Point and shoots - how do they work and what to buy?

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#1
This may be a silly question. Yesterday I went to the horse show at Olympia - first time ever (it was great, by the way) so although I didn't go to take photos I fancied a few of the various displays and competitions just as a record. I wasn't going to take the dSLR, obviously, and I'm the world's worst at taking photos with a phone (and I don't think the camera on my phone is that great) so I took my years old Panasonic Lumix DMCLZ5. It's fully auto and basically I have no idea how it works. I put it on 'sports' mode which I thought would prioritise the highest possible shutter speed. I tried a couple of shots, got nothing but 'artistic blur', put it away and and just enjoyed watching. Today when I looked at the exif it's used 1/15s and 200iso, and I can't understand why. Having read the manual, several times, it seems it only goes to 400iso - beyond that you have to use another mode I didn't know about and it precludes zooming, so that would have been no good anyway - but why did it not at least use 400iso? There's nothing in the manual that gives the nitty gritty for each mode. It is an old camera. I bought it back when I wanted a lighter alternative to the 35mm SLR I had then for dragging up mountains. It doesn't even have a rechargable battery as back then I was camping and didn't have leccy. It eats AA batteries so there may be something wrong with it.
So another question. If I want to use it again it's not going to be for landscape. My mountain climbing days are over and now when I go walking I wouldn't dream of leaving the dSLR behind. So the only time I'd use a p and s is for situations like yesterday. If I was to replace the Panny, what with? The requirements are -
1 Smaller than a dSLR
2 Decent iso and enough control so I actually understand what it's doing
3 A proper sports mode that really does give me a chance of capturing something moving
4 Some zoom
5 I don't want to spend a lot of money on something that might get used once or twice a year. I'm having enough of a debate with myself over getting something better than my 550D for wildlife................
 
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#2
This may be a silly question. Yesterday I went to the horse show at Olympia - first time ever (it was great, by the way) so although I didn't go to take photos I fancied a few of the various displays and competitions just as a record. I wasn't going to take the dSLR, obviously, and I'm the world's worst at taking photos with a phone (and I don't think the camera on my phone is that great) so I took my years old Panasonic Lumix DMCLZ5. It's fully auto and basically I have no idea how it works. I put it on 'sports' mode which I thought would prioritise the highest possible shutter speed. I tried a couple of shots, got nothing but 'artistic blur', put it away and and just enjoyed watching. Today when I looked at the exif it's used 1/15s and 200iso, and I can't understand why. Having read the manual, several times, it seems it only goes to 400iso - beyond that you have to use another mode I didn't know about and it precludes zooming, so that would have been no good anyway - but why did it not at least use 400iso? There's nothing in the manual that gives the nitty gritty for each mode. It is an old camera. I bought it back when I wanted a lighter alternative to the 35mm SLR I had then for dragging up mountains. It doesn't even have a rechargable battery as back then I was camping and didn't have leccy. It eats AA batteries so there may be something wrong with it.
So another question. If I want to use it again it's not going to be for landscape. My mountain climbing days are over and now when I go walking I wouldn't dream of leaving the dSLR behind. So the only time I'd use a p and s is for situations like yesterday. If I was to replace the Panny, what with? The requirements are -
1 Smaller than a dSLR
2 Decent iso and enough control so I actually understand what it's doing
3 A proper sports mode that really does give me a chance of capturing something moving
4 Some zoom
5 I don't want to spend a lot of money on something that might get used once or twice a year. I'm having enough of a debate with myself over getting something better than my 550D for wildlife................

Point and shoots are normally Compact cameras, that are fully automatic. That is why they are called, " point and shoots". They don't have PASM modes.
 
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sirch

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#3
Google tells me the DMCLZ5 is a bit dated now so anything more up-to-date will probably be a bit better. That said, for on the hoof (see what I did there :) ) snaps you be better off getting a better phone, the software in modern phone cameras is pretty good and gives good low light images because the kiddies like to take decent photos in the terrible light of night clubs and the like.

