WHAT KIND OF DIGITAL CAMERA TO USE?

point and shoot cameras

point and shoot cameraA point-and-shoot camera, also called a compact camera, is a still camera designed primarily for simple operation. Most use focus free lenses or autofocus for focusing, automatic systems for setting the exposure options, and have flash units built in. Point-and-shoots are by far the best selling type of separate camera, as distinct from camera phones. They are popular with people who don't consider themselves photographers but want an easy to use camera for vacations, parties, reunions and other events. Point-and-shoot cameras are distinguished from single-lens reflex cameras (SLRs) in several respects: point-and-shoot film cameras, and many digital ones, use a viewfinder. The image that the photographer sees is not the same image that passes through the primary lens of the camera (that is, the lens that projects the image onto the film or, in the case of digital cameras, the image sensor). Rather, the image in the viewfinder passes through a separate lens. SLRs, on the other hand, have only one lens, and a mirror diverts the image from the lens into the viewfinder; that mirror then retracts when the picture is taken so that the image can be recorded on the film or sensor. With this mechanism, pictures cannot be previewed on the LCD screens of most digital SLRs, although some manufacturers have found a way around this limitation. Digital cameras obviate the need for the SLR design to some degree, as the camera's LCD image is obtained through the lens, not a separate viewfinder. Many newer and smaller digital point-and-shoots omit the optical viewfinder. With SLR cameras, it is important that the image in the viewfinder be the same image recorded by the film or sensor, so that the effect of the add-on lenses and filters can be seen by the photographer. Point-and-shoot cameras generally don't have such add-on devices, hence there is no such need.

dslr cameras

dslr cameraDigital single-lens reflex cameras are digital cameras combining the parts of a single-lens reflex camera (SLR) and a digital camera back, replacing the photographic film. The first DSLRs were constructed this way, later features like live preview, HD video recording with contrast detection autofocus or ergonomic integration like dedicated film speed (ISO) buttons took further advantage of the digital image sensor. Although the term DSLR often refers to cameras that resemble 35 mm format cameras, some medium format cameras are also DSLRs. Currently DSLRs are widely used by consumers and professional still photographers. Well established DSLRs currently offer a larger variety of dedicated lenses and other photography equipment, often using a larger image sensor format, often providing a higher dynamic range and signal to noise ratio. By contrast compact digital cameras and bridge cameras usually have smaller image sensors, which provides a larger depth of field. A movable mechanical mirror system is switched down (exact 45-degree angle) to direct light from the lens over a matte focusing screen via a condenser lens and a pentaprism/pentamirror to an optical viewfinder eyepiece. Focusing can be manual or automatic, activated by pressing half-way on the shutter release or a dedicated AF button. To take an image, the mirror swings upwards in the direction of the arrow, the focal-plane shutter opens, and the image is projected and captured on the image sensor, after which actions, the shutter closes, the mirror returns to the 45-degree angle, and the built in drive mechanism re-tensions the shutter for the next exposure. Essential parts of all digital cameras are some electronics like amplifier, analog to digital converter, image processor and other (micro-)processors for processing the digital image, performing data storage and/or driving an electronic display.