I know this is going to sound like blasphemy to many digital photography fans out there (and to gadget geeks in general), but I have to say – it is very handy to have a no-frills point & shoot digital camera around sometimes.
Before you dismember me, let me explain.
First off, let me say I love my big camera – my Canon PowerShot S3 IS – and I love playing with it and taking photos with it. But the fact is, it’s… well, big! Carrying around all that stuff (the “kit”) can be a bit of a pain sometimes.
As an example, I was in New York City this weekend, just walking around, looking for some interesting places to eat. I could have lugged my camera bag with me – but I wasn’t intending to take photos, I just wanted to have a camera handy in case something interesting showed up. (I could use a camera phone, but I have one of the early RAZR phones with the less-than-one-megapixel crappy cameras, so I’m out of luck there.)
As a compromise, I took along my old semi-broken Fuji Finepix A330. It is semi-broken in the fact that the up/down switch is broken – you can only scroll up. So you can’t change modes (from say, automatic to “portrait” or anything else) – unless you’re willing to STAY in that mode for the rest of the time you use the camera. (Unfortunately, the menu doesn’t “wrap around.”)
Still, it works for taking pictures, I just leave it in “auto” mode all the time. And it’s small enough to fit in a pocket, unlike my Canon.
It may not be much of a revelation – I’m sure I’m not the first one to note this. But it was a bit of an epiphany to me – the fact that I do not, in fact, have to lug my big camera bag around with me whenever I want to take photos. A small camera, at times, is often “good enough.”