Photography 1 2 3: The Camera

Welcome to the first installment of Photography 1,2,3, a guide to help all photographers to enhance their knowledge and skills in the art of photography. In this issue we will be talking about the photography most important tool, The Camera.

First, the camera is just a tool and does not create the photo. Just like a hammer is a carpenter tool, the hammer does not create a house. The camera only does what the photographer tells it to do. It is the photography who creates the image.

Types of Camera

There are many different types of cameras on the market today. Below we will discuss the typical camera types on the market today.

Point and Shoot/ Compact Digital Camera


Point and shoot camera are the smallest of the cameras we will talk about today. They are simple, easy to use and are perfectly capable of taking pictures without any extra bells and whistles. Their smaller size and ease of use is the main appeal of these types of digital cameras. Most of the compact cameras will be able to fit in to your pocket or small bag. Most compact camera has about 3x zoom lens and around 12 megapixels. Just about every point and shoot camera are equipped with a fully automatic mode, along with manual mode and scene modes such as landscape, portrait, sports, and many other.

Digital SLR/ DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera)


Next, The DSLR is the biggest camera in this list and you probably will not be able to put this camera in your pocket. Just like the point and shoot camera above, DSLR are also equipped with fully automatic mode, along with manual mode aperture priority, shutter priority and program modes. One of the biggest feature of Digital SLR cameras is the ability to change lenses. The lenses found on DSLR cameras are generally of better quality than compact cameras. Lastly DSLR tend to have a larger image sensor over point and shoot. A larger sensor tends to produce better quality images.

Bridge Compact Digital Cameras/Super Zoom Cameras


Bridge cameras fills in the gap between point and shoot and DSLR. Many bridge cameras have more control over exposure setting than the smaller point and shoot. Also most will have a manual mode that will allow the photographer to have complete control over the cameras setting. Bridge cameras also have a much larger zoom range and are often referred to as Super Zoom cameras. The lens on a bridge camera is fixed and cannot to removed or replace like a DSLR.

Compact System Cameras/Mirrorless


Compact cameras or mirrorless cameras, as they are often called, are very similar too digital SLR cameras.  Like DSLR these cameras have interchangeable lenses but the big difference is that mirrorless cameras are much smaller and lighter than the DSLR. Mirrorless cameras are lighter because they do not have optical viewfinders like the DSLR cameras but are instead equip with LCD or electronic viewfinders. Like the DSLR, mirrorless cameras have a larger image sensor than compact cameras and will results in better image quality.