Don’t Buy a Point-and-Shoot Camera Before Reading This
Stay up-to-date with innovation. This article will arm you with the latest Point-and-Shoot Camera features that deliver the most snap for your buck.
Image Sensor
Camera marketers may be guilty of overhyping megapixels when it comes to picture quality, but it’s the image sensor size that really matters. Cameras with larger image sensors are capable of better looking photos, and a 1/2.3" image sensor is a nice starting point. While most point-and-shoots use a CCD sensor type, some house CMOS sensors. Neither is inferior, they just work differently. Get specifics on finding the best image sensor; check out our Digital Camera Buying Guide.

Megapixels still matter because they determine image size and resolution. For big prints and editing purposes 10 – 12 MP is right around where you want to be. That said, we don’t recommend falling below 5 MP. Also, beware of too many megapixels crammed onto tiny image sensors –your pictures may suffer from strange image glitches or artifacts. Check out Point-and-Shoot Cameras with 10 or more megapixels.

Optical Zoom
If you’re thinking of substituting digital zoom for optical zoom, in a word: don’t. Digital zoom will just disappoint you –it’s not the real deal. Fortunately, optical zoom is. It’s no substitute for being close to the action, but it ensures the cleanest capture of your image when you’re at a distance. Our Digital Camera Buying Guide will show you what to look for.

Supported Memory
The reason why supported memory made the list is this: the type of memory your camera accepts determines the maximum capacity of the memory you can purchase. For instance, flash-memory cards like Secure Digital (SD) have a maximum storage capacity of 2 GB, where some Compact Flash (CF) cards can hold up to 128 GB. More storage capacity means snapping off more photos and shooting more videos between uploads. Want to know how many photos and how much video the average flash memory card can hold? Visit our Digital Camera Buying Guide.

Video & Sound
This feature saves you from buying a separate video device to lug around, and it makes YouTube and Facebook uploads easier. You may as well get the best video you can afford from your point-and-shoot, because most offer it anyway. If you want people to enjoy your video without having to squint through the pixelation, look for HD in 720p or, even better, 1080p video capability. You can get away with mono sound recording, but stereo is always better. Check out Digital Cameras with HD video capture.

Want to Know More? Need Some Recommendations?
We just told you about the essential features of point-and-shoots, but you’ve got more options when it comes to cameras, like Micro Four Thirds, the DSLR/Point-and-Shoot hybrid that only people in-the-know are buzzing about. Curious about exposure controls? Want to discover the hottest new features in point-and-shoots? Check out our Digital Camera Buying Guide for the entire rundown on today’s Digital Camera world.
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Did you get the maximum

Did you get the maximum capacities for CF and SD cards backwards?

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The capacities are real-time accurate. Secure Digital "standard" memory cards only hold up to 2 GB, and Compact Flash pumps out "high storage capacity" cards that can hold 128 GB. The great thing is, Secure Digital also makes a line of "high capacity" cards called SDHC, and they can hold up to 32 GB -not too shabby. You'll find that and then some in our complete Digital Camera Buying Guide.


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