Point-and-shoot cameras get a bad rap, mainly based on initial offerings that were quickly made obsolete by cell phones that frankly took better photos. Not anymore! Today’s point-and-shoots are easy to use and, depending on the model you choose, are waterproof, compact (small enough to carry breast pocket for quick access),and capable of delivering far better photo quality than you can get with your phone. Many offer video capabilities, too. Here are four key features look for when shopping for a quality point-and-shoot.
With a near-DSLR-level image quality, you’ll be shocked at the quality of your shots. Sony
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, your gear has to be able to stand up to the elements—cold, heat, rain, snow, dust, and yes, the occasional drop, or (heaven forbid) a dunk in a lake if you’re paddling or fishing. Cell phones are not built for this kind of treatment, but many point-and-shoots are. When camera shopping, consider models than are dustproof, waterproof, resistant to weather extremes and tough enough to handle occasional bumps.
Shoot From Afar
This small device comes with a massive optical sensor, so you can shoot from far away. Panasonic
The image sensor is what allows you to zoom in on subjects without having your images get all grainy. (Take a photo with your phone then zoom in and you’ll see what I mean.) Many of today’s quality point-and-shoots feature one-inch image sensors (way larger than those found on your phone) to deliver crisp photos with amazing details.
Able to resist all kinds of adverse outdoor conditions, this is an adventurer’s best friend. Fujifilm
Most cell phones are designed with digital zoom—you take the photo and the camera “resizes” the photo digitally to enlarge it. Point-and-shoots use a true zoom, which delivers much better detail (without any loss of image quality). This makes them the perfect choice for shooting wildlife or your buds up to their necks in pow.
Adjustments are Easy
Unlike cell phones, many quality point-and-shoot cameras allow you to adjust variables such as ISO, shutter speed, focal length (zoom), and flash, with exterior adjustments that are ergonomic and easy to use. With a little practice you’ll be amazed at the photos you can take. And for those who just want to “point and shoot,” most models feature basic “automatic modes” that will adjust everything for you to take amazing close-ups, action shots, landscapes, and more.