4 Reasons Why the Point-and-Shoot is Obsolete for Fashion Blogging

digital photography


Back in 2006, the point and shoot was a God send. You could sit  in your bathroom, hold that light-as-a-feather camera above your head, and bam! a perfectly acceptable Myspace profile picture was born. But in case you are not aware, it is no longer 2006, but in fact 6 years later, which is practically a lifetime in digital technology-speak. This is why the point-and-shoot should no longer be a thing that fashion bloggers, or anyone for that matter, should use.

Here are my reasons why:

*Disclaimer: I want to note that I'm not talking about the crazy $350 point-and-shoot cameras that have manual settings just as good as your DSLR, I'm talking about your run-of-the-mill $100 PowerShot type of point-and-shoot. (Just let me be sassy about point-and-shoots here for a moment.)

1. Sure, the point-and-shoot may have slightly better quality versus an iPhone or Droid photo, but what  a smartphone may mildly lack in pixels or resolution it makes up in photo editing and sharing. Fashion bloggers are all about utilizing social media to their benefit (and tend to be working on the go) so why would you use anything else than a one stop shop for photography, editing, and sharing? The point-and-shoot just adds extra steps into the equation, and the results don't make the extra time spent worth it.

2. If you are going to spend the $350 on a quality point-and-shoot, why not just go balls to the wall and spend the extra $100 for a DSLR? That extra investment will offer you more options, as well as growth in your photography skills. Practicing with a wide range of settings will help you fine tune a style and, with enough practice, you may be able to produce professional quality photos.

3. The shelf life for point-and-shoots is only getting shorter. Smartphone cameras and capabilities are only becoming more extravagant, so investing in a point-and-shoot at this time would be like taking a step backward. While I understand the price for a smartphone can be hefty (They break all the time! I need to pay how much for data!? The screen is cracked! I dropped it in a sewer when I was texting while drunk!) it can make a fashion blogger's life 1,000x easier.

4. In my mind, I equate point-and-shoots with bricks and Ashton Kutcher. And nobody likes Ashton Kutcher anymore since he cheated on poor Demi and sent her to rehab for whip-its, right? Right!? Sure, he's with Mila Kunis now and she's great and all but let's just say, for the sake of my argument on a philosophical and psychological level, point-and-shoots are directly correlated with whip-its. Do you see where I'm going with this? I don't either.

We, collectively as a group of forward thinking, tech-savvy, blogging and curatorial gurus (did I use enough buzzwords there?), need to band together on this cause.

[Image credit: Shutterstock]

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36 Responses

  1. Evan

    I may have agreed with you a couple months ago. But the digital technology is STILL changing. It is not point and shoots that are in danger, but the DSLR. They are soon to be replaced by the interchangeable lens camera. It’s still being worked on, but it’s going to everything that a DSLR can but be smaller and lighter. I invested in a quality point and shoot. I don’t want the soon to be Dinosar DSLR. I’m waiting for the up and coming interchangeable.
    Love, Evan

  2. Ayesha

    Great article! I agree, however… there are budgets and $350+ can be a lot of money to save up for some people. In the meantime there are certainly tricks to enhance photography: luminosity of subject, tricking the macro setting for DoF, exquisite composition etc.

    I know it’s a pricey hobby/industry for fashion bloggers, but if may be more helpful to think of ways to work with what you have. Of course everyone wants a DSLR… I don’t know a person who is into photography who would buy a point and shoot if they had any other option. #ijs

  3. April

    I have to disagree with this. You can still take good photographs with a point and shoot. I’m a fashion blogger and I use a Nikon coolpix. Fancier cameras don’t mean fancier photos. You make the photo, not the camera.

    • Zamri A.

      I agree with April. I got three cameras myself – my iPhone, the point-n-shoot iXus and EOS DSLR. Camera is just a tool, and photography is an art. It’s not about what type of camera you use, it’s all about how the picture turn out to be – that’s the most important. I take tons of photos using that iXus and they were as stunning as the DSLR.

  4. Zoobia

    I think a good quality point and shoot is just fine, especially if you are just a hobby blogger. Sure, great photos captivate readers, but so does creativity. If you can’t afford a DSLR, then by all means use a point and shoot. Just know that if you want to compete with bloggers with super high-res photos from DSLRs, you have to get more creative. I’d rather see a decent quality photo that is interesting than a boring high quality one taken with a DSLR.

    Also, when I see people taking photos of, say, their starbucks coffee cup using a $500 camera, it feels like such a waste!

