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Cheap digital camera vs. smartphone camera

December 20, 2012

Smartphones are killing the cheap digital camera, some say -- even some professional camera critics.

"The cheap compact camera is sliding inexorably into obsolescence," declares Ben Keough at DigitalCameraInfo.com. "What good is a truly pocketable camera if you've already got a camera in your pocket, as so many of us do?"

Or, as his colleague Liam McCabe puts it: "Does anyone need a $280 camera that acts like a $200 smartphone?"

Not so fast, says Time magazine tech blogger Harry McCracken. He points out that even a "garden-variety $120 point-and-shoot" does things -- like zoom -- that no phone camera can.

Who's right? We tossed both gadgets into the boxing ring to find out.

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