Photo enthusiasts can be split into many categories. Digital cameras too. Choosing the proper camera requires thinking about your tastes and your needs. You’ll eventually come to considering the differences between two large families: fixed lens and interchangeable lens cameras.
Fixed lens cameras: compacts and hybrids
Regardless of their size, fixed lens cameras aim to cover most of a photographer’s needs in just one piece of equipment. They come in various price ranges and formats, even colors and shapes. Most have a zoom lens. Usually they vary from an angle wide enough to cover a group of people in a medium-sized room, to a medium telephoto in order to shoot close up portraits or moderately distant objects.
How do you choose? Well, if you are convinced that your needs will never change, or if you have a very specific budget, these cameras should be right for you.
Remember, If you choose a fixed lens camera, you don’t have to compromise, neither on image quality or on build quality. The category includes several high-end cameras with all the custom functions and sharp optics you’ll need.
Plus these cameras are often smaller and easier to carry everywhere, whether you’re on a trip, a short walk, visiting friends for the night or just about any occasion where you might want to bring back great memories, or capture a breathtaking view.
Your local camera store can also show you a growing number of hybrid cameras that are designed to retain the advantages of fixed lens cameras while offering a certain number of auxiliary lenses that are lightweight and portable.
Interchangeable lens cameras: the DSLR
These cameras are designed to operate at the heart of a “system”, which offers several accessories such as flash, tripods, and all sorts of gear, but especially a variety of lenses designed for all photographic situations.
It might be architecture, portraits, birds, landscapes, nature, or sport, but if any type of photography lights a passion for you one day, there are lenses designed specifically to create remarkable pictures in each of these situations.
With a DSLR, not only will you be getting a good quality camera, but your camera and equipment will follow your needs as they evolve. And DSLRs come in a wide range of models, offering well equipped base models all the way up to professional cameras.
These are also the most common of cameras among photo hobbyists. This means they benefit from constant improvements and technological advances driven by a very competitive market.
If you’re a passionate amateur, or if your photographic adventure is just beginning, a DSLR is just what you need.