What are the different types of cameras ?
Photography today is more democratized than ever with regard to the technological progress made in this field. However, this type of activity cannot be practiced in all its forms using the same type of equipment. In particular, there are several different types of cameras depending on the type of photography you want to take.
Comparison of analog and digital models
Cameras can capture images using two types of technology. The first is the analog method that uses film. The second is digital technology, which stores photos as digital files. Neither method is really better than the other. It depends mostly on one’s preferences in photography.
Sensor and depth of field
The most obvious difference between film and digital is the type of sensor used to take the picture. Analog or film cameras use light-sensitive film that is placed behind the lens.
By taking a picture, you cause the shutter to open for a predetermined period of time. The light will then strike the film, allowing the image to be printed on it. The film must be replaced and replaced behind the lens when you take a new picture.
Digital cameras use a fixed electronic sensor or CCD located behind the lens. The sensor is made up of tiny light-sensitive sensors, each representing one pixel. Light hits the sensor when the shutter opens and each pixel gets a value. The combination of all the pixel values forms a picture. The photo is recorded on a digital medium and the CCD is emptied electronically before a new photo is taken.
The biggest difference between an analog sensor and a digital model is the depth of field. Digital sensors are smaller than a 35 mm film. Their depth of field will therefore be higher. This can be almost infinite for most digital cameras with a compact design. It is therefore not possible to create blurred backgrounds.
Cost of a photo
Taking pictures with a digital camera costs next to nothing. The photos are stored in a storage medium that you can clean at no charge. The photos you want to keep can also be copied to other digital media. This includes hard drives, USB sticks, SD cards, etc.
With the ever-decreasing price of storage media, the cost of recording a digital photo is virtually zero. This is not the case with the use of film. Film rolls need to be replaced regularly. This type of accessory can, however, cost quite a bit, depending on the type of camera. Each photo taken is therefore a bigger expense at your expense.
Storage technologies have made significant progress in recent years. This progress is particularly beneficial to modern digital cameras. They can hold hundreds or even thousands of photos on a single medium. The advances are such that the storage capacity of digital models is virtually infinite.
The situation is less glorious for analog cameras. A roll of 45 films can only be used to take 45 photos. Installing a new roll is not the kind of task that can be done quickly, however. This is especially true when you are taking pictures in the dark or in a hostile environment.
Professional journalists are well aware of this problem. That’s why they prefer to take several cameras with them instead of several spare rolls. This way they make sure they never miss the opportunity to take a good picture because of one roll to replace.
One of the primary selling points of a digital camera is the instantaneous side of its feedback. You can actually instantly view the photos you take. This is possible by consulting the small LCD screen that comes with most digital models.
The ability to get a preview of the photos taken is very important for a photographer. He can immediately see the defects in his technique and improve them accordingly. If a photo looks bad, you can immediately take another one.
This kind of feedback is less obvious with analogue cameras. You won’t have any idea of the quality of the photo until it has been printed.
With digital cameras, you can take pictures without having your eyes glued to the viewfinder. Above-ground shooting angles are easier to establish. You can see what’s in the camera’s field of view by looking directly at the LCD monitor.
The ability to take new shots is a great achievement compared to analogue cameras. The photographer has to rely on his or her instinct and own technique to know if the picture is taken at the right angle.
Retouching of pictures
Pictures taken with a digital camera can be retouched using photo editing software. This is often provided as a package for use on a computer. Some cameras, however, are also equipped with integrated correction functions.
Post-processing is not really an option for photos taken in analogue format. It is very difficult to make corrections on films once they have been developed. The only way to correct photos on film is to convert them to digital format. Once scanned, the negative or printed photo can be corrected using photo software before being reprinted. However, many professional photographers would prefer to avoid this solution due to its time consuming and expensive nature.
Variations in the environment
Each roll of film is designed to provide optimal results in a specific environment. Some films are more suitable for indoor or outdoor photography depending on their level of light sensitivity. However, the conditions of the environment in which you take your pictures can change quite quickly. The weather can quickly become sunnier or darker than it was a few minutes ago.
