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Camera Types



    Ultra-compact

    Ultra-compact Digital Cameras

    The ultra-compact camera is immensely popular right now, mainly because it is so small. It fits in your purse, it fits in your pocket; you can take it with you anywhere, and it's always ready to go. It's a nice handy point-and-shoot camera.

    The downfall to the camera's small size is that the lens has also become much smaller to fit inside the camera body. The viewfinder enables us to view the image without using the camera's LCD screen. The smaller camera's viewfinder, if it has one, is not accurate. The LCD screen is handy but it also takes away from the camera's power source. Having an accurate viewfinder is quite helpful.

    Another compromise to the camera's small size is the elimination of buttons and external features that allow us to access the camera's more basic functions. Removing the buttons keeps the camera nice and sleek but it means navigation now requires going through the camera's menu system, which will slow you down while you're shooting.

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    Sub-compact

    Sub-compact Digital Cameras

    A sub-compact camera has a few more features and is only just a touch larger than the ultra-compact camera. The lens actually zooms out from the body, so you'll have optical zoom. There are more buttons and functions on top or on the sides of the camera that will allow you to navigate the camera functions. The nice addition of a battery grip on the right-hand side makes the camera much more ergonomic. A viewfinder is included right above the lens. This gives a preview of the image without relying on the LCD screen all the time.

    The battery grip on a subcompact camera allows the camera manufacturer to build a larger battery, which gives you more power to work with. It also gives you something to hold on to and allows the camera to fit very nicely in your hand, making you a more stable photographer as well.

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    camera_mid

    Prosumer or Midsize Cameras

    This prosumer camera is also referred to as a "mid-size" digital camera. These cameras are a bit larger than the compact cameras, so they won't necessarily fit in your pocket. You may have to hang it around your neck with a neck strap or keep it in a small camera bag. One of the major advantages is that you have a really nice-sized lens that has a good piece of glass and focusing optics inside. There's a larger battery grip that allows for more power and a comfortable place for your hand. And more external buttons allow you to access camera features without having to go into the camera's menu system.

    The camera's lens does not fit flush with the body as it does with compact cameras. This allows the manufacturer to build better quality lenses.

    Everything is built into these cameras. You don't have to carry external accessories or additional lenses with you. Everything is fixed. It's one complete package.

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    DSLR

    Digital SLR: Single Lens Reflex

    The last type of camera I would consider is a digital SLR. You don't have to spend a lot of money to buy this type of camera. This type of camera allows interchangeable lenses, which makes the camera more versatile. The camera controls, battery grip, and the external buttons are more accessible and ergonomic. More accessories are available, such as additional flashes. They have accurate viewfinders above the lens. The LCD screens are larger and clearer. The bigger camera body allows for larger processors. The larger processors are faster and allow faster shooting. These cameras are so fast that they allow us to shoot faster than the fastest film cameras ever did in the past.

    The viewfinder on a digital SLR is very accurate. It sees exactly what the lens sees. This will help you when focusing and when composing your images. It's more accurate than the LCD screen.

    Here's a detail view of the external functions and buttons on a digital SLR. They make life much simpler, and you don't have to go through the camera's menu system all the time for simple functions.

    DSLR

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