The other thing to consider is something like an Olympus EM10, pretty small and light with a pancake lens but with full controls.
 
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#4
Ref: your #3 must have........................I cannot speak for all P&S but IMO "sport" is likely as useful as chocolate teapot.....why? well one thing to check in the spec is "Shutter lag" i.e. the time taken from pressing the button to the shutter firing ;)

FWIW I have a Canon S120, it has Av, TV, Prog, Auto, M and video (plus some settings like Sports Mode that I have never used). Had it few years and in the general criteria you mention it has been great. But I would hesitate to to rely on it for anything where speed of capture is primary.
 

Nod

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#7
Then yours is NOT a point and shoot. ;)


I have one of these under the bed, it is fully automatic, no PASM modes. So this is a point and shoot. ;)





I also have a Canon G7X, it is NOT a point and shoot. It is a compact camera, with PASM nodes. :)

What does the AV in the top left corner mean? I'm not a Canon user but I thought it was their way of expressing Aperture mode - Aperture Value.
 
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#11
I'd see all compact cameras as 'point and shoots' and they will all have a P&S mode, however some will offer more than that too. If it *must* be a compact camera then I'd suggest a more recent panasonic compact like a TZ70.
 
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#12
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#13
I've had a few compacts and a couple of higher end Panasonic LXx cameras and these Panasonics were good because you could use them like a point and shoot but they also allowed full manual control of everything and one thing I used to do was set them up in manual everything mode and zone focus and used like that you could capture action shots.

These days I have a 1" sensor Panasonic TZ100 which can be used the same way but has better image quality and for whole pictures viewed normally even the highest ISO it'll go to is IMO useable.

I don't use it a lot, I tend to take it out when I don't think I'll be taking many if any pictures and also when a larger camera will perhaps attract attention, I don't like taking pictures with phones, I'd rather use a camera so I like to have a compact.

PS.
I have one of those lovely blue Canons.
 
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#14
Panasonic Lumix DMCLZ5 is at least 12 years old and has a tiny 1/2.5in sensor that is pretty much as small as they come - under 6mm wide, similar to a modern smartphone. A full frame DSLR sensor has 35x the image area, APS-C typically 15x, 1in around 7x - they just collect way more light. A tiny sensor, of that vintage, with a modest f/2.8-4.5 lens, is always going to disappoint in low light without flash.

Technology has come a long way in 12 years but even now, despite the amazing image quality (all things considered) from smartphones these days, low light performance is still a major weakness - though it's being worked on intensively using 'computational' technology with alarming success. For now though, and for my money, the most versatile compact would probably include a 1in sensor, then a fair bit of choice/compromise around size and weight, zoom range, price etc, eg Sony, Panasonic, Canon.
 
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#15
PS.
I have one of those lovely blue Canons.

I got that little Canon for the missus, over ten years ago. I think I got it from Jessops, and it cost about £180, just can't remember exactly. Nowt much you can do with it, can't choose aperture, can't set shutter speed, can't pick a specific focus point. All you can do, is point it and shoot it ( cross fingers and hope for the best).

PS

Having said all of the above, the image it produces, are rather good.

PPS

Missus outgrew it, and no longer uses a point and shoot. She now uses a compact camera, with PASM modes.:)
 
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#16

I got that little Canon for the missus, over ten years ago. I think I got it from Jessops, and it cost about £180, just can't remember exactly. Nowt much you can do with it, can't choose aperture, can't set shutter speed, can't pick a specific focus point. All you can do, is point it and shoot it ( cross fingers and hope for the best).

PS

Having said all of the above, the image it produces, are rather good.

PPS

Missus outgrew it, and no longer uses a point and shoot. She now uses a compact camera, with PASM modes.:)
Surprised you cannot select semi-auto or manual modes. I've had a few compact cameras over the years, both cheap ones and nicer ones and all of them have allowed some manual input, even if not that obvious how to do so, including an IXUS model although not that one I admit.

