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You are hereHome > Articles > Pocketable or More Controls?

Pocketable or More Controls?

Choosing between a camera that is pocketable and a slightly bigger one but with more controls can sometimes be a difficult decision. Especially if this is going to be your first digital camera. Do you favor the one that you can comfortably carry all day in your pants or shirt pocket -- therefore allowing you to be ready to take more pictures anywhere, anytime? Or, should you go for the one which is bigger but has more controls -- and therefore allowing you to express your creativity and learn more?




If you like the idea of having a camera with you at all times, a small pocketable camera (we call them, JeansPocket™ Certified) is a decision you will not regret. If you frequent the many digital camera forums, you will read about how many good shots are missed because the photographers did not feel like lugging their bigger digital cameras around. And the question is asked, 'What is the point of having a bigger and better camera if you are not going to have it with you?' A reasonable question.

The attractiveness of a pocketable digital camera increases when you consider that today's pocket cameras are not lacking in image quality. In fact, some of them use the same image sensor as their bigger counterparts. The difference is the additional exposure control flexibility you have with the 'bigger' cameras.

More Controls

More exposure control flexibility means that you can be more creative, and obtain better pictures. That is, if you have the camera with you in the first place. To some of you, that is not a problem. It goes in a pouch on your belt or in a purse. Set it on Programmed Auto and it works like a point-and-shoot. When you want to learn and explore photography, switch to Scene Modes, Aperture-Priority mode or Shutter-Priority mode.

Scene Modes allow you to tell the camera the type of picture you're taking and the camera is smart enough to select the settings most appropriate for that situation.

In Aperture-Priority mode, you select an aperture to maximize (as for a landscape where you want everything from foreground to background to be in focus) or minimize (as for a portrait where you want only the subject to be in focus and the background to be pleasantly out of focus) depth of field, and let the camera select the appropriate shutter speed for a correctly exposed shot.

In Shutter-Priority mode, you specify a fast shutter speed to freeze action or a slow shutter speed to blur action (as in water flowing), and let the camera select the most appropriate aperture for a correctly exposed shot.

Switch to Manual Mode, and you are in total creative control. You select the aperture and shutter speed, and any other settings you like (ISO, White Balance, etc.). Though some compact point-and-shoot digital camera may advertise a Manual Mode, it may only be a limited one and may allow you to select only a few settings, so read the specifications carefully. The manual settings that are the most important to have are the aperture and shutter speed.

Which One To Choose?

If you are new to digital photography, a small pocketable digital camera may be the right choice for you. Even more advanced photographers seek a small pocketable camera to complement their more complex (and bigger) cameras. They might prefer to use their bigger camera for ceative photography, and use the smaller one for everyday occasions as well as special occasions.

So, if you are deciding between pocketable and more controls, maybe the smart way is to start out with a pocketable first. As you get better and decide you're ready to move up (and some of you may decide you're very satisfied with what you've got so far and never move up), then acquire one with more controls (and probably not pocketable anymore). Keep the pocketable one as a take-along-anywhere camera.

Small pocketable cameras

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