For beginning photographers, deciding on which type of camera to purchase can be difficult. Even when just putting your feet in the water, you are bombarded with wide variety of different broad types of cameras. If you haven’t the foggiest when it comes to what type of camera to purchase to begin your journey into photography, you will encounter a handful of acronyms as well as several different brands. So long as you go through product reviews and price comparisons, it will not matter greatly whether you decide on a Canon camera or a similar alternative from Olympus or Nikon. What will prove more important is the ability to distinguish between point and shoot cameras (P&S), single lens reflex cameras, and digital reflex cameras.
Point and Shoot Cameras
Cameras of the P&S variety are the simplest and easiest to use. P&S cameras are called so because there are really no other steps when it to using them. The majority of P&S cameras that are produced today are digital. This means that they store images on memory cards as opposed to older P&S cameras that capture photos on film that has to later be developed. Some simple features that come standard on the majority of P&S cameras are flash, timed photos, and zoom. While these basic features can be found on even smart phone cameras, P&S cameras typically have the advantage of taking higher quality photos – you can tell the quality of a photo by the number of megapixels a camera has.
Single Lens Reflex Camera
SLR cameras have their name because they feature a single interchangeable lens. The standard lens for an SLR is a generic zooming lens, but other lenses can be used in order to achieve different effects for your photos. SLR cameras are much more versatile, so they are a better choice than P&S cameras if you harbor anything more than a cursory interest in photography.
Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera
DSLR cameras differ from SLR cameras in that they store photos in memory cards rather than film. However, the majority of the time when people refer to SLR cameras, they mean DSLRs. As with P&S cameras, most SLR cameras are digital. DLSR cameras have the distinct advantage of storing a much larger number of photos than a camera that uses film. If you intend to have extensive photo shoots with film cameras, you will have to periodically change film, which can be very intrusive to the creative process.