Consumer Reports: Benefits of point-and-shoot cameras

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Selfies, food pics, pet pics -- we use the cameras in our phones all the time! But they do have their limitations.

If you're looking to up your picture-taking game, 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney tells you what a Consumer Reports' expert found in its testing of advanced point-and-shoot cameras and how they can help you.

For many of us, our go-to camera is right in our pocket or bag: our smartphone.

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"I only use my phone for pictures," one smart phone user said. "Yeah, just my phone. The cameras have gotten so good. No reason to have a camera," said another individual.

"My kids use it a lot because they always love to take a selfie or some pictures when they went outside," admitted one parent.

As good as the camera technology has become in our phones, Consumer Reports says there are still some things a good advanced point-and-shoot camera can do better.

"While smart phone cameras, they produce nice looking photos on your phone. If you ever want to print them out, or crop, or edit, that's when you start seeing their quality kind of degrade," said Tercius Bufete, Consumer Reports Tech Editor. "So advanced point and shoots and DSLR's, these kinds of cameras can create images that, well, you can have for a long time and you know they'll stand the test of time in terms of quality," he said.

Advanced point-and-shoots also perform better in low light and zooming.

So, what if you're looking for something that will capture those great photos of your vacation or your kid's first plunge into the pool? "Make it a point to go to a store, take it in your hands, take a couple of shots and kind of play with the settings. Because that's when you know if something is truly right for you," said Bufete.

If sharing pictures on social media is what you're looking for, many cameras can now easily connect wirelessly to your phone, so you can transfer your photos for sharing.

Buying a good advanced point-and-shoot should be seen as an investment. Consumer Reports' top rated point and shoots range from $645 to $1,200.

While the top rated advanced point-and-shoots are great for zooming and low light photography, a lot of smart phones out there still take great pictures, and you cannot beat the portability. Consumer reports rates the Apple iPhone X as the best smart phone camera.

Happy photographing!

Click here for a look at more stories by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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