Digital Photography - Cameras
As part of the digital photography process, digital compacts & SLR cameras together with mirrorless cameras form the first part of the input stage. Please see the sections on choosing a digital camera and digital camera features for information on what to look for when buying a digital camera. Current cameras range in specification from 10 megapixels to 50 megapixels. With competition heating up in the lower end of the market with smartphones and other devices offering built in cameras, the digital camera market is moving towards higher end cameras with full frame cameras taking the lead. Also, many high end compacts now have 1" sensors and large aperture zoom lenses.
It is important to emphasize that more megapixels do not in themselves provide better quality as cramming in higher amounts of pixels in a small sensor often leads to more noise & a deterioration in quality. When choosing a digital camera or SLR as part of the digital photographic process, other factors must be taken into account including lens quality, camera build quality, shutter lag, speed of operation, accessories, portability and camera functions are all important.
Each individual, group or company will have different requirements when choosing a digital camera & the sections on beginner, family, enthusiast, nature, travel & sport photography will help to make a more informed decision. Digital cameras can be purchased online through a variety of reputable retailers including Amazon and Dell Digital Cameras.
Most digital cameras are fully automatic for ease of use but for photographers requiring some manual control, some of the mid range and higher end digital cameras offer various levels of manual control including full manual and aperture and shutter priority modes. For intermediate to professional photographers, digital SLR cameras and mirrorless compact system cameras will be the best choice for quality and versatility. However with the current move towards full frame cameras, professionals may be tempted by some of the new high end compact system cameras such as the 36 MP Sony A7R and the 24 MP Sony A7. Cameras such as these have the potential to shake up the digital SLR market by offering same size sensors and image quality as an SLR but in a smaller compact body. The lens ranges for most mirrorless systems such as Sony and Micro Four Thirds have expanded rapidly over recent years with many high quality lenses being produced by independent lens manufacturers such as Zeiss, Sigma, Tamron and others.
With the recent trend in camera manufacturers producing small compact digital slr cameras and mirrorless cameras, these systems may offer photographers at all levels the perfect combination of compact size, interchangeable lenses, manual control and a large sensor for higher quality images and less noise at higher ISOs. Inevitably, some smaller cameras will have some omissions such as some new Nikon DSLRs cannot autofocus on older Nikkor autofocus lenses.
The introduction of the micro four thirds system by Olympus & Panasonic presents an exciting breakthrough for anyone looking for a miniature camera which is capable of taking interchangeable lenses. The micro four thirds system has become well established over recent years and present and future models look very promising. Panasonic has recently announced the Lumix DMC-GM1 and DMC-G6 micro four thirds cameras which can take full high definition movies with stereo sound. Olympus have released their own high quality micro four thirds system cameras including the latest models for 2013 and 2015. These include the highly praised Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the E-PM2.
Sony and Samsung have also released their own miniature mirrorless compact camera systems. Samsung have released the highly praised NX20 and NX300. Sony currently has the superb NEX-6 and the semi-professional 24 megapixel Sony NEX-7 in their line up. Both systems use an APS size sensor and have interchangeable lenses with a new mount. With the current trend towards full frame high end cameras, Sony has recently released the incredible Sony A7R which has a small compact body with a 36 MP full frame sensor. Its little brother is the Sony A7 which has a 24 MP full frame sensor in a body which has a similar size and features to the A7R. Both cameras present a unique offering for the enthusiast or professional photographer looking for the highest quality images in a small compact take anywhere camera.
Pentax have released their Q system but this uses a small sensor and therefore cannot compete on quality terms which other mirrorless compact system cameras. Canon has only released various models in its EOS M range from the EOS M-1 to the EOS-M5. Nikon's system is called the Nikon 1 and is based on a one inch sensor. Its' latest models for 2016 include the waterproof Nikon 1 AW1 14.2 MP camera, the V3 and J5 camera bodies.