My first digital camera was a point-and-shoot camera with all automated features(everything just automatic). I could not adjust the shutter speed, aperture and other stuffs like metering mode and manual focus were missing. Did that make me hate my tool? Not all, I just learnt to work with all the numerous limitations. There are some point and shoot digital cameras with advanced features such as: full manual exposure control (PSAM), RAW, hotshoe mount, video shooting capabilities with full manual controls ETC. Canon powershot G9, G10, G12, SX50HS, Panasonic lumix DMC FZ100, FZ200, FZ1000, FZ300, SONY HX200V, HX400V, NIKON COOLPIX P200, P500, P600 ETC are all examples of advanced point-and-shoot cameras, although some can be said to be bridge or super zoom.
In this article, I will be referring to fully automated cameras with no sort of manual control as point-and-shoot cameras. Point-and-shoot cameras are just great, people keep asking me why I love point and shoot digital cameras so much and this is what I always tell them:
Ease of operation
One thing I love about point-and-shoot camera is the ease of use. Point-and-shoot digital cameras are very easy to operate; you do not need a Bachelor’s Degree to shoot with a point-and-shoot! All you need to do is put on the camera; locate the shutter release button and starting shooting away. In fact they are called point-and-shoot because of their point and shoot operation. You do not need to worry about aperture, shutter speed, metering mode and some other technical stuffs. Point the camera at any subject, press the shutter button half way and automatically, the camera sets the shutter speed, aperture, ISO and all exposure parameters for you. All you need to do is press the shutter release button all the way down and you have yourself a new image.
Point-and-shoot digital cameras are generally inexpensive. You do not need to be a millionaire to afford a point-and-shoot digital camera. It is so cheap and can be found in every corner of the globe. With a budget as low as fifteen thousand naira, you can get yourself a pretty decent point-and-shoot digital camera. This is an amazing deal if you ask me, plus you do not need to break your bank account in order to purchase it.
Size and portability
This is something I just love about point-and-shoot digital cameras. They are small, portable, light weight and can fit right in the pocket of your trousers or breast pocket. You can always grab your little point-and-shoot digital camera and it won’t take up space if travelling light is a priority. DSLR owners will agree with me that; it is one hell of a task moving DSLR cameras around and lugging around huge telephoto lenses. It is a different ball game entirely with a point-and-shoot camera.
Point-and-shoot cameras are versatile. If you own DSLR camera, then I believe you know you cannot use one lens to everything. You definitely need a telephoto lens for portraiture (head shots) and sport photography. Similarly, you also need a wide angle lens for landscape photography. That is not is not the case with a point-and-shoot camera. It has a fixed lens (cannot be interchanged) which is designed to handle all shooting scenarios. Just like they took a couple of lenses (telephoto, wide angle, normal) and meshed it together to form just one lens. I have a Nikon point-and-shoot camera with a focal range of 22.2-765mm (35mm equ.). Now you see what I mean.
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Point-and-shoot cameras have small sensors (1/2.3 inch) which means they produce image of less quality compared cameras with larger sensors. Just know the limitations of whichever camera you are using, work around those limitations and your images will definitely stand out. I put up this article mainly because of a photographer I met on nairaland who shoots with a mobile phone. Despite the huge limitations associated with shooting with such a device, he was able to produce nice photos, plus his confidence is out of this word. Whether it is a cheap point-and-shoot digital camera, your mobile phone, or even an onion, just shoot and shoot, know what you are doing and be creative with your shots. All the images used in this article were shot with my Nikon point-and-shoot camera and did not undergo any post processing.