Single-lens-reflex cameras with long lenses are best for taking professional-quality bird photos, and some tiny point-and-shoot models are great for taking pictures through a spotting scope (digiscoping). But not all of us have the time, inclination, or money to buy a good SLR, and some days we just won’t want to lug a long lens or scope. And who wouldn’t want one simple, affordable camera that works for 90 percent of our photography needs?
Fortunately, new point-and-shoot cameras with 10-12x optical zooms, built-in image stabilizing, and five megapixels or more represent a fine alternative. How should you select one that’s right for you?