Types of Cameras

Photography is one of the most popular forms of visual arts. Who doesn’t like looking at breathtaking images of mountains or busy cityscapes? Behind every good photo is a good camera. Today, we will cover all of the different types of cameras and what they’re good for. 

1. Medium Format Cameras

Medium format cameras seem a bit obsolete considering the rise of digital photography. Back in the early days of photography, various formats of film were available in analog cameras. Today, there are only two major types of formats: crop sensor and full-frame. 

However, medium format cameras are still much in style. Medium format is still one of the most popular formats in professional photography due to its power to capture high-quality images. Additionally, many photographers are reverting to medium format cameras due to the internet’s obsession with nostalgia. 

Medium format, by definition, is a camera that uses a 120 film or the digital equivalent. The size of medium format film isn’t fixed and generally varies between camera companies. The two main reasons why medium format cameras are popular in the fashion and advertising industry are their ability to capture high-quality images and color accuracy. 

Advertising agencies typically rely on large cameras to capture detailed images of products or people. As a result, marketers find using a medium format camera to be comfortable and efficient for capturing product images. In the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, fashion images captured using medium format cameras were everywhere. 

Advantages of Medium Format Cameras

  • Better Image Quality. There’s no doubt that DSLR cameras capture immaculate photos. However, medium format cameras can offer even more massive megapixels. Medium format cameras can capture stunning images and provide a shallow depth of field. The shallow depth of field is one of the primary reasons why they are popular in fashion photography.
  • Versatility. Since medium format cameras are incredibly customizable, the creative opportunities are endless. Also, you have the option to stick with film or go digital. No matter what subject your shooting, a medium format camera will make it look phenomenal. 
  • Unique Look. Whenever you see an image from a medium format camera, you can’t help but notice that it stands out from others. This is due to the outstanding color accuracy, distortion, and shallow depth of field. Medium format cameras can capture images that appear natural and similar to what the human eye would see. 

2. Mirrorless Cameras

Somewhere around the mid-2000s, the need for a new style of compact cameras was in demand. As a result, mirrorless cameras took the photography community by storm. Now, you can’t find a major brand that doesn’t have a mirrorless camera in its catalog. Big players like Sony and Nikon have their mirrorless cameras.

Since this type of camera seems to be so popular, how does it work, and what is it suitable for? As the name suggests, a mirrorless camera doesn’t require a mirror component. Images are displayed on the screen right as light passes through the sensor. This is a unique feature since you can customize and adjust your shot before it’s taken. 

In the early days of mirrorless cameras, they were quite limited. However, with the advancements in camera technology, there are several different lens options to help expand all kinds of photographers’ creative paths. 

A mirrorless camera system is surprisingly straightforward. In a standard DSLR, a viewfinder connects to the sensor, which displays the image. Mirrorless cameras have a sensor that’s directly exposed to light. The live image on the screen also attaches to the electronic viewfinder. 

Advantages of Mirrorless Cameras

  • Lightweight and Compact. Since the sensors in mirrorless cameras are smaller, they are incredibly lightweight. As a result, they are easy to carry and ideal to travel with.
  • Stable Images. The mirrorless camera has much better image stabilization than cameras with mirror components. Since there’s no mirror, the camera shakes less and captures more explicit pictures. 
  • Higher Shutter Speeds. Another significant advantage of mirrorless cameras is the high shutter speeds. Since the camera has excellent focus, it can shoot much faster than other cameras on the market.

3. DSLR Cameras

Even if you’re a beginner, you’ve probably heard of DSLR cameras or might even own one. That’s because DSLR cameras are the industry standard. DSLR cameras capture high-quality images, are extremely customizable, and are suitable for almost all photography styles. If you aren’t camera savvy but want to try your hand at photography, start with a DSLR.

DSLR stands for “Digital Single Lens Reflex.” As you can probably guess, the camera uses a fixed digital sensor. In a DSLR camera, there are two main components: the body and the lens. The lens is interchangeable, and professional photographers typically have multiple lenses and different DSLR cameras in their kits.

DSLR cameras are relatively new, but single reflex lens cameras have been around for decades. DSLR cameras typically have a robust body. Therefore various buttons provide a complete sense of manual control. 

The two different types of DSLR cameras are full-frame and crop sensors. Each of the two cameras has a different sensor size. As a result, the equipment and settings will be different when shooting. Understanding the difference between full-frame and crop sensor cameras deserves its article. 

Whether you’re a complete beginner or professional photographer, a DSLR camera can be of great use. If you want to explore more of your creative side, invest in some different lens variants. 

Advantages of DSLR Cameras

  • Fast Shutter Speed. DSLR cameras can quickly take multiple images. This makes them an excellent choice for action shots. Almost all sports photographers use a DSLR camera.
  • Extensive Manual Controls. Above, we mention how the DSLR camera has a robust body. The size body’s size allows for more buttons and manual controls, giving you many options to customize the settings.
  • More Budget-Friendly. Since so many companies produce DSLR cameras, it’s easy to find one within budget. Although you’ll have to pay more if you premium quality, there are inexpensive options as well. 

