Point and shoot cameras. For the past few decades, serious photographers
have mainly been using traditional 35mm SLR cameras. But these large and
heavy cameras with a selection of lenses are inconvenient to say the
least, so most serious photographers have always dropped a point and
shoot camera in their shirt pocket.
The photos from these small cameras
may not be quite as good (and that is debatable), but they go anywhere
and pictures that would otherwise be missed are captured. Point and
shoot cameras have earned their credit and are welcome additions to even
the most professional photographer's camera collection.
Why this discussion on point and shoot cameras? It's because in the new
digital photography age they are not only very popular, they are the
least expensive digital cameras. Most of these cameras have both fully
automatic mode and manual user settings and usually provide you
with a lot of creative control - that's why they are called "point and
shoot." With resolutions up to 12 million pixels, you can get great
prints up to 8" x 10" or even bigger using the highest resolution
setting on your camera.
So what are the types of
digital cameras available?.
Broadly speaking Digital cameras can be segregated into two major types:
Consumer and Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR). A third type, is the
Prosumer camera, usually offers all the features of the consumer camera
with some of the features of the DSLR.
Digital Consumer Cameras are made as an all-in-one device and typically
have a fixed lens, and are often loaded with a lot of gimmicks to make
them attractive for average family use.
Digital Single Lens Reflex Cameras (Digital SLR) have 'through the lens
viewfinder', and typically have an interchangeable lens (there are a few
digital SLRs which have fixed lenses. In general, however, SLR cameras,
both traditional and digital, will have interchangeable lenses). The
image sensors on digital SLRs are much larger and are made to a
different construction than on consumer cameras which contributes to
higher image quality. The high degree of quality control and the array
of high-quality optic lenses has a correspondingly huge drawback, high
And the final type the Digital Prosumer Cameras range.
'Prosumer' is a term coined by the media and picked up by the industry
to describe cameras that are professional in quality but sold at
As such, Prosumer cameras can be either High-end Consumer cameras, or
Digital SLR. The key distinguishing factor is high quality at a low
price band, and not the type of camera.
This is one of the fastest growing categories of cameras because these
cameras appeal to serious photographers who like to have creative
control of their camera's settings and make prints up to about 20" x 16"
easily using the highest resolution setting on the camera.
Close & return to >