With the advent of ever cheaper and more powerful smartphones and the willingness of the masses to experiment with DSLRs, it would be easy to think the point and shoot camera’s days are numbered. While they were what was considered the mainstream as far as choosing cameras went, these cameras have increasingly gotten relegated into something of a niche. Yet, there are reasons why it makes sense to own one. Let us examine reasons you might want it and reasons you may not.
The case for:
1. Size: These cameras have gotten smaller and smaller, without any compromise in shooting capabilities. In fact, these cameras take photos better than they used to and are powered by some amazing pieces of technology that makes shooting quality photographs with such a tiny piece of kit possible. The portability factor is higher than a DSLR, obviously.
2. Options: While this category of camera is defined by its small size, there are many offerings that have improved shooting capacities with larger lenses that they are almost like miniature DSLRs. Even for features, you’d be hard pressed to find an alternative variety that serves up this wide a range of offerings.
3. Ease of use: While DSLRs offer high quality output, the fact is there are many complicated options that are rather easy to mess up and have a resultant poor quality photograph. These cameras only require you to, as their name suggests, point and shoot.
4. Handy video abilities: On the other end of the spectrum, compact cameras compete with smartphones which are easy to take videos with at high resolution with hardly any effort. While they may not be as good as dedicated video cameras, they double up much better than smartphones for video capture and offer better quality at the same resolution due to having a much larger lens
The case against :
1. Limited possibility for modification: As compared to DSLRs, point and shoots offer little scope for adding new lenses or attaching better choices for flash as opposed to the poor one already available on the camera. As it is, only those cameras that are more expensive than the cheapest DSLRs offer quality lenses and at that point, it defeats the entire point of buying such a camera.
2. Inaccurate Viewfinders: If you decide to take the effort to stick your eye through the viewfinder, you’d realize that these are inaccurate considering that the light generally doesn’t travel through the lens to get to it.
3. Size related issues: It is really easy with small cameras to end up with your finger in front of the lens and using the flash usually results in very bad photos. These are structural in nature and there is no way to remedy them other than to be careful and to avoid using flash as much as possible.
4. Limited scope for creativity: While smartphones have lots of software/apps to instantly filter your photos into whatever way you want them to look, DSLRs provide immense imaging power and possibility in the user’s hands due to the sophistication of their hardware. Point and shoot cameras trump neither category on this front.