A Pro Level Point and Shoot?

I need some help!  Recently I had the idea of creating a Pro level Point and Shoot camera review corner as an interesting addition to the blog.  To that end, I am compiling a short list of P&S cameras that would be useful material here for the reading audience to have.  However, since most of my experience thus far has been with SLR gear, I could use some help in ensuring my final selections are both useful and of interest to the audience here.  So – I need your help!

You see, it’s a given that there are limitations to the “point and shoot” grade of cameras.  You simply don’t have the same degree of flexibility – no changing out lenses, a smaller sensor, more inherent noise, etc., etc. etc.  Yet, when you take an SLR, there’s a lot more gear involved, even if you “go light”.  At a minimum, you’re likely to have a camera body, a lens, a flash, and a tripod.  So, which do you do?  Thankfully, with the advancement of the “P&S” grade cameras, the differences between SLR’s and the “P&S” category has narrowed substantially.

Pro Level Point and Shoot

Pro Level Point and Shoot

So, the question becomes:  which P&S is a good alternative for the SLR when you just want to take something and go, yet still have the malleability to capture the kind of images you want?  Now, if you ask ten different photographers this same question, you will likely get ten different sets of cameras in varying degrees of priorities.  That being said, a short list of high-end P&S cameras is always helpful to consider.  Here’s the short list I picked:

Canon:  Powershot S95Powershot G12
Nikon:  Coolpix P7000
Sigma: DP1x

There were some others I considered including a few from Panasonic, Sony, and Olympus, but in looking at the specs of those, all had an interchangeable lens feature, which makes them more SLR-like than most P&S counterparts, so I removed them from consideration.  Here’s the criteria I am using to consider cameras for inclusion in a P&S review section:

1.  True point and shoot design (no interchangeable lenses)

2.  Cost should be less than the entry level SLR for that vendor

3.  Raw or sRaw capacity is probably going to be a requirement…most high end P&S cameras I’ve seen have this feature.

These are of course, just subjective takes on which P&S cameras stand head and shoulders above the rest, and the criteria to classify ones for inclusion as “true P&S cameras”.  As they come through the doors, I’ll share thoughts and feedback with you, but for the time being, I’d also like to hear what others think of these selections.

Can a P&S really stand toe to toe with an SLR?  Is it even worth looking at?  What about the cameras themselves?  Are there others that you wish were included?  Do you own any of these?  What have your own thoughts and experiences been?  Sound off in the comments, and I’ll see what I can to do add others to this roster for upcoming review!  In the meantime, happy shooting, and we’ll be back tomorrow!

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