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Point & Shoot Buyer Guide | ShopClues.com

Point & Shoot Buyer Guide

Love preserving precious moments, but don’t feel like carrying a large, heavy camera? Not a problem–just opt for a point & shoot. It’s small yet powerful and so simple to use that you’ll feel like a pro!


Point & Shoot Camera

Point & Shoot Mega Pixel Range


Mega pixel should never be the deciding factor when shopping for any camera, including a point & shoot. Why? Because higher mega pixels stuffed into a small image sensor can result in image noise. However, there’s no denying that it does play a crucial role in what makes a camera worthwhile as more mega pixels provide more room for cropping images without affecting image quality.

Point & Shoot Mega Pixel Range
  • 5.9 MP and under: Beginners on a budget will find 5.9 MP and under point & shoot cameras to be good stepping stones to moving higher up on the mega pixel range. In adequate light with optical zoom, you should be able to shoot decent images.
  • 6 – 10.9 MP: While this range may seem much lower, it still provides for good images as long as you shoot in adequate light.
  • 11 – 15.9 MP: A point & shoot with 11 – 15.9 MP delivers pretty impressive resolution images. It’s ideal if you’re beginning to venture into photography and want a pocketable camera in the mid-range.
  • 16 – 20.9 MP: 16 – 20.9 MP is at the higher spectrum of the mega pixel range. If you want the option of being able to blow up images without losing quality, choose a camera with a higher MP.
  • 21 MP and above: This range is great for more serious photographers who already own a larger camera but also want a compact device. A 21 MP and above point & shoot offers high resolution images that can be enlarged and cropped with little trouble.

Point & Shoot Optical Zoom


Optical zoom allows you to take images from a distance while still retaining image quality. It’s a true zoom lens unlike digital zoom that blows up an image much like you would when enlarging one on a photo editing program.

Point & Shoot Optical Zoom
  • 3.9x and under: A point & shoot camera that offers 3.9x magnification or below is still fine if you don’t plan to shoot very long distances.
  • 4x – 7.9x: A point & shoot with an optical zoom between 4x to 7.9x will allow you to magnify an image between 4x to 7.9x larger.
  • 8x – 11.9x: This range allows for image magnification between 8 times to 11.9 times.
  • 12x – 15.9x: With a 12-15.9x optical zoom, you get a magnification between 12 to 15.9 times.
  • 16x – 19.9x: This range is sufficient if you want good magnification at a lower cost than a camera with 20x or more zoom.
  • 20x and above: A 20x and above optical zoom lets you magnify 20 times and more. With this much magnification, you should be able to zoom into small details quite easily.

Different Display Sizes of Point & Shoot Cameras


A camera's display lets you frame images and review them. Larger displays let you see images more clearly but they should also have a high resolution otherwise sharpness will be lost.

Display Sizes of Point & Shoot Cameras

Must-have Features




Face recognition

Face recognition

This feature detects people’s faces and enhances focus and exposure on subjects. It’s especially useful when taking group photos.


Image Stabilisation

Image stabilisation

As lightweight and easy to use as point & shoot cameras are, shaky hands can ruin photographs. Image stabilisation compensates for it, which is why it’s important that your purchase has this feature.


Optical zoom

Optical zoom

Even if long-distance photography is not important to you, your camera should have optical zoom.



Focal length

Focal length

Check focal length, which indicates the field of view a camera can cover. A short focal length offers a wider angle view while a longer focal length offers higher magnification.


ISO

ISO

A high ISO indicates a more sensitive sensor and a faster shutter speed. This means good image quality in low-light conditions and in action shots.


HD video

HD video

Most point & shoot cameras have video recording but you might want to go for one that has HD recording.


Battery life

Battery life

Look for a camera that has a solid battery life if it uses rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. There are also cameras that use AA batteries.



Tips for Using Point & Shoot Cameras



  • Familiarise yourself with your point & shoot camera by reading the manual. As boring as it may seem, you’ll be surprised to discover things you didn’t know your purchase could do!
  • Tinker with the presets. Use them for what they’re meant for and even for what they’re not meant for. For instance, don’t limit the portrait preset only for taking portraits; you can use it to frame an interesting tree or rock on a landscape.
  • If you can’t avoid using flash but don’t like the washed-out result it can sometimes produce, diffuse it with tissue or cloth.
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