4. Adventure Cameras

Are you thinking about adventuring into the wild to take some fantastic nature shots? Then you’re going to need a camera that can handle the rugged terrain and harsh weather conditions. Adventure cameras are incredibly durable and can capture high-quality images like conventional cameras. 

To be considered an adventure camera, the device must be waterproof, durable, and capture the same quality images that a mirrorless or DSLR camera can. In the video realm, a GoPro would be the best example; however, this post is about photography, so that we will stick with still images. 

Adventure cameras (also called action cameras) are typically small and portable. You should be able to easily pack them away in a backpack or a small camera bag. Your action camera should also be mountable, as different mounting options will give you a more vast range of shots to capture.

Additionally, adventure cameras give you the option to wear them so you can get those iconic POV shots of your adventure. There’s nothing cooler than a POV shot of a hike or ski trip. 

A few decades ago, getting your hands on an adventure camera meant breaking the bank. Thankfully, you can find various budget-friendly action cameras on the market today. With that in mind, you’ll want to make sure the camera is extremely durable and won’t break easily. 

Advantages of Adventure Cameras

  • Durability. It’s no surprise that one of the significant benefits of an adventure camera is durability. Since these cameras are for handling the great outdoors, dropping it or getting it wet isn’t enough to stop it. 
  • Creative Opportunities. Since you can take these cameras just about anywhere, the opportunities for unique shots are endless. You can take your action camera down a white water river, skydiving, snowboarding, skateboarding, etc. 
  • Compact and Lightweight. Adventure cameras are typically small and easy to carry around. As a result, traveling with them is as easy as pie. 

5. Advanced Compact Cameras

Advanced compact cameras have a comfortable feeling and an incredible range of different manual controls. Some of the primary features are full manual, shutter priority, and aperture priority. In short, advanced compact cameras come with almost everything you would get from a mirrorless camera or DSLR, minus all of the bulky components.

Manual control can be quite complicated at first, but the possibilities are endless when you get the hang of it. If you’re a photographer who wants to take their art to the next level, this is the type of camera for you. Advanced compact cameras are great for events such as weddings, concerts, or business conventions.

The image quality of advanced compact cameras is phenomenal. Whether you’re shooting your best friend’s birthday party or your favorite musician on stage, you’re going to get a fantastic shot. With that in mind, the sensor isn’t as big as a standard DSLR, so if you’re not good with your settings, you might not get as clear of a shot. 

Some good news is that advanced compact camera manufacturers are continually making improvements to newer models. Professional photographers might not get the quality they need from an advanced compact camera, but beginners who want to get a feel for manual controls could greatly benefit. 

Advantages of Advanced Compact Cameras

  • Lightweight & Compact. As the name suggests, they are extremely compact. Advanced compact cameras allow photographers to capture stunning pictures without needing to lug around bulky camera equipment.
  • Full Control. These cameras give the photographer tons of control over the settings. This is a tremendous benefit for beginners who want to advance their art. 
  • Innovation. Advanced compact cameras are always improving, and manufacturers are continuously putting out new models. 

6. Point And Shoot Cameras

Point and shoot cameras are pretty straightforward. The exposure and focus are push-button, meaning you point at the subject and push the button to take a photo. The range of point-and-shoot cameras is exceptionally vast. You have disposable cameras that you throw away after each use to sophisticated digital cameras. 

You can fiddle with some options, but for the most part, the settings on a point-and-shoot camera are minimal. You cannot control the shutter speed, exposure, or focus. However, you can use your creative edge and take advantage of different natural lighting situations. 

Since point and shoot cameras are limited, they have almost become a sort of challenge for photographers in the community. It’s similar to people who draw up beautiful masterpieces using only a blue pen. If you are looking for a complex piece of camera technology, then a point-and-shoot camera probably isn’t the right way to go. 

If you are just getting into photography and want to experiment with different subjects without investing heavily in a camera, then point and shoot cameras are right up your alley. You can buy an inexpensive one and try out other shooting locations, and subjects then make the upgrade later. 

Advantages of Point and Shoot Cameras

  • No Large Commitment. Since most point and shoot cameras are for beginners, you don’t need to invest a large sum of money upfront to get started.
  • Easy to Use. Practically anybody can start taking pictures with a point and shoot camera. To take professional-grade images, you might need a little background in photography, but if you want to take cool pictures of your friend or your environment, simply point and shoot!
  • Compact and Durable. Point and shoot cameras aren’t as durable as an adventure camera, but they aren’t as fragile as a mirrorless or DSLR.


What do you think about our list of cameras above? Do you have any experience with any of these types of cameras? Let us know in the comments. If you have a friend looking to get into photography, make sure to share this post with them. 

We hope you now have a better understanding of all the popular camera types out there. Now it’s time to get out there and capture some beautiful pictures!

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