  5. Heather Fonseca

    I totally disagree. Dslr cameras are wildly expensive and very tricky to learn. They’re also crazy heavy, at least my husband’s is. Then to process all those raw images you need another few thousand dollars with of photoshop and Lightroom, not to mention the computer to run it all. Meanwhile, A decent little point and shoot camera can capture great images. I’m not sure I would invest in a new one right now as I have an old one that’s fine, but there are some amazing new ones coming on the market that do a lot of what dslr’s can do. I’m waiting, and saving…

    • Em K

      I have to agree with heather here on many points. DSLRs are expensive, even buying used I’m not sure what you could get with $400. Also it’s the lenses (on top of knowing how to use the camera) that make a difference in photo quality. Sure it’s a step up from a point and shoot but if you’re serious about it the lenses are what’s going to cost money.

      Also using a DSLR doesn’t automatically equal amazing photos. You need an eye/artistic ability to take truly amazing shots.

  6. Maria Losch

    Believe it or not, I use my iPhone 4s to shoot all my pics and then a little photo editing in Photoshop. My photos look pretty good for what I want to capture. I think a good eye and a few tricks in Photoshop is suffice, unless you plan on doing photography as a side job to blogging. Another option, find an aspiring photographer that has all the photo gear to shoot your snaps.
    xo, M

    • Sarah's Real Life

      Yay, glad I’m not the only one! Every single one of my outfit photos for my blog is taken on my iPhone 4 (I’m not even cool enough for a 4s). While I absolutely recognize that an iPhone can never have the same potential as a DSLR camera, I also realize that for ME – as a hobby blogger – it is absolutely the best option. I’m a full-time law student, and there’s no way I would have time to take photos on a “real” camera, then upload them to my computer at home, then edit, then post. With my iPhone, I can take the pictures AND edit them (I use Snapseed) AND upload them to my blog with the WordPress app. I can do this anytime, even sitting in traffic. I don’t think I could keep up my blog at this point in my life if I didn’t do almost all of it on my phone. Sure, my photos don’t look like eat.sleep.wear’s, but we can’t all be like the pros!

      Sarah’s Real Life

  7. Nadya

    This can be quite confusing for the new fashion bloggers. I, for one, am a person that really really believes skill makes the photos, not the gadget. Might sound absurd, but a photo taken by a pro photographer with a cheap PowerShot will do better than a photo taken by random middle school girl with $700 DSLR. I’m in neither categories, but my point is, you could mislead some people into believing that EVERYONE with overpriced cameras can take quality pictures, when in fact, they’re not.
    For some serious and high end bloggers, I totally agree with you (why would a high end fashion blogger be owning a $100 camera, anyway?), otherwise, there’s some easy photo editing softwares out there, why not put them to good use?

  8. Alexa

    I totally agree with this, the point and shoot cameras even nice ones that cost $350 don’t even come close to the precision of the dslr camera. Before last year I had an expensive point and shoot and the pictures were never clear like I wanted them to be, ever since I invested in a good point and shoot my blog has improved in quality and my photography skills get better everyday. You don’t have to splurge $600 on a dslr, I paid $400 for a refurbished dslr and it was basically good as new and allowed me to save more money for a nicer lens.

    p.s. Don’t worry about the size of the big dslr, everytime I carry mines around i always get people telling me how cool my camera is.

    GO TO CAMETACAMERA.COM for good prices!

  9. Alessi

    While I would like to agree with you on that, I just couldn’t. Saying that the point-and-shoot is obsolete for fashion bloggers would be hampering the creativity of most of the population who would like to express themselves through fashion but unfortunately do not have the resources to do so. This only further puts an elitist tinge on fashion blogging, making it an exclusive endeavor only available to those with the money to afford a DSLR. Another point worth mentioning is that DSLR’s are specifically made for professionals, and I believe that purchasing one for the sole purpose of taking outfit photos is quite impractical. I don’t see anything wrong in using a point-and-shoot for outfit photos, as long as one finds a feasible and effective means of documenting their personal style, through the use of whatever medium is available to them. Of course it wouldn’t hurt enhancing photos through Photoshop, as fashion blogging thrives on aesthetic value. Fashion is something that should be enjoyed by everyone, big budget or no budget!

  10. Thando

    Point and Shoot can only do so much. Mine was ok for day time photos but night time and indoor photos were always a mess.
    I recently invested in DSLR, but thats because I want to pursue photography at a professional level. They tend to be heavy for the average fashion blogger.
    For better quality at a lighter weight I would then recommend interchangeable lens camera, though I doubt the quality would ever be equal to DSLR quality, not anytime soon.

