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Point and Shoot Cameras

Point and shoots are the most popular cameras on the market. They have medium to small size sensors, do not have interchangeable lenses and have an electronic view on the back LCD panel. Some models have an additional range finder window or an electronic viewfinder.

Point and Shoot Cameras
Point and Shoot Cameras

Point and shoot digital cameras are a great choice for beginners who just want to take pictures for fun, for personal use and do not need manual controls and other advanced functions. They are small, could fit easily into your pocket, take very little space in your luggage bag, no need to carry extra lenses or accessories, and are really easy to operate, just point the camera in the direction you wish to photograph and shoot. In fact their smaller size and ease of use is the main appeal of these types of digital cameras.

How point and shoot cameras work?

In a point and shoot camera, the light coming in through the lens goes straight to the image sensor. The sensor then sends the information it receives electronically to the LCD display on the back of the camera.  The absence of an optical viewfinder is one of the major drawbacks of point and shoots cameras as it is very difficult to rely on the LCD under bright light.

Advantages of Point and Shoot Cameras

Smaller Size

Point and shoot cameras are very compact and weighs much less than other type of digital cameras.

Ease of Use

The main functions of the camera are all automated.  In addition to the fully automatic mode, they have a number of scene modes such as landscape, beach, sports, fireworks etc. These scene modes make it easy to adapt to different types of picture taking situations.

Cost Effective

If you only need to take pictures for fun or for personal use, point and shoot cameras is the right choice for you. The cost to own a point and shoot cameras is significantly less than other types of digital cameras.


Shutter Lag

Point and shoot cameras have a delay from the moment you press the shutter to the moment the picture is taken, in the earlier days of digital cameras it was about 3 seconds and was very frustrating, now days cameras have improved considerably, but one should admit that they are still not at par with DSLR cameras.

Small Sensor Size

Point and shoot cameras typically have very small sensors when compared to DSLR cameras, this results in poor image quality when compared to results from a DSLR.

Inferior Low Light Performance

Smaller sensors are more prone to digital noise and so low light performance (shooting at high ISO) of point and shoot cameras are nowhere near as good as DSLR cameras.

Limited Control

Most functions of point and shoot cameras are automated and the photographer has very limited control when it comes to taking control over the variables for creative exposures.

These are the major disadvantages, there are many others but there is no point in listing it all here as if one really wanted all those features then he/she would probably have got a DSLR instead of a point and shoot. However, the average casual photographer can get great pictures from a basic compact camera and they usually won't need manual adjustments.

Premium point and shoots

There are some point and shoots like the Leica X1, Fuji X100 and the Canon G1x. They are of a higher level than others; one of the features is that unlike the other point and shoots they have a medium sized sensor. They don’t have interchangeable lenses, Leica X1 and Fuji X100 have fixed lens, that doesn’t even zoom.

NEXT: Mirrorless Digital Cameras

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