Choosing a Digital Camera - Understanding the 3 Types of Cameras
Choosing a digital camera is a lot easier when you consider the three types of digital cameras: the digital SLR, the bridge (or prosumer) and the point-and-shoot or (compact automatic).This article di...
This article discusses the main advantages and disadvantages of each type so that you can narrow down the best type of camera for you.
Digital Single Lens Reflexes (DSLRs)
Digital SLRs (DSLRs) were almost exclusively used by professional photographers until recently when the prices started to come down. Prices have come down for entry level DSLRs like the Canon Rebel. However, just remember that when you get a DSLR you also have to buy lenses to use. Some do, however, come with a basic starter lens or kit lens. If you want to take telephoto pictures, you can't just push a button to zoom, you need a telephoto lens. These come in all sorts of sizes to fit the photographer's needs. In order to keep costs down, many photographers buy used equipment.
On the plus side, you can find telephoto lenses that will let you take a close up of a bird way at the top of a tree or a football player in the end zone when you're in the bleachers at the 50-yard line. And they're fast! So you'll never have the problem of missing an action shot because your camera took too long to record the picture.
DSLRs also work with advanced accessories such as an external flash. They are also great for taking action shots in low light situations where a flash won't reach or isn't allowed.
Because of their large sensors, you can increase ISO to get pictures in low light while still having a high shutter speed to capture action. With other types of cameras you can't do this because they have smaller sensors and end up producing pictures with unsightly graininess called digital noise. Digital noise can often be removed with software but with the DSLR you never have this problem.
These days, the main disadvantage of a DSLR is the higher price tag when you compare it to other types of cameras.
It's a nice camera to upgrade to if you discover you really love taking pictures and want to advance. Many get started with a camera body and kit lens, and then add bigger lenses over time.
Automatic Digital Cameras (also called compact or point and shoot cameras)
Digital compacts or points and shoots are the most popular cameras in the Western world and for good reason. Compact cameras can take such good quality pictures these days that many professional photographers will also use compact cameras for when they don't want to carry around their DSLR gear. (Pocket size compacts are often called subcompacts).
As mentioned above, one of the biggest benefits to compacts is their small and easy to carry size. Unlike DSLRs which are bigger and have "more parts," compacts can go almost anywhere easily.
Although you can just point and shoot these cameras, many have lots of different modes to choose from and even offer some manual controls like Aperture Priority and Shutter Speed Priority. And if your camera has an optical zoom, you can also get some great telephoto pictures too!
These digital cameras bridge a gap between compact cameras and DSLRs. They are also called prosumer cameras (a blend of professional and consumer).
Almost all of the bridge cameras have higher price tags than most compacts but lower than most DSLRs, much lower when you consider you don't need to add on the price tags of lenses.
Bridge cameras usually have larger sensors and more mega pixels than most compact digital cameras. With bridge cameras you can increase ISO more than on a compact but not nearly as high as with a DSLR. If you don't need to get action shots in places without good lighting, this may never be an issue.
Many bridge cameras let you get better indoor pictures by having hot shoes that work with an external flash. Bridge cameras also have movie mode and allow you to compose shots on the LCD. Many also have super zooms. Super zooms are cameras with optical zoom ranges of 10x to 20x. Plus bridge cameras have almost or as many manual controls as DSLRs.
Once you decide if you want a DSLR, bridge or compact, choosing a digital camera from an online or local venue, will be much less confusing. So no matter what type of digital camera you get, take time to learn how to use your camera and you'll be sure to start taking some great pictures.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Autumn Lockwood is a writer for Your Picture Frames. Shop online and choose from large selection of picture frame sizes like our small 5x7 picture frames and large 11x14 picture frames. Visit our website or call 1-800-780-0699.