I have a point-and-shoot, Panasonic DMC-ZR3. I don't want to carry anything bigger than the small pocket on the hip belt of my pack, allowing quick and frequent access. I know very little about photography and didn't even own a camera until a few years ago.
I agree with Anon to a degree that a camera is only a tool. Quality of most of my photos is due to being in scenic spots, and recognizing the scenic value, framing the photo, choosing the best zoom, and setting the light meter so that the photo is not over- or underexposed. It's also due to the large number of photos I take each outing. It's not unusual for me to take 500-1000 photos on a scenic day that I whittle down to dozen good ones.
But like any tool there are better and worse options. The thing I like best about my camera for action shots is the ability to take rapid fire photos. At full resolution, I can take 4 photos in just over a second. Release the button and then take another 4. At lower resolution, it takes an unlimited number of photos at a more rapid clip. Getting multiple chances at catching the perfection action shot makes a huge difference.
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