Neil: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute
English. I'm Neil.
Catherine: And I'm Catherine. Hello!
Neil: Now, Catherine, say cheese.
Neil: [takes photo on smartphone] Thank
you, a little souvenir of our time together.
Catherine: Let's have a look... Hang on a
minute. You just took a selfie, I wasn't
even in the picture.
Neil: Ah, well, that's the magic of the
smartphone, two cameras! You know,
that's not something you can do with a
traditional camera. I mean, do you even
have a separate camera these days?
Catherine: I do actually. It's in a cupboard
somewhere at home.
Neil: Well, that is the topic of this
programme. Have traditional cameras been
completely replaced by
smartphones, or to put it another way,
have cameras been made obsolete
by the smartphone?
Catherine: Interesting question.
But before we get into this topic, how
about a question for our listeners?
Neil: Of course. We are certainly in the
digital age of photography but when was
the first digital camera phone released?
Was it: a) 2000, b) 2004 or c) 2007?
What do you think?
Catherine: Well, I actually know this one,
so I'm going to be fair
and keep it to myself.
Neil: OK, well, listen out for the answer at
the end of the programme. There are
different kinds of cameras available today.
There are compact cameras, which
are small and mostly automatic and
usually come with a fixed lens.
Catherine: That's right. And then there are
SLRs and DSLRs which are bigger, and
you can change the lenses on these
cameras and they
allow for a lot of manual control.
Neil: And there are also mirrorless
cameras, which are a cross between
compact cameras and DSLRs.
They are small like a compact camera
but you can also use the same lenses on
them that you can use on DSLRs.
Catherine: And of course, there are the
cameras on smartphones, and these are
convenient and they're becoming
Neil: Phil Hall is the editor of Tech Radar
magazine. He was asked on the BBC
programme You and Yours if he thought
smartphones would make other cameras
obsolete. What is his opinion?
Phil Hall: I don't think so. I think while
compact camera sales have really sort of
dropped off a cliff, it's the lower end,
cheap compacts where people have
opted for a smartphone and I think
manufacturers are looking at the more
higher end premium cameras, high-end
compacts, DSLRs, which are the ones
you can attach lenses to, mirrorless
cameras. So, the market's changing.
And I don't think there'll be a time soon,
yet, that... the smartphone will take over
the camera completely.
Neil: So does Phil think smartphones will
kill the camera?
Catherine: In a word, no. He does say that
sales of cheap compact cameras have
dropped off a cliff. This rather dramatic
expression describes a very big fall in sales.
Neil: This is because the kind of
consumers who would choose a compact
camera are now opting for the camera
on their smartphone. When you opt for
something you choose it rather
than something else.
Catherine: For people who want a quick,
easy to use and convenient way to take
reasonable quality photos, compact
cameras used to be the best choice - but
now it's a smartphone.
Neil: So camera makers are now moving
to the more high-end market, the DSLRs
and mirrorless cameras. So who is still
buying these more expensive cameras?
Here's Phil Hall again.
Phil Hall: I think it's... some of it is people
who are picking up a smartphone and
sort of getting into photography that way
and that's a really great first step into
photography and I think people are
probably, sometimes getting a bit
frustrated with the quality once they sort of
start pushing their creative skills and then
looking to see what's the next rung up so
it's people wanting to broaden
their creative skills a bit.
Neil: Who does he say might be
Catherine: He says that people who are
getting into photography might get
frustrated with the quality
Neil: Getting into something means
becoming very interested in it.
Catherine: And if you are frustrated with
something it means you are disappointed
with it. You are not happy with it.
Neil: So people who have got into
photography with a smartphone but are
frustrated with its limitations and want to
be more creative are going to the next
level. They are moving up, they are, as
Phil said 'taking the next rung up'.
Catherine: Now, a rung is the horizontal
step of a ladder, so the expression taking
the next rung up is a way to describe
doing something at a higher level.
Neil: Now, talking of higher levels, did you
get this week's quiz question right?
The question was: When was the first
phone with a digital camera released?
Was it 2000, 2004 or 2007?
The first phone with a digital camera was
released in 2000. Now, to take us up to
the end of the programme, let's look at
the vocabulary again.
Catherine: First we had the adjective
obsolete which describes something that's
and is no longer the first choice.
Neil: When the expression to drop off a
cliff is used about, for example, sales
numbers, it means sales have fallen
significantly over a short period of time.
Catherine: To opt for something means to
choose something and when you become
very interested in an activity you can say
that you get into it.
Neil: If you are trying to do something and
you can't do it because you don't have the
skill or the equipment you are using is not
right or not good enough, you can
Catherine: And developing your skills to a
higher level can be described as taking
the next rung up.
Neil: Right, that's all from us from us in
this programme. Do join us again next
time and don't forget that in the meantime
you can find us on Instagram, Facebook,
Twitter, YouTube and of course our
See you soon. Goodbye.