Shooting Manual on Point 'n Shoots?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Lydia Bennett 7 months, 4 weeks ago.

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    Kina Lamb


    A friend and I taught a small impromptu photography class at Family Camp last week. I went through the basics of what I know about shooting in manual, what ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed are and what they do. We talked about other things too, but I noticed that at least half of the people that attended had Point ‘n Shoot cameras. I looked through the settings of most of the cameras, and tried to find where the ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed controls would be, and if you could shoot in Manual. It seemed like everything was scattered all around, and I didn’t exactly know what to tell them. I identified where ISO was, but there didn’t seem to be a ‘manual mode,’ shutter speed, or aperture control. Wait.. actually, I think one person may have had control over shutter speed. I tried to talk about composition, focusing on the eyes, exposure, and color after that so I could actually help the Point ‘n Shoot owners.

    So my question is, can you shoot manually with a Point ‘n Shoot? Or can you only do that on DSLR cameras? If you can, how would you go about explaining that to someone with a Point ‘n Shoot? And, if shooting in manual isn’t possible on Point ‘n Shoots, is there any advice you would give to people who own one on how to take good photos in automatic mode?

    I know this is a tricky question (and many of you probably don’t own Point ‘n Shoots!) so I will wait patiently for a reply! 😀


    ~ Kina


    Eliana Franzenburg

    Hi @kina!
    It is possible to shoot in manual with a point’n shoot but it can a lot harder until you get it down. I started out with a canon point’n shoot so I know a little about it.

    You usually just have to find the little icons on the screen and figure some way to get to them! Sometimes next to the navigation buttons they might say ISO or white balance etc. And also sometimes it can be different from camera to camera so it can take some experimenting.

    Hope that helps!


    Lydia Bennett

    Quick disclaimer: I don’t have a P&S 🙂

    Is there any advice you would give to people who own one on how to take good photos in automatic mode?

    First off, it’s possible to take amazing pictures in automatic modes, and it’s possible to take horrible pictures in manual mode (I have done both 😀 ). However, using manual mode is ideal because it gives you control on how the pictures come out, rather than the camera having control, therefore increasing the probabilities of ending up with a good picture that you actually like!

    So for someone that has a P&S, I think I’d concentrate on teaching them various elements of good composition; you can explain the limitations of a P&S and that if they decide photography is something that they actually want to get into to one degree or another, they will benefit by ultimately investing in a DSLR. But if they don’t want to get into photography, and they’re content to go around snapping pics with a P&S, well at least you’ll have hopefully helped them snap better pics! 😀


    Logan Lamar

    I’ve gone through three point and shoots (a Nikon S210, a Canon Powershot A630, and a Nikon L830), my parents have had a couple (both Canons), and four of my siblings each had one at one point in time (all Nikons).
    Rule of thumb that I’ve found to be true:
    Most cheap Canon point and shoots have a manual mode (and possibly even aperture priority and shutter speed priority modes). It’s clunky and hard to use, but all of your settings are there (ISO, shutter speed, aperture).
    Most cheap Nikon point and shoots and even the entry level superzooms like the L830 don’t, though there is ISO control, white balance calibration/presets and exposure compensation.


    Kina Lamb

    Thank you everybody! @elianafranzenburg @bennett-family @loganlamar
    What y’all said was very helpful! 😀 I also just watched the ‘how to unlock your camera’ video, and found some helpful facts on there too. 😀
    I think what I told them was relevant but I’m better prepared next time if someone has a Point ‘n Shoot! 😀


    Lydia Bennett

    Glad to help, Kina! 🙂

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