In Pursuit of Perfect Pictures
Consider what you'll be shooting (for instance, family vs. sports), the purpose of the pictures (website postings vs. printed photographs), and so on. Then ask yourself, what fits your lifestyle and how creative do you want to be? Can I carry a larger camera with lenses around or do I need to keep it simple? Do I want or need to override the camera’s exposure settings?
Point and Shoot: Versatile, Easy to Use, Fits in Your Pocket
If sheer ease of use is what you're seeking, then point-and-shoot cameras are models of simplicity. Point and shoots are ideal for the absolute beginner, or for the amateur who wants to take casual party pictures. A good point-and-shoot camera will offer a decent zoom for close-ups and have similar capabilities to an interchangeable lens camera— like manual override of a few settings that affect the image quality. But if you're looking to take quick, quality pictures, these cameras will be just fine.
Yet point and shoot cameras can also appeal to experts as well—those who like to capture "the decisive moment." Because it's an agile, easily portable camera, with no need for elaborate technical adjustments or additional equipment, even world-class photographers keep a point-and-shoot camera handy for when they require a "lean and mean" approach to photo-taking.
Point and Shoot: Dual LCD Screens
The innovative DualView Camera is designed for self portraits and couple shots. It gets you out from behind the camera and into the picture. This camera has two screens that help you frame up shots—a 1.5" front LCD screen for self portraits and a rear LCD touch screen with easy access your photo library.
In addition to having two screens, the DualView ST600 has a 27mm wide angle lens. The 5x optical zoom gives you a wider shooting range from a shorter distance so you get more of your subject in the image and have greater flexibility than most cameras with a built-in zoom.
Point and Shoot: Wireless
The SH100 with its jumbo 14.2 megapixel sensor is Wi-Fi capability, allowing you to email and post pictures directly from Wi-Fi hotspots. Upload directly onto Facebook, Picasa or YouTube at the touch of a button and share your moments with friends and family almost instantly. Have easy access to your smartphone too using the SH100’s Remote Viewfinder functionality, enabling remote previews and control of zoom, flash, resolution and more.
Point and Shoot: Long Zoom
Long optical zoom cameras allow you to focus in on your target with precision and maximum pixels. With a shorter zoom, you are forced to crop later, which is time-consuming and crops precious pixels out of the image.
The NX System is designed to be like a traditional DSLR i.e. allowing interchangeable lenses, but is engineered to be compact through the elimination of a traditional optical viewfinder and mirror box.
A quality lens should let you shoot at larger apertures to allow more light in needed to freeze a scene while providing little distortion. Do you tend to shoot in low light or need edge to edge sharpness, then look at a lens with a large aperture (FStop) such as the 30mm NX Pancake Lens. Lenses such as these that also use an aspherical element in its optical design, improve sharpness and keep distortion at a minimum.
Shooting sports outdoors and need to be close? A telephoto zoom lens such as The T50200IB 50 - 200mm gives the versatility to pull back for images such as portraits, but zoom into the field to capture the action. This lens also incorporates ED glass in its optical design minimising colour distortion typical in telephoto lenses.
In addition, shooting modes that permit the manual choice of shutter speeds (Shutter Priority AE) or aperture (Aperture Priority AE) unleash your creativity by allowing you to choose how movement is captured and the range of focus within your scene. Just like a Point and Shoot however, you can also shoot in Auto for ease of use.
Memory and Sharing
When shopping for cameras, make sure that your camera uses a standard memory size such as SD or MicroSD (like SD, but smaller). Some cameras use proprietary memory card formats, which will be harder to find and more costly to purchase. There are multiple ways to clear memory and transport photos: move the SD card from the camera to a computer or printer; use cables to connect the camera to the computer directly; or ideally, use Wi-Fi to send images to your computer or email directly to friends and family.