  11. Imani

    I agree! I am in the middle of purchasing a new camera because my iphone isn’t cutting it for more than instagram. People could also buy Bridge cameras, which are a bridge between Point and shoot and SLR. Best buy has amazing choices ranging from $120+ online. (Sale going on right now I believe!)

  12. Kira

    I agree with some of the previous comments – buying a DSLR is not going to instantly make your photos amazing. If you’re not going to invest time into learning how to use the features, you might as well stick with your point and shoot.

  13. Wina Puangco

    Huh. The thing about the whole camera debacle is I don’t think I’m on either side of the DSLR Point and Shoot battle. I don’t think a crappy point-and-shoot is a good idea but neither is an overly expensive DSLR you don’t know how to use. Sure, it’s great if you have someone to take photos of you or have the time to learn about all the manual settings but if you’re going into this alone and have to use a tripod to take your outfit photos every morning in the 30 minutes you’re supposed to be having breakfast, then throwing manual focus on top of that just doesn’t cut it. There are a lot of medium-range high-resolution point and shoot cameras that do well. And it’s all about experimenting and developing your blog’s style. Sure, the DSLR works great for something editorial and high-fashion but for blogs that have a more vintage, DIY feel to them then a little graininess is always welcome. A blog builds a context for itself and this is the sort of thing that you can’t generalize about–my critical thinking professor taught me to always think in terms of “it depends” and this is one of those times, me thinks. 🙂

  14. moiminnie

    I have to disagree with the post and totally agree with most of the people who commented – having a DSLR is not going to make your photos instantly better. First, you have to know what DSLR even means (trust me, I know people who own this type of camera and don’t even know what the four letters stand for!).
    I stand by the words that knowledge is everything. I’ve had my trusty point and shoot for four years and I’ve had hundreds of people asking me what equipment and lenses do I use. While I was shooting my photos on P mode. It broke recently so I upgraded to a prosumer with a manual mode and I’m loving it! And the best of all is that I constantly get compliments about my photography and a lot of them is from pro photographers! It’s all about what you know about photography and your camera and how you can turn its disadvantages to your use!

  15. Toni Styles

    I actually saw where you were going. 😉

    Nice advice, I’m about to make the move to DSLR from a lame-o Sony Bloggie Duo. Really exciting and slightly daunting – but I love taking photos and learning new things, so I’m sure I’ll be fine. Thanks for the article!

    http://rhythmandruffle.com <3

  16. Natasha aka SNOWBLACKBLOG

    I have a Canon 50D but I have also seen blogs with great photos taken by less expensive cameras. If you use the right lighting or photoshop program on your pictures then it’s fine. Not everyone can afford a $1,000 + camera. I happened to study photography in university so for me, a good camera is important and it’s what I invest in.

  17. MissMikelah

    I see both sides of the argument, I’ve used both as an amateur and DSLRs take great photos, but so do P&S. While I’d love to invest in a better camera, I’ve taken the stance that I’ll upgrade my camera once my blog starts generating revenue for 2 reasons: it pushes me to learn my point & shoot setting, and allows me to work towards a goal and appreciate it more when I am able to purchase. Mashable had a post about a new Canon smaller DSLR camera (size of a point & shoot) with interchangable lenses priced around $700, but much smaller than typical DSLRs which I think is perfect for Bloggers to carry around.

  18. meligrosa

    A photographer went to a socialite party in New York. As he entered the front door, the host said ‘I love your pictures – they’re wonderful; you must have a fantastic camera.’ He said nothing until dinner was finished, then: ‘That was a wonderful dinner; you must hava a terrific stove.’
    –Sam Haskins

    Either you have it or you don’t.

    • Nathy

      Haha, that was such a great analogy/joke! I’m a new blogger and take all my photos with my $100 Canon point-and-shoot. I have been gathering opinions and hunting prices for DSLR’s for about a month now because I do want photos in which I am the easiest thing for others to view. That is, I want a blurry background, because I prefer photos in which the outfit or look is the easiest thing to spot. And only really high-end point-and-shoots or DSLR’s will give you that background.

      That said, I don’t think point-and-shoots are crap. DSLR’s are huge, they weight a lot, and as Evan pointed out, the new technology seems to be favoring interchangeable lens, not DSLR’s. I’ve seen very tiny yet powerful lens for iPhones, which make me want to get one just for the lens! In short, both DSLR’s AND point-and-shoots may be things of the past much quicker than we’ve anticipated.

