In this guide, we have highlighted some of the factors you need to keep in mind before purchasing a camera, and presented detailed product reviews of some of the best starter cameras. However, there is another important thing that you need to keep in mind – the type of camera you want.
There are six broad categories of cameras which are produced by different brands, but you need to know which camera is used for what purpose before making your choice. This information will further help you shorten your list to only those products that fit your needs. Digital cameras are categorized based on their usage, automatic or manual focus, pricing, image clarity etc. The different types are mentioned below:
Compact digital cameras are easily the most popular ones, which are widely used by people because they are simple to use. Their functioning is not at all complex, and is hence used for routine purposes. They are also referred to as ‘point and shoot cameras’. They are very compact and easy to carry. The portability of these cameras allows one to use them to record any event, like a sporting event, your child’s first play, a birthday party, etc.
They are cheaper than the other types of cameras, and so they boast of fewer features than the others. The picture quality provided by these cameras is also not the best. They can be further categorized into 2 types: ultra compact cameras, these are smaller and compact cameras, which are slightly larger. They are not only simple to use but offer other features as well, like you can store images on your computer or your laptop as JPEG files, and you can see live previews before clicking pictures.
Additional features include low power flashes that help you take pictures in the dark or low light areas, and an auto-focus system with closer focusing ability. These features may sound similar to those that are seen in other cameras, but do not forget that the magnitude of the features may be lesser.
For example, flash can be used only for objects that lie nearby and the preview of the photo to be clicked may offer less motion capability. The image sensors employed in these cameras employ very small diagonal space (nearly 6 mm with crop factor of 6). This is the best camera for a beginner because it is easy to use, but if you are looking for something more professional, then you should take a look at the other categories.
Generally, bridge cameras are often mistaken for single lens reflex cameras (SLR), but that is not the case. The two do share some similar properties, but their features also differ to some extent. For instance, bridge cameras offer fixed lenses, small image sensors, and live preview of the photo to be clicked. Extra features include auto-focus employing contrast detect method, as well as, manual focus, image stabilization to reduce sensitivity to click better pictures. Images can be stored on your computer as compressed JPEG files.
They may look similar to SLR cameras, but they function at a much slower pace. The SLR cameras are greater in size, and therefore, have high zooming capability and quick apertures. The manual or auto-focus can be controlled according to one’s necessities. The image preview is also different because it uses either an LCD or an Electronic viewfinder (EVF).
You may have heard this term before in your life as these are one of the most top- notch cameras, which cost even more than the previously mentioned types. They employ the single lens reflex method similar to any other ordinary camera with a digital image sensor. The SLR method contains a mirror which further reflects the light passing through the lens with the assistance of an optical viewfinder.
Other features of this camera are live preview mode, the placement of a distinct type of sensor in the mirror box for getting autofocus, and high tech sensors with crop factors from 2 to 1 with diagonal space, ranging from 18 mm to 36 mm. It also provides high picture quality even in low light areas. The lens of the camera is interchangeable, and the user can choose any lens needed for a particular shot. A focal plane shutter is employed in front of the image, and the depth of the field is very low at certain apertures.
This type of camera is an amalgamation of very huge sensors and interchangeable lenses. The preview is constructed using an EVF. It does not employ any complicated mechanism like that in a DSLR. The shape of these cameras is also a little different when compared to other types.
This is a unique film camera which comes with a rangefinder. With this kind of camera in hand, taking distant shots is very possible and easy. Though many other types of cameras can be used for the same purpose, those do not employ the rangefinder technique.
This is the last type of camera mentioned in our guide, and it is basically used for containing high image resolutions at a very fast speed.Single pixel of image sensors is employed instead of a matrix system to make this mechanism run successfully. This kind of camera is usually used by professionals to capture pictures of continuously moving objects. The data which is produced by this camera is one dimensional. It needs to be transferred onto a computer or a laptop to make it two dimensional. The 2-D data which is obtained is further utilised to fulfill the needs of the photographer.