Point and shoot cameras are easily the most popular and widely used since they provide the ability to take often high-quality and high-resolution digital photographs without having to worry about shutter speeds, aperture settings or focusing. Quite simply, you just point the camera at a subject and it captures whatever the photographer sees on the viewing screen.
Most of the point and shoot cameras on the market today feature automatic settings to accommodate most average lighting situations, and a number are equipped with stabilization technology that reduce the shake and jitter associated with handling smaller cameras – especially those that offer limited zoom capabilities.
Point and shoots are the most affordable, sometimes in the sub-$100 range. Their small size is also an important benefit, since some models are compact enough to easily slip into a pocket. This makes them an ideal starter camera or backup to a larger, more flexible, and significantly more expensive DSLR.
Given their limited flexibility and all-automatic nature, point and shoots may not be the best choice if you predominantly shoot in low-light situations. However, these cameras are great for beginners to learn the basics of digital photography, and are perfect for experienced shooters who like to pack a camera at all times to not miss that perfect picture. Most can also take some pretty decent video, which adds to the attractiveness of those low-cost alternatives.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that a higher megapixel count means higher quality photos, either. It’s more important to find the combination of convenience features that meet your needs, like face detection or creative art filter modes, along with the style and form factor satisfy your taste and budget.