Point-and-shoot cameras have come a long way since the days of the Kodak Instamatic. These days you can program high-tech digital cameras to take photos for you while you simultaneously juggle bowling balls and sip tropical libations on the beach.
There is virtually no end to the amount of fab features included on some cutting-edge cameras. One of the latest and greatest trends in camera features is the high-resolution touch screen. Located on the back of the camera, the flat screen allows you to simply tap an icon with your fingertip to change settings. This means no more fiddling with multiple buttons or keys. Another noteworthy feature offered on touch screen cameras is the ability to choose items you want to focus on by merely tapping them on the display. Touch screens are also popular with vision impaired photographers as the LCD is much larger than traditional digital cameras. In some cases, you can even write on an image or save a copy with a simple drag of a finger.
Another alluring feature included on most digital cameras these days is the “portrait mode.” The trick to maximizing this feature is to focus on your subject’s eyes. The eyes should almost always be the focal point of a portrait shot, as they are the most prominent feature on an individual’s face. The only time you should vary from the eye rule is when you are experimenting with different angles or you are deliberately trying to draw attention to a different facial feature.
If your camera lacks a decent “portrait mode,” you could investment is a portrait lens (105mm or 135mm), which shortens the background and captures your subjects’ faces in flattering proportions. Taking a portrait shot without the proper lens can make a person’s face appear slightly distorted. Generally, portrait lenses are a worthwhile purchase if you tend to shoot a lot of close-up shots of people’s faces.