Today, there are a wide variety of digital cameras available to suit the needs of both amateur and professional photographers. Each type of camera comes with certain advantages and disadvantages and choosing the right camera depends on both your budget and how you plan to use the camera.
The following camera types are some of the most common on the market.
Smartphone and iPad Cameras
If you already own a smartphone, you might not need a digital camera. These days, most smartphones come with a digital camera which is on par with a standard point and shoot camera. Smartphone cameras are ideal for people who want to capture decent-quality photos of family, friends, and day-to-day activities, use applications to filter or edit, and/or share photos on social media. There is also the added convenience of not having to carry around a second device and the cost—if you already have a smartphone, you don’t need to spend any additional money. Of course, if technical aspects and superior image quality are what you’re after, a smartphone camera may not be the best choice.
Point and Shoot
As smartphones with high-quality cameras have become more and more common, the point and shoot camera market has shrunk. Many smartphones now come equipped with editing and sharing applications, while point and shoot cameras take photos that need to be uploaded to a device before they can be shared. Point and shoot cameras may, however, be a good option for people with poor quality cameras on their cell phones. They come with features, a better zoom range than most cellphone cameras, and video recording options. In addition, point and shoot cameras aren’t costly, and most are small enough to fit in a purse or pocket. With their ease-of-use, they may be the best option for novice or inexperienced photographers who don’t have the option or aren’t interested in using their smartphone.
Bridge Compact Digital Cameras
Bridge compact cameras, which are also known as advanced compact cameras, offer a bit more in the way of features for photographers who aren’t ready to buy a high quality camera but would like to experiment with exposure settings such as aperture and shutter speed. Most bridge compact digital cameras have a manual mode which gives the user full control over settings. Bridge cameras tend to come with bigger lenses and longer zoom ranges than point and shoot cameras, in some cases up to 40X. They are generally larger than point and shoot cameras. Unlike digital SLR (DSLR) cameras, though, the lens on a bridge camera cannot be removed. Though many bridge cameras look similar to DSLR cameras, they tend to be slightly smaller. Bridge cameras are a good option for photographers who want to take high quality photos and have control over exposure settings, but can’t afford a DSLR camera.
Electronic Viewfinder with Interchangeable Lens (EVIL) Cameras
Like bridge cameras, EVIL cameras are another option between a point and shoot and a DSLR. Sometimes called mirrorless interchangeable-lens (MILCs) cameras or compact camera systems (CSCs), they are comparable in size to bridge cameras, and tend to have large sensors and manual control settings. Like bridge cameras, they are user-friendly, and suitable for amateur or intermediate photographers. Unlike bridge cameras, however, they support interchangeable lenses. For people who aren’t ready to spend the money required to purchase a DSLR camera or those who simply don’t want the range of exposure controls that a DSLR camera offers, EVIL cameras are a good option. The interchangeable lenses mean that features such as zoom can be controlled.
Digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras are the largest and most expensive type of camera on the market. Like EVIL cameras, their lenses are removable and interchangeable. Though they may not be the most practical choice because of their size and accessories, they offer the utmost quality and manual control of exposure settings. There are essentially no limits to what you can do with a DSLR camera if you’re willing to learn—amateurs who purchase DSLR cameras may have a steep learning curve. But, if professional-quality photographs are what you’re after, a DSLR camera is the best option.