There are two main groups recognised by camera professionals. These groups have existed since the 1970s and have not disappeared with digital cameras. Hybrid cameras fall under the compact camera category. Within these types, there are different brands of cameras available.
Compact Cameras: This camera is cheaper and smaller than the second type of camera on the market. Individuals interested in these cameras want to take a good picture on a whim. Reading compact camera reviews can help you decide if this type of camera is the best option for you. Sony, Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, Fuji, and Kodak offer point-and-shoot cameras.
Hybrid cameras are smaller and lighter than SLR cameras, but larger than typical compact cameras. Hybrid cameras do not have the reflex system, which incorporates two mirrors inside the body of the camera to take the photo and save it to film or memory card. The best compact camera will utilise interchangeable lenses. Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Fujifilm, Ricoh and Samsung all manufacture hybrid cameras. Among these brands are different models available such as the Fuji Finepix or Olympus Pen. Sony also has at least three models available.
SLR Cameras: Single lens reflex (SLR) are larger cameras with larger lenses that can be exchanged, given the photo opportunity. SLRs are designed for professionals who wish to study a landscape, person or other scene before them to get the best shot possible. A few of the brands marketed as SLR include Canon, Nikon, Sony and Olympus.
SLR or Hybrid
To understand the distinction between the types of cameras, one has to examine the differences between SLR and hybrid cameras in more detail. The following provides a guide to SLR and hybrid compact cameras to help you decide what the best compact camera is.
SLR cameras have three benefits: • Interchangeable lenses. • High number of megapixels due to the higher quality glass inside. • Can take a faster picture with higher accuracy composition.
Hybrid cameras are compact cameras and SLR cameras combined: • Compact cameras reproduce the image the lens sees without two mirrors inside the base. It creates a shutter lag. Hybrid cameras reduce the shutter lag making it similar to the SLRs. However, there is no mirror inside. • Interchangeable lenses.
Hybrid cameras might be the best compact camera option given their advantages. The following discusses the advantages of the hybrid cameras such as Fuji Finepix and other Fujufilm compact cameras: • The main advantage of the hybrid compact camera is the interchangeable lenses. Most compact cameras have a zoom lens attached to the camera body. This means the lens cannot be switched. The hybrid compact camera allows the lens to be removed and changed out for the given photo situation. • Interchangeable lenses provide closer shots and larger distance shots. It is also possible to take panoramic shots. • Shutter lag time, as mentioned in the comparison above, is less than most compact cameras, helping the hybrid to be the best compact camera. • Hybrid cameras use an electronic viewfinder and small viewfinder hole.
Resolution: The image quality definition is measured in megapixels. The higher the number of megapixels, the higher the image quality.
Optical zoom: The best compact camera models will all offer decent optical zooming, which determines the distance the lens can see for a clearer and higher quality image. Most compact cameras have an optical zoom of 35 to 105mm. With hybrid cameras, you have optical zoom but you can add to the zoom by changing out the lens.
Shutter delay: Shutter lag is another name for shutter delay. When taking a picture, there is a delay between you releasing the button and when the shutter closes and opens to capture the image. Hybrid cameras have a shorter lag time than other compact cameras, one reason they are the best compact cameras.
Auto features: Manufacturers have auto settings on most digital cameras. The shutter speed, aperture, ISO speed and flash use are programmed into the camera based on the settings required. When taking a picture of a moving image, the shutter speed needs to be faster to gain a clearer image. At night, given low light properties, photographers need to set the shutter speed to a slow setting.
Viewfinder: Digital cameras have negated the need for a regular viewfinder. Instead, digital cameras have LCD screens that show the image you will be taking. SLR cameras often have both an LCD and regular viewfinder. The best compact camera will provide you with a large-enough LCD screen and both types of viewfinders.
Memory: Hybrid compact cameras have internal and external memory. Memory capacity will vary from camera to camera.
Battery: Hybrid digital cameras may vary in the battery types offered from manufacturer to manufacturer. The best compact camera will have a lithium ion rechargeable battery. Some cameras have a regular lithium ion battery, while others still use the AA battery format. The type of battery will determine the amount of battery life. AA batteries do not last as long as Lithium-ion batteries. The usage of the camera will also determine the length of time the battery will last. High usage, leaving the camera on when not in use, storing the camera with the batteries and other usage options can drain the battery faster.
Size and Weight: Hybrid compact cameras have a lower size and weight to SLR cameras, but are typically larger than other digital compact cameras. Between manufacturers, there can be a difference in the size and weight.
Face Detection: Many digital cameras now include face detection. This is an additional feature that will add a bit of cost to the camera, but allows it to concentrate its focus on a person’s face, helping to sharpen the focus of the image.
Image Stabilisation: Given the weight of SLR and hybrid cameras, manufacturers have realised the benefit of image stabilisation. Professional SLR cameras used to be the only ones with image stabilisation; though some of the best compact camera models on the market also include this function.
The following is a list of accessories you may want to use with hybrid compact cameras and the best compact camera. Manufacturer specs will tell you the type of accessories the camera can support.
Memory cards: There are different variations of memory cards for the best compact camera. Memory cards vary in storage size and brands. Kingston, Transcend and Lexar are three of the brands.
Lenses: Hybrid cameras have the option to remove the lens that comes with the camera. The manufacturer has specific hybrid compact camera lenses on the market. These lenses are smaller and different from SLR lenses.
Filters: Most compact cameras have filters built in to the editing software. With hybrid compact cameras, it is possible to buy external filters that the SLR cameras employ. A filter presents a different effect on the picture such as softening the image or changing its colour. The best compact camera will have filters as accessories.
Camera bags: The amount of accessories needed for the best compact camera will require a camera bag that allows you to store your camera, the lenses, filters, and camera cleaning tools, camera guidebook and additional accessories you might buy.
Battery accessories: Depending on whether the best compact camera has a rechargeable battery, you may want to search battery accessories. There is a charger for Lithium ion batteries, AC adapters and other battery accessories you may be able to use with your hybrid compact camera.