In response to a growing market for people wanting better cameras at a lower cost, the camera industry began producing a new line-up of cameras we're calling "advanced point-and-shoot." These cameras typically do not have removable lenses, and are not SLRs in the definition of the term (there is no reflex mirror,) however they include many of the benefits of an SLR including better zoom, higher quality glass lenses, and usually more control over the exposure. These cameras are great for amateur photographers, or people who are serious about photography but know little about the components of exposure. Here are some features of these camera types:
- Camera uses many automatic functions to make it easy to use for even the most basic user
- Even though it has basic automatic features, controls remain highly customizable and include advanced features
- Lenses are generally higher quality than regular point-and-shoots and have better zoom capabilities
- These cameras have video capabilities which most SLRs do not have
- Drawbacks include long delays and lag time when taking pictures
- Zoom it still not as good as being able to switch lenses like an SLR
Again, with this level of camera, there are many options to choose from – even more so than in the SLR category – however from the models we have tested, we believe the two best brands out there in terms of quality and ease of use are Canon and Nikon.
|Models and approximate prices (as of March 2009)|
|PowerShot SX1 ~ $600PowerShot G10 ~ $450PowerShot SX10 ~ $400||CoolPix P6000 ~ $600CoolPix P90 ~ $400CoolPix P80 ~ $350|
If you do not intend to go with Canon or Nikon, we recommend going with brands that have historically produced cameras, like Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Leica. We also recommend Panasonic and Sony, which have traditionally built video cameras and are standards in the broadcast industry. We suggest avoiding Casio, Fujifilm, Kodak and other camera brands that have not traditionally built cameras before.