The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has officially placed point-and-shoot cameras on the endangered species list. Citing rapidly declining numbers and the loss of habitat, the US FWS says that this designation is “the only way that we can hope to preserve point-and-shoot cameras for future generations.”
Point-and-shoot cameras ruled the Earth just ten short years ago. Cheap and cheerful, their habitat ranged from suburban grade school birthday parties to cruise ships, the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, the Great Barrier Reef, and beyond. They were so abundant that absent-minded tourists could walk into a postcard shop, buy one hanging from the rack, and then throw it away when they were done.
But then a non-native species was introduced to the world–the iPhone. At first they were not seen as a threat, but with no natural predators, iPhones grew unchecked, displacing point-and-shoot cameras everywhere they went. Soon, the iPhone spawned variants-Galaxies, Nexii, Droids, and more. Point-and-shoot populations around the world were decimated, first in developed nations, and then in Third World countries where they never had much of a presence in the first place. In short, it’s been a bloodbath.
“The sudden decline of point-and-shoot populations around the world rivals the decline of the dodo bird and the dinosaur.” says noted cameratologist Nathan Ethan. Director of the Society for the Preservation of Point-and-Shoots (SPPS) Ethan is committed to preserving the culture and heritage of point-and-shoots, and hoping to avoid the extinction of the species. “We’ve been through this before, with Brownies, and TLRs, and most recently with film. The goal of the SPPS is prevent this cameracide from happening again.”
SPPS cameratologists are already experimenting with captive breeding programs, putting disposable 35mm point-and-shoots in a box alongside with digital Elphs and Coolpixes and playing Lionel Ritchie songs. Initial results aren’t promising, but they still have Barry Manilow and Barry White songs to try.
Bigger, stronger interchangeable lens cameras and DSLR believe that they are immune to the smartphone invasion, and they seem to be safe…for now. New, more powerful strains of the smartphones are emerging every day, and remaining cameras find themselves competing over an ever-shrinking territory. Some cameras are burying their heads in the sand and pretending that it is still the 1970s, while others are experimenting with gene splicing with smartphones.
It’s still too early to tell if SPPS’ conservation efforts will work. The outlook is dim, and some think that it’s just a matter of time before DSLR and CSCs are added to the endangered species list.