Definition of PnS


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whoswho

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Nowadays, most of the Compact Digital Cameras come equiped with wonderful and complex functions like Aperture-priority, Shutter-Priority, Manual mode, Custom White Balance, Spot Metering, Focus Lock, and sometimes Exposure Lock, that allows the photographer more control over their camera and photos. And yet, most photographers still call them PnS.

From what I understand, PnS means Point and Shoot. Using a DSLR, I can use it in Program Mode and Point and Shoot.

So just wondering and trying to have a clearer understanding, what is a PnS camera? A Compact Digital Camera or a DSLR?
 

Ah Pao

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#2
Basically anything that is not a/an:
- SLR camara (Single Lens Reflex - named so because of how the light path reaches the viewfinder)
- Rangefinder camera

"Point and shoot" in the film days refer to those "compact" (in size, relative to an SLR camera) film cameras where the viewfinder is just a simple window, separate from the lens' light path, and therefore offer no focus aids; and since the viewfinder's light path is separate from the lens', there is a possibility of a parallex error in closeups.

Therefore you don't see "manual focus" being offered in PnS cameras - it's either autofocus or fixed focus. Another common characteristic of PnS cameras is that they are usually targeted for the mass consumer who has little to no technical photography knowledge, so they are built with few features, highly automated and cheaply.

The term stuck as we transitioned into digital cameras, and it still remains the same how we classify the cameras, mostly based on how the viewfinder works - just that digital PnS now offer 'live' viewing on the LCD screen instead of a simple window. It has actually nothing to do with the shooting modes.
 

fireframe

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#3
All cameras are point and shoot.. don't point, how to shoot? :wink:
 

zcwnfx

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#7
aiyah, PnS jus a jargon pple use lah. jus like those multi plug in the form of a long bar.... last time my camp call it soap bar....

my PS ask me " eh go get the soap bar" I was like :confused:

then i finally know....

anyway, maybe compact, prosumer and SLR/DSLR would be a better way of calling them?
 

whoswho

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zcwnfx said:
anyway, maybe compact, prosumer and SLR/DSLR would be a better way of calling them?
Yes, I agree on the above, which most of the writeups I read reflect the same naming convention of those cameras.

Ah Pao, thank you so much for the explaination of the evolutionary change to the definition. I have a better understanding now.
 

Mar 27, 2005
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#9
I think this is just a label but labels tends to generalized and sometimes derogatory since most people who uses PnS are not even aware of the term, only serious enthuriast knows the label (maybe to differentiate and justify the expensive camera). I think PnS shound be categorized as a method of taking pictures instead. Sometimes I PnS with my DSLR also.
 

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#10
Ah Pao said:
Another common characteristic of PnS cameras is that they are usually targeted for the mass consumer who has little to no technical photography knowledge, so they are built with few features, highly automated and cheaply.
This is not true anymore. My PnS Fuji F11 has Shutter mode, Apperture mode and ISO up to 1600. The more features it comes with, the more technical photography knowledge you need. So only the cheap remains true.
 

Zaknafein

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#11
Ah Pao said:
Another common characteristic of PnS cameras is that they are usually targeted for the mass consumer who has little to no technical photography knowledge, so they are built with few features, highly automated and cheaply.
its true that PnS cameras is targeted at mass consumers who, most of the time, use auto mode. but nowadays, many PnS has many features, but they dun always come cheaply :)
 

zcwnfx

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#12
actually i feel that PnS are actually very high tech! cos so much are being put into making them so user friendly and producing good quality photos!

anyway, they are for different group of ppl lah. and actually to many, the terms isnt that important. wats important is that how you are going to use it.
 

Zaknafein

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#13
yeah, PnS getting more and more high tech. cos the companies are trying to squeeze as much functions and trying to make it as SMALL as possible. thats high tech right there :)
 

whoswho

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#14
Zaknafein said:
yeah, PnS getting more and more high tech. cos the companies are trying to squeeze as much functions and trying to make it as SMALL as possible. thats high tech right there :)
Looks like we are still using the term PnS for compact cameras even we know it's incorrect. Just like, "I'll SMS you later" in which, SMS = Short Messaging System. :dunno:

Anyhows, thanks everyone for the replies.
 

jdredd

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Mar 30, 2006
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#15
whoswho said:
Looks like we are still using the term PnS for compact cameras even we know it's incorrect. Just like, "I'll SMS you later" in which, SMS = Short Messaging System. :dunno:

Anyhows, thanks everyone for the replies.
to me when i say PnS, i have in mind all those small digital cameras which are not prosumers or DSLRs.
prosumers are those that offer full manual capability, but have electronic viewfinders and are not DLSRs like the S3IS, FZ30
then theres DSLRs.
 

zcwnfx

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#17
whoswho said:
Looks like we are still using the term PnS for compact cameras even we know it's incorrect. Just like, "I'll SMS you later" in which, SMS = Short Messaging System. :dunno:

Anyhows, thanks everyone for the replies.
i guessed u are right. its become a slang of some sort.... a street jargon for something.....
 

Zaknafein

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#18
jdredd said:
to me when i say PnS, i have in mind all those small digital cameras which are not prosumers or DSLRs.
prosumers are those that offer full manual capability, but have electronic viewfinders and are not DLSRs like the S3IS, FZ30
then theres DSLRs.
why is EVF a so-called "criteria" to be classified as prosumer? prosumer cant have optical VF?
S3IS does not have a EVF. do u all actually consider it a prosumer then? :dunno:
 

zcwnfx

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#19
canon S3IS dont have EVF meh?

according to dpreview, it has.....

i believe unless a camera has a SLR/TSLR system, its viewfinder is actually EVF or its not accurate.

btw, i personally feel that evf sux.....

but all in all, does the term matters at all?

i think kenrockwell has a close enuff defination of diff level of cameras......
 

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