- Consumer Electronics & Personal Gadgets»
- Portable Electronics
Choosing the Best Point and Shoot camera
Why a point and shoot camera?
Point and shoot is a recent term used to describe compact cameras that don`t have interchangeable lens but come with lots of advanced features from touchscreen controls and light sensors to image stabilization features or Wi-Fi.
Usually these type of cameras are best for those who seek high quality pictures without the need to spend thousands of dollars or have an advanced knowledge in photography.
So basically you just need to press the shutter button and let the camera do its job in adjusting shutter speed, focus or light sensitivity. For the beginner/intermediate user this is a huge advantage over more advanced models typically referred as Single lens reflex cameras ( SLRs) where you have to adjust almost everything manually as they are made for experienced photographers that need and know how to fine tune everything to take only the very best shots.
What to look for in a point and shoot camera?
There are a few things you want to look in these types of cameras to be sure you make the best buy.
1-Look for deals on last year`s cameras
Prices drop a lot when a new version of the model is released so make sure you do your research and find a good price
2-Size VS features: its up to you
Assess where and when you`ll take most of your pictures and see what you value most as size and features usually move in opposite directions.More advanced features usually translate into bigger cameras, however pocket or smaller sized models have its limitations like tiny controls or short zoom reach.
3-Don`t pay that much attention to pixels
Almost every modern point and shoot camera has a 10 or more megapixels resolution , this is not a decision point you want to consider so just ignore all the marketing around these numbers as other factors are way more relevant to your end result quality.
4-Choose an LCD screen with a good resolution
The LCD screen behind your camera must have a decent resolution so you can focus and review pictures with quality
5-HD video is a must
You will probably use your camera to record videos sooner or later so a 720P is advisable to get internet broadcasting quality, however you will see that 1080hp is pretty much standard for most manufacturers.
Where to find the best deals on digital point and shoot cameras?
From my personal experience amazon is the best place to buy your new camera.
You can rest assured that 99% of the time amazon.com has the very best prices, a world class customer support and the lowest ( in some cases free) shipping costs. However what really makes the giant online retailer so good is its customers reviews on the products for sale so you get unbiased and precious veredicts on the digital cameras you are looking at.
Another cool thing about amazon is the free postage and packaging you can get in many products and of course the really good discount you get off the retail price.
Lets see the top point and shoot digital cameras that represent the best price/quality you can get these days.
Canon PowerShot G16
The Canon PowerShot G16 is one of the best cameras you can get for under $500 as it packs a lot of quality in a well balanced equipment that can provide against most of the needs from the beginner up to the most enthusiastic user.
One of the coolest features of this camera is what Canon calls Multi aspect RAW,which enables full control over the editing process so you can tweak and fine tune your pictures for the best end result.
Despite being in the low range of Canon cameras the G16 comes with the brand awarded DIGIC 6 Image Processor that truly improves the quality of photo and video with its enhanced light sensitivity that provides higher resolution when shooting in dark conditions.
The Dynamic IS is also a plus on this point and shoot camera as it detects and corrects tilt and parallel movement so you can get free of distortion videos.
Also worth to mention is its Intelligent IS that automatically chooses from six different modes to optimize image stabilization for the shooting condition.
It's easy to capture clear, steady images with the PowerShot G16 camera, even in low light without using a tripod. That's because the camera is equipped with Canon's innovative Intelligent IS. The system analyzes camera movement and applies the best shake correction method for the shooting situation – allowing you to focus on framing and capturing your shot. For stills, the system automatically selects among Normal, Panning, Macro (Hybrid) and Tripod IS modes.
When shooting video, the system automatically selects among Dynamic, Powered, Macro and Tripod IS modes.
What really puts Canon Power Shot above its competition is the Optimal Stabilization features that can match virtually any situation. Here you have six distinctive modes so that image is adjusted according to shooting conditions. How is this done?
The Intelligent IS is the answer as this feature makes the camera analyze movement constantly so that an optimal shake correction is performed automatically.
For example if Panning motion is detected this IS system lets the desired camera movement go on without trying to correct it. On the other hand if a tripod is used the Canon PowerShot G16 detects it and stops the Image Stabilizer as its use becomes irrelevant .
-1080p HD video with a capture rate of 60 frames per second
-5x optical zoom
-huge quantity of creative modes that cover virtually any situation
-sturdy: good shock absorption
-start-up and speed is great with any operation you perform
-Wi-Fi a bit tricky to set up when first used
-no articulated view screen ( important for overhead shots)
-tends to over compensate for light
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
The Panasonic Lumix FZ200 is one of the most popular and higher rated point and shoot cameras available in the market. Its well priced, sturdy and above all has a great lens which sets it apart from all its competitors at this price range.
