I started my film journey using a Canon AE-1 Program SLR camera and it wasn't until I started running this shop that I realised how great point and shoot cameras really are. Now, I use them more than any other type of camera, and there are so many awesome designs and types of camera to choose from.
what is a point and shoot camera?
There are many types of 35mm film camera, but the two most common are SLR cameras and point and shoot cameras. If you have never heard of a point and shoot camera, we are here to explain it to you and help you to understand why we love these cameras. Check out our other blog posts where we outline how to choose a point and shoot camera, and some of the best point and shoot cameras you can buy.
The name of the camera is pretty self-explanatory. You pick up the camera, point it at your subject, and take the photo. The term "point and shoot" isn't the most culturally sensitive name and we don't love using it, but there isn't any other way to describe these cameras without them being confused with other types of camera.
These cameras are usually fully automatic with minimal settings, and are super compact for fitting in your pocket.
Still not convinced? Well, we're here to convince you that your next (or first) 35mm film camera should be a point and shoot.
Why should you consider a point and shoot?
Many people overlook using point and shoot 35mm film cameras in favour of the more vintage looking SLR cameras. SLR cameras are great in many ways and are a great way to learn film photography. You can read our article on using SLR cameras here.
Point and shoot cameras also have a tonne of perks and are really fun to use. This article intends to highlight some of the great things about point and shoot cameras and why we love to use them. You can also read our article on how to choose a point and shoot camera here.
1. Point and shoot cameras are compact.
This is the main reason a lot of people opt for a point and shoot over a different kind of camera.
Has your arm ever gone dead from carrying around your SLR all day? No, just me? Okay, maybe I have weak arms. But either way, point and shoots are so compact you can put them in your pocket or bag wherever you go.
This makes them perfect for using everyday and even better for travelling. They fit so easily into your hand luggage for flights and your pocket for when you're exploring a new place.
I took my Yashica T5 to Edinburgh on a recent trip, and it was so refreshing to have such a small camera tucked easily into my bag. You don't have to worry about people seeing your bulky camera when you are out and about, or having to carry another bag with you just for your camera.
You can read our post on the best cameras for travelling here.
2. They are quick and easy to use.
We've all missed shots that we wanted to take because we couldn't get our camera there fast enough or the settings right quick enough.
With a point and shoot, you can get it from your pocket and ready to shoot in a matter of seconds. (Unless you put your headphones and camera in the same pocket, in which case, have fun untangling that mess.)
In fact, the Yashica T5 takes just 5 seconds to start up, focus and take a photograph, meaning you can capture your images as quickly as you see the image you want to take.
3. You can focus on your framing.
Being fully automatic or mostly automatic, point and shoots leave you with all your focus on just framing the shot. They allow you to forget everything else and focus on the one important thing: what is in your photograph.
This seems like an obvious one, but sometimes when I am on the move, I get so mixed up with the settings on the camera, I forget to take the time to make sure everything is in the right place in the frame. I often spend more time trying to focus a SLR camera than I do making sure the frame is a good composition.
Film photography is all about slowing down and focusing on what is in front of you, so take away the stress of settings with a point and shoot camera.
4. They're inconspicuous.
Trying to get candid shots of people around you with a big SLR is like eating Crunchy Nut on a movie set; they're going to notice. Smaller and more compact cameras that don't make a lot of noise, like a point and shoot (did you know that's what we are talking about?), means you can preserve those moments when people don't realise you're taking a photo. That sounds way creepier now I've written it down...
Anyway, this is a great way to do street photography and capture candid images of your friends.
5. Last, but not least: your friends can use them to take pictures of you!
This is by far the best perk and maybe the only way you will ever get photos of yourself. Have you ever handed your SLR to your friend and then had to spend 5 minutes explaining how to take the shot and how to focus the camera?
They can't mess up with a point and shoot. Or maybe they can. It depends what kind of company you keep. Maybe just spend time with other photographers...
Our full range of point and shoot cameras can be found here.
Still stuck on which film camera to buy?
Try our film camera quiz. All you have to do is answer a few questions, and then you will get a list of personalised camera recommendations.
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