I’m often asked, “Does the kind of camera I have matter?” And, “What type of camera do you have?” In response to the first question, the answer is “Yes, kind of.” The kind of camera you have does matter, but more important than that is how you use the camera that you have.
In response to the second question, I have two cameras. I have a point-and-shoot camera (Panasonic Lumix) and a DSLR camera (a Canon EOS Rebel T2i ). I got my Canon in January of 2011. I use it for 99% of the pictures I take on this blog. I use my point-and-shoot (or, usually, my phone) for snapshots of our daily lives around town.
In this two-part post, I wanted to offer some tips on what to look for when purchasing a point-and-shoot or DSLR camera. Today’s post is on point-and-shoots.
There are some really great point-and-shoot cameras available in today’s market. Many models, like my Panasonic, allow you to control aperture and shutter speed to some degree, which is needed, especially when taking pictures of fast-moving children. But they still can’t do what a DSLR camera can do. Even the best point-and-shoot cameras can’t, for instance, create soft focus and shoot fast enough to capture fast moments.
Having said this, if a point-and-shoot is what you can afford, then here are some of the features you should look for in a camera.
Enough Megapixels. To make 8 x 10 prints from your pictures, you’ll want to make sure your camera has at least 7 megapixels. Anything more is sweet, but not necessary.
Nice size and good weight. You want a lightweight camera, but not so lightweight that it’s hard to keep it steady (which is IMPERATIVE) to take pictures. I typically keep my point-and-shoot in my purse, so for me convenience is big.
Wide-angle features and zoom capacity. Zoom is an important feature on a point-and-shoot because unlike a DSLR you can’t change your lens! Also, rather than looking for digital zoom, look for optical zoom among your camera’s specifications.
Fast/Continuous Shooting Mode. This is BIG, especially when photographing kids. Continuous shooting mode (sometimes referred to as FPS- frames per second) means that you can shoot multiple images/frames per second.
(The pictures above were taken with my point-and-shoot back in 2010, using the high speed Burst speed, which takes multiple pictures, in fast succession, per second. These pictures were taken within milliseconds of one another.)
(These candid shots were taken today with my point-and-shoot.)
Check back next week for things to look for when buying a DSLR.