People using analog cameras will have three options in such a case. The first would be to take pictures with the wrong type of film. However, the resulting pictures may have distorted colours or a grainy structure.
The second is to replace the roll before taking the picture. However, this involves the risk of losing photos that were not taken with the current roll. The third option would be to use another camera with a different film type. This is the latter solution that most photographers will prefer to adopt.
Changes in the environment are easier to manage with digital cameras. Sensor settings can be changed instantly for each photo to be taken.
The camera can switch between the indoor and outdoor world at the touch of a button. The same applies to light intensity, night mode use, etc. Some cameras can even detect the type of environment automatically and configure the sensor accordingly.
Photographs printed on film or as negatives deteriorate easily over time. Digital photos tend to retain the same quality regardless of the years that have passed. A digital photo taken today will look the same 600 years from now. The important thing is that it is regularly saved on a new storage medium.
Various subsidiary camera designs
Analog and digital define camera categories in their entirety. However, this equipment can still be broken down into several different sub-categories.
Compact style cameras
Compact cameras come in three forms. These are the standard format, zoom models and advanced designs.
Standard compact models are also known as point-and-shoot. These units are lightweight, easy to use and remarkably affordable. They do not offer real adjustable camera settings. All you have to do to take a picture is aim at the scene in the lens and release the shutter.
This type of camera is often used for holiday or outdoor leisure pictures. However, they are also available in designs suitable for more technical use.
Compact zoom cameras are essentially equipped with a better zoom lens than standard models. Their lenses are not interchangeable, but the zoom range is between 28 and 300 mm. These cameras are not really suitable for professional use.
However, they have automatic exposure settings and manual options such as HD recording. Many of them also have a minimum resolution of 12 megapixels.
Advanced designs retain the lightweight advantage that defines the compact format. However, they are not as affordable as standard models. This is because they offer a manual exposure mode and produce higher resolution images. Some models are also equipped with interchangeable lenses.
Single-lens DSLR camera
Single-lens digital SLR cameras (DSLRs) are the concepts of choice for the most creative projects. This includes fashion photography or creating quality content for YouTube channels. This type of camera provides professional-level sharpness and an equally powerful background bokeh.
DSLRs often come with advanced sensors, manual adjustments and removable lenses. This allows them to shoot high-resolution footage. The light enters a single lens and hits a mirror that reflects the light back into the viewfinder. The sensor can be either a 35mm full-format model or an APS-C semi-full-format model.
Mirrorless devices are a lighter and more compact alternative to DSLRs. They provide outstanding image quality, especially for video.
The housing of a mirrorless model lacks the element that reflects light back to the sensor. The light thus reaches the camera’s sensor directly. The mechanics of this concept automatically limits camera shake compared to DSLRs. The reduced number of moving parts also allows the device to operate more quietly. However, the lens options available for mirrorless cameras are somewhat limited.
Digital action cameras
Action cameras are sometimes called adventure cameras. They are ideal for filming outdoors or other difficult situations. This type of camera is mainly used in sports photography and video. This is all the more normal knowing that they are lightweight, shock-proof and weather-resistant.
The GoPros are the most accessible range of action cameras for the general public. Their small sensors do not make them technically suitable for professional use. However, this does not prevent many people from using them for this purpose. The resulting pictures are of high quality and can be spliced with other images from a DSLR or mirrorless camera. This will mainly depend on the overall project and aesthetics you are trying to achieve.
360-degree shooting equipment
The 360-degree or 360-degree cameras work in a very similar way to an action camera. They are waterproof and can be installed on all kinds of surfaces. This includes personal drones, driving helmets, car hoods, etc.
The greatest advantage of a 360 camera is the ability to capture images from many different angles in a single shot. One of the reasons for this is the back-to-back lenses on the camera. This type of camera is very popular for photography and adventure movies. Many VLOGs shared on YouTube have been shot with this technology.