It's July 2018..it's 29 degrees outside and I want to go take some photos.
My choice is between two large, hefty medium format film cameras, a chunky heavyweight Nikon F5 35mm and a Yashica T5 Point & Shoot.
I grab the T5 and i don't even bring a bag.
That's the truth of the professional point and shoot. If you want a total back break from your big cameras (whether you're going on holiday or just messing around), and want results 85% as good as your pro gear in daylight, you should invest in a P&S camera. If you're going to leave your big cameras behind, you want some guarantees that you'll get solid shots and your standards feel upheld and these P&S cameras do just that.
Beyond the weight benefits, P&S's force you to simplify. They are a real masterclass with composition - the whole photo process is reduced to one frame, one focal length and your photography transforms into worrying less about how to use the camera and there's a shift in importance towards what's in front of you, directing and framing it to the best of your abilities.
If you're like me, you'll want the best P&S you can get without A) Feeling duped by elevated hype pricing B) Dare i say something pretty and small. C) Something that feels somewhat durable given the elevated pricings.
Enter the top P&S's - The Yashica T4 (£280+), T5 (£300), Contax T2 (£550+), T3(£1200+), Olympus MJU 2 (£200+), Nikon 35 TI (£300+) , Leica Minilux (£400+) , Konica Big Mini (£100+) , Fuji Classe (£600+) and the Konica Hexar AF (£450+). Firstly, the Contax are SO goddamn pretty but you have to be willing to fork out for them as they have skyrocketed to 600-1500£ and that's no exaggeration. I would favour the T2 over the T3 for its build quality which is something worth considering as very few repair them. The Yashica T's are the PERFECT balance point in my opinion and the Konica is trusty and brilliant for the money. The sad thing is many of these cheaper P&S's are plastic which makes it hard to justify the price-tag. With the above list, f you're patient and willing to look around, you will find you'll occasionally (very occasionally) luck out and get any of these cheaper and, given that they are difficult to get repaired, you don't want to bomb the top prices on them.
Back to why you should get one:
1) Begineers to Pros - they make you focus on composition...what's in front of camera.
2) They're fast enough and simple - You are more likely to catch the moment.
3) They are sharp as anything - Each of the named above P&S cameras have amazing & sharp lenses
4) They require very little knowledge if any to get started and take good photos.
5) They're small enough to have with you anywhere.
6) They're a good mid-step into film and great for confidence building shooting film.
Consumer level P&S cameras are for the most part brilliant too and a huge step up from a disposable and there is no reason why you shouldn't get a £5-20 P&S like an Olympus XA and see how you roll. They are everywhere from charity shops to eBay but i do recommend you check them over in person as for every 1 great P&S are 20 broken ones. Car boot sales are a really good shout and i've found many Olympus Trip 35's and Olympus Pen EE's in places like that. The premium point and shoots, however, are a little harder to find and are snapped up quickly at all prices.
What if you're already in love with P&S's but want to move to the next step. Where next ? I suggest taking a step into slightly more manual settings like the Contax G series (which is still very automated), The Konica Hexar AF or the Leica M series.
Big love and if you have any questions or are worried about pricing, just drop me a message