Point and Shoot Cameras Still Have Some Fight in Them

by Eric Von Lehmden | May 13, 2014

point and shoot tips

Even though sales are down for point and shoot cameras (thank you smart phones) there are still several advantages of using a point and shoot over your iPhone's camera. I want to talk about the added flexibility that you have with most point and shoots that you may not have with your phone camera. So don't throw away these little gems yet. They still have some fight left in them. We love our little cameras. They fit in our purse, our backpack, or glove compartment. They are reasonably cheap and durable. Even the cheapest cameras nowadays have pretty good resolution and will make a nice 16x20 canvas prints. Think of point and shoot cameras as a level of quality between your phone's camera and a DSLR camera with interchangeable lenses. You do give up the flexibility, large sensor size, and lens interchangeability of the DSLR for the privilege of small, inexpensive, and simple controls and quick shooting. But we can still leverage our smarts to ensure we get the best we can out of our inexpensive little camera.

Here are a few quick tips for getting the most out of your point and shoot

Indoor Photos With Point and Shoot Cameras

  • Most point and shoots are actually optimized for indoor candid photos. With facial recognition and a pretty balanced flash, the point and shoot is perfect for party pics and other family gatherings when you want to just have fun taking pictures of everyone without being encumbered by a DSLR. The flash on the point and shoot will give you far better quality than a phone's camera.
  • Knowing when to turn your flash on or off will give you better quality pics.
  • If your point and shoot has Auto ISO be sure to use it. This will give you a more pleasing photo without having to go in and figure out what ISO you should be shooting at.
  • Shoot from 8 - 10 feet away. Anything further than that the flash won't reach and the image will look dark and grainy.

Outdoor Photos With Point and Shoot Cameras

  • Again, Auto ISO is your friend here. If it is bright and sunny your point and shoot camera will automatically go to its lowest ISO possible...This reduces noise in the photo if you were to enlarge it later or make it into a photo on canvas.
  • Auto exposure control will be much better than a camera phone, and for trips to the pool, beach or just out and about, it is a great way to get candid shots of the kiddos
  • Turn off the flash when you are outside and there is plenty of light.
  • Only use your optical zoom. I have not seen a photo taken with the digital zoom that has been pleasing. Optical zoom is the zoom of the actual lens. You still get crisp sharp images with optical zoom. Digital zoom is just zooming from the camera's sensor. You will end up with super grainy, blurry, pixelated photos. (I think most people who take photos of Bigfoot and UFO's take the images with digital zoom.)

With some simple steps and a little playing around you will see that keeping your point and shoot around is still a good thing. Even though I have a big DSLR with different lenses, even I often have more fun just taking a little point and shoot with me to parties or out to eat to take quick fun pics to share with friends and family. I guess the moral of the story is that even with the popularity of the phone camera, there is still a need for a point and shoot camera to give you a little better quality photos of your daily life.

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Tips-n-Tricks #78

Even the slightest shake from you pressing the shutter button can cause a blurry photo during long exposures so use the timer mode on your camera to ensure a crisp sharp photo.


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