With that in mind, one of the key parameters in which advanced camera brands compete with each other is size: The smaller the camera, the lighter the weight, the better the model.
So, with regular models becoming smaller every year, the question is: do mini digital cameras still form a class in their own right? When we say mini digital cameras - what are we talking about? how do these differ from regular ones? Let us take a look at the terminology here.
Mini, as in short for miniature.
In other words, compact, small, a really tiny little thing.
In terms of cameras, we are talking about a width or height of two to three inches at most.
What's more, with these cameras, size is everything.
That means these cameras are small at the expense of other characteristics.
Don't expect very high quality pictures with these models, and definitely no hi-res videos.
At most, you get a few seconds of low-res movies, and a few dozens pictures, where image quality varies.
In the right light, and with ideal photographic conditions, they can produce some nice pictures.
However, when presented with a more challenging situation, these cameras find it difficult to digitally correct and enhance images.
Unlike regular digital cameras, of various sizes, mini digital cameras are usually not equipped with sophisticated mechanisms that can compensate for a challenging setting.
These miniatures are basically cool little gadgets.
In fact, they often come with a key chain, as an extra camera to carry around in your bag, along with your keys and other accessories.
Technologically, they are quite unpretentious and their main function is for quick shots when no other camera is available.
Do not underestimate these gadgets though.
Unlike other tech toys, mini digital cameras come with a low price tag too.
Most models are available at under fifty dollars, with some going for as low as ten bucks.
This means they make excellent affordable gifts: a nifty little gadget, at a nice small price.
So, to get back to the original question - yes, mini digital cameras still form a distinct separate group in the world of digital photography.
Lacking in abilities, low on megapixels, their strength lies with their extra small form and low prices.
They may be of little value to professional or even amateur photographers, yet they make great gifts, to yourself or to a friend, with a nice "gadget glow" and an attractive price tag.