What Type of Camera Should I Buy?
There are four basic types of consumer cameras:
APS Point-&-Shoot, 35mm Point-&-Shoot, SLR Cameras, and Digital Cameras
APS (Advanced Photo System) cameras and film are an alternative to traditional 35mm film cameras. They are perfect for the snapshot photographer who desires the smallest, lightest and easiest type of camera. However, beyond zoom lenses and special flash modes, most offer few creative options.
Advantages of APS Point-&-Shoot Cameras:
1. These cameras are usually smaller than their 35mm counterparts.
2. True drop-in film loading (you never see or touch the actual film).
3. Three different print formats can be selected on most cameras, including panoramic.
4. Switch film mid-roll, insert another, then reload the original without missing a frame (if your camera allows Mid-Roll Change capability).
6.Index prints show every shot on the roll, with crop marks indicating the chosen format for each image.
A transparent magnetic layer records information that helps the photofinisher make better
prints; as well as recording shooting data and other information that can be backprinted on
the photographic print.
Disadvantages: Fewer film and camera choices. Prices for film and cameras are usually more expensive than 35mm. Point-&-shoot cameras have creative limitations when compared to their SLR counterparts.
Traditional 35mm point-&-shoot cameras have advanced by leaps and bounds in
the past few years, and far outshine the versions from a decade ago. This type of camera is a good choice for the snapshot photographer who desires the most economical camera, the largest choice of models and features, and a full range of film types. However, beyond zoom lenses and special flash modes, most offer few creative options.
Advantages of 35mm Point-&-Shoot Cameras:
The greater selection of camera models makes it easier to find a 35mm camera with the
exact features you are looking for.
More films to choose from, including color print, slide, black-and-white and specialty films. l
More economical- most 35mm cameras cost less than their comparable APS model. This is
true for film and processing as well.
Industry-wide design improvements have created a generation of 35mm cameras that rival
APS in ease-of-use..
Disadvantages: Point-&-shoot cameras have many creative limitations when compared to their SLR counterparts.
SLR (single-lens-reflex) cameras are the choice of most avid amateur and
professional photographers, but they are an excellent choice for anyone who thinks they may one day want to pursue "serious" photography. Most can be used in point-&-shoot Program mode, or switched to advanced shooting modes for the ultimate creative control.
Advantages of Most SLR Cameras:
1. TTL (through-the-lens) photography means there is virtually no difference between what is seen through the viewfinder and what ends up on film, even with close-ups.
2. Interchangeable lenses give you incredible creative control over your image, from "fisheye" wide-angles, to super telephotos for sports and wildlife, or close-up lenses for a unique look at the world.
3. Aperture and shutter speed control opens up a host of specialized creative techniques,
including panning, selective focus and ethereal blurs of waterfalls.
4.Great accessories include high-powered flash units, filters and more.
5.Point-&-shoot simplicity is still possible in Program mode.
Disadvantages: SLR cameras tend to be bigger, heavier and more expensive than point-&-shoot models..
Digital (filmless) cameras are the hot, new, "must-have" product. Save the picture in the
camera's memory or a memory card; transfer it to a computer; erase the memory in the camera or card; then shoot again. They range in price from under $50 for e-mail-quality pictures to many thousands of dollars for professional models. Anyone who has a computer will enjoy e-mailing, manipulating, and printing digital pictures. Instant gratification and film/processing savings means you'll have more fun shooting. Also, there are many business applications that will benefit from digital cameras, including real estate and insurance..
Advantages of Most Mid-Range Digital Cameras:
1. Save film and processing fees (as well as time) because the camera doesn't use film. l
Models with LCD monitors provide instant gratification through playback that lets you know
you "got the shot," as well as sharing it with your friends.
2. Removable Memory Cards allows the photographer to "change film" and keep shooting
before they need to download pictures.
Disadvantages: The initial purchase price of digital cameras and memory cards tend to be more expensive than their film counterparts (but remember, you'll never have to buy film again!). On some cameras, image processing can take several seconds (especially at high resolutions), so you might have to wait before you can continue shooting.