What really stands out on this camera is its 60mm lens that cover a full range F2.8 bright aperture that delivers a shutter speed so fast that delivers pro level results when shooting moving objects whether we are talking about short or long distances .
If you are a sports fan or enjoy shooting speedy situations this point ans shoot camera is for you. It incorporates a 12.1 megapixel MOS sensor that works great when taking successive series of shots, for example its focus mode AF Flexible resets instantly when the object or person you`re shooting moves.
Did I mention there is a magic button on the Lumix that enables recording video while taking photos , how cool is that?
-24x optical zoom
-1080p HD video with 60 frames per second
-High speed burst shooting at 12 frames per second
-600mm f2.8 Leica lens: top level results on any conditions
- quick start-up time ( around 0.95 seconds)
-intelligent Burst Shooting: frame rate adjusted to match your subject`s movement
-Color saturation is top quality so photos seem natural
-Max burst speed of 12fps
-colors are very realistic
-four custom setting available
- complex menu system not that intuitive
-Formatting the SD card is a long and tricky task
-Build quality could be better
-noise level when using high ISOs could be better
Canon PowerShot SX50
With over 500 five star reviews at amazon.com you can rest assured that the Canon Power Shot SX50 is one of the finest point and shoot cameras you can get for your money.
This camera delivers well in most areas however its zoom capabilities are truly spectacular thanks to its remarkable lens that comes with ultra-zooming power, not to mention its focal length which enables caption of anything from wide-angle shots to super-telephoto pictures.
The quality of the SX50 lens is also synonym of versatility : from sports to still photos in indoors the end results are always top quality.
Most users rate this camera 5 starts specially for birding or wild life photography, as usually these situations demand very high zoom features when you just can't move any closer to the subject without losing the moment.
All in all the Canon Power shot SX50 is your best choice if you want far greater zooming range than the typical point and shoot camera or have grown tired of carrying around a heavy camera bag packed with interchangeable lenses for the DSLR.
-1080p HD video
- Canon`s DIGIC 5 Image Sensor
-50x optical zoom
- Optical Image Stabilizer : clear and steady shots whatever the distance
-wide ISO range great for fast-action shots
-monster zoom that covers almost every situation
-superb battery life: more than 500 pictures without recharging
-Flash does not pop up automatically
-No front threaded filter mount
- not enough relief between the body and the EVF view finder
-lens is very sensitive to pollution : a handkerchief is a must
If you want to pack light with high quality without the need to carry a big DSLR camera the Sony DSC-RX 100 is the camera for you.
It has a great image quality with its sharp Zeiss lens that comes with a fast and accurate auto-focus, superb fps rate ,plus it has an extended battery life that seems to last forever.
Operations wise its very user friendly as it only takes seconds and minimal button pushing to access almost every feature, although the menu navigation has room for improvement as it can be non intuitive at times.
If you are a fan of sports or wild life this camera clearly is not for you as its limited zoom and menu options will feel limited and short for your purposes.
All in all this point and shoot camera is your perfect buddy for travelling as its small and light without compromising your pictures quality.
- 24-70 f1.8-2.8 Zeiss lens
-full HD video
-Built in ND filter:good for bright scenes
-180 degree LCD: great for Selfies
-great walk-around lens
-good image stabilization
- shutters drops very quickly
-small zoom ( 2.9x)
-navigating between menu and sub-menus is tricky
-Wi-Fi could work better
-Nogrip: users with big hands may find it hard to operate
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ70
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-F270 is a great point and shoot camera that packs a lot of quality even matching some of its more expensive DSLR big brothers.
Despite being primary a point and shoot camera the Panasonic is so good that although much of the time you get excellent results just using the iA Mode however results reach pro level when you experiment with the focus for example.
So if you want to fully enjoy this camera I highly recommend you to read the manual and even download the advanced version from Panasonic`s website specially to play with the zoom vs distortion balance to really bring the most out of its superb lens.
This is a whopper of a camera for the price so if you are looking for advanced features and want to improve your skills without spending thousands on a DSLr the Panasonic Lumix is the one for you.
-60x optical zoom
-1080HD video with 60 fps
-Optical Image stabilizer
-fast start up time
-very silent operation: low noise even at ISO 100
-taking pictures while recording video
-clear and simple onboard menu that is easy to understand
-A bit bulky for this category
-too much advanced features for the beginner
-No continuous shooting mode
-poorly designed controls as everything hinges upon the wheel