What’s the Difference Between Compact, Prosumer and SLR Cameras?

When it comes to cameras, there is literally a world of cameras to choose from, and for the newbie or the wannabe expert, this can be confusing to say the least. Cameras can be broadly categorized into 3 different types and depending upon your need and requirements (hastily taking photos, taking great professional shots, etc.) you may want to go with one or the other. In this article, we look at some of the basic information regarding cameras and their main types available in the market.

The Compact Camera

compact-cameraThis is also known as the point-and-shoot camera. These cameras have long been the mainstay for ordinary souls wanting to capture memories of holidays and special occasions. They are the sort of camera that enables the family’s officially appointed amateur photographer point and say the magic words “Say Cheese!” and get reasonable results without any technical know-how. Typically the compact camera is uncomplicated and easy to use, usually equipped with autofocus, auto gain control and white balance. Compact cameras require the photographer to do little except point and shoot and perhaps operate the zoom controls.

The Bridge (Prosumer) Camera

prosumer-cameraThese cameras fill the niche between the basic compact camera and the more advanced SLR (single lens reflex) cameras. This type of camera is for those of us who may be quite enthusiastic about photography but aren’t quite in the expert or professional category just yet. The word Prosumer comes from an amalgam of the words ‘professional’ and ‘consumer’. So typically a bridge camera will have a lot more features than a compact camera, and will require greater understanding of the hardware as well as some more-than-average knowledge of photography as well. This kind of camera may make sense for someone who is looking for rather better photographic results.

The SLR Camera

slr-cameraThe single-lens reflex (SLR) camera is the most popular high end and professional camera because this type of camera allows for the greatest amount of customization and expert input from the photographer. A shorter shutter lag means that the photos can be better timed as well. These cameras make for greater precision and a wider aperture range. The advanced features of these cameras allow photos to be taken even in poor light, without flash, etc. Since the depth of field can be narrowed, the photographer is able to create that blurry background for the subject of the photo and can better highlight the subject.

Having said all this, it is still possible to take great pictures with an ordinary compact camera, and lousy pictures with the most expensive camera. The fact is that there is so much more than just the equipment that goes into the taking of great pictures!