Point and Shoot cameras make up a large segment of the digital camera market thanks to their ease of use and their affordable price. As opposed to digital SLR cameras, point and shoot cameras are compact, easy-to-use and provide great picture quality without much effort. In order to use these compact cameras, you only need to press the shutter button. The compact camera automatically adjusts the shutter speed, aperture, focus and light sensitivity. The pictures captured by these point and shoot cameras are sharp with exceptional color representation. Need to know what to look for in a point and shoot camera? When it comes to the best point and shoot cameras, there are many types to choose from. The major types to choose from are basic point and shoots, superzooms, super compact cameras, rugged/waterproof, and advanced compacts. The basic point and shoot camera is best suited for people who are happy with auto features. This type comes with in-camera automation features so you don’t have to manually set controls to take pictures. These point and shoot cameras are well-known for providing very good auto modes and scene selections for those perfect in-camera settings. The advanced point and shoot cameras are compact cameras that provide the advantages of DSLR-like features with the bonus of portability. These offer manual control for setting the aperture, shutter and ISO, which makes it easy to capture images. They also provide better image quality in comparison to normal fixed-lens cameras. Super-Zoom cameras offer magnified focal lengths anywhere from 20x to 30x optical zoom, giving both impressive wide-angle shots and telephoto reach. These cameras also provide manual control for aperture and shutter, as well as image stabilization. There are also portable super-zooms that offer 10-15x zoom with even more portability making them the perfect travel camera. Lastly, rugged-style point and shoot cameras are made to withstand extremes in just about any environment, making them ideal for the extreme-sport enthusiast, mountaineers, etc. These cameras are uniquely designed to be shockproof, waterproof and weatherproof. Extremely durable, but still providing great image quality.
Is a Point and Shoot Camera Worth It?
With the jump in smartphone camera quality, it may seem like point and shoot cameras are a thing of the past. But when it’s smartphone camera vs point and shoot; as good as phone cameras are, they’re mostly limited to casual applications. If you’re trying to take professional or artistic photos, a point and shoot might be your best option. Point and shoots have always lived a secret double life. On the one hand, the digital camera cost is cheap and it’s an easy camera for the masses. But they’re also wonderful tools for professional or amateur photographers who don’t want to deal with a huge DSLR. If you want a portable camera, easy to use, maintenance-free, and durable enough to throw in a checked bag, then a point and shoot is your best bet.
What to Look for in a Compact Camera
When selecting any particular point and shoot camera, features that you might want to look into are a great quality lens, adequate zoom range, image stabilization, nice sized LCD screen and additional features like face recognition and Wi-Fi. Point and Shoots are great for fun, and spontaneous photography because of their portability. You’ll also want to look out for image and video quality.
Point and Shoot Camera Features
When choosing a digital camera, it’s essential to first understand the point and shoot camera features which are most important in your future purchase.
Point and Shoot Sensor Size
You should consider how you’ll typically display your images. If you want to print enlargements, you can do so with images from even a basic camera. But point and shoots with a relatively large point and shoot sensor size will help you keep the image quality high when details are closely scrutinized. Look out for point and shoot sensor sizes that are 1/1.7in, 1in, Micro Four Thirds or APS-C in size, as these tend to have better image quality than point and shoots with smaller sensors.
The amount usually refers to the highest resolution of an image from the camera measured in the amount of pixels. More camera megapixels means a larger image better for editing and enlarging but also means larger file sizes. Although the misconception is that more camera megapixels means better images, this isn’t necessarily the case. Point and shoot sensor size has more impact on the clarity of your photos, especially in low-light situations.
Compact Camera Zoom
When looking at different point and shoots, it’s important to differentiate those that utilize optical zoom vs. digital zoom. Although digital zoom can give a longer zoom range, image quality is compromised. Some cameras offer both optical zoom with extended digital zoom. If compact camera zoom lenses are an important feature to you, optical is the way to go even though it adds a little bulk.
Optical Image Stabilization
The optical image stabilization feature is very helpful when taking pictures in low light. Since the camera will often choose a slower shutter speed to get a better exposure, an image can have a blurred effect even with a sturdy grip. Image stabilization, or IS as it is also known, can help with this. The two methods often used are optical image stabilization and sensor movement. Optical image stabilization adjusts the lens to compensate for movement, while sensor movement adjusts the position of the sensor to compensate for any shake. Another method used is digital image stabilization, which attempts to correct the blurring after the image is shot.
Camera with Flip Screen
The type of rear display is worth considering too. Most cameras offer displays that are fixed in position but those cameras with flip screen alternatives are useful for images captured from awkward angles. Cameras with flip screen displays can be articulated to face the front making them great for selfies and group shots. You may also want to look at a camera with a touchscreen. It’s useful when you want to pinpoint subjects with ease.
Nikon COOLPIX P900
Point and Shoot Camera with Viewfinder
Most point and shoots don’t have viewfinders and instead have an LCD screen to help you line up a shot. Some high end compacts still have optical viewfinders which are helpful for composing in bright light. You may prefer a camera with a viewfinder of some kind. These are usually electronic and they help you to see the scene more clearly in harsh sunlight.
Camera Shooting Modes
Many point and shoot cameras come with different camera shooting modes that automatically help you get the most out of any scene. The camera will recognize a scene, saving you time from having to change settings.
Point and Shoot Camera with Wi-Fi
Many modern point and shoot cameras now come with built-in Wi-Fi, offering a great way to share photos through social media sites by connecting to a Wi-Fi hotspot. NFC is another feature on some cameras that help them connect directly to a mobile device for image preview and sharing.
Waterproof/Rugged Point and Shoot Camera
Many manufacturers also carry options for beach vacations, watersports or other more adventurous activities. These often combine waterproofing with some degree of protection against shock, freezing temperatures and pressure. Naturally, these are also great options around kids.
If you’re interested in buying a high-quality point and shoot camera. Here are some that might be a good fit for you.
Canon- Good Portable Camera
Canon is well-known for providing some of the best point and shoot cameras that have advanced features and offer different functionality. Canon point and shoot cameras provide excellent image quality and are still affordable. The best budget pick is the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II Compact Digital Camera from Buydig.com. This good portable camera is super small, it rocks a solid 20.1 MP CMOS sensor and a 3x optical zoom lens, and has an impressive time-lapse mode. It’s a big step up from the camera in your phone, but it won’t break the bank.
Canon PowerShot G9
Nikon- Good Small Camera
Nikon is a leading company that has made its niche around the world with their imaging products. Nikon point and shoots from Buydig.com are known to offer great image quality with many features without being too heavy on your pockets. A good small camera from Nikon to consider is the Nikon COOLPIX P900.
Sony- Best Digital Camera
It’s hard to beat the Sony RX100 VII. It’s so incredibly small and thin, yet it has an 8x optical zoom lens, a 20.1 MP stacked CMOS sensor, a retractable OLED viewfinder, amazing photo processing software, and a built-in Wi-Fi transmitter for wireless file transfers. The RX100 VII is even a great video camera with its built-in mic jack, object tracking software, and its ability to film in 4K. The Sony RX100 VII is the king of compact cameras. Its hardware and photo processing software are unbeatable, especially at this size.
Today’s compact cameras are packed with additional options which can make life easier. Most have a range of creative effect options which let you instantly apply various processing styles such as high-contrast black and white, toy camera and fisheye.