Updated: Dec 15, 2019
Recently a lot of people are showing their interests in cameras, everyone wants a good picture for their social media. Even though most of us have got a mobile phone which is pretty good for clicking pictures but for those who wants to up their game, they go for high-end cameras like DSLRs, SLRs or mirrorless cameras depending upon their budgets.
Now for those who are upgrading, they need to understand a few basics. First DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex. There are two types of cameras SLR and DSLR, SLR refers to a camera that has a single lens and a reflex to bend the light path to the optical viewfinder for framing. A DSLR is a Digital SLR, meaning it has a digital sensor to record images. In layman's term SLR camera is one that has a film roll and a DSLR has a digital display screen.
I personally prefer DSLRs for many reasons as they have obviously a display screen that helps you check images on the spot, second you can just simply install a memory card that will help you click hundreds of photos.
There is another category of cameras that is Mirrorless Cameras. As the name implies these cameras doesn't require a mirror, a key component of a DSLR camera.
Mirrorless cameras usually have the advantage of being light, more compact, faster and better for video, but mirrorless cameras have access to fewer lenses and accessories. Whereas, DSLRs have a vast range of lenses and accessories and an optical viewfinder that helps in low light conditions.
Now comes the most important part, selecting a camera type. the main types are DSLR, point and shoot (compact camera) and a mirrorless camera. Each type has its own advantages, based on which type of photography you want to do.
Point and Shoot Cameras
They are compact shooters that are affordable, easy to use and pocket-size portable. The point and shoot have a smaller sensor and fixed lens. These typically won't offer high image quality, these are good for people who are not into professional photography, who just need a camera which can click decent photos.
Point and shoot cameras are good for first time users, people who are understanding photography, people who are dicey about investing too much money into cameras, they can always start with a point and shoot camera.
People who like to travel but don't want to carry a heavy or bulky camera can go for point and shoot. Basically these cameras are for people who are looking to buy a small camera that can click decent photos, people who don't care about interchangeable lenses or accessories.
Easy to use.
Easy to carry.
Produces decent quality images.
The most interesting thing is their shutter doesn't make too much noise, which is great for clicking candids.
And the best of all, they are extremely affordable.
Image quality isn't too much better than a modern-day smartphone.
You won't get a lot of manual controls like controlling your shutter speed, ISO and Aperture.
Focusing is usually slow, you can't expect to shoot a basketball game with your point and shoot.
Poor audio quality in video recording.
Won't find a lot of accessories for you point and shoot.
DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex)
They click high-quality images as they have bigger sensors. DSLRs may not always be the practical cameras you want to have with you, but they can click pretty amazing pictures. If you want quality in your pictures, I suggest you get a DSLR whether it's an entry-level or high-end camera.
DSLRs offer so much manual controls and customisations that practically you can accomplish anything and yes, there is a big learning curve. At the starting, you won't understand anything but you'll find your way eventually and also the price range is a lot higher than point and shoot cameras. People who are looking to invest more in their photography hobby or who want to make it as full-time work, they should definitely buy a DSLR.
Produces high-quality images.
You'll get total control over your camera like controlling your shutter speed, ISO and Aperture.
If you are into videography, you can explore a wide range of DSLRs.
Inter-changeable lenses and accessories .
Produces good quality images in low light.
You can purchase the camera body without a lens.
Most of the newer models can be controlled by a smartphone.
They are big and heavy, they are the biggest type of cameras you can purchase.
They are expensive, some of them can even go up to $3000.
To protect your camera and lenses you might want to carry a bag which most of us don't really like.
Requires more maintenance than a point and shoot camera.
The in-built microphone is not very good, to record a good audio quality you'll have to buy an external microphone.
You will not find the autofocusing feature on all the DSLRs.
Even if you have used a DSLR before, switching to a new model doesn't mean you'll immediately know everything due a vast number of settings and buttons makes the learning curve much steeper.
As the name implies it's a camera that doesn't require a mirror, a key component of a DSLR. A mirrorless camera is much simpler mechanically, light passes through the lens directly on to the sensor. This results in better focusing. #mirrorless
They are much lighter than DSLRs
They are smaller in size.
They are quieter, in fact, mirrorless cameras have silent modes so that you can click pictures without bothering people around you.
They have image stabilisation - helps click sharp photos even if you have a shaky hand. This feature is also available in DSLRs but it comes with lenses that cost you a lot.
Some of these have an electronic viewfinder which doesn't perform well in low light.
They have a shorter battery life.
Limited lenses and accessories.
They are expensive than an entry-level DSLR.
I hope this guide has helped you decide which type of camera is the best fit for you or is it worth the upgrade you are looking for.
Remember, there is no good or a bad camera, it's the photographer that makes the difference. So, regardless of what you end up with, you are best served by picking up some good photography skills.