I’m hard at work on this Chapter…Stay tuned!
I will explain the different types of digital cameras.
- Point & Shoot
- 4/3rd & Micro 4/3
- Digital Rangefinder (DRF)
POINT & SHOOT
- 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
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.
- 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.