Tag Archives: LCD

Choosing a Digital Camera DSLs Compacts Or Bridge Cameras

Choosing a digital camera is a lot easier when you consider the three types of digital cameras: the digital SLR, the bridge (or prosumer) and the point-and-shoot or (compact automatic). This article introduces you to the advantages and disadvantages of each, so that you can narrow your choices down to the type of camera you want.

Digital Single Lens Reflexes (DSLRs)

Digital SLRs (DSLRs) were almost exclusively used by professional photographers until recently when the prices started to come down. Prices have come down considerably over the years for an entry level DSLR like the popular Canon Rebel. However, just remember that when you get a DSLR you also have to buy lenses to use. Some do, however, come with a basic starter lens or kit lens. If you want to take telephoto pictures, you can’t just push a button to zoom, you need a telephoto lens. These come in all sorts of sizes to fit the photographer’s needs. Many photographers also buy quality used equipment to keep costs down.

One of the great benefits of DSLRs is that you can get telephoto lenses that will let you take a close up of a bird on the top of a tree and you’ll never be able to tell from the picture that the bird was so far away. And they’re fast! So you’ll never have the problem of missing an action shot because your camera took too long to record the picture.

DSLRs also work with accessories like external flashes and filters to give you more options when shooting. DSLRs are great for taking action pictures in low light situations where a flash isn’t allowed or won’t reach.

Because of their large sensors, you can increase ISO to get pictures in low light while still having a high shutter speed to capture action. With other types of cameras you can’t do this because they have smaller sensors and end up producing pictures with unsightly graininess called digital noise. Digital noise can often be removed with software but with the DSLR you never have this problem.

These days, the main disadvantage of a DSLR is the higher price tag when you compare it to other types of cameras. It’s a nice camera to upgrade to if you discover you really love taking pictures and want to advance. Most people just start out with the camera body and a kit lens and then add more specialized lenses as they go.

Point & Shoot Digital Cameras (also called compact or automatic cameras)

Digital compacts or points and shoots are the most popular cameras in the Western world and for good reason. A compact is so easy to pack around and can take such good quality shots that many a pro with an expensive DSLR and a bag of big lenses has a small compact tucked in a pocket. (Pocket size compact digital cameras are often called subcompacts).

As mentioned above, compacts biggest benefits is their small and compact size. Unlike DSLRs which usually require a small bag of camera gear (if you have a couple of lenses) these cameras can go virtually anywhere.

And while you can just point and shoot with these cameras, many have all sorts of modes from which to choose, and plus some also give you some manual controls, such as Aperture Priority and Shutter Speed Priority. And if your camera has an optical zoom, you can also get some great telephoto pictures too!

Bridge Cameras

These digital cameras are designed to bridge the gap between DSLRs and compact (or point and shoot) cameras. Bridge cameras are also called prosumer cameras because they are often used by both professionals and consumers. Bridge cameras almost always have higher price tags than compact cameras but are less than most DSLRs (as you don’t have to buy extra lenses with bridge cameras).

Bridge cameras have larger sensors and offer more mega pixels than most compacts. With bridge cameras you can increase ISO more than on a compact but not nearly as high as with a DSLR. If you don’t need to get action shots in places without good lighting, this may never be an issue.

Many bridge cameras let you get better indoor pictures by having hot shoes that work with an external flash. Bridge cameras also have movie mode and allow you to compose shots on the LCD. Many are super zooms. This means they have optical zoom ranges of 10x to 20x. Plus bridge cameras often have as many manual controls as DSLR cameras.

Once you decide what type of camera you want (DSLR, bridge or compact), selecting a camera will be a lot less confusing. So no matter what type of digital camera you get, take time to learn how to use your camera and you’ll be sure to start taking some great pictures.

LEICA S2 Camera Test Amazing Value For

Functionality

The LEICA S2 camera is surprisingly functional. Leica Camera involved professional photographers in designing the user-friendly camera body, which includes only what you need. That’s refreshing because especially top-class cameras tend to have a lot of bells and whistles that actually are more in your way, instead of adding value.

