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The advantage of the internet era is that you have access to a million different types of cameras to choose from. The disadvantage is that it becomes very easy to feel overwhelmed.
This article is meant to take that feeling away and replace it with a well-crafted review of the types of cameras available for you.
- Interchangeable lenses – an extensive range of lenses
- customizable – ability to control all settings
- on the bulky side – and semi steep learning curve
- smaller than DSLRs – comes with full-frame or crop sensors
- High-res images & sharpness – and attractive build quality
- Full settings control – with interchangeable lenses
- Small and light – and incredibly easy to use
- Versatile zoom lenses – with a reasonable size sensor
- Lower image quality than DSLR – difficult to control manually
- optical zoom lens – for flexibility and convenience
- ncredibly user-friendly – small and lightweight body
- Limited settings & features – and lower resolution
- authentic & vintage – and inexpensive, quality lens
- Great image resolution – but film can cost a lot
- no monitor – which means steep learning curve
- weather-proof – shockproof, lightweight, and durable
- include 4K video – screens, and high FPS rates
- mounted & fixed anywhere – few settings and customizations
- gorgeous images – and realistic-looking panoramic photos
- capture a full 360-degree view – in a single click
- Lightweight & easy to carry – and allows live streaming
- capture andscapes & portraits – without much effort
- Small, lightweight, & versatile – and easy storage
- Add-on lenses – including a great selection of accessories
- Compact design – and incredibly easy to use
- fun way to snap photos – prints instantly
- No interchangeable lens – and limited control settings
10 Popular types of cameras
1. DSLR cameras
If you want to take photography to a more professional level, DSLRs are an excellent choice.
- full LCD touchscreen – responsive and great to use
- good weather sealing – for most casual weather settings
- Dual Pixel RAW – for improving AF, bokeh, and more
- weatherproof body – for entry-level photographers
- controls are intuitive – features are somewhat scaled back
- 45-point Dual Pixel CMOS AF system – and a large 26MP sensor
- High-quality DSLR images
- Interchangeable lenses
- The most extensive range of lenses available
- The two most popular brands of DSLRs are Canon and Nikon
- Ability to control all settings
- Many lens options
- HD video
- Optical viewfinder
- Can be on the bulky, heavier side
- High price point
- Semi steep learning curve
2. Mirrorless cameras
In recent years mirrorless cameras have gained popularity.
- suits the demanding photographer – with impressive specs
- 6.5 stops of IBIS – and improved shutter for higher burst speeds
- shoot in 4k – fast AF and a 26.1MP X-Trans sensor
- great blend of R's form – and 1D X's professional-grade AF
- fantastic video quality – but with overheating constraints
- perfect for hyrbrid shooters – shooting stills and video
- smaller and lighter than many DSLR cameras
- with no less quality
- come with full-frame or crop sensors
- there is no difference in image quality between DSLR and mirrorless cameras with comparable sensors
- Due to their more compact size, mirrorless cameras have smaller batteries
- Lighter and more compact than DSLRs
- Full settings control
- Interchangeable lenses
- High-res images and excellent sharpness
- Attractive build quality and aesthetic High-res video capabilities
- Electronic viewfinder
- Can be laggy and slow
- Fewer gear and accessories
- Shorter battery life
3. Bridge cameras
This type of camera is ideal for you if you've discovered a passion for photography and the phone camera you have doesn't do the job anymore.
Bridge cameras are far more capable and without the limitations of smaller cameras.
- 20MP 1-inch sensor – excellent 315-point phase-detect AF
- includes tilting touchscreen – and inbuilt 24-600mm lens
- dust & splash-resistant – Wi-Fi and bluetooth connectivity
- 24-3000mm, 125x zoom lens – for out-of-this-world range images
- optical stabilization – to effectively reduce camera shake
- high-resolution EVF – lens size is impractical to transport
- The size of the sensor is not as big as in most DSLRs and mirrorless cameras
- It is, though, bigger than you'll find in compact cameras and phones.
- This type of camera has a fixed lens. You cannot swap it out for another lens
- All bridge cameras have zoom lenses.
- The higher-end models have zooms with incredible ranges, from very wide to ultra-telephoto.
- Small and light
- Easy to use
- Versatile zoom lenses
- Reasonable size sensor
- Lens quality
- Battery life
- Lower image quality than mirrorless or DSLR
- More difficult to control manually
4. Compact cameras
This type of camera is often called a point-and-shoot camera because they are quick and easy to take photos.
If you want something of an upgrade from your phone but don't want to carry a larger camera, this is the type of camera for you.
- capture stunning 4K clips – up to 10 minutes long
- nice vlogging experience – livestream feature and flip-out screen
- 1 hour battery life – and 10 minute limit on 4K video
- 24-200mm zoom range – in a compact body
- 1-inch 20.1MP sensor – excellent 4K video
- 357-point phase-detection AF – 20fps continuous shooting
- Everything is automated, so you don't have to pay much attention to capturing an image
- It's smaller than your phone to a little larger but will still fit comfortably in your pocket or purse.
- Sensor sizes are smaller, but not so small as in most phones.
- One significant advantage a compact camera has over a phone is the zoom lens.
- Having an optical zoom lens gives you more flexibility and convenience than your phone.
- Incredibly easy and user-friendly
- Zoom lens
- No need to change the lens
- Small and lightweight
- Limited settings and features
- Small sensor
- Lower resolution
5. Film cameras
Film cameras are not dead. Besides many beginner photographers using film cameras to develop their style and skills, the fashion of film cameras is back among many teenagers nowadays.
