Like cars, digital cameras come in various sizes and shapes. If you are just starting out a trip to the local camera stores or online will provide you with lots of choices and features of the latest digital cameras, which can prove to be more than challenging. As someone who is just learning photography for beginners, do you want to spend just a little on a basic camera, or do you want something top of the line like a DSLR or mirrorless camera?
Whether you are looking for an entry level digital camera or one that is more sophisticated buying a camera is definitely not a one model fit all kind of decision. This photography tutorial will give you general information about the different types of digital cameras on the market and point you in the right direction.
There are three basic categories of digital cameras. These are the digital SLR or DSLR, the mirrorless interchangeable lens or compact interchangeable lens and the point and shoot digital cameras. Each of these categories caters to a specific skill level and once you know your level, it can help you determine which type of camera is best for you.
Point and Shoot Cameras
Point and shoot cameras mean just that, you just point the camera at what you want to capture and snap the photo. These digital cameras are the most popular and widely used for photography. For beginners, the main functions of the cameras are usually automated and they typically take great pictures with minimal effort since you can snap high-quality digital photographs without having to worry about things like shutter speeds, light sensitivity and focus. Point and shoot cameras might be the right option for you if you want to learn the basics of digital photography and you are looking for an affordable entry level camera.
Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) Cameras
The Digital SLR cameras are one of the most advanced types of camera available to photographer. These cameras are usually larger and heavier than most point and shoot cameras and have interchangeable lenses that use the single-lens reflex method with a digital image sensor. DSLRs offer the best image quality and are a favorite for professionals and serious amateurs who are hounding their skills in photography. For beginners, the best features of these cameras are you can change the lens to suit your requirements and some have a guide mode to assist you, like the Nikon D3100– one of the most affordable entry level cameras in this category.
These cameras also allow users to have control over the film speed, focus point and magnification. DSLR cameras offer users a wide array of shooting options and can also be set on automatic mode, so photography beginners can just start taking pictures. However, it should be noted that DSLR cameras are harder to keep clean and can be more complicated to operate.
Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Digital Cameras
The mirrorless cameras are very similar to Digital SLR cameras and this category covers a lot of ground. These cameras allow the photographer to operate in both automatic and manual modes, just like a DSLR. These cameras have the ability to change between lenses and offer a compromise between size, features and price. Mirrorless cameras offer image quality well above the normal compact camera. Overall, mirrorless cameras are appealing for those looking to up their game from a point and shoot and want to take pictures that are DSLR quality without the bulk.
Apart from the types of available digital cameras, the price is a major factor for many when buying a camera. Other features that you will take into consideration when choosing a camera are the image and video quality, build, feel, picture taking speed, display and the type of lens that comes with it.