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COMPACTS
Palm-sized and as easy to use as to carry around,
compact point-and-shoot cameras did more than
take photography to the masses—they took
photography into every corner of modern life. From
the most private and prosaic tasks, such as brushing
your teeth or cooking last night’s meal, to the most
important occasions, from births to weddings,
anything and everything was caught on camera.
Point and shoot cameras
Compact point-and-shoot cameras are so
ubiquitous and widely used that it is easy to take
them for granted. With more computing power and
high-grade optics in each camera than took man to
the moon, they are capable of amazingly good
results in a wide range of conditions. And no longer
are the color choices black or silver: many models
offer body colors ranging from pink to purple
through yellows and blues.
Ensure the camera is not too small: you should be
able to use the controls while holding it.
Compacts are high-precision optical instruments:
they will not survive for long in the bottom of a
handbag, and will need to be looked after.
Enthusiast or advanced compacts
When images from camera phones can make it on
to newspaper front pages and be seen all around
the world, keen photographers should not dismiss
simple point-and-shoot cameras too quickly. But if
BUYING GUIDE
The shutter
release is always
sited for the
right forefinger.
A high-quality
8x zoom makes
for a versatile
camera.
Always ensure that the flash
can be turned off if required.
Autofocus
compact
These small cameras
offer a winning
combination of
high performance
in a stylish and
compact design.
Entry-level compacts
Basic cameras are very easy to use
and can produce very good
results despite their low cost.
Although perfect as a back-up
camera, they may not be ideal for
a beginner as their basic controls
limit experimentation.
Rugged camera
A compact camera can be made very
rugged by the addition of rubber
bumpers all around, sealing against
dust and water to allow underwater
operation, and with oversized
controls to allow for use with gloves
in cold weather conditions.
Stylish compact
Sleek and beautifully made and
finished, todays compact cameras
can be very stylish yet still give
excellent results. Extensive use of
touch-screen controls eliminates
virtually all buttons, and compact
dimensions make for easy portability.

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