ETA, just checked Canon IXUS 82 manual to check I wasn't going mad. It tells you in there how to select manual mode.

http://files.canon-europe.com/files/soft31042/Manual/IXUS-80IS_82IS_EN.pdf

My experience of cameras like this though is that they don't exactly encourage or expect manual overriding which places them firmly in the P&S camp.
 
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#17
Surprised you cannot select semi-auto or manual modes. I've had a few compact cameras over the years, both cheap ones and nicer ones and all of them have allowed some manual input, even if not that obvious how to do so, including an IXUS model although not that one I admit.
Yes you are right, it can be changed from auto to Manual. But all that allows you to do is, alter the ISO and exposure comp. NO Access to the Aperture, Shutter Speed, Focus Point.
 
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#18

I got that little Canon for the missus, over ten years ago. I think I got it from Jessops, and it cost about £180, just can't remember exactly. Nowt much you can do with it, can't choose aperture, can't set shutter speed, can't pick a specific focus point. All you can do, is point it and shoot it ( cross fingers and hope for the best).

PS

Having said all of the above, the image it produces, are rather good.

PPS

Missus outgrew it, and no longer uses a point and shoot. She now uses a compact camera, with PASM modes.:)
As far as I remember that camera was unique to Jessops. I think the only difference between it and other almost identical cameras with a slightly different model number was the colour of the body, with that one AFAIK being sold only through Jessops. I have the matching blue case too.

I have an even more basic Medion compact. These cameras have a lot of charm, IMHO :D

 
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#19
As far as I remember that camera was unique to Jessops. I think the only difference between it and other almost identical cameras with a slightly different model number was the colour of the body, with that one AFAIK being sold only through Jessops. I have the matching blue case too.

I have an even more basic Medion compact. These cameras have a lot of charm, IMHO :D
A digital version of a Lomo film camera???
 
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#20
The Medion could be, yes.

PS.
It's main problem is that the colours are way off and really I have to open them as raws and fiddle, A couple of examples.





I really like simple cameras but for the op I'd still recommend something with manual controls so that it can be set to zone focus or infinity as used like that you can take pictures of just about anything even if it's moving quickly, you just point and shoot and the camera will take pictures as fast as you can press the button.
 
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#22
As far as I remember that camera was unique to Jessops. I think the only difference between it and other almost identical cameras with a slightly different model number was the colour of the body, with that one AFAIK being sold only through Jessops…..


Something I have noticed with this little Canon, the model says ixus 82 on the body, but the exif in the images it takes, says ixus 80. No idea why it does that.
 
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#24
This may be a silly question. Yesterday I went to the horse show at Olympia - first time ever (it was great, by the way) so although I didn't go to take photos I fancied a few of the various displays and competitions just as a record. I wasn't going to take the dSLR, obviously, and I'm the world's worst at taking photos with a phone (and I don't think the camera on my phone is that great) so I took my years old Panasonic Lumix DMCLZ5. It's fully auto and basically I have no idea how it works. I put it on 'sports' mode which I thought would prioritise the highest possible shutter speed. I tried a couple of shots, got nothing but 'artistic blur', put it away and and just enjoyed watching. Today when I looked at the exif it's used 1/15s and 200iso, and I can't understand why. Having read the manual, several times, it seems it only goes to 400iso - beyond that you have to use another mode I didn't know about and it precludes zooming, so that would have been no good anyway - but why did it not at least use 400iso? There's nothing in the manual that gives the nitty gritty for each mode. It is an old camera. I bought it back when I wanted a lighter alternative to the 35mm SLR I had then for dragging up mountains. It doesn't even have a rechargable battery as back then I was camping and didn't have leccy. It eats AA batteries so there may be something wrong with it.
So another question. If I want to use it again it's not going to be for landscape. My mountain climbing days are over and now when I go walking I wouldn't dream of leaving the dSLR behind. So the only time I'd use a p and s is for situations like yesterday. If I was to replace the Panny, what with? The requirements are -
1 Smaller than a dSLR
2 Decent iso and enough control so I actually understand what it's doing
3 A proper sports mode that really does give me a chance of capturing something moving
4 Some zoom
5 I don't want to spend a lot of money on something that might get used once or twice a year. I'm having enough of a debate with myself over getting something better than my 550D for wildlife................
Why not get something like a Canon S120, pretty sought after in its day. They were the choice of vloggers years ago. You can pick them up on auction sites, for about £120 with extra batteries.


