Unless you have been living under a rock, you already know DSLR cameras have become really affordable lately. This is a good thing, or is it? Well, I don’t want to sound like a guy who is always whining, but this price drop phenomenon did create a bunch of confusion for me. Not only me, but I’ve also seen many of my friends get confused as well. So, yeah! This is not an isolated case.
Well, what’s all the fuss is about you ask?
It has to do with choices and features. Although DSLR does produce a better quality image, compact cameras are no slouch either. Moreover, they have a bunch of features that are only exclusive to compact cameras.
I was hoping to clear out the wind a little bit. So, I wore my tinfoil hat and started compiling a list. And this post is the result of that. Without any further ado, let’s see the 10 reasons you should buy a compact camera in 2021.
1. Great Image Quality
In earlier days, there were mainly two types of cameras. The king of all cameras DSLRs and of course the cheap and small point and shoot cameras. Back then, DSLRs were only geared towards professionals as they were better in every aspect of photography.
Image quality, preprocessing, shooting speed, optical zoom you name it. DSLRs were far superior. Compact cameras were considering the tools for pheasants (no offense btw). As they produced potato quality images, they were tagged as “cheap” cameras.
The main reason behind this dominance of DSLR over point and shoot camera was space. High quality electric components needed a lot more space back then. And naturally, compact cameras being smaller in size were always deprived of that.
But those days are far gone now. Compact cameras now can take great quality images too. With the boom in microtechnology, the tables have turned now. In this era of digital processing, compact cameras can produce way better quality images than before. Sometimes, even better than DSLRs (no, that was not a typo or over exaggeration).
Compact cameras now have bigger sensors, lot more raw processing power, and of course optical zoom. Some of the top-quality compact cameras even allow in-camera editing. So, yeah! DSLR dominance is now over. Compact cameras are still relevant and they will always be.
2. Size and Weight Play a Crucial Part
If you have ever owned a DSLR you’d know. I have had so many frustrating occurrences where I wanted to take my camera with me but could not because it needed a truck to be carried (this is as annoying as it gets).
I don’t know about you, but I love having the option to slip a powerful camera inside my pocket when I’m about to go to a party. New technologies allowed point and shoot cameras to be much slimmer, lighter, and smaller in size. Heck! Some of them are as compact as an iPhone.
Also, you don’t even notice that you are carrying something out. A compact camera in my humble opinion is the best buddy for any traveler (more on this later).
Moreover, you can take waterproof compact cameras with your scuba diving adventures as well. Before this was literally not possible. But compact cameras did change this scenario for me.
Now, I am always ready to shoot. The size and weight aspect of a point and shoot camera should remove every confusion you ever had before buying a camera.
3. Price is Within Grasp
We all know how DSLR cameras can cost you an arm and a leg. Sure, they provide great images and are packed with a bunch of features. But are they worth the price tag? (I know some of them are. I don’t mean to disrespect the power of DSLR). More importantly, compact cameras can also take decent quality pictures.
While DLSR cameras can cost you upwards of $10000 (with all the extra gears and stuff), a point and shoot digital camera would cost you somewhere around $500 - $1000. I’m sure most of would agree that spending 10 grands on a camera is not worth it unless your job requires it. For casual users, it is just not reasonable to spend that kind of money.
From my own point of view, I consider myself a photography geek. I’ve owned both types of cameras from the very beginning. I personally don’t think the price gap is justified as compact cameras have become so good lately.
And to be 100% honest with you guys, I’ve kind of stopped using DSLRs. Unless it’s an absolute necessity, I don’t bring them with me as much.
Why? You ask. I don’t think the price to performance ratio is compelling enough for me to switch back to a DSLR again.
Well, if you do the math, like me you’d also realize the same thing.
4. Ease of use and Convenience Are Concerns
Ease of use was another big push for me towards the compact camera worlds. I always hated the fact I needed to spend 5 to 10 minutes just to prepare my camera. I always felt like a camera should always be ready to take photos regardless of preparation.
This was not possible with DSLRs. You need to set up your tripod, fix/ choose the lens and so many little things just to get ready.
Compact cameras, on the other hand, are always ready to take pictures. There’s no fiddling around. They are known as point and shoot camera for a reason. You just point at the object you want to take a picture of and you take the picture. Nothing more than that.
They are also very newbie friendly as they are very easy to use. You don’t need to know a lot of things to be able to take decent quality pictures with compact cameras. The camera takes care of everything for you. But if you are more of a manual control lover, they offer that as well. Most compact cameras these days come with both auto and manual control.
Also, the menu settings and other controls of most compact cameras are very easy to get used to. As I mentioned earlier, ease of use is probably the strongest point of any compact camera.
5. Ability to Take More Pictures
I firmly believe photography is a “Numbers Game”. It does not matter how good of a photographer you are. In general, the more photos you take, the better the chances of ending up with something that you can always cherish (it’s just simple math really).
As DSLRs are heavier and bulkier, lazy people like me always fail to carry one with them. Moreover, they are also very inconvenient for taking quick snaps. As a result, more often than not, we miss the opportunity of taking a killer photo.
As a traveler, I’m always on the move. I am always on the hunt for taking pictures. Life gives us photographers so many opportunities to great pictures. I just have to grab them. I’ve been to places where carrying something big and bulky is not practical at all.
