Point and shoot – the little camera that can
You might be thinking that traditional point-and-shoot cameras are going the way of the fax machine, but don’t dismiss them yet. You might also wonder why you’d even need one when smartphones have become the default gadget for taking pictures and shooting videos. Built-in cameras in phones, including the iPhone XS and Google Pixel 3, are now better than ever in terms of picture quality and high-definition video, giving Digital SLR cameras a run for their money. Plus, smartphones are always at the ready to capture that special moment, and then fire it off to family and friends.
Discard the idea that the smartphone can do it all. First, and foremost, you don’t want to always be recharging your phone’s precious battery. Nor do you want to use up valuable storage space.
Purists actually like the touch and feel of real buttons, as well as a physical shutter, a viewfinder and the flexibility to adjust the settings. While higher-end smartphones have decent lenses, they’re not good in low light conditions, and everything else is only average. The quality of the photos are just not as sharp as they could be.
Photo enthusiasts prefer a point-and-shoot to take advantage of a camera’s actual optical zoom. This type of zoom offers a true lens adjustment. It gives you the same number of pixels in your frame, providing the same resolution as if you were close by. In contrast to a digital zoom found on most standard phones, objects appear closer by making the pixels larger as you zoom in. The result is a more pixelated, or grainy, photo or video.
A standalone camera allows you to unplug and focus on your craft, and you don’t want to take a $1,500-plus device to the beach with all your precious data on board. If damaged or lost, the replacement cost of a point-and shoot is much less.
Like smartphone cameras, point-and-shoots have also evolved. The compact Fujifilm FinePix XP140 has a massive 16.4 mega-pixel CMOS sensor, allowing you to print a quality photo as big as 11.5 by 15 feet. You can also record ultra High Definition 4K video, and it has a high quality Fujinon 28mm wide-angle lens, with 5X true optical zoom for really sharp, hi-res photos.
The FinePix XP140 is also equipped with an enhanced ‘Scene Recognition Auto’ mode to help detect the main subject in the scene by automatically optimizing the camera setting. The ‘Eye Detection’ feature makes for better portrait shots by focusing on the eyes, along with the auto-intelligent, self-timer mode to detect a smiling face. When detected, it automatically releases the shutter.
This little camera also has optical image stabilization to reduce blur from camera shake. It can also do time-lapse photography, so that you can capture a series of photos over time. If you do have your phone, this camera also supports ‘Remote Shoot’. An example of this would be placing your camera in a tree to capture some wildlife, and standing somewhere else to get the shot.
The Fujifilm FinePix XP140 is dust-proof, shockproof (to 1.8 metres), freeze proof (to -10 °C) and waterproof (to 25 metres). It comes in five colours, and features the latest Bluetooth technology.
|Greg Gazin is a syndicated tech columnist, blogger, podcaster (host and producer), and contributes to canoe.com, Troy Media and Active Life magazine.|