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Better Pictures With A Point and Shoot Digital Camera

Updated on October 15, 2009

Tips on how to take better pictures with your point and shoot camera

If your are less than satisfied with the pictures you are taking with your point and shoot camera, don't be too quick to blame your camera. Most often, bad photos result from the pictures taker not knowing how to use the camera. You don’t need an expensive professional grade DSLR camera to get professional looking photos. Learn how to use the controls on the point and shoot camera you own.

To take better pictures a good quality point and shoot digital camera is important. If you are shopping for one, here are some tips that may help you buy the best digital point and shoot camera that suits your needs.

While modern day fully automatic point and shoot digital cameras make taking good pictures  easy without having to learn the ins and outs of photography, you can greatly improve your photos by following a few simple rules when you take your next pictures with your camera.

Rules for better pictures

Reading the manual - An important first step in taking decent pictures is to learn the various built-in features on your camera. Read the manual that came with the digital camera; learn each feature’s function; learn how work the controls and how to jump from one feature to another. Once you learn the function of each feature, use the camera and take lots of pictures, making mental notes, or actual written notes, of how pictures turn out using each of the features. After a few hundred pictures, you'll discover that you will know the correct camera settings for most photographic situations – like a pro - without thinking too much. Remember the camera is digital so there is no film to develop and no waiting for the prints. Moreover, of course, you can take as many pictures as you want without any additional cost.

Use the proper setting - Most point and shoot digital camera, in addition to the auto setting, will allow you some control over different situations, such as specify settings for portraits, close ups, distances, and sports. Use the auto setting less and set your camera to match the situation.

Shoot at maximum pixels - Set the camera to record images at the highest resolution. This way if you need to crop out a portion of a picture later on, you will have more pixel room to play with and still get a shape looking picture.

Move in for fill in the screen - Whenever possible move in closer to your subject instead of using the camera’s zoom. The zoom not only magnifies the image, it also magnifies any camera shake. Use the zoom only when it is not safe to get physically closer to your subject. In no event should you ever use the camera’s digital zoom. It is advisable to disable the digital zoom all together.

Don’t use the built-in flash - The flash set on top of a point and shoot digital camera will either be too strong or too weak to produce any acceptable pictures. If you are taking pictures in low light conditions, you will get better results by turning off the auto-flash and using a tripod or some other way to limit camera shake.

Keep your camera still – Blurry pictures due to camera shake are common with amateurs and professionals alike. Even if the camera has image stabilization (IS), try to brace yourself and the camera whenever you can, or if appropriate, use a tripod or monopod.

Use the built-in flash - The on-camera flash on a compact digital camera or point and shoot digital camera is useful - for outdoors – where there are dark shallows and brightly lit objects in the same shot. Many cameras are unable to expose properly for high contrast scene. By setting the auto-flash to go off with every shot, the flash will light up the dark shallows and make it easier for the camera process the brightly lit area of the scene.

The Rule of Thirds and composition - Be conscious of therule of thirds when taking pictures. When you look at the camera’s LCD, imagine the scene superimposed with a tic-tac-toe panel and place your subject in the area of the four points where the lines intersect. Don’t take all your pictures from the same angles – front and center. Try different angles such as from a bird’s eye view or ground up. Try to move in on your subject and fill the frame.

Take lots of pictures - There is no shame in taking 10 shots of the same subject and getting only 1 good picture out of the 10 – the 1 good picture is what you want. Don’t hesitate to take lost of pictures. Memory cards are cheap and you can’t wear out your camera by using it. Take pictures of the same scene from different angles, different heights, flash on, flash off – experiment.

How to take better pictures

Even with an automatic point and shoot digital camera that will do everything for you to help you take better photos, you still need to put a bit of thought behind the process of taking pictures to get good results every time. However, with just learning a little about your camera and taking lots and lots of pictures, you will be producing photos just like a pro’s.

How to Take Better Pictures


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