Something like this >>> https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Canon-Po...h=item44316972a3:g:A0AAAOSwwkRcH6z9:rk:2:pf:0

Back in the day, just the three batteries alone, would have cost more than £120
 
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#25
Thanks guys. Plenty to think on there. Yes the one I have now is a very old camera, however having been brought up on SLRs and lacking the data in the manual I had never grasped its limitations, and it was rather a late decision to take a camera at all so I could only go with what I had. I'm sure a 1 in sensor would be far better, however stunning IQ isn't a priority and a compact with a 1 in sensor would buy me most of that 800D I've been resisting. The TZ70 looks like a contender. Having a quick read of the manual it has decent iso and a degree of manual override, but I'll research a bit deeper first with the info you've all given me.
I think I should have used 'compact', not 'point and shoot' in the title. With apologies to people who know about these things, to me, brought up on SLRs, they're one and the same. Oops......................;)
On the up side my partner, who is not particularly horsey, said he enjoyed Olympia so much I have to take him again next year.....................:)
 
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#26
Thanks guys. Plenty to think on there. Yes the one I have now is a very old camera, however having been brought up on SLRs and lacking the data in the manual I had never grasped its limitations, and it was rather a late decision to take a camera at all so I could only go with what I had. I'm sure a 1 in sensor would be far better, however stunning IQ isn't a priority and a compact with a 1 in sensor would buy me most of that 800D I've been resisting. The TZ70 looks like a contender. Having a quick read of the manual it has decent iso and a degree of manual override, but I'll research a bit deeper first with the info you've all given me.
I think I should have used 'compact', not 'point and shoot' in the title. With apologies to people who know about these things, to me, brought up on SLRs, they're one and the same. Oops......................;)
On the up side my partner, who is not particularly horsey, said he enjoyed Olympia so much I have to take him again next year.....................:)
That's just me being a pain, in the backside. ;)
 
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Jannyfox
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#28
The TZ70 does have a massive 30X zoom, but it only has a tiny 1/2.3 sensor. So image quality might not be very good.
As I said I'm not looking for dSLR standard IQ. Record shots are all I want of it. They're hardly going to go on the wall. Now I have better knowledge of this type of camera (thanks again guys) I'm not rushing into buying anything (can't afford anything right at this moment, least of all a 1 in sensor compact............)
 
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#29
As I said I'm not looking for dSLR standard IQ. Record shots are all I want of it. They're hardly going to go on the wall. Now I have better knowledge of this type of camera (thanks again guys) I'm not rushing into buying anything (can't afford anything right at this moment, least of all a 1 in sensor compact............)
You can get a cheap and cheerful compact, from places like cash converters / generators, for about £20 or less. I have seen some half decent ones, in such places.
 
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#30
You can get a cheap and cheerful compact, from places like cash converters / generators, for about £20 or less. I have seen some half decent ones, in such places.
It'd cost me a lot more running round the rather distant 'local' stores to see what they had. In any case I'm not into buying second hand (unless it's a vehicle........) - just my personal choice.
 
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#31
At Mums today she gave me her little point and shoot, I used it many years ago at the local airshow and it takes great images and goes in my pocket beautifully. An old ish Sony Cybershot DSC-T7, a proper point and shoot with great IQ :)
 
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