Nikon COOLPIX S8100 | PixelBing

Know about Cameras: Point and Shoot Digital Cameras

In my previous post, I have discussed about various types of cameras. Here, I’m detailing a few most popular ones for the next few posts. So as you have read the title correctly, today’s topic deals with the Point and Shoot camera.

Nikon COOLPIX S8100 | PixelBing

Upon thinking or talking of cameras, everybody thinks, talks, or writes about a DSLR, and think that all the non DSLR stuffs are untouchables, inferior, and what not. But slowly, the Point and Shoot cameras are too becoming famous day by day, and improving a lot too. Even I’m fond of the Point and Shoot cameras. The Canon Powershot A480 was my first digital Point and Shoot, although I have used many film cameras before it. DSLRs are of course meant for high-end photography, but here I will be discussing some advantages of a Point and Shoot Digital Camera, sometimes also referred to as digital cameras, or digicams.

  • Automatic Focus: this is a best part for one who needs to get rid of too many manual settings, controls, functions, and everything which makes his camera feel no less than a spacecraft cockpit. The quality of the Autofocus is improving day by day in the new models, which is too appreciable. This might be the same reason, for manufacturers are now placing an Auto Mode in the DSLRs too.
  • The Compactness: All the Point and Shoot cameras are appreciably slim, and even the thick ones also find ample room in your pocket, and weigh almost equal to your cellphone itself. There are few exceptions, for example, the superzoom models, which are now creating a separate category for themselves, the Bridge cameras. The fabrication now a days is so good, that they are coming up with great megapixel power, sufficient zoom, even house a touchscreen, and yet, you know about the size. Everywhere you cant carry a DSLR with you, for example a Party, or a Picnic etc, but you can always slip in your digicam in your pocket and get going
  • Bye-Bye Viewfinder: The P&S primarily use LCD screens, sometimes even a touchscreen, to give a live view of the shots the user is taking. This is a pretty good feature for a person who doesn’t want to poke his eye into viewfinder each time and remain at ease. But my opinion is that best shots come out from a viewfinder. Yet, new DSLRs are also providing the live view for the same reasons probably.
  • Too Silent: compared to a DSLR, the operation of a Point and Shoot Camera is too attractive. Smooth, and yes of course, silent. Even many times you wont even realize that a shot has been clicked when you try your hands on a P&S after a DSLR. Of course, you will have a vibration free click as compared to a DSLR, as in a DSLR the bouncing of mirror causes a typical click, which is at times, undesirable.
  • Cost matters: yes, of course this is the ‘last, but not the least’ point. You can purchase two good P&S Cameras for the price of a DSLR, or can have a top-end P&S for a cheap DSLR. They really are affordable and are so manufactured to reach every pocket.

But as every coin has two faces, same way there are few minus points of having a Point and Shoot camera too, which I’m discussing below:

  • Lower Image Quality: generally, the Point and Shoot Cameras come with small image sensors, which have a direct impact on the quality of images they click, compared to a DSLR. Slowly, manufacturers are coming up with higher grade image sensors, but of course, one can stick to a P&S, if no such high use of cropping or enlargement is to be done as per professional use.
  • Slow Capture rate: these cameras generally are cursed for their slow capture rate, (generally) lack of continuous shots, and the shutter lag, i-e the time delay between pressing the shutter and the moment when image gets clicked.
  • Lesser Manual Controls: Day by day the cameras being manufactured are going more automatic. This is to an extent a good feature, but on the same time there is very less, or almost no option for a photographer to alter the settings and click the images. Even in a bit older ones, manual settings are limited to exposure, and shutter, and that too in limited boundaries.
  • Smaller ISO range – generally the Point and Shoots come with smaller ISO range, but now a day this trend is being changed. Even my Point and Shoot had capability to shoot at 1600 ISO. Yet overall, there is a limited range of ISO in these type of cameras.
  • Zero Adaptability – generally a point and shoot does not possess adaptability for different lenses unlike DSLRs. But on the other hand, the ones which come with limited adaptability, are also not preferred by people, as they are generally purchased on account of portability, and no one prefers carrying lenses in a separate bag or so alongwith a pocket camera.

 Canon Powershot A480 | PixelbingNow when the major question for choosing between a digital Point and Shoot and a DSLR arises, I would only suggest that price is always the prime concern. So keeping your mind the proper budget, and the image requirements/purpose of photography, choose it accordingly.


6 thoughts on “Know about Cameras: Point and Shoot Digital Cameras”

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    1. Elaine,The D3100 and D5000 are practically the same epecxt the D5000 has one extra frame per second at 4 FPS. That can be helpful as long as you can get your shutter faster than 1/200 second. That’s going to be dependent on your lighting and lens. Pros are using expensive glass like the Nikon/Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 or some exotic prime to gather lots of light. Luckily there are lower cost alternatives like the Sigma and Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 or the discontinued Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 (I see some copies on eBay right now).Just so we’re on the same page about apertures; aperture is described by an f-stop, f/2.8 for example. The lower the number the larger the opening in the lens to collect more light. f/1.4 is considered very fast because you get more light and can maintain a faster shutter speed. f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, and f/22 are the standard full stops. Each step up will halve the shutter speed.The Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens won’t have enough reach unless the action is right up in your face (getting close in on the opposite boards would be out of the question). The Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6 (or 55-300) would give you more reach, but is going to be too slow as you start to zoom in. In an indoor rink I’d estimate that shooting at ISO 1600 with f/2.8 gets you 1/250 second. f/4 would drop that to 1/125 and f/5.6 would drop it to 1/60. That’s a very big difference if you’re trying to catch a player coming down the ice or a rider going off a jump.I’ve shot a group of friends playing broomball at a local rink with my 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 and I was struggling. Even with ISO between 1600-3200 my shots were underexposed if I tried forcing the shutter to 1/250. I could have lowered it, but then motion blur would have started kicking in. I don’t think I even bothered sharing those photos with anyone.Low light action (pretty much everything not in sunlight) is just one of those things that’s flat out hard. Pros can throw thousands of dollars into their gear, but we don’t really have that luxury. The D5000 would be up to the job, but it would make a big difference if you could swing one of the constant f/2.8 lenses.Here are the two lenses I mentioned. The Sigma seems to have better autofocus capability and the Tamron has slightly better image quality.

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