I remember my first digital camera as if it was yesterday, a Nikon Coolpix 775, 2.1 glorious megapixels that was going to forever change my life. At the time in fall of 2001, this camera cost well over $300, nearly what I paid for my used Canon EOS A2 film camera a year earlier! It was a great camera but fell short in so many places where my film SLR was clearly better, like
- Horrible low light performance
- Digital noise across the board was terrible
- Shutter lag
- Focus speed
- Frames per second, make that frame per second
- Wide angle and telephoto options, well they weren’t options!
What it did do was revolutionize how I shot, because I could now photograph anything, anywhere without the cost of film. Even with the limitations it greatly expanded my photography abilities.
10 years later point and shoots are nearly disposable, the cost has decreased while the performance has increased beyond most’s wildest dreams. Sadly, these wonderful devices still take a back seat to the more flexible and SLR digital cameras of today. That doesn’t mean that they can’t and don’t take amazing photographs though!
Great shots do take a little more planning simply because there are still some limitations from point and shoots. The stunning, spooky fog was captured on a Canon G12, most likely with the help of a tripod.
Studio portraits, sure why not? Three flashes and a Canon G11 make this photograph possible.
As evident in this photo, freezing action shots are no longer impossible with point and shoot cameras!
Wonderful landscapes and HDR, produced by a Panasonic point and shoot.
One place that point and shoots have always shined was with macro. I’m not sure why, but the focal distance has always been really close and for a fraction of the cost of a macro lens, shots like this can be captured. Done with a Canon Powershot SD750 the sharpness rivals that of the best macro lenses on DSLRs today.
Hopefully this collection of photos showing the wide range of shots will inspire you to utilize your point and shoot more. For me, I’ve upgraded from the 775 several times over the year and on any given day you’re more likely to catch me with a point and shoot than my DSLR. The pocket-ability, ease of use and quality are the main reasons I shoot with it. The other thing I’ve noticed is that doing street photography with a point and shoot seems to be so much easier. Strangers are less likely to look at you as anything other than a tourist instead of trying to discretely use that long lens on a DSLR body. I’ve also started to use my point and shoot (Canon G10) in the studio, the manual control and hot shoe allow me to do everything my DSLR can do, the focal length is perfect and the images are always crisp. Best of all, I never have to worry about sensor dust!