Cameras: Capturing Precious Moments
They make you explore your creative side, let you preserve memories, and even allow you to make a living. Cameras and photography are undoubtedly such an integral part of our lives. They transformed how we conceive the world. They let us see things and objects no matter how minute they are, how fast they are, and how far they are. All we need is the right type of camera paired with the perfect lenses and accessories and you are ready to take your next masterpiece.
Digital cameras revolutionized the way we take photos, they made sharing and storing so much easier. They caused the demise of Kodak, a photography institution but they also accelerated innovation in the world of photography. Film cameras may not be as mainstream as before but they are still around and are mostly catering to the needs of discerning photographers who wants pure art with every shot they take as well as some hobbyists. Digital Single Lens Reflex units are currently the device of choice for professionals and consumers alike, but if analysts are to be believed, they will soon go the way of the film as Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens units will soon take over the market. Then there are the action cameras. What used to be a niche is now one of the fastest growing type thanks to GoPro's ultra water- and shockproof models. Of course there also other types which are more accessible to the budget conscious consumers such as compact digitals (aka point-and-shoot). They may be very affordable but thanks to the industry's fierce competition, most new models come with features that are almost DSLR-like.
Digital Single Reflex Lens units can be found in most tourists' neck, professional photographer's backpack, or casual photographers purse. They use a mirror behind the camera lens that directs light towards the viewfinder when you’re composing a photo. The mirror quickly swings out of the way when you’re taking a photo, allowing light to travel through the lens to the sensor, creating the photo you see on the display. They can be classified as entry-level and consumer-grade (or beginner) to mid range and professional. They are considered to be the first step towards serious photography, and very recently, to filmmaking as more and more units are becoming video recording capable. They cover a broad expanse of capabilities and they often come with a specialized function.
- Entry Level: They are the most affordable type. Though labelled as for beginners, they can also serve as a backup unit for professionals as the imaging quality of these units are by no means diminished. They come with a mixture of attributes that are easy to understand and follow. Series like Canon's EOS (Rebel in North America) range, Nikon DX line, Sony Alpha series, and Pentax K-series, which are great entry-level cameras for beginners.
- Intermediate: Also known as bridge digital SLRs, they features either APS-C or full-frame sensors and typically utilize some blend of both polycarbonate and alloy to produce a body design that is compact, lightweight, and durable. The Nikon D90 is a perfect example of devices in this class.
- Professional: This category is comprised of a brand's flagship range. They are the cream of the crop and they represent the highest quality in terms of built, manual control, image quality, sensitivity, and speed. They often come with full-framed sized image sensors and top-of-the-line image processors. They offer the most detail and clarity when shooting still photos and videos. The Canon EOS 7D belongs to this category.
Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras
Though they're starting to make waves just now, MILCs are not entirely new. In fact, they have been around for almost a decade. They are lighter, significantly smaller, and quieter than DSLRs. Many professional photographers are now trading in their DLRs for these small wonders as they often feature all the capabilities of an oversized DSLR including HD to 4K video recording. They also come with wireless connectivity by default. Most mirrorless cameras fall into three categories, namely:
- Consumer: Also known as entry-level MILCs, devices in this range are perfect for those who wants to make a move from a compact digital camera to something that allows them to manually control the settings. They can also serve as replacements for entry-level digital SLRs. They come with smaller sensors and lighter body but they definitely do not sacrifice image quality.
- Prosumer: People who wants to make the move from digital single-lens reflex cameras will be most at home in this category. They are, of course, smaller, yet they offer more control and better image quality. Many of them come with an electronic viewfinder, as well as a LCD screen.
- Professional: If the highest-quality images and videos are what you are looking for, then you should go for this range. They are available in several formats such as Micro Four Thirds, APS-C, and full-frame and also tend to feature larger, more durable bodies that are often weather sealed. They also come with faster processors and they are ideal for shooting professional videos as they support external monitors, headphones, and microphones. They offer the most creative control thanks to their fully manual adjustment capabilities and support for customization.
Also known as point-and-shoot, this type comes in smaller form factors while maintaining many of the features such as a larger sensor, and interchangeable lenses, just like their often more expensive non-compact counterparts. Most of them come in a significantly smaller form factor and are very easy to use. They also come in more color options not typically available with their more expensive counterparts. They also feature intuitive interfaces, LCD touchscreens on more recent models, and a variety of picture and video recording modes and presets making it easier for you to capture breathtaking photos and HD video.
They determine how much of a scene will fit into your photo. Their lengths vary between wide-angle, which are ideal for landscapes and shots in which you want to include as much as possible; and telephoto, which are very good for close-ups and to zoom in on faraway objects. There are also "normal" lenses, they usually come free in a kit and are about 50mm on traditional cameras, most closely approximate what your eye sees; anything shorter than 50mm is considered wide-angle, while anything longer is usually considered telephoto. Many digital cameras now offer zoom lenses, which take you from wide-angle to telephoto. Some cameras also have macro capability, which lets you focus very close and take pictures of small objects--useful for taking photos of flowers, insects, and many more. Most camera manufacturers also offer their own range of lenses like Nikon's Nikkor and Canon lenses, but there are also brands that focuses on lenses such as Tamron, Tokina and the popular Sigma lenses.
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