Ergonomics

Important functions that you will use often, like shutter speed and ISO value, can be reached through just a few (ergonomically smart designed) buttons and control wheels on the S2 camera. Save reading the massive manual for a rainy Sunday, and start shooting pictures! Warning: you’ll be addicted for life in less than 15 minutes…

Screens

The LEICA S2 camera body includes two efficient screens. The top one is an efficient color display that shows you the current settings such as the exposure mode, aperture setting and shutter speed. A major eye-catcher is of course the huge and bright color LCD screen, protected by a strong and scratch-free layer of sapphire glass.

Navigation

One control wheel and 4 buttons are your navigation tools for a menu that is being displayed on the LCD. The wheel is used to scroll through (and select items from) the menu of the S2 camera, while the 4 buttons have flexible functions depending on the current menu mode. Using the various functions becomes a routine over time.

Speed

Speed is another benefit of the LEICA S2 camera. Considering the file size of 37.5 megapixel photos, previewing recorded images is easy as they show up on the screen very fast. The same applies to zooming into pictures to check their quality on a detailed level, thanks to the huge processing power of this DSLR camera.

Comfort

Real-life testing fulfills professional photographer’s expectations, based on the ergonomic design of the S2 camera. It’s a very comfortable and, with 1.4 kg (including battery) relatively light device. It feels really great in your hands. Personally I have not seen another medium-sized, digital single-lens reflex camera with that same ‘wow’ factor.

Flexibility

The LEICA S2 camera has a weatherproof camera body that makes it possible to shoot under challenging conditions. Really practical is the large eyepiece with its interchangeable focusing screen. The camera’s viewfinder also shows you the most important settings in light green color on the bottom of the image.

Resolution

A large image sensor of 45 x 30 mm (3:1 ratio) creates pictures of 7504 x 4984 pixels – that’s a resolution of almost 37.5 megapixels. This should be a perfect format for many high-resolution print purposes and keep the S2 camera up-to-date and widely usable for many years. The average file sizes are between 30 and 50 MB.

Quality

More important of course, is the quality of images. An outside photo shoot (using Leica’s SUMMARIT-S 70 mm F/2.5 ASPH lens) unveils the real secret of this magic box: the optical performance. I have never seen such crystal-clear, distortion-free, contrast-rich and colorful images than those taken with a LEICA S2 camera.

Editing

The great thing of this device is that post-processing pictures often isn’t necessary. If you still would like to edit photos, the Adobe-compatible DNG files (the S2 camera doesn’t produce RAW files) include a lot of detailed image data. You can easily adjust things like exposure and saturation of the pictures that you’ve taken.

Investment

If you buy a LEICA S2 camera, it is an investment. The sales price is not exactly on the low end. However, when you consider its high usability and impressive optical performance, resulting in stunning colors, great focus, amazing sharpness and correct tonality, you have a magic tool in your hands with a LEICA S2 camera.

Who Wants an EVIL Camera

Who could possibly want an EVIL camera? Many people, it turns out, are in the market for such a device.

From the name, it would seem there is something very sinister about these cameras, as if they could actually steal souls or vaporize subjects.

In actuality, there is nothing nefarious about EVIL cameras. The term is simply an acronym similar to SLR (Single Lens Reflex). EVIL stands for Electronic Viewfinder, Interchangeable Lens.

Depending on your point of view, the term is either an unfortunate nickname or a clever play on words. Regardless, EVIL cameras are set to make a big splash in the coming years.

The EVIL models are designed to occupy the market between inexpensive point and shoot cameras and top-line dSLRs. Again depending on your orientation, they are either a waste of time or the type of cameras the photo industry should have built long ago,

Advantages of EVIL Cameras:

Size and Weight

EVIL models are much smaller than the typical dSLR. They are also lighter to carry, something many photographers would appreciate after a long day of schlepping camera gear around.

