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Compare Cameras : Film, Digital, SLR

How to Compare Cameras

Compare Cameras

There is a huge variety of choices for film, digital, slr, and compact cameras.


One of the most common questions beginner photographers have is “What type of camera should I get?”
In this article, we will compare cameras from the most common classes available today; Film vs Digital and SLR vs Compacts.

Compare Cameras: Digital Camera Advantages

  • Practically instant results; no chemicals.
  • Built-in LCD monitor on camera lets you check and evaluate the photos.
  • Low running expenses. Memory card is re-used. Batteries are rechargeable.
  • Wide range of models offered, from miniature point-and-shoot models to professional SLRs with full creative freedom.
  • Color balance can often be precisely adjusted to suit the light source.
  • Pictures can very easily be manipulated, edited and printed from a computer or shared with others across the web.
  • Digital Camera Disadvantages

  • Access to a PC, and familiarity with computers, is essential to get the most from the digital pictures.
  • Digital cameras can be slow to react, missing pictures as they boot up and process data.
  • LCD screens could be hard to use in bright light (alternative viewfinder is commonly supplied).
  • Risk of accidentally deleting the shots you have got taken.
  • Batteries occasionally have to be replaced, and recharged regularly.
  • Only top models, set at best resolution, can match quality of images taken with 35mm film.
  • Film Camera Advantages

  • High resolution results feasible with even smaller film formats, for example 35mm.
  • Enormous selection of models, from miniature point-and-shoot models to specialist SLRs.
  • Extensive range of secondhand equipment on the market signifies that cameras, lenses and accessories can be found to suit any budgets.
  • Wide range of specialist films offered, including those for use in very low light.
  • Technology is well-established, proven, and not constantly changing.
  • Film Camera Disadvantages

  • Film needs to be chemically developed before the picture is ever seen.
  • Risk of misloading the film.
  • Repeated film and development expenses.
  • Film needs to be scanned for digital manipulation or sharing on the web.
  • Some light sources can produce color cast problems, which are difficult to eliminate.
  • To change to different film speed you are forced to change the entire roll of film instead of a simple digital setting.
  • SLR Advantages

  • Precise framing – what you see in the viewfinder is exactly what is recorded on the film.
  • The range of lenses and accessories makes the SLR very versatile, as it might be adapted to shoot any photographic subject.
  • Extensive range of camera models to choose from – including digital and 35mm film versions.
  • Full adjustments of shutter speed and aperture – and detailed display of current settings.
  • SLR Disadvantages

  • Noisier than compact cameras because the reflex mirror that directs light up towards the viewing screen need to swing out of the way prior to exposure.
  • Difficult to focus in low light.
  • Heavier and more awkward to utilize than most fully automatic compact models.
  • Generally the most expensive cameras to buy. Needed accessories can also become expensive.
  • Compact Camera Advantages

  • Viewfinder image is bright even in poor light.
  • Offered with good built-in zoom (digital models particularly).
  • Compact cameras are normally smaller, light and effortless to carry.
  • Fully automatic, ‘point-and-shoot’ – ideal for informal and candid shots.
  • Absence of a reflex mirror makes the compact quiet to use.
  • Some digital models offer practically as much creative control as SLRs.
  • Compact Camera Disadvantages

  • The viewfinder shows a slightly different view than the one that will be recorded – a particular problem with close-ups.
  • You cannot visually check whether the camera has focused on the subject accurately.
  • You cannot ordinarily control which elements of the scene are sharp or blurred using depth of field.
  • You cannot commonly adjust shutter speed to suit the movement of the subject, or for other artistic reasons.
  • Lens isn’t interchangeable. Few system accessories.
  • 1 comment to Compare Cameras : Film, Digital, SLR

    • I just purchased the Lowepro 200AW SlingShot about a month ago (the predecessor to the 202AW). I liked the bag and had no problem with it at all. But when I saw that the 202AW was coming, I took a look at that bag. The 202AW increases the storage space in the top section and for the pocket on the front, adds a zipper storage compartment on the outside of the top flap and one on the inside too, the interior has been redesigned slightly, the memory card storage pockets have been changed a bit on the inside of the main compartment flap, and the bag now includes a tripod holder. At first I didn’t think I would like a SlingShot bag. I didn’t like the look of it really and was going to get a normal square case. But since I could return the SlingShot if I didn’t like it, I gave it a shot. I’ll never go to a square bag ever again. I feel that the SlingShot has more chances of going “mobile” with me than a square bag. If I bring a square bag, I think it really stands out as saying “I have a camera in here!” But with the SlingShot, it kind of blends in and looks like a regular backpack.

