Don’t waste money a point and shoot camera, sometimes abbreviated to P&S and sometimes also called a digital single lens reflex camera, is an inexpensive yet compact digital camera typically designed for easy manual operation. Most use automatic or semi-automatic systems for selecting the focus, aperture, and flash settings, and either have built in flash units or interchangeable lenses. The majority of these cameras come with at least one flash accessory that can be used for photo blowouts or other creatively composed effects. Point and shoot cameras range from the highly affordable entry level model to the more expensive, state of the art professional grade models. While the prices for point and shoots differ greatly from brand to brand, there are a number of points and shoots that are considered “good buys” by most professional photographers. These include models that are moderately priced, have proven their ability to capture good images, have reliable build quality, and features that are easy to use.
The majority of point and shoot cameras fall into the digital medium length category. Because they utilize a digital sensor to electronically take the pictures, they do not require film. This allows for significant cost savings since there are no expensive chemicals needed to process the images and no expensive developing costs. In addition, many point and shoots can fit within the confines of a small purse because they are so small and can easily be carried in a pocket, handbag, or backpack. While they lack some of the features found in traditional cameras, they can still capture high resolution, crisp photos that rival those found in pro cameras costing thousands of dollars. They can also come in various sizes with different lens choices so that they can be used in portrait mode, macro mode, or other settings.
Before shopping for a point and shoot camera it is important to determine the type of camera that will work best for the intended purpose. For example, those who need very large prints and want to get as much detail as possible in the photograph may require an SLR. This point and shoot cameras often come with a higher optical zoom range than their SLR counterparts. They can also offer more creative options such as interchangeable lens or interchangeable lenses. There are many compact point and shoot cameras that are available in the sub-range of five megapixels. This is the equivalent to what the camera can produce if utilizing the optical zoom feature but would limit the amount of detail offered.
Another factor to consider when purchasing a point and shoot camera is to determine if you plan to utilize automatic or manual mode. With an automatic mode, the camera selects the best available picture and adjusts the shutter speed and aperture accordingly. Manual mode allows the photographer to make adjustments to the ISO setting, white balance, focus, or any other aspect of the picture. Because of this fact, it is important that the photographer understand how to control these features and how to adjust them within the menu options.
In addition to the above mentioned features, many of the new point and shoot cameras will also offer some sort of optical zoom feature. This optical zoom is not true digital zoom and does not affect the quality of the image. It is effective only when the camera is used at higher speeds and for short images. For an excellent image with more fine detail, use a telephoto lens.
Some cameras will also allow the photographer to select the lens type as well as the lens aperture and size. The most common lens types are the standard zoom and telephoto lenses. However, other lens types including the 35mm equivalent focal length of the lens. These lenses have greater zoom and can be appropriate for landscape shots. A telephoto lens however, would be appropriate for more severe photography.