That’s where compact cameras come in. As you can always carry one with you, you are always ready to take more than a handful of photos at a time. Not only it is easier to carry a compact camera, but also the fact that it’s super easy to take photos with just a press on the shutter button makes it even more appealing.
For my traveling and quick snapping sessions, I’d choose my compact camera over anything else without any hesitations.
6. Features that Come with Compact Cameras
I hope by now we all know how featured packed compact cameras are. Sure, some of them are gimmicks. But there are some features that I simply cannot live without. Features that DSLR cameras don’t provide.
Most compact cameras these days comes with features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, remote connectivity, in-camera processing, Automatic settings, waterproofing, and so on. Perhaps the most useful feature for me was Wi-Fi connectivity.
Through this, I was easily able to transfer photos from my camera to my smartphone or PC with ease. I always hated the fact that I needed a cable just to transfer photos. Thanks to the tech Gods, this is now a thing of the past.
If you are a beginner, I’m positive you’ll absolutely love point and shoot cameras. They provide beginner-friendly features like automatic settings along with manual settings. If you don’t feel like manually changing settings, you can just use the automatic settings.
Over time you will feel comfortable with the controls. At that moment you can switch to manual controls for more finetuned photography. Trust me, once you get the hang of all the features, you will not even miss DSLR.
7. You Don’t Need Any Additional Gear
The essence of photography should correlate only to “taking pictures”. Many of us go for different lenses, different filter, and all other fancy gears. And I do respect them as they are trying to up their photography game. But in all honesty, gears should not dictate how good of a photographer you are. You just need to have a vision in your mind and capture the image accordingly.
Well, that’s true. But you also need a camera that can shoot good quality photos. It does not matter what kind of image you have in mind, if you have a potato camera, you will not get the picture you imagined. Fortunately, almost all compact cameras take very good quality images.
Also, you don’t need any gear to take good pictures. They are always ready to make your imagination into reality. So, yeah! You definitely don’t need to spend extra cash on gears as long as you have a good camera.
Buying a bunch of gear and being frustrated because they didn’t help you take better photos is not something you should do. Rather than focusing on extra gears, you should always focus on being a good photographer. A compact camera can never be the sole reason for a picture that does not look good.
8. LCD screen and Flipping Ability
An LCD screen is the most mainstream feature of any point and shoot camera. It is something you never knew you needed until you actually experienced it.
Probably the biggest bummer for any photographer is not being able to see the photo they are taking in real-time. Luckily, almost all point and shoot cameras come with a built-in screen. This screen shows everything in real-time. As a result, you are able to adjust things to your need accordingly. The chances of taking a perfect photo with each click increase dramatically.
They are also great for slideshows as well. Ideally, you’d want something like this in every camera. Also, as all compact cameras usually come with a massive depth of field, you can see all the focus points right from the camera screen.
Face detection, smile detection, and similar features benefit from this greatly. Without any proper display, you have no way of knowing if the detection algorithm worked perfectly.
Another added benefit of having an LCD screen is the ability to tilt the screen. Most compact cameras now come with a tiltable screen. This allows you to use the camera as a high-quality selfie shooter. To up your selfie game, nothing can come as handy as a camera with tiltable LCD screen.
9. Quiet Operation is A Bliss
Do you hate all the noises a typical DSLR camera makes while taking photos? Well, you most certainly not alone if you do hate that noise. I was really bummed out about my DSLR making noise that sounded like a mini explosion. Well, it might sound nitpicking to some. But people who are into wildlife photography knows the importance of quiet operations.
Your subject might get scared of the noise being made by the camera on each click. This can result in a horrible experience. After waiting all day for a perfect moment to click a photo just to be hammered by the noise your camera made. Trust me! It’s painful.
Point and shoot cameras are above that. They operate absolutely silently. Their operations are so quiet even the photographer cannot notice any sound. They are perfect for wildlife photography and microphotography.
10. Great for Events and Traveling
Another cool aspect of a point and shoot digital camera is that you can take it anywhere. As they are very compact in nature (as the name suggests), they are a traveler’s best companion.
If you are a photographer who happens to love traveling (just like me), you absolutely need to get a compact camera. Bring one with you on your next adventure and you’ll instantly know what I’m talking about here.
Also, you can bring these to any event you want. Events like a concert, wedding, etc. You might have already noticed some events don’t allow professional cameras.
However, there are no such restrictions on compact cameras. Well, technically a compact camera is a professional camera. But most people don’t know about that. So yeah! You can easily sneak one in there (just don’t quote me on that. Wink! Wink!).
Hold On! There are Bonuses
Although those were the top 10 Reasons you should buy a compact camera in 2021, there are other small factors as well. They are the following –
- Built-in lens and flash.
- Longer battery life.
- Easily accessible storage.
- You can carry them as a spare.
- The variable aperture in a small package.
- An easy way for beginners to get into the photography business.
So, there you go. Those were the top 10 reasons why compact cameras should be reevaluated again. Compact cameras are still relevant and they are here to stay. The term “cheap” that used to haunt compact cameras is gone now. They are not just any other camera that can’t compete with DSLR cameras. On the contrary, some of the top quality point and shoot cameras are just as good.
Along with all the fancy features and portability that comes inherently with compact cameras make them the best option for a beginner, travelers, and even professionals.
So, what are your thoughts on this? Do you think compact cameras can replace DSLRs one day? Or do you think they are just sidekicks? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comment section below.
As always, happy snapping!