Geoff Whitehouse | Yossarian

The Advantages of Digitial Compact Cameras

Aug 8th 2010 at 4:55 PM

There has always been a significant portion of the photography market that just wants a camera that they can point and shoot with.  This market was sparked by the introduction of the Kodak Instamatic in the 1960s.  This camera went a long way to demystifying photography to the wider population and spawned a wide range of compact cameras, the legacy of which remains today.  I would dare to say that most of our early experiences with photography would have been with such a camera.

So to the digital age where there are a myriad of compact “point and shoot” cameras for the consumer.  These little beauties remain by far the most popular with the general public.  The advent of the digital camera has added a wide range of additional functionality without necessarily adding complexity making them ideal for informal and candid shots.


As with all digital cameras, there is no hassle for the operator about factors such as film age or type, film speed or how many shots are left on the spool.  There is no need to reload film or worrying about whether you lined up the film correctly on the sprockets.  There is no wasted cost associated with printing unwanted prints or photographic mistakes.  The digital camera, coupled with the right storage media takes care of that.   


Most notably though, it has been advances in zoom capability (both optical and digital), the addition of more advanced  macro features, increased picture resolution (as measured in megapixels), the introduction of video capability, larger liquid crystal displays (LCD) which act both as a viewfinder and a mechanism to review your shots, and simple to follow inter-connection with computers coupled with photograph editing software that has made the compact  digital camera a “must have” in any modern household.  .

Indeed the digital era has seen increasingly smaller and lighter compacts come on the market with until recently unthought-of picture resolution for this type of camera (10 megapixels picture resolution  is quickly becoming the minimum). My first digital camera (purchased in 1999) was a Canon Powershot A5 which had 0.7 megapixel picture resolution and set me back the best part of $800. Today, a similar product (for instance the Canon Powershot A3000 IS) comes with 10 megapixel picture resolution  and costs  in the vicinity of $150 – all power to the consumer.....


The early compact models had a couple of major disadvantages, having a considerable delay between when you pressed the shot button and when the camera actually took the picture and  had a considerable cycle between taking the shot and being available to take the next shot.  These factors made the digital compact not suitable for action shots and made getting the right shot somewhat frustrating.  Advances in technology have mitigated these weaknesses.

 The compact digital camera provides a number of advantages over its SLR cousin.  These advantages are worth considering in light of your intended use.  The most obvious advantage is its compact size which makes it easy to carry or to throw in a bag, making it available for most situations. In comparison, the SLR is significantly more bulky, often requiring a dedicated bag to carry it and all its accessories.  The compact camera’s lack of a reflex mirror makes it considerably quieter than the SLR.  This means that the compact camera is less intrusive at events such as weddings.  And of course, compact cameras are very price competitive, with entry-level cameras priced well below $100.

 The factors outlined in this article make the digital compact camera a serious consideration for your next camera purchase. 

Please to comment
Oct 7th 2010 at 4:33 AM by ecco1729
When I began photographing as a young man, it was black and white and with only 8 shots on a movie, it has become much easier nowadays with digital cameras - good article.
Sep 14th 2010 at 9:08 AM by HealthyGuy
Thanks for the article, very informative. Man, we sure have come a long way from the early days of photography. Keep em' coming To Your Great Success and Health Dr. Lee

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