I ran across this great blog entry: How to Choose a Digital Point-n-Shoot Camera
Very funny, but hits at the heart of my anxiety when people ask for advice choosing a point-n-shoot camera or how to get better pictures off of one. The summary: These cameras are all crap. Just pick one – spend time learning how to use it rather than comparing specs and spending time trying to pick the right one. You should get OK pictures out of it, but don’t expect much. During the fireworks where I took the shot in the previous entry a woman came up to me exasperated about not being able to take a good night shot of the space needle with her ‘piece of xxx’ camera. I tried to tell her that she is going to need to set it on a railing or something to keep it from moving because she is likely too drunk (ok I didn’t say that) to hold it steady for a night shot. She was convinced a setting would do the trick. And, there may have been a ‘night mode’ on the camera, but I wasn’t interested in navigating menus of her camera so she could get a slightly better, horrible shot of the space needle.
Excerpt from the article:
You can take advantage of my thorough familiarity with the market, my years of experience as a photographer, and my subtle understanding of photographic technique and camera technology.
I won’t keep you in suspense. Here’s the upshot: they’re all shit. And I don’t mean "shit" as a pseudo-hip way of registering a connoisseur’s disapproval of the demotic or an enthusiast’s disdain for the democratic. I mean that despite their cunning little shiny bodies and technologically marvelous innards, as cameras they’re little stinking turdlets of fresh, steaming excrement. Yageddit? Poo. Stool. Just north of camera phones. And when I say they’re all shit, I don’t mean most of them are shit. Eighty percent of them are horrible, outrageous, awful, a swindle on the public and a fraud perpetrated on their purchasers. And the other twenty percent are really bad. Bah-dum-pah.