If you are about to buy a new camera, you are spoiled for choice among almost five hundred current models in a price range from less than 50 to over 10,000. Test reports help to find personal favorites in each camera class. But what kind of camera is actually the right onee?
Camera types with specific advantages and disadvantages
Cameras are divided into different classes mainly according to their size and the possibility of using interchangeable lenses. It is important to select a camera that suits the intended purpose and your experience with photographic technology. It's no fun lugging around SLR equipment only to end up operating the camera in full auto mode and not making the most of the system's capabilities. On the other hand, you will only get disappointing results with a compact camera for sports and event photography under difficult lighting conditions. In the following paragraphs we will introduce you to some camera types with their respective advantages and disadvantages and hope that this will make your selection a little easier.
This very large group of cameras has already been predicted to become extinct as smartphones continue to improve their photos and videos. In fact, mobile devices are crowding out the smallest point-and-shoot cameras because of the convenience of not having to carry a second device with you.
The fact that compact cameras still hold their own in the market is due to the many possibilities that cell phone cameras cannot offer. Anyone looking for a fast lens or a large zoom range with relatively small external dimensions will find what they are looking for in the compact camera sector and has significantly more options than with a smartphone.
The main advantages of the low weight and the compact design, the easy operation thanks to the fully automatic mode and the possibility of using motif programs, but there are also disadvantages: The most important limitation is the image quality, which deteriorates significantly under poor lighting conditions. The sensor is often not even the size of a fingernail. If you want to accommodate more and more pixels on this sensor, the pixels have to be packed extremely tightly and interfere with each other. This becomes noticeable in so-called image noise, especially if you have to take pictures with high ISO values. If you apply a noise filter, the image loses sharpness and details are lost. Our tip: When it comes to a compact camera, opt for a model with fewer megapixels. More pixels are often just a marketing argument and do not lead to better image quality.
A class of their own in the field of compact camerasaction cams They are optimized for videos under extreme conditions. With an extensive range of accessories, such as those available from Rollei, these cameras can be adapted to the requirements of a wide variety of outdoor sports.
Social networks such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have certainly played their part in the success story of theaction cam. Filming is one thing, but you also need a platform to present your results. While the albums used to be looked through at family home evenings, today you post your holiday experiences in the social networks or send them to your friends by email.
As the name suggests, bridge cameras are the link between compact cameras and SLR and system cameras, which we will discuss later. Like compact cameras, they have a non-interchangeable lens, but offer a larger sensor and therefore require a larger lens diameter. This makes the cameras bulkier and heavier, but they also have better image quality. They are also equipped with a hot shoe for an external flash unit.
Committed photographers will find extended manual setting options, including the recording of so-called RAW files. Much more can be extracted from this raw data format in post-processing than from the already compressed JPG format.
Mirrorless system cameras
A still quite new class of digital cameras combine the advantages of the large sensor and the interchangeable lens with the compact design. Because electronic viewfinders are getting better and better, the optical viewfinder and thus the oscillating mirror are no longer used. In addition to the simpler mechanics, this also brings advantages, for example long exposures, because the images can no longer be blurred by mirror slaps.
Information can also be displayed or exposure simulations can be carried out in an electronic viewfinder.
Decision criteria at a glance: Now that you have gotten to know the types of cameras, simply use the criteria to check them
- height and weight
- picture quality
- individual setting options
- zoom range
- expansion options of the system,
what suits your photography best. If the decision is difficult and the budget allows it: The trend towards the second camera continues!
Compact, action cam, bridge: Rollei
DSLR: Stefan Englert
System camera Canon:„EOS M white frontal with Speedlite 90EXX“ from35mm – Own work. Licensed underCC BY-SA 3.0 aboutWikimedia Commons.