DSLR Sensor size

Not all of the EVIL cameras have big sensors, but many of the new models use the same size and type of sensor as a typical dSLR. Larger sensors mean less noise and better image quality. The result is a camera the size of a large point and shoot which offers the image quality of a dSLR.

Interchangeable Lenses

While these new mid-range cameras look similar to their point and shoot brethren, the fact that they can accept a full range of lenses provides options and flexibility that fixed-lens cameras cannot match.

Advanced Features

Some camera makers are positioning these new models as a replacements for low-end dSLRs. To assume this role, these cameras require dSLR features such as RAW image creation, manual exposure options, burst mode, high-ISO settings and the like.

EVIL cameras do not look like a professional camera

Many people are nervous around photographers with pro-level cameras. Sports and concert venues may discourage dSLRs to eliminate unauthorized photos. The person with an EVIL camera will look like an ordinary fan or tourist, allowing them to gather photos unobtrusively.

This works both ways, however. Someone with a dSLR will appear more professional and may garner more paying assignments if they want to sell their work.

EVIL Cameras drawbacks:

No eve-level viewfinder

The biggest limitation of the basic EVIL design is the lack of an eye-level viewfinder. To compose and shoot you must use the LCD on the back of the camera. This might work with simple point and shoot cameras, but there could be severe limitations when using long telephoto lenses. Imagine affixing a twelve inch long lens on one of these cameras. To shoot hand-held, you would have to hold the camera body at arm’s length, with that huge, heavy lens protruding out the front. Good luck holding that steady.

Another disadvantage is that many LCD panels are difficult to see in bright sunlight. Composing and focusing in full sun might be difficult.

Fortunately, some camera manufacturers are offering auxiliary eye-level viewfinders for their electronic viewfinder entries.. These allow you to hold an EVIL camera up to your eye, much like a conventional dSLR. This a step in the right direction, although many photographers will still prefer the look of an optical viewfinder over an electronic one.

Lack of advanced dSLR features

While EVIL cameras vary by manufacturers, the feature list usually falls short of a dSLR. Naturally, camera makers will add features if they sense consumer demand. At the same time, the smaller form-factor of these cameras makes it more difficult to include all the features of a dSLR.

Lens/Accessories not as extensive as dSLR systems

Most dSLR lines are fairly mature, with a complete system of lenses, flash units and accessories. EVIL camera designs are new, and their systems are smaller and less-complete. Over time, successful EVIL systems will mature and expand. If you choose a model that fails to gain traction in the marketplace however, you may find yourself limited and frustrated by the lack of available attachments.

Interchangeability between EVIL and dSLR models is limited

Some EVIL cameras can use SLR lenses and flash units, making them attractive as a second body or as a backup to an existing dSLR system. Because the EVIL bodies are so small, the sensor is usually too close to the lens mount to allow dSLR lenses to attach directly. An adapter may allow you to use your SLR lenses, but adapters generally involve some form of compromise.

Prices are not much different than an actual dSLR

As dSLR prices continue to fall, there isn’t much difference between the cost of a dLSR and an EVIL camera. In fact, when you add items like an accessory electronic viewfinder, the EVIL camera may cost significantly more. The new designs are smaller and lighter, but the dSLR has more features. There are many reasons to prefer one type over the other, but price is not one of them.

EVIL accessories may not transfer if you want to upgrade to a dSLR

A point and shoot camera is generally complete by itself, so a photographer who wants to advance to a high-quality dSLR has no legacy equipment to lock them into a specific system. If someone assembles a complete EVIL system, with several lenses and accessories, they will have to start all over again if they want to move to a dSLR. This may end up trapping some photographers into the EVIL system, because they have too much invested. Upgrading to dSLR equipment may be too costly.

EVIL cameras aren’t bad, they are just different. Whether you should own one depends on your photographic aspirations, your photography requirements and your philosophy. They won’t replace a dSLR or a point and shoot in every situation, but an EVIL camera might just be a “good” option for you.