Digital cameras have various advantages over film cameras; they can instantly display images on the screen, store thousands of pictures on a small memory device and delete pictures to free some storage space. Most digicams, including compact cameras, have the capability to record video with still photos and sound. Some can even stitch and crop pictures, and edit images, while others come with a built in GPS receiver.
Just like film cameras, digicams work by utilizing a lens that have a variable diaphragm designed to focus light on the image pickup device. The diaphragm, together with the shutter, regulates the amount of light that can reach the image.
Digicams are now integrated in various devices, including mobile phones, PDAs and even vehicles. Astronomical devices such as the Hubble Space Telescope are special types of digital cameras.
Types of Digital Cameras
Digicams are available in various sizes, capabilities and prices. Most digital cameras today are found in camera phones, which are run as mobile apps through the phone menu. Bigger digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) are mainly used by amateur and professional photographers due to the device’s greater versatility. Specialized cameras that include astographs (used to detect objects in the night sky) and multispectral imaging equipment (used to take image data at certain frequencies) are used for special purposes such as scientific, medical and military uses. Bridging the gap between professional and amateur cameras are bridge digital cameras. A good example of how many features nowadays’s digital cameras provide can be found here, featuring facts on digital cameras etc. I personally like the Canon EOS ti1 as a great digital camera for beginners.
Also known as point-and-shoot cameras, compact cameras are ideal for snapshot and casual use. These small and portable cameras are user-friendly, though picture quality and advanced features are sacrificed for simplicity and compactness. The majority of compact cameras come with flash, normally of low power, just enough for subjects in close proximity. Compacts often come with zoom lenses, though the range of the zoom is normally less than for DSLR and bridge cameras. Compact cameras that are available in smaller sizes and lower costs usually make use of image sensors with about 6mm diagonal, giving them better depth of field, closer focusing capability and weaker low-light performance. Interestingly, some compacts produced in 2011 have the capability to capture 3D still photos.
These higher-end digicams use a small sensor and a fixed lens just like compact cameras, but they physically resemble DSLRs. Like compacts, most bridge cams make use of live preview in framing the image. While the same contrast-detect mechanism is used in their autofocus, many bridge cams come with a manual focus mode for better control. Compared to DSLRS, bridge cameras do not feature reflex viewing system.
Digital single lens reflex cameras
DSLRs are essentially based on film SLRs (single-lens reflex cameras). Compared to other types of cameras, DSLRs use bigger sensors, ranging between 18mm and 36mm, giving them lesser depth of field, bigger size and greater low-light performance.
As technology continues to evolve, digital cameras are expected to see more changes and developments over time. Thus, everyone can expect more state-of-the-art cameras with various functionalities and capabilities to suit a specific need.