Point and Shoot

First off, a comment from one of today's big news stories...

Match.com to start screening members for sexual offenses...hmmm, so they weren't doing this already? One more reason to remain with that time-honored, traditional method of meeting people - drinking waaaay too much at happy hour, spending the next day lamenting your poor choices in life and love, recognizing how your Mom was right and you should've never quit med school to go backpacking in Singapore and how, honestly, police officers should have better senses of humor (it was only ONE goat after all) but...I digress.

Point and shoot cameras. Everybody has one, and, regardless of model or brand, most of them are terrible. Raise your hand if you own one of these. Ok, ok, not YOUR camera. I'm speaking of those multi-colored, $100, el cheapo versions mostly. (Half of you can slink quietly out the back.) But, honestly it is really tough to find a point and shoot that will take great photos (ok, good photos) and still fit in your pocket and not cost a zillion dollars. 

I am on a quest for the greatest, most portable, affordable point and shoot on the planet.

It's a tough task, but someone had to undertake it. Also, I kind of already have a few in mind. And I'm sharing them here with you so you can benefit from the ardous, back-breaking labor I did to get to this point today. 

My criteria for this elusive point and shoot consisted of three points. 

1. It needs to be portable. And by portable I mean extremely small and slim. I want to be able to throw it in a jeans or shorts pocket and not look like I have a chipotle burrito stuffed in there. (Ok, that sounded really weird. And it would actually be great to have a burrito in your pocket for a handy snack.)

2. It needs to take nice pictures. This rules out about 90% of the cheaper cameras out there. Most of the cheap point and shoots use the same sensor - the small chip that captures the image - and it's not very good. This sensor is the most important thing in the picture making process. (Aside from the user of course.) The larger the chip, the better looking the picture. That's an extremely simplified comparison, but for the purposes of this discussion we'll go with it. 

3. It needs to be affordable. That being said, you get what you pay for. So I'm willing to spend a few bucks to get a decent camera. 

1. Canon S95 - This one is a given. The cream of the digital crop, so to speak. It's small, it's fast and it's EXPENSIVE. Most things that are small and fast are. The sensor on this camera is the same as Canon's highest-end portable camera, the G12. And it's in a much, MUCH, smaller body. Controls are manual and it shoots RAW. No need to go too in depth. It's the Cadillac of point and shoots. Awesome camera...awesomely high price too. Ringing the register at $440. Ouch. 

2. Canon Powershot SX230HS - Recommended by another shooter for it's ability to take great photos and video. (All of the three cameras here shoot video by the way.) Less expensive than the S95, built in GPS, huge LCD screen, loads of built in shooting modes and a partridge and a pear tree. But a bit on the high end of price for not going all the way to S95 territory for me. Once I hit the $350 price point that this camera is ringing in at, I'm liable to just save a bit more for the S95. And I'm not sure I want to go that route just yet. 

3. Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS - Less expensive camera than the S95 and SX230HS but still a lot of nice features. No RAW shooting, but it IS a point and shoot so this is probably not the biggest deal. I spend enough time messing with large RAW files to have to do it for snapshots. But...I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to photography so I do kind of like the option of shooting RAW. However, this is THE slimmest camera on the market. I mean, this thing is tiny. Which is what I really want. The S95 is very slim, but this thing is the Kate Moss of cameras. (Slender I mean. Not drugged out on coke and dating weird British rockers.) It also has exposure compensation and slow shutter syncro flash. Which means I can get just enough control to amp up my casual snaps. No full manual control on this one like the S95 and no super-large sensor. But the price is nice at about $280. 

So there's my brief rundown. Which way will he go? Only time, and an upcoming blog post, will tell. 




Deb Wallevand
When does "The Goat Story" make it into the blog?
becky (not verified)
Yeah, what Deb said.
It may be hard depending on what your standards are, but in my introductory photography course, our professor gave us an assignment to shoot on auto (no fancy DSLRs in the class, I might add) to make us think about restrictions, thinking outside the box, etc. So taking good pictures with a point and shoot can be done!

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