Whether you’re a beginner or a professional photographer, shopping for a new camera can be a bit overwhelming. There are hundreds of thousands of different cameras from different brands to choose from.
Before you can find the right camera for you, it is important to be aware of all the different types of cameras for photography and video.
Types of Cameras for photography and video
- Compact Cameras
- DSLR Cameras
- Mirrorless Cameras
- Action Cameras
- 360° Cameras
- Film Cameras
- Medium Format Cameras
Also known as Point-and-shoot cameras, they allow literally anyone to point the camera at something and press the shutter button. The vary in prices and features too. There are standard, Zoom and Advanced
- Standard – They’re affordable but don’t have any real adjustable settings. In addition, they’re light weight and easy to use.
- Zoom – Unlike the standard, these ones have a better zoom lens installed. They have a zoom rate of 28 – 300mm but don’t have interchangeable lenses. They offer some level of manual options and automatic light exposure.
- Advanced – These ones are not as affordable as the standard and zoom compact cameras. They offer Manual exposure mode and some of them even have interchangeable lenses.
Let’s look at the Pros and Cons
- Light and Compact
- Very User-Friendly
- No extra lenses needed
- Full auto mode
- You can’t control the aperture or the shutter speed
- Lower resolution and slow focus
- Limited zoom range
These Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras take photography to the next level. Today, they are the go-to cameras for professional videographers and photographers. They deliver remarkably spectacular and sharp images, with incredible background bokeh.
Thanks to their interchangeable lenses, manual setting and advanced sensors, they produce very high resolution videos. Nowadays, they are also called Hybrid Single Lens Reflex (HDSLR).
- Fully customizable settings
- High resolution photos and video output
- Wide variety of camera body types and lens choices
- Optical view finder
- They are heavier and bulkier than compact cameras
- They are more expensive than compact cameras.
- You need a bit more know-how to use them properly
Basically, these are more compact DSLRs without the mirror that reflects light onto the sensor. Instead, light goes straight to the sensor. They are lighter and produce quality photos and video. However, most professionals still prefer DSLRs as they have a wider variety of lenses.
Mirrorless cameras are a bit of both compact cameras and DSLR cameras. Light weight and compact with simpler controls, but also with impressive output.
- Simpler operation controls
- Compact and light-weight
- Electronic ViewFinder
- Fast reliable video mode
- Few lenses and accessories
- Auto-focus is slower
- Shorter battery life
Also known as adventure cameras, these ones are most suitable for outdoor filming or rough conditions. Though really small and compact, they’re some of the most versatile and durable types of digital cameras. In addition, they produce very high-resolution output.
They are mostly used for sports photography due to their waterproof and shockproof capabilities. Accessories like mounts allow users to attach the cameras to drones, helmets, vehicle and even boots, allowing for hands free shooting. By using a waterproof housing, you can even record videos under water. Even more, you can capture incredible videos with sound and wide-angle photos from almost any position.
- Compact, durable and Rugged.
- Mountable on almost any surface.
- Small sensor.
- Fixed focus.
- Few camera customization.
- The ViewFinder is too small and it is not always available.
GoPro HERO8 Black Waterproof Action Camera (Best Overall)
AKASO EK7000 4K WiFi Sports Action Camera (Best Value for Money)
Just like Adventure/Action cameras, some of them are waterproof and mountable on almost any surface. The 360° camera can take half-dome to full-circle panoramic videos and photos, using back-to-back lenses.
If you are planning to take a vacation soon, this is not a bad option for a camera. 360° cameras take the most realistic photos and videos with immersive, stunning panoramic views.
It can be difficult to produce perfect panoramic shots since anything can go wrong during image composition and stitching. However, when it is done correctly, the results as incredible.
They can be used by hobbyists and professionals alike to create to create highly immersive photos take show all angles.
- Small and lightweight
- Produce realistic 360 photos and videos
- Streaming and live view capabilities
- Mountable on almost any surface
- Fixed Focus
- Sensitive to blurring and camera shake
- Low resolution output
- Digital viewing only
In the digital world, film cameras may seem out-fashioned but they are in no way obsolete. Luckily for photographers, you can still get the classic 35mm film cameras on the market with enhanced bodies and improved capabilities.
- High resolution images
- Inexpensive quality lenses
- A vintage look
- Expensive and recurring film developing costs
- Analog settings
- Risk of exposure, focus and parallax errors
Medium Format Cameras
These are not very common. A medium format camera is any camera that uses a 12o film size, or a digital imaging sensor of that size. They provide a bigger surface frame and are mostly used by gallery artists for they are capable of developing huge prints without losing image quality. Even more, they can capture natural looking, wide angle shots, as they would be seen in the real world.
Those are the main types of cameras for photography and video. You can also check out the Different types of Camera Lenses.