Digital cameras come in so many models and price ranges that it can be confusing to select one that is appropriate for your needs and pocket book.
But if you understand how manufacturers categorize their digital cameras, you’d get a better understanding that all these models basically target only 3 different groups of photographers:
As its name implies, a Point-and-Shoot (P&S) digital camera automates everything so that it is easy to use.
Compose your picture in the viewfinder or on the LCD monitor, press the shutter release button — and the camera does the rest.
Most P&S digital cameras now also provide Scene Modes that automate many of the situations that are difficult to capture, such as snow scenes, candlelight dinners, and night portraits.
Beginner & Serious
If you are a budding photographer, you want to have a bit more control without losing the P&S simplicity.
Cameras in this category typically provide Auto, Programmed Auto, Scene Modes, plus the ability to set your own shutter speed and aperture in Manual Mode.
When you get really serious about photography, you want a digital camera that gives you full control.
Such a digital camera will also allow you to control shutter speed, aperture, ISO and White Balance. It will allow you to dial in exposure compensation, change the Auto Focus point, and decide how best to expose the shot. Many accept an external powerful flash.
If you are taking a course in photography, you want to definitely start here.
Advanced amateur photographers who have used digital cameras for many years pretty much know what they want in a digital camera.
Advanced digital cameras provide total control over all settings.
They give the best image quality, but like any complex machine, they do require that you know what you are doing to be able to get that kind of results.
If you are new to digital cameras, you will be over your head. You’ve been forewarned; don’t blame the camera for your poor results. But, if you are willing to learn and put forth the effort, you will be richly rewarded with picture quality, especially with a DLSR, that goes far beyond the point-and-shoot models.
Learn more about digital cameras and compare models: