Beginner’s Guide To Digital Cameras

There are many types of digital camera available – and unless you’re a professional, it can be hard to know which features best suit your needs. Here is a run-down of the different types of camera as well as a list of their features so you can determine which one is right for you.

Compact Cameras

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5,

As their name indicates, compact cameras are small and lightweight, making them easy to fit into your bag or to carry around with you for snapping high-quality photos whenever and wherever you are. This type of camera is ideal for holidaymakers, providing superior image quality to a smartphone but retaining the same portability. Easy to use, simply point and shoot. Look out for models with Wi-Fi connectivity so you can share photos instantly with your friends and family. Many compact cameras have built-in effect options so you can get creative with your snaps, changing the colour, dimensions and perspective to really personalise each image.

Tough Cameras

Canon PowerShot D30
Canon PowerShot D30,

If you’re a fan of the great outdoors and you want to capture long-lasting memories of your adventures, you’ll need a tough camera. Built to be far more rugged and robust than an ordinary digital camera, you’ll find models that are waterproof and shockproof. The wide angle zoom lens allows you to capture stunning landscape photographs, while the rapid frame rates allow you to shoot continuously to never miss that pivotal action shot. They also often feature GPS so you know exactly where the photo was taken. Most come with full HD filming capabilities so you can record video in high quality.

Compact System Cameras

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72,

These cameras are powerful but slimline for easy portability. Offering full manual control and flexibility of lens choice, you’ll be able to put your own creative mark on each photo you take. Choose a wide angle lens for landscape shots, while wildlife and up-close snaps work well with a telephoto zoom lens and prime lenses are ideal for taking professional-looking portraits. A compact system camera is a great alternative to a DSLR for when you need a smaller, more lightweight camera.

Bridge Cameras

Sony DSC-HX400V
Sony DSC-HX400V,

Bridge cameras feature a super-powerful zoom range which enables you to take high-quality images no matter how close or far away from the object you are. With built-in image stabilisation, your snaps will retain their sharp detail, while the electronic viewfinder will help you to frame your shot even on the brightest of days. Larger than compact cameras, they are still lightweight enough for capturing shots on the go and offer DSLR-like control for those perfect photo opportunities. It’s common for a bridge camera to offer Wi-Fi connectivity, enabling you to instantly share your photos on social media.

DSLR Cameras

Canon EOS 100D DSLR
Canon EOS 100D DSLR,

If you’re serious about photography then you’ll want a DSLR camera as they offer the most control for capturing images of the highest quality. With full manual control options and interchangeable lenses, you’ll soon be snapping professional-quality images. Adjust the shutter speed, ISO and aperture values to get exactly what you want from each photo. Get creative with the vast range of visual effects including macro, fisheye and 3D lens types. The optical viewfinder allows you to perfectly frame each shot and enables you to keep snapping even in the brightest sunlight. Heavier than other types of camera, they are also more robust and some models are weather-proof so you can shoot in rain or shine.


Sony Handycam HDR-CX405
Sony Handycam HDR-CX405,

For capturing high quality videos of your home life, a camcorder is ideal. Boasting superior film quality to smartphones or compact cameras, you’ll be able to seamlessly capture every detail. With in-built image stabilisation, your recordings will be free from shaking and blurring – handy if you’re still getting to grips with filming.

Action Cams

Sony HDR-AS100VR Action Camera
Sony HDR-AS100VR Action Camera,

Sports-people and outdoor lovers can capture every second of adventure with an action camcorder. Similar to tough cameras, they offer built-in waterproofing and shock-proofing. Some models are compatible with adapters, allowing you to mount the camcorder to your helmet and film action hands-free on the go in first person perspective.

When choosing a digital camera, pay close attention to the features each type offers and base your decision on how you intend to use it.

Browse the full range of digital cameras on offer at BT Shop today.

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