  19. FallForFall

    I own the “crazy point and shoot” camera. Mine is Canon Powershoot SX200 IS. Honestly, I’m thinking about getting a DSLR in future (or whatever new, fancier toy gets out by the time I decide I need one ), but at the moment I have no need to.
    I think it is actually better to invest first in good point and shoot camera that has more DSLR like settings. You can use it to learn how to use different settings. It sure looks less scary than massive DSLR. Right time to invest in new camera is when you think that your current one doesn’t give you enough, but that you can think only AFTER you’ve learned how to properly use all its settings. If you were using Auto mode (and also Portrait, Kids & Pets, Landscape) whole time, then you have no idea what your camera could do.
    In my opinion bloggers to be and new bloggers could find this post as discouraging if they don’t own a DSLR. While I understand where you’re coming from, I don’t agree with you.

    I agree with everyone who said that it isn’t camera that makes good pictures, but person behind it.

  20. Renee Jacobe

    Although I know that having DSLRs are great for photography enthusiasts and fashion bloggers, I think if you’re just starting as a blogger it’s okay to have a point and shoot camera. I’m using a Canon G9 and I think it can suffice my needs as a blogger. It’s not as capable and versatile than a DSLR but it does the work for me. I’m still a student and I have to depend on my parents for money so, point and shoots the only option for me as of the moment. But in the near future, I do see myself using a DSLR or those compact interchangeable lens cameras. And as far as I can tell, my readers are satisfied with my blogs photos. 🙂

    Renee J.

  21. [email protected]

    I don’t agree at all with this I’m afraid.

    I use a Canon 40D SLR that I bought second hand but still cost a fair whack. 2 years later I’m only just getting to grips with it and already would prefer more expensive lenses. Admittedly my blog has pushed me to get better as I needed better quality outfit photos but it’s also highlighted the drawbacks. It’s waaaay to big and heavy to be really useful as a daily camera, which is what I need. My husband takes my outfit photos and he can’t use it as well as I can. Neither of us love taking it out as it’s a huge inconvenience.

    I also think it’s really wrong to suggest that people need to spend money to make their blog great – it’s a slippery slope that fashion bloggers fall down thinking they need the latest designer trends etc, and now the tech too?
    Unless your blog is making money, you have to be careful what you’re spending on it. Although an investment can be worthwhile you have to be sure. No amount of money makes up for content that isn’t up to scratch.

    More recently I’ve been looking at the Fuji x100 as an alternative – I’m actually reviewing one on my blog at the moment, week by week. I love it already although it is similarly priced to a top DSLR. I’m probably going to look to sell my DSLR and buy a second hand x100 as a more portable camera. Down side? It has NO auto set up. You have to be able to use it. I feel I can justify this because I am also a hobby photographer and it is our ‘family’ camera.


  22. Jennine Jacob

    Ok guys, I just thought I would have to step in here…

    The thing is, I stand behind this post, why? Because, I do believe if you want to produce professional quality work you’re going to have to make investments. If you are blogging about fashion, more than likely you have disposable income. All we are saying is to use some of that disposable income to something that can help you articulate what you are saying .

    Before I started blogging, I didn’t have a high paying job, but I SAVED my money, used some of my Christmas money, and bought an entry level, refurbished DSLR. What it taught me was how to use a camera, how aperture and shutter speed work, and ultimately how to take better photos.

    Photography is more than just taking photos, there is a whole craft to it, and you can’t learn it from a point and shoot. That is why ALL photography classes require you to have a SLR.

    Also, saying that photography isn’t worth the investment if you are getting into a visual industry that is photography based, is ridiculous. It’s like complaining that you have to buy a computer in order to blog and calling that elitist. Or complaining that you have to buy a surfboard to be a surfer. It’s like being an artist, you have to invest in paint and canvas, you can only get so far with a No.2 pencil and scrap paper.

    If you don’t want to learn photography, that’s fine, but I still want to focus on learning how to improve.

  23. Emily Ulrich

    I am in complete agreement here. Honestly, to buy a camera with a pixel aspect ratio hardly better than (and soon to be surpassed by) the iPhone , it’s a waste of money. Some think that poor quality can be fixed with massive amounts of Photoshop, but it’s just not the case. If bloggers want to be professional and take their craft seriously, the only way to compete in the industry is to have a camera quality at par with the higher level folk.

  24. Monique

    you need to know how to use your camera and you need to know the difference in quality. I guess once you have shot with DSLR you understand why it’s superior to point-and-shoot, but unless you know how to use DSLR, you won’t really appreciate it.

  25. Lou Jones

    I think the main thing is to take some pride in the photos that you are putting on your blog, no matter what camera you use – put real effort into your photo composition, content and the piece you are writing to go with the shots. A rushed photo is a rushed photo, regardless of how much you paid for your camera. Make the most of the camera you can afford by learning all the features on it, or just roll with the iphone like me; I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the photos that the iphone produces, and I can say that hand on heart as I used to earn money 10 years ago when I shot live bands with a film camera. The iphone produces results I could only dream of back then.

  26. Auie

    Professionally, yes. If bloggers would want to be a professional photographer, investing on an SLR is the way to go. However, like me who isn’t as keen on learning photography and more keen on bringing my camera anywhere and everywhere without bringing a big bag, (especially in the highs and lows of wellington hills) a PnS is easier for me. I’ve thought of doing this as well. But I know i won’t have time to practice my photography.

  27. Sarah Botham

    Cameras are tools. If you are a skilled photographer, you would probably be able to get a better photo out of a good DSLR camera than your average point ‘n shoot camera that lacks manual settings, just as a professional golfer might golf better with the top of the line golf club. If you don’t know how to play golf (or take photos), it doesn’t matter what kind of golf clubs you have. ISO, flash, and composition are much more likely to kill your photo than your camera! Invest in a photography class before you invest in the most expensive camera, or read some books and PRACTICE if you don’t have the money. DSLR’s are bulky and require you to have multiple lenses on hand – not always practical. Panasonic makes some outstanding cameras with Leica lenses, point ‘n shoot, with manual settings.

  28. Chareece

    Ths is a good post. I see some people put that it is not practical to buy a DLSR camera for taking photos of outfits but I have to disagree. I just started my blog about 2 weeks ago and after coming to this website I read a post about using a high end camera to make your blog better. I’m god a following directions, so I went and bought one today right after reading the post. I have no clue really how to se it but I got it and I’m excited. I’m a person that believes that if you are going to do something, then do it right and do it to your best. I always look at ways of improving. When I looked at it her peoples pictures on there blogs, I wanted mine to look like theres so went and found a solution!
    I know that not everyone’s finances will allow them to purchase a high end camera at the moment but make do with what you have for now and if you want to upgrade then do so later. To be honest I was going to spend a lot on one but my girlfriend told me to go look for one at a pawn shop so I did and got a Nikon D60 with 2 lens (one of which cost about $300 I was told) for $500 with out a scratch are dent! Which would have cost me about $1500.
    Word of advice: let your money work for you!

  29. Sam

    Interesting post but I disagree. Point and shoot photography is still perfectly acceptable…people didn’t have amazing DSLR cameras a few decades ago and still managed to take incredible photographs..including fashion.
    My whole site (http://www.seepointshoot.com) is based about simply going out…exploring…and capturing a moment. That’s what photography is about anyway. And with all the amazing editing software out there now you can make up for the lesser quality. People can see past image quality in my humble opinion 🙂

  30. Tiff Ima

    I know I’m late, but I feel like everyone is ignoring the disclaimer:

    *Disclaimer: I want to note that I’m not talking about the crazy $350 point-and-shoot cameras that have manual settings just as good as your DSLR, I’m talking about your run-of-the-mill $100 PowerShot type of point-and-shoot. (Just let me be sassy about point-and-shoots here for a moment.)

    Anyway, everyone will do what they can afford to do. I’m definitely going to upgrade eventually to a DSLR and I’ll probably get a refurbished one from Cameta or something. I also want my photos to get better and learn everything about my Canon Powershot SX500 IS. I love the fact that it has manual settings, but hate that I can’t get bokeh. I have a good eye, and am willing to learn the DSLR, so it will be good for me!

    Style Honestly

  31. Shashi

    What I want to say has been already said by others but I want to add one more thing.
    “Just give me $80 P&S and I can bring down Iphone to its knees , p&s always provide more control on camera you just need to figure out how to use them and then again there is Interchangeable lens thingy around, I will never carry DSLR but can easily carry Interchangeable lens camera like NEX series with stock lens anytime.”

    Note:- I own Canon A2400 P&S and “MARK 3” but most of the time I find myself using Canon A2400.

  32. David

    I think it’s very important to be comfortable with whatever tools you are using. Having said that some tools will give you better results principally because they give you more control over what you are doing. And then again there is knowing how to use the tool, knowing what you want to get and how to get it. It can be a long learning process and each person has to decide just how far down the road they want to go.