Types of Digital Cameras.

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 cost!.

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 'consumer' prices.
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.

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