What is a Digital Point and Shoot Camera?

Beth Huston Profile image

Written By:

Updated July 27, 2022

So, what is a digital point-and-shoot camera? And are they better than other compact options like smartphone photography? Additionally, what is the easiest digital camera to use? And, should you buy a use digital camera? How about open box vs refurbished digital cameras? Honestly, the point-and-shoot camera is a nice starter camera for beginners, kids, and seniors.


  • These tough cameras are perfect for beginners because of their intuitive automatic mode, including autofocus speed and better overall autofocus performance.
  • Your point-and-shoot model won’t offer the same physical controls or as advanced an auto mode as DSLRs, but they’re great for day trips if you keep a power source like a portable power bank.
  • Compact digital cameras can use RAW mode while shooting video, reduce image noise automatically, and allow easy image transfer to your computer.

There are multiple digital cameras on the market, such as digital bridge cameras and mirrorless digital cameras. Yet, many of those advanced cameras are bulky, expensive, and make poor travel cameras. The best digital cameras are those that fit your lifestyle while producing high-quality images with as little imagen noise as possible.

The jury is out on whether compact digital cameras or powerfully small digital cameras fit those criteria for you, but this article will bring them back in with a solid consensus.

What are Digital Cameras?

Digital cameras work off of memory cards that store their RAW photos. Shooting in RAW mode is industry-standard since RAW photos preserve more information about digital images. Digital cameras offer modern amenities you can’t find with film. From the responsive touchscreen on most models to the ability

Insider Tip

If you’re looking for an upgrade from smartphone photography, even basic cameras from digital and mirrorless lines will perform far better in most capacities.

To learn more about performance speeds in digital cameras, you should ask, “What are digital camera speeds?” and then read our article with all the answers.

Explaining Point-and-Shoot Cameras

Today’s point-and-shoot cameras are a far cry from the models of yesteryear. These tough cameras have better image stabilization, larger image sensors, and a more advanced auto mode for beginner users. They don’t offer zoom lenses, but their manual controls allow you to access digital zoom settings that work just as well.

For more information on digital cameras, our article “What is a Four Thirds digital camera?” will open up the floor to more possibilities.

The Benefits of Compact Cameras

You’ll find a host of benefits from these small digital cameras:

  • A fully-functional automatic mode for most models
  • Some models feature optical zoom, and all have digital zoom
  • You’ll take better photos than you can with Smartphone cameras
  • They can shoot in RAW mode while shooting video

The Drawbacks of Compact Cameras

Even with the best compact digital cameras, there are some reasons to steer clear:

  • Smaller digital cameras cannot host add-on lenses
  • They tend to perform poorly in terms of image quality
  • You’ll need a portable power bank to make up for poor battery life

Your Options for Point-and-Shoot Digital Cameras

If you choose to invest in a point-and-shoot model, here are a couple of options from the Panasonic Lumix DC line you should consider:

  • Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 Digital Camera
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 Digital Camera


Anytime digital cameras boast a larger sensor, you can expect a bulkier body and less portability.


Are mirrorless cameras worth the investment?

While DSLRs have been the most popular expensive models around for years, mirrorless cameras have rapidly gained market share. This is because they produce high-quality images without the bulky body. You’ll still struggle with issues like image noise and poor low-light performance, however.

What is optical zoom in modern cameras?

The purpose of optical zoom is to bring your subject closer to you without losing image quality. Optical zoom is found in specific digital cameras and is more typically found in film cameras. Optical zoom is a better option overall than digital zoom.

Are film cameras still a popular photography option?

Film is still in use today. However, as far as popular photography options are concerned, DSLR models have taken over the market. While you can take beautiful photos with film, it’s a less forgiving method than digital cameras.

What are the widest aperture settings available?

You won’t find a wider aperture than f/0.5, but this maximum aperture is only possible within theoretical limits under specific circumstances. A wide aperture is helpful because it creates better low-light performance. If you’re doing night-time photography, look for a wide aperture.

STAT: Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre was the first artist to successfully create a chemical process that would capture an image onto a surface. (source)

Beth Huston Profile image