Okay, I’ll admit it. I have camera envy! When I see someone with their lovely DSLR, clicking away with their shutter nearing the speed of light I just gawk. I would LOVE to have a bigger lense, faster shutter speed, and more advanced/manual settings. However, our budget has a different plan. I probably won’t get my hands on one of those for a few more years. Does that mean I have to take cruddy photos until then? Does that exempt me from preserving memories beautifully for me and my family? Nope. Definitely not.
Over the years I have learned to love my trusty Nikon Coolpix 5200. In fact, I think it can take some pretty awesome shots! Of course there are some limitations, but I’ve learned some tricks and tips to get around those until I can afford the “big guns”. I thought I’d share a few of those tips with you:
1. READ YOUR USER’S MANUAL! I seriously can’t stress this enough. Read it carefully. Play around with all the different settings and features. I guarantee you will not only learn something cool you didn’t know your camera could do, but you will love your photos even more!
3. Use available light. If you keep your point-and-shoot (PNS) on “auto” settings, your flash will probably go off much more than you’d like it to. Find out how to turn your flash off and use the light available to you to avoid those harsh shadows. If you do need your flash, play around with the backlight/night time settings. The flash will probably be more powerful and thus cut down on unwanted shadows.
2. Get an inexpensive tripod. In low light circumstances PNS are really at a disadvantage because of their shutter lag. Most PNS have a feature that allows you to increase the ISO (or light sensitivity), but your photos may still turn out blurry. With a tripod you can shoot in those low light settings and get a crisp sharp image.
4. Use your sports/continuous shooting feature. This will increase the shutter speed to the maximum available. In low light settings this won’t be ideal, but if you’ve got enough available light and you’re shooting wiggly kids, your photos will be sharper and you’ll catch those moments truly frozen in time.
5. As often as possible, shoot outdoors in the shade. I’m always happier with the color and lighting when I can do this. Of course life doesn’t always occur outdoors in the shade, but if you’re able to plan it that way, do it. =)
So…why am I posting praises to point-and-shoots today, you may ask?? I just found out a few days ago that I won first place out of 100 entries in a local photo contest with a photo taken by my little Nikon PNS! Not a huge deal, but I do have to admit when they handed me my prize (4 free tickets to the local amusement/waterpark) and asked me what kind of camera I had, I was kind of proud to say, “a trusty little point-and-shoot!”