Compact digital cameras make taking great photos a breeze. They're a small and portable size so you can take them anywhere, and digital storage means you can take as many snapshots as you want and delete the bad ones later. Some digital cameras have some fairly spectacular features, such as the waterproof capabilities of the Canon PowerShot D10. Others, such as the PowerShot G11 and PowerShot S90, offer high-image quality and full manual control in a convenient compact size. As such, even professional photographers complement their DSLRs with a high-end compact model to take advantage of the convenience they offer.
Of course, to take great photos with any camera, you need to learn how to use that particular machine, including all of its features and limitations. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind to make the most out of your compact camera:
Find out about camera functions - IXUS digital cameras and other compact models have a number of different functions that adjust the settings to shoot pictures in various conditions. For example, some shooting modes let in more light so you can take some great night time photos. Meanwhile, Intelligent Auto offers automatic face and blink detection for optimal portrait photography.
Look around you - if you don't want to carry around tripods and bulky accessories, you can use your surroundings to help you take better photos. Find a steady surface to rest your camera on in the absence of a tripod. Move your subjects around to make the most of lighting - use ambient light such as a lamp or a torch.
Stable hand - maintain a very steady hand when taking your picture in order to minimise blurriness. Stand with your feet slightly apart for maximum stability and remember to keep your elbows tucked in. Look through the view finder instead of the digital screen, since having your arms stretched out makes them less stable. When your press the shutter button, exhaling simultaneously can also help stabilise your shot.
Use a high resolution - make the most of high megapixels. Many compact digital cameras today offer as many as 12 MP which is enough to rival many entry level SLR cameras. Try to shoot at the highest resolution you can as you can always scale your photos down using editing software. And if your camera has limited optical zoom, you can enlarge certain parts of the image to get in closer to your subject matter.