Why I Like Point & Shoot Cameras

Okay, I understand, I even agree, DSLR cameras take great pictures. They even take superior pictures over most point & shoot models. Now, that being said if I’d hit the lottery I would have myself a hot DSLR with a backpack full of lenses and accessories. But I haven’t hit the lottery and I live on a tight budget. My electronic goodies are paid for by taking surveys and converting those proceeds into Amazon gift cards.

With my budget a point & shoot camera is like a Swiss Army Knife, it doesn’t do anything perfectly but it does many things well. My current camera is a Kodak Z990. It has a 12MP sensor (BSI CMOS), full manual controls (if you want them) and best of all a 30x zoom lens. The 35mm equivalent range for this lens is 28mm to 840mm. Most DSLR packages come with a 200mm – 300mm zoom lens. To reach the zoom level my point & shoot can you’d have to spend quite a bit, from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars. And YES, I admit, the quality will be better. But I only paid $199 for my camera!

So here’s why I really like my camera. I was at the beach earlier this month having fun shooting pictures when I saw… something out on the water. Years ago with a 10x zoom camera I also ran into ‘something’ on the water and to this day I have no idea what it was.

Something out on the water (the other thing is a pelican, I saw it land):

So I zoomed out to the maximum optical zoom of the camera, 840mm. Two guys in a boat with a small motor. Wow. From that little dot on the water to being able to… hey, I wonder what would happen if I put some of the camera’s:

…digital zoom to work. Yeah, it really stepped on the image quality but now you can see both their fishing poles. The guy in the front is either shirt less or wearing a light colored shirt. You can tell the guy in the back has on a sleeveless t-shirt. You can make out the handle on the tackle box and even a cable on the trolling motor. Amazing detail for something that far out on the water:

Clicking the above will bring up 1920×1440 reductions from the original 4000×3000 images. I left the aspect ratio alone to better show the distances in play.

I really like my point & shoot camera. For the money you can’t beat the flexibility. It’s really too bad Kodak has gotten out of the digital camera business but this was one heck of a last hurrah on their part.

Hawk (hurrah!)


  1. Bob

    Nice post. The Z990 really is wonderfully versatile, if rather slow. I freely admit to taking advantage of Kodak’s misfortune to get one on sale.


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