Camera Types

The most basic question any photographer asks themselves is “What kind of camera do I need?” To answer that question we first need to ask ourselves the question, “What are the different types of Camera?” and “What is the Difference?”

DSLR Camera

Recommended For All Our Holidays

Overview: DSLR is an abbreviation for ‘Digital Single Lens Reflex’. In short this means the camera does not suffer from any noticeable shutter lag. What is Shutter Lag? If using a phone, compact or bridge camera, when you press the button to take a picture there is a delay between when you press the button and when the camera actually take the picture. This is massively reduced when using a DSLR. The lens on a DSLR camera can be swapped changed and upgraded, allowing you a huge amount of flexibility in the type and style of images they produce. These cameras have been considered the professional standard for years, however in recent years they have been challenged by other camera types.  DSLR’s however are still the benchmark for most professional and serious enthusiasts and have a range of models and prices to suit most budgets.

Pros: Functionality, powerful, flexible, durable and a little shutter lag

Cons: Bulky, can be costly and requires maintenance

Price Range: €450 – €8000

Reliable Brands: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Olympus

Tips: When buying a DSLR consider a few things. The ISO range, the weight of the camera, availability of lenses and accessories for that brand. Very often pound for pound the difference between the brands is negligible and will come down to what feels good in the hand.

travel photography cameras ireland

Mirrorless Camera

Recommended For All Our Holidays

Overview: Mirrorless cameras have most of the  power of DSLR’s but are about half the size and weight, making them super compact. However, because of the absence of  the “swing mirror”, these cameras suffer from noticeable shutter lag. While not as bad as a phone, compact or bridge camera, it still isn’t as good as a DSLR camera. Mirrorless cameras are power hungry and can eat through batteries very quickly and have reduced image quality. We still feel that for travel and street photography they are unmatched, They will however not produce the same quality landscape shots a DSLR camera will produce. They can swap and change their lenses just like a DSLR camera, giving them even more flexibility to shooting styles

Pros: Size, weight, portability, interchangeable lenses and powerful

Cons: Shutter lag, high drain, lower quality images and low light focusing

Price Range:  €350 – €3000

Reliable Brands: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Olympus, Fuji and Panasonic

Tips: When buying a Mirrorless camera consider buying an extra battery as these will come in extremely handy when out shooting for a full day. Think about having a listen to the DPS Podcast Snapshot for a full breakdown of the pros and cons of Mirrorless Cameras

Bridge Camera

Acceptable With Full Manual Modes – But Not Recommended

Overview:  These cameras are a massive step up from a compact camera, however they are a big step down from DSLR or a mirrorless camera. These cameras have a lot of the mobility of a compact and mirrorless camera, with some of the power of a DSLR……almost as if it was a “BRIDGE” between the two. One major drawback of a bridge camera is that the lens cannot be changed, upgraded or swapped, limiting the ability to pursue new styles of photography. While bridge cameras are fine for most enthusiasts starting out, and even taking a photography course, (as most bridge cameras have manual modes and settings), they will eventually outgrow them. They struggle with shutter lag and focusing is a slow process especially low light.

Pros: Light, portable and inexpensive,

Cons: Shutter lag, non interchangeable lens, poor aperture range, poor ISO range and poor focusing

Price Range: €170 – €575

Reliable Brands: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Olympus, Fuji and Panasonic

Tips: Although buying a bridge may make sense in the short term, in the long term there is little in the difference price wise between a mid range bridge camera and an entry level DSLR, OUR advice would be to invest the extra money into an entry level DSLR camera.

Compact Camera

Not Suitable For Our Holidays

Overview: With the rise of the smartphone, the compact camera is fast becoming an endangered species. The big brands like Canon, Nikon, Sony and Olympus are producing fewer units and models each year. With most Smartphones being able to match them in terms of quality and functions in all but the most advanced compact models.

Pros: Not much of an improvement on a Smartphone

Cons: Compact, mobile, multiple in-camera functions, better battery than smartphones and dedicated memory card so no competing for space on phone & price

Price Range: €100 – €600

Reliable Brands: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Olympus, Fuji and Panasonic