How to Shoot with Point & Shoot Cameras?


How to Shoot with a Point & Shoot Camera (Mobile Camera is almost same) is not a Rocket Science as of DSLR.

1. A Small Camera should be hold in more stable position any how without shaking for 4-5 seconds per picture.
I all depends on one's experience.
It is really a difficulty to take pictures with Small Cameras as our heart beat vibrations are more transferred to it.

2. Your camera Holding position / Method is important.
Do you take pictures with your arms out stretched in front or up to take pictures? if yes then its the culprit.

3. Hold your camera as near to your body as possible with your elbows taking support from your torso.
If you have viewfinder start using it instead of screen to capture the images.
Because Your camera can sit on your Face, it is more stable place than hands.

5. As point and shoot cameras are slow to take pictures the capture does not happen instantaneously so while you feel you have taken the photo and it still is being captured and you more your hand making photo blurry.

6. To sort out your above problem, just press the shutter button half you will get either a tiny beep sound/ a small green rectagle in centre of screen suggesting your camera has locked the focus, and then you fully press the button and you will get better pictures. also if you are using flash this process is even slower.

7. Point & Shoot Cameras take time to process pic.
When Shutter sounds. Keep it in that position as the hands are locked in a statue state.

8. Use Flash if possible in LOW LIGHT AREAS - You may think enough light but camera does not think so.
Here also comes No.7. In low light conditions, camera take more time to process the right pic.
At Night, if not using Flash, try to hold the hand steady till Pic is processed.
Process means Till You see the Pic in your LCD of Camera.

9. Most of the time if not in SUN, use FLASH.

10. If light is not on the object or a face, use Flash.

11. Use Easy mode in all the Point and Shoot Cameras have.

12. At Night always use Easy Mode.

13. At Night when object is at some distance, for example a dances at a stage.
It is difficult to shoot it as Point & Shoot Cameras are not that fast and FLASH does not go that far.
Flash mostly goes for 3-5 meters only.
You have to go to the nearest point from where You can take a shot of moving dancer.
If you are experienced enough then try to take such shot in Sports /Children / Pets Mode in SCN/Seenary Mode given differently at various cameras.
But the distance should be not more than 4-5 meters.
Easy Mode / AUTO Easy mode are various modes, try different modes here and you will find some good shots with Flash.

14. How to shoot Landscape at Night?
In Canon You have P/ Program mode.
Keep Point & Shoot Camera at some stable place.
It may be a Railing at Balcony, Stairs etc or a parked Car or a Stone, a wall etc.
Most of us do not have even a smallest Pocket Tripod.

In whatever position you are, just check No. 6 and follow No.7
You will mostly get Good Pics, in Good Light Conditions only.
Positions may be different, not really same at all while we are on the move on bus or Train or moving Vehicle.
Most blurry pics are resulted because at the time of processing we think Pic is done,
as shutter sounds immediately to make us feel secure.
But give some time to process part also to handle the CCD image to have a justified
processing and storage time.

As per "Medpal" Suggestions here
and I am adding some tips.

Please Contribute Your Part on this topic.
"How to Shoot with Point & Shoot Cameras?"

Edit in 2015:
Now Mobile Cameras also have good camera.
basic settings of instructions apply on mobile cameras also.
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Nice initiative.

A few more points :

If you camera does not have advanced manual / programme auto mode, now a days majority of cameras come with special modes.

You can use them for specific situations :
Action / Sports mode : use this when shooting fast moving objects or taking pictures from vehicle.
Night mode : use this for low light situations.
Snow mode : use this for very bright conditions or when shooting in snow covered areas

You can also use fancy sounding focus modes like face / multi point / auto and like that to your advantage.

As the sensor of the P&S cameras are small you will not get shallow depth of field like blurred background and bokeh that well dont bother trying that.

Also flash is very low powered so the range of flash will be short and if you try shoot in pitch black condition sometimes you will get pollution like bubbles in images, have not found solution to that I started living with it till I acquired the DSLR.

Will keep adding as I recall things.
Feel free to ask questions.


When I was shooting in FOG-FAN, in Summer, at Night
the water droplets were creating Bubble Nuisance for my
Nikon and Canon but
for few cameras there was nothing.
May be Panasonic or Sony were performing better.
There was no bubbles in their images.
If someone have better idea, please share.
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Super User
I think that's some great information.
I would like to add that If you use P mode depending on your camera make, choose higher ISO i.e. 200 or 400 whichever is noise free as per your cam,and keep the setting forever.
Using ISO 400 instead of ISO 100 reduces your shutter speed by 4 times, so less risk of blur.