      The 202AW is much deeper on top and has thicker storage in that front pocket. Nice additions. The inside of the top section has an elastic strap on the “floor” that you can use to hold a hard drive (as seen in their product pictures) but I use it to hold a pocket cheat sheet for my Nikon SB-600 and any other paperwork I carry (photo tips, reminders, etc.). When you open the top section flap, they added a zipper compartment to the inside part of the flap as well as a zipper compartment on the outside of that flap. The inside compartment is about 4″ wide by 4″ deep. The outside compartment has a 4″ vertical zipper…storage is about 3″ in (left to right) and 4″ high (top to bottom).

      The camera storage area has been redesigned. If you turn the bag to the side and open the entire top section, the built-in microfiber cloth was sewn into the bottom area of the 200AW so when you put your camera in (while wearing the SlingShot), it was a natural way for the cloth to be pulled over the back of the camera. The 202AW moves the microfiber cloth to the left and you pull it right to cover the camera. I didn’t really care for this. But since they redesigned the memory pockets, I actually don’t use the cloth anymore. The memory card pockets were entirely too big on the 200AW (maybe they fit compact flash cards better but I use SDHC) and were nylon so closing the flap on the camera without that microfiber cloth over bothered me. The new pockets are made out of microfiber material and are much more unobtrusive so I don’t use the cloth anymore. There is a mesh pocket to tuck it away. My Nikon D90 has a plexi cover on the back LCD so if that does end up getting scratched over time, it’s only a $10 part to replace. I’ve had my D90 for about 2 months now, snapped over 5000 shots and it still looks brand new so I’m not worried about it.

      The tripod holder is awesome and that was the main reason for upgrading to the 202AW. Everything else is just a bonus. I have Gorillapod tripod that I have on the bag. When you’re wearing the SlingShot and turn the back to access the camera, the tripod is on the bottom. There is a foot pocket for the bottom of the tripod and it seems like it was made for the Gorillapod. The feet fit perfectly. If you’re not going to carry a tripod on the bag, the foot pocket tucks up inside so you don’t see it. There is an easily adjustable plastic clasp enclosure on the top to secure the top end of the tripod.

      The 202AW can sit up on its own. The 200AW didn’t do that so when I set this bag down, I don’t have to worry about the bag falling over and getting dirty. Just the bottom is exposed. The bag is made of a durable nylon and although I’ve had some dust on it here and there, a few pats with my hand and the dust is gone. There is the same all weather cover tucked in the bottom as the 200AW but I am not going to pull that out until I actually need it (I’m sure it’s folded nice and neat in there right now).

      Finally, the shoulder strap is very comfortable to have on. I don’t mind carrying this bag at all even with a D90, Sony HD video camera, 3 lenses, tripod, SB-600, lens filters, etc. The weight is distributed very nicely and when you have the bag adjusted correctly, it sits on the back nicely. If you’re just going to throw the bag on your back like a one-shoulder backpack, it fits on the left shoulder the best because of the curve in the strap. There is a small area on the front of the strap where you can tuck a few fingers to hold onto the bag if you want. When wearing it like the SlingShot, there is a counterbalance strap that you can connect. It goes across the other part of your chest and helps to stabilize the back even more.

      In summary, Lowepro made an AWESOME bag in upgrading from the 200AW. If I had any complaint at all, it would be with the placement of the microfiber cloth. I just don’t like pulling the cloth from the left but that’s probably just me. It’s still a 5 star product. Build quality is great and because you can get so versatile with this bag, I think it’s definitely worth $89.95. You get what you pay for an in this case, you get a VERY nice camera bag.

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