for some people, and it's costing camera makers sales.

But entry-level camera manufacturers say that they're up for the challenge, and are adjusting their products and advertising to compete.  The main focus is on what cameras can do that phones can't.  Most phones don't handle dark environments well, for example, and very few are equipped with an optical zoom.

The folks over at Eye-Fi say that their connected memory cards also solve the social networking problem.  Being able to transfer photos wirelessly rather than having to hook up a camera and manually move files from place to place is just more hassle than most people are willing to go through.

InfoTrends analyst Carrie Sylvester says that both camera phones and digital cameras can coexist though.  "Yes, there are going to be camera phones that give cameras a run for their money," she says, but adds that people do want both products.