Know thy Camera – P&S and (D)SLR

Time flies really fast. I just realized that it is almost 2 months since I wrote my first post on Photography. Regular readers of this blog would remember that I had posted a step by step guide to build your own Light box for food photography and  I had promised to come back with more photography talks. So before we get too deep into photography, first let us know a little bit on different types of cameras available in the market and their abilities. This will help you to understand how my future posts will benefit you and how you can make the best use of the gadget you own.

I would like to classify Cameras into two kinds. Most of us own one or both of them. (Let us not bother about other kinds as of now as they are totally irrelevant in this scenario atleast to me).

Image courtesy: www.kunidesignstudio.com ; www.inqmnd.ca

Types of Camera

  • Point and Shoot (P&S)
  • Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR)

1. Point and Shoot (P&S)

What does it mean?

Point and Shoot cameras are popularly known as P&S. They are usually small in size and have an inbuilt lens. It is predominantly used by people who are not so serious about professional looking photography (okay there are few exceptions). Some people like me always carry a P&S with them for two reasons.

  • It is lightweight and can be easily slipped into the purse.
  • Don’t want to miss any precious moments or fail to capture the most beautiful thing I bump into.

Most of the P&S cameras have predefined modes to shoot Portrait, Landscapes, Sports, Night Shot and Macro.  But it doesn’t allow you to change the Aperture or Shutter speed. Hence the exposure cannot be changed. If you couldn’t follow these technical terms that’s ok. You will learn them in next few posts. These cameras usually have automatic focus or fixed focus. And it is really hard to predict the output until the camera processes the image.

Pros:

  • Light weight
  • Easy to use
  • For Amateurs. For those who want to capture whilst traveling or partying or just any special moment

Cons/Limitations:

  • Cannot produce high quality images
  • May not work the best in low light scenarios unless flash is used
  • Most of the P&S cameras don’t have an optical finder. They generally have an LCD screen. So what? These LCD screens don’t give you the real picture. Hence what you see you might not get in the final picture. Disappointing!
  • Exposure of an image cannot be changed

Best Used for:

If you are not very serious about photography and want to take pictures for your keepsake then this is the best deal for you. You can slip it in your pocket or purse and click pictures on the go.

So this doesn’t mean that P&S cannot be used for food photography. You can definitely use and create a beautiful and appetizing picture if you know how to use your camera and LIGHT. When I started my blog I had a P&S camera and I was still able to click some decent pictures. I know many friends of mine who click exceptional pictures using a P&S.

2. (D)SLR


What does it mean?

DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex. Technically the lens might sound very complicated. But it helps us in deciding how we want to click the picture. The lens are usually interchangeable and you can control the exposure of the picture by controlling light. These cameras are normally huge because of the components build in them. When light enters the camera it is reflected by a mirror to capture the image.

Pros:

  • Lens is interchangeable. One can choose lens depending on the subject and surroundings
  • What you see is what you get. The image seen through optical finder is almost close to original image
  • Ability to change focus manually as well as automatically
  • Has a provision to add more flash
  • Ability to control the light entering the camera by altering Aperture and Shutter speed
  • Ability to control the sensitivity to light by modifying the ISO
  • Better picture quality
  • Works like a charm in low light conditions (*depends on the lens)
  • Amazing Depth of field and it is controllable
  • Better zoom capabilities (telephoto lenses)

Cons/Limitations:

  • Heavy!
  • Difficult to use. To many things to control
  • Expensive. It can bite your pockets
  • Little noisy

Best Used for:

  • Portraits, Wildlife, Sports and any type of professional photography.

Okay, if this post sounds like a greek and latin, let me know. I did not explain most of the terms because I wanted to focus only on different types of camera. Also, now you might have a clue which will work out well for you when you want to photograph FOOD. So happy clicking and bon appetit! Ciao until then.

You are awesome!!! Thanks a bunch for leaving your valuable comment. It certainly makes me happy and helps me to learn and improve.

14 comments

  1. Tanvi@SinfullySpicy says:

    I am so happy to know a blogger like you who can take out time to write such articles and posts which are so helpful to newbies like me.Thanks so much Radhika.I love your photos and such informative articles are always welcome.Atleast, by knowing right,its possible to correctly use equipment and get better results.Thanks again!

  2. Pari says:

    Hi dear, very well written post in a simple language. I personally love my point and shoot camera and am quite happy with it’s results, I find it easy to handle and carry making it more useful.

  3. Anamika says:

    Hi Radhika,I really found your article very helpful, atleast for a newbie like me this is of great use. My blog is just an infant right now and I am trying to work on my newest passion as a food blogger, loved your space and will keep coming back :)

  4. Prem says:

    Now a days there are some point and shoot cameras available in the market which have more control features similar to DSLR.

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