In The Desert
Content including photographs are Copyright © 2011 - Present - Don & Linda Gilmore
Point & Shoot Cameras
Some people have their favorites: Canon, Nikon, etc. The playing field has changed since the film days. Cameras with the best Picture Quality are from names you thought made radios and stereos. Panasonic being one and Sony another one. All the major manufacturers make great cameras. All are a little different and some are better for taking certain types of photos than others.
Which Camera is for you?
Don't take anyone's word for which are the best. Why? Because, first, it depends on what you want the camera for - wildlife, animals, and other interests would dictate the use of the Zoom Camera, while the normal vacation snapshots will dictate one of the budget cameras or a better model without the zoom. Panasonic is one of the leading technologies right now and all their cameras offer IS (image stabilization). This is a great feature and does come in handy.
Some of the new super-zooms have an unbieveable reach, Nikon has one that goes to 2,000 millimeter! And it does take decent photos, even at the long end. Sony, Canon and Panasonic are also making these super-zooms. And all of them have decent image quality. Take a look at DPreview on the Internet and judge for yourself.
Do I really need a big zoom?
The definitive answer is NO! No one needs to put that much time into learning a software. Now if you want more control over the outcome of your photos then learn to use an imaging program. If you have to have the Photo Shop name on it then try Photo Shop Elements, it's a great imaging program. If not then go with the one listed here:
Do I need to learn Photo Shop CSx?
Actually there are several downside's to owning a small P&S camera. You won't have to spend your inheritance. You won't get to carry around that big impressive camera or a large camera bag that just jumps up and says I'm a professional -- rob me! Ok seriously; one of the things you won't get are really large prints with a lot of detail. Your photos won't be as good as a D-SLR!!! You lmay not have the versatility you get with a D-SLR. You won't get high ISO photos with very little noise. This means your low light photos are going to be noisy (full of little colored dots).You won't get the really fine detail in shots when you zoom into 100% on a computer monitor. Now if you don't care about any of these things or your like us and want a nice camera to take hiking or just a small one to take along without all the extras then get a P&S and have fun taking 100's of photos on your next trip in the desert. Sony now offers small P&S cameras that take great photos.
Remember you can use a P&S for a lot different situations, and you'll really like the results. A lot of the photos on this site were taken with a small point & shoot and we've even made some nice prints with the photos. The bigger zoom P&S cameras are coming close to the quality of the Digital SLR's. Some even equal the quality of D-SLR's now. Sony has made great strides in this area. Some are now even full frame small mirrorless cameras.
What's the downside to a P&S Camera?
Here's a list of necessary extras. You'll really need these:
Extra batteries or battey pack
A small camera case to protect your investment
A UV Haze filter to protect the front element Note on some small P&S cameras using a UV filter is not possible.
A larger memory card. Note most cameras only come with a small card, if any at all.
How much extra stuff do I need?
Video with your Point & Shoot
Ok about the memory cards -- your going to need good ones if you plan on using your camera's video capabilities. We try to stick with San Disk or Lexar, but there are other good ones out there. So why not just get a regular video camera? Want to carry two cameras? And the other point we're going to make here is this: the video on these little cameras today is just short of fantastic. We've included a small video file here using the lesser quality video that the camera shoots just to show how good these little P&S cameras are with video. Now on both these pages, please give the video time to load, the file sizes are large, but the quality is unbelievable for such a little camera. Now D=SLR's are starting to come out with video capabilities.
This video was shot at the small size of 320x240. The camera (Canon A 710 IS) is capable of shooting video at 640x480. This is a very short clip and it was shot hand held and if it didn't have Image Stabilization it wouldn't be as smooth. This is a great option to have with your carry-around camera.
Almost all the new P&S cameras have good image quality and good video quality. So find one that you like, for whatever reason, and take it with you everywhere. Having one that fits in a pocket is nice and so are some of the new super zoom cameras you can get today. The choice is yours. Of course the new phones are also nice and some even take nice photos so don't rule them out either.