- Cool color rendering – and incredible images
- manual control support – easy access to viewfinder and lenses
- Bulky body – not good for capturing fleeting moments
- user-friendly camera – good for both hobbyists and professionals
- many available FD mount lenses – sturdy designed lendes
- Automatic program mode – Semi-automatic shutter-priority mode
- The main difference for digital photographers who pick a film camera is the lack of a screen
- You also need to be more sure of your settings because you won't know if you get something wrong until your film comes back from the lab.
- They all have a lens and a shutter to control the light.
- The film you load determines the ISO.
- There are many types of second-hand film cameras available.
- It's authentic and vintage
- Inexpensive, quality lens
- Great image resolution
- Steep learning curve
- Film costs can be high
- No monitor
6. Action cameras
Action cameras are ideal for adventure seekers and adrenaline junkies. Also perfect for the outdoors.
- 23.6 MP SENSOR – captures video at 5K in 30fps at 100Mbps
- IMPROVED IBIS – time-lapses & longer-lasting battery
- LARGE TOUCHSCREEN – ufor intuitive control & easy navigation
- Good photo and video quality – 12MP and 4K video resolution
- multipurpose compact camera – with magnetic mount
- 32GB internal memory – including detachable microSD slot
- they can withstand rough weather conditions
- they're shockproof, lightweight, and highly durable
- include 4K video, screens, and high FPS rates
- Super lightweight and durable
- Can be mounted and fixed anywhere
- Weather-proof and versatile
- High-quality resolution in a small body
- Small sensor
- No manual focusing
- No viewfinder (usually)
- Few settings and customizations
- Poor battery life
7. 360 cameras
360-degree cameras are becoming more and more popular, and for good reason. They produce gorgeous, realistic-looking panoramic photos that are perfect for the outdoor photographer.
- 3K resolution videos at 60fps – and 18MP spherical photos
- Wifi, Bluetooth, & GPS connectivity – and crystal clear audio
- supports Playback in virtual reality – including a 360° POV
- reliable stabilization system – and shoots beautiful images
- reliable in-built microphone – for great versatility
- no 4K video capture – and it isn't waterproof without a case
- Many of them are like action cameras, being able to withstand rough conditions and are weather resistant.
- They produce amazing photos using a 360-degree camera.
The camera will capture a full 360-degree view in a single click.
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Can be mounted anywhere
- Allows live streaming/live view
- Produces realistic images
- Lower resolution images
- Sensitive to motion blur and camera shake
- Can be challenging to frame shots
- Cannot be printed
8. Smartphone cameras
This is the most popular and user-friendly choice of camera for anyone.
- Versatile – with an ultra-wide, standard, and telephoto lens
- excellent focusing skills – and 20 megapixels
- Great video quality – capture 4K at 60p
- 108MP f/1.8 primary snapper – and a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide one
- two telephoto cameras – 3x- and 10x optical zoom
- Beautiful phone design – best phone camera zoom features
- Stores all your photos on your device, and you have the option to upload them immediately
- You can capture all the candid moments, landscapes, and portraits without much effort.
- The quality of smartphone cameras has improved dramatically.
- Small, lightweight, and versatile
- Easy storage and cloud backup
- Add-on lenses
- Great selection of accessories
- Limited settings and functions
- Small sensors
- No Manual control
- Image Quality
9. Instant/Polaroid cameras
They bring a specific mix of nostalgia and fun to their users. Also suitable for beginners.
- Full-size prints – 108x88mm image size
- Outstanding image quality – optical viewfinder
- Brilliant & innovative app – includes self-timer
- Beginner-friendly – and comes in a range of pastel colours
- 30cm Minimum shooting distance – and built-in flash
- Mandatory to use flash – and viewfinder is not the best
- These range from toyish point-and-shoots to advanced instant cameras, Polaroids, and more.
- Instant cameras are like a hybrid of vintage analogue and digital photography
- Compact design
- Easy to use
- A fun way to snap photos
- Prints instantly
- Can be expensive
- Film can be pricey
- No interchangeable lens
- Limited control settings
10. Medium format cameras
Consider medium format cameras if you are into professional photography. Due to its higher price point and its niche market, there aren't many in the market. However, these cameras are incredibly powerful and targeted.
- 100MP sensor & IBIS – in a compact body
- impressive image quality – and a super-fast AF system
- complex 8-way joystick – and quite heavy for a handheld
- medium format & a large-sensor – that is relatively affordable
- features a huge 51.4MP sensor – into a portable little body
- 6.5 stops IBIS – and a pixel-shift multi-shot mode
- They have huge sensors.
- They produce higher image resolution than full-frame cameras
- If you are an expert, the 50-100 megapixels with in-body stabilization feature would appeal to you
- The resulting images are stunningly detailed and of higher quality than in a full-frame DSLR or mirrorless camera.
- Large sensor size (120mm)
- Low light noise
- Shallow depth of field
- Interchangeable lens
- Wide dynamic range
- Excellent image quality
- Very expensive
- Can be pretty bulky and heavy
- Slower auto-focus
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Now that you know what types of cameras there are, you can make a better-informed decision about which one suits your needs best. Every camera type comes in different brands with different models. And if you want to explore more, check out this camera system manual.
Start trying out various cameras and models, to find the one you like. Get easy access by renting your cameras.
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About the instructors
What are different types of cameras?
Compact digital cameras,
How many types of cameras are there?
There are 9 main types of cameras.
What types of cameras are best?
It all depends on your needs and wants. Choose the category that best fits you first.