I’ve been around for a while; all 36 years, and during that time I’ve accumulated and used a number of point-and-shoot cameras, from the film days to the adoption of digital. And I can honestly say after using, Yashica, Ricoh, Leica, Fuji, Kodak, Olympic, Canon & Contex my favourite point-and-shoot camera can be summed up into these categories; ease of use, quality, features and size. It would have to be the…
What makes a good camera
Before I tell you or you scroll to the bottom of the article. There are my thoughts from my personal experiences that make a good camera. And first, let’s talk about feel or the experience of using the cameras. I would say that there is something about shooting with analogue film, it feels great, but the downside is changing iso, expense and ease of use when it comes to viewing and using the images. Film is at the backend because of these reasons for me. Sure the aesthetic is above everything else that records using pixels, but that aesthetic is 80/20 when it comes to the general public eye, they don’t care.
Next comes ease of use over experience. Here I would say how quick the camera turns on to focus speed and compositioning a shot are high priorities for me. And here most autofocus analogue film cameras lose out here. But the classic point-and-shoot cameras that have a set focus distance like the Olympus XA win out here, over any focusing system if you know what you are doing. At the same time, digital cameras like the Ricoh GR have a set focusing distance feature that does the same thing here.
Manual settings are all I use and what I need in a point-and-shoot camera. Now point-and-shoot cameras were designed for ease of use. Pick it up point and click without thought. For the general public, these cameras were targeted towards, the more buttons the harder it is to use. But I want more, I want to choose my aperture, my shutter speed. And wanting this instantly eliminated so many good cameras, and only leave the more expensive models like the Contax, Ricoh and even older models like the Rollei 35.
After all, that price for me doesn’t come into it. Because all these functions are important to me, so I am willing to fork out for them. So excluding price what is the camera that; for me is the best point-and-shoot camera? The best film cameras are the Olympus XA, Contax T3 and the Ricoh GR1. Now when it comes to digital point-and-shoot cameras the best that I have used are the Fujifilm camera range. They are truly amazing, but the downside is their size, that’s it. So if a smaller form size doesn’t matter to you get a Fuji camera. From my experience, if only Contax still existed!!! I would dye for a modern Contax camera, but sadly the company doesn’t exist and the next best thing is the Ricoh range. So for me, the Ricoh GR cameras are the best overall best point-and-shoot cameras. Small discrete, distance focusing, fully manual features and superb image quality, the only downside is they cost an arm and a leg for what you get. But hey that’s my opinion from years of using different compact point-and-shoot cameras.
I’d love to know what is your favourite small form factor camera. Is it the Contac series or the Yashica family? Or do you love the Gopros for robustness and size? Let me know in the comments below what’s your go-to dirty little camera?
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