Camera Types

I’m hard at work on this Chapter…Stay tuned!

I will explain the different types of digital cameras.

  • Point & Shoot
  • DSLR
  • 4/3rd & Micro 4/3
  • Digital Rangefinder (DRF)



  • Cameras that are very compact to almost DSLR in size
  • Non Interchangeable lens
  • Fixed focal length to maga-zooms
  • Very small sensors compared to DSLR and 4/3rds (see Sensor Size Chapter)..Expect one:  Sigma DP series
  • Most offer a variety of semi-automatic controls..a few offer full manual control
  • Best Image Quality is at the “base” ISO setting (80-100)
  • Noise is very prevalent at ISO 200 and above
  • Very convenient, most are able to fit in a pocket, or hand bag.
  • A good all around “carry everywhere” camera
  • Many hobbyist that have a DSLR, have a Point & Shoot also
  • Image Quality on the newer models is getting better all the time. But I believe that 10mp may be the limit right now on such a small sensor.



  • Larger body. Similar in size to film SLRs  Interchangeable lenses
  • Fixed (Prime) lenses and a variety of zooms. from super-wide to super-telephoto
  • Large sensors, up to 24mm x 36mm (full-frame)
  • All allow a full set of exposure controls, including: Total automatic (Green Box), to Semi-automatic, to full manual.
  • Best Image quality typically is from  ISO 100/200  to ISO 400/500 before noise becomes slightly noticeable. BUT, ISOs up to  1200/1600 are typically very usable in the latest models.
  • Less convenient than a Point and Shoot, but the Image Quality and Lens selection are major points that a DSLR has over the Image Quality and the convenience of the Point and Shoots.
  • When you want to the best available Image Quality, and you don’t mind a larger camera that offers a greater variety of accessories to make it all happen. Then a DSLR may be the right move in your upgrade path.

4/3rd & Micro 4/3

4/3rd DSLR

Micro 4/3rd (the size of the Olympus Pen Ft 1/2 frame SLR)


  • Bodies have a wide range of sizes from Medium DSLR size to Larger Point and Shoot.
  • 4/3rd bodies are DSLR with a proper Penta-mirror or Penta-prism depending on the model.
  • Micro 4/3rd is an interchangeable camera without the Penta-mirror or Penta-prism. Instead it uses a feed from the Sensor to the optical viewfinder. thus eliminating the mirror box normally associated with a DSLR. An acronym has not been assigned to this type of camera except Micro 4/3rd at the moment. (2009)
    • Because of the design of the M-4/3rd camera. the camera has been able to get quite compact.
  • Another great feature is that may adapters are available to use lenses designed for SLR and Range finders (Leica M mount) lenses on a very compact Digital camera. Using your nice 35mm f/2 Leica M Summicron, or your K mount Pentax lenses, etc.


APS-C Mirrorless


fujifilm_16440680_x100t_digital_camera_black_1080890 Fuji-XT1-2





  • Bodies are more RF in body design, but, not all.
  • Features are similar to the m4/3 bodies in that you can use other makers lenses on it that were made for 35mm cameras.Except the camera has a sensor that is 30% larger than m4/3 sensors.
  • Fuji offers a few models with a unique hybrid EVF/OVF option. That is, a real optical viewfinder option with parallax corrected framelines and AF point. Or a standard EVF option with liveview.
  • There are many models to  choose from from the major camera makers.