What type of camera is best for a beginner photographer?

So, you think that you need a $1,000 camera in order to take advantage of these digital photography tricks? Well, that is not necessarily so, but let’s look at the differences in cameras:

Disposable: These are film cameras, do you still remember them? They are the true “Point and Shoot”. You look through the veiw finder, click the button and advance the film. That’s it. Simple right?

Digital Point and Shoot: (I won’t go over the film version here) These have improved so much over the years. Most have a viewfinder, but also an LCD screen where you can review the picture you just took (did aunt Bea have her eyes open?). Most have the capability to zoom and have a built in flash. You can insert a memory card and all (as far as I can tell) have the ability to upload to a computer. Some have special settings for; backlit, panoramic, night, sports, portrait and a few others. These settings help tell the camera what type of effect you are looking for and it adjusts it’s shutter speed and aperature accordingly. There are a few that can be adjusted manually by the user, but most are all automatic. The lens cannot be changed.

Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR): (Again, I won’t go over the film version here) These are the cream of the crop for photographers. These are the large cameras that you see professionals dragging around. Some offer the automatic settings modes, but that is not what they are designed for. Photographers love them because they are manually adjustable. On the newer models just about everything is adjustable; shutter speed, aperature, ISO (film speed), white balance, focus…the list just goes on and on. They have an LCD screen, like the point and shoot, so that the photographer can review their pictures.

The main advantage to the DSLR is it’s ability to change lens and flashes. This gives the photographer unlimited resources to change the look of any picture they take.

The really nice thing about DSLR is that their price keeps coming down and the technology keeps getting better. The consumer level models are wonderful and powerful.

Phone Cameras: Just about every model of cellphone now comes with a camera. These are very limited in their options. Most camera phones can zoom and that’s about it. After you take the picture, they have some editing software. A few have flashes as well. I have found the overall quality of the pictures to be lacking, especially in low light situations.

Medium and Large Format Cameras: These are the large and extra large versions of the DSLR. The truly professionals use these.

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