Getting the Most Out of Your Point and Shoot And Why You Should Ditch the Digital Zoom

by Valerie Johnston | February 26, 2013

Point and shoot cameras have limitations. There is no one that would argue with this. They just do not have the ability to take images on par with what can be taken with a single lens reflex camera. However, the most important thing to remember is that the quality of image often has less to do with the camera itself and more to do with the person taking the picture.Alaskan mountains taken with a point and shoot digital camera

 

There are ways to overcome the limitations of a point and shoot camera and still take high quality digital photography. There are some simple things you need to learn so that you can get the most out of your camera, and they all begin with the digital zoom. Would you like to take your point and shoot photography to the furthest extent possible? Read on.

Turn off the Digital Zoom Now

The first thing you need to do is turn off digital zoom. Most point and shoot cameras for digital photography have some level of optical zoom, and that is the only zoom you should be using. You are probably thinking that since your camera has digital zoom built in, surely it has some use. Surely, using it is not that big of a deal, right? Actually, it is an extremely big deal.

Digital zoom does not work the same as optical zoom. In order to get close on the subject, the camera uses a digital mechanism and this has a drastic effect on the integrity of the image. The more you use the digital zoom, the more pixelated, blurry, and just bad quality the image will be.

The best thing you can do is go into your camera’s settings and turn off the digital zoom. This way, you will not even be tempted to use it when you are taking digital photography.

take better nature photos with your point and shoot digital camera

 

Give Yourself Time

Sometimes, when using a point and shoot, you will need to take several images before you get one of quality. If you are rushed and do not have time, you are much less likely to get a quality image. When you are practicing digital photography, taking pictures of family, or doing anything with that point and shoot camera, you will find that everything is more successful when you take time to work around the limitations and create a higher quality image.

On the same note, you should be very familiar with your camera before you take any pictures. You need to know the different settings and menu options in advance so that you can easily get to them when you need to take a picture.

Avoid Low Light

A point and shoot camera does have ISO settings, which, in theory, should allow you to shoot in poor light. However, the problem is that most of these cameras just do not have the capability of shooting quality images at high ISO settings. The images are likely to be filled with noise (dots, spots, and grain in dark areas). Point and shoot camera's come in varying degrees of quality so be sure to ask about the low light sensitivity when you are purchasing the camera. Do a little research online to see if there are sample photos of your specific camera model. You would think that if you paid $300-$400 that you should be able to get some decent low light photos from your camera. It just takes a little research.

better travel photos with your point and shoot digital camera

Can you get high quality images with a point and shoot camera? The answer is yes. It all has to do with how much time you are willing to devote to your digital photography with that camera. Yes, it is limited in what it can do. No, it will never fully stand up to the multiple options a DSLR can give you. That does not mean it is totally useless. With the right understanding of the camera and its limitations, you can take beautiful pictures. Here are a few more point and shoot digital photos.

glacier photo from a point and shoot camera

 

vibrant colors of alaskan forest

 

great portraits taken with a point and shoot camera

 

better travel photos with your point and shoot camera

All photos show were taken with a digital Canon Powershot SD750.

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Tips-n-Tricks #252

Photographers use the term "fill light" that refers to the little bit of extra light to fill in shadows that can appear on your subject or to illuminate a particular feature of your subject. One particular place you may need to use fill light is to properly see your subjects eyes.


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