Digital Cameras

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Photography — a creative art, an essential tool for some and a hobby for many others. Today, we have reached a stage where everyone should have a camera.

Photography started with film cameras and they were always thought of as difficult devices to use and rightly so for many reasons. They were difficult to maintain and operate. You had to truly understand photography to be able to take good photographs. For the rest who wanted a camera as a utility, something to keep memories as prints, there were the simple handheld cameras of their time. These were compact cameras and they were certainly cheap, and they made taking photographs much simpler, but not totally foolproof. There were still problems common to both SLR and point-and-shoot users. Film developing was a costly affair and plenty of photos were lost due to mistakes during shooting — this was a time before digital sensors or preview LCD screens.

Digital cameras gained significant acceptance quite quickly. They fixed many of the problems associated with film cameras — the instant ability to view your shot, most importantly, but they did so at a price. Even the really early Digital Cameras that lacked the refinements and the automation that we see today were much costlier than the then-available decent film SLRs that were generally considered to be great cameras for professional and amateurs alike. As we've seen in the past with every new technology, users should perhaps have delayed purchasing these expensive gadgets, but instead the take-up of digital cameras was fast, and the market has continued to grow ever since.

It has been years now since point-and-shoots (P&S) were developed, and the pace at which developments and improvements have taken place has been staggering. Within a decade, we've gone from film cameras that couldn't guarantee a proper set of photos in a film to digital point-and-shoots that can detect faces, store them, click photos when people smile and there's hardly any cost involved in using them!

What else could anyone want? There are those who look at point-and-shoots and think of them as toys and consider the only proper cameras to be the dSLRs. Speaking practically, point-and-shoots are actually pretty decent. Prosumer P&Ss, such as the Sony DSC H5, the Canon SX 10 IS, the Canon PowerShot S5 IS and many more, have closed the gap between standard point-and-shoots and dSLRs. Easy operation, and the ability to take macro photos to telephoto shots on a single camera without the need for changing any lens or settings. For hassle-free photographs, these prosumer cameras are very good.

However, if you are serious about photography and are analytical about quality and perfection, then we and other enthusiasts will tell you that you ought to buy a dSLR. If you are a professional photographer using a P&S camera, then we honestly aren't sure why....

dSLRs bring a lot to the table, and there are good reasons for their weight, size and the number of knobs and settings they carry. You don't just go out and buy a dSLR and walk around with it in your pocket. They require a rather more considered approach. They are meant for those who'll sit an entire weekend in a nursery taking photos of flowers, go out and do some wild life photography, sports photography and will take that kind of dedicated time on the camera trying out all kinds of shots. dSLRs are modular gadgets. So over time, you'll be drawn into buying an extra lens or two. The type you buy and the amount you spend will obviously depend on your requirements.

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