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Best Camera 2021 • 7 Cameras Reviews

While smartphones now integrate high-quality cameras, the reality is that cameras continue to offer a number of perks that make them irreplaceable—not to mention the wide range of options available. For that matter, you can find cameras specifically designed for various uses.

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Tested Products 7
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Hours Spent 58
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Evaluated Studies 111
Considered Reviews
Considered Reviews 534

What is a camera and how does it work?

Cameras are optical instruments designed to capture images and record videos. The different types currently on the market will vary significantly in operation from one model to the next. However, in general, they consist of a dark box that allows light to pass through long enough for the image focused by the lens to be recorded by a digital sensor or film.

There are several important aspects that you need to consider before purchasing your own camera. Keep in mind that the different types of cameras available all offer distinct features and technical specs. It is therefore advisable that you take the time to compare the different models and form an opinion about the requirements you have for your product. This way you will find the best camera for you.

What types of cameras are there?

This overview should provide you with a good comparison of the different types and thereby help you get an informed opinion about them.

DSLR

  • Features: They allow you to see the scene directly and therefore prevent parallax errors. Their main disadvantage is the weight.
  • Use: For high-quality photos and professional photographers
  • Recommended for: Aimed at users with more experience and knowledge
  • Ease of use: You require good photography knowledge to get the most out of them.
  • Price: They tend to be quite expensive, and you have to add the cost of the lens.

Compact

  • Features: These models directly integrate the lens in the camera body. They generally offer a wide focal range, and their sensor measures one inch at most.
  • Use: Ideal for traveling due to their weight and size.
  • Recommended for: For people who are seeking a light and easy-to-use camera
  • Ease of use: They are easier to use, as they offer fewer functionalities.
  • Price: They are more affordable than DSLR cameras.

Bridge

  • Features: These versatile cameras do not allow you to change the lens but include many options of DSLRs and have a very powerful zoom.
  • Use: Perfect for a wide variety of environments: traveling, parties, and quality nature photography.
  • Recommended for: For those who want a quality camera without making such a high economic investment.
  • Ease of use: More comfortable than compact cameras; they include most of the same functions.
  • Price: Their price is higher than that of compact cameras but cheaper than that of DSLRs.

Action

  • Features: Also called sports cams, they are specifically designed for extreme conditions. Small in size, resistant, light, and waterproof.
  • Use: Used to take photos and videos while doing sports activities or in nature.
  • Recommended for: Athletes, especially adrenalin junkies and nature lovers.
  • Ease of use: These cameras are fairly easy to use. You don’t need particular knowledge to operate them.
  • Price: These cameras go from less than $50 to well over $300.

Instant

  • Features: These cameras produce a paper copy of the photo almost instantaneously.
  • Use: For traveling or parties. They are an original gift and useful for introducing children to the world of photography.
  • Recommended for: For everyone, but mostly for casual use.
  • Ease of use: They are the easiest to use.
  • Price: They are fairly affordable.

Mirrorless

  • Features: They do not feature an internal prism, although they mount lenses similar to those of DSLRs.
  • Use: Since their quality level is similar to that of DSLRs, they suit amateurs and pros alike.
  • Recommended for: Designed for advanced users with extensive knowledge of photography.
  • Ease of use: They are not ideal for inexperienced people to use.
  • Price: These models are quite expensive.

Shopping Criteria for Cameras

You should consider a series of key criteria when you decide to purchase your own camera. We want to facilitate this process for you, which is why we have detailed the most important factors in the section below. We are confident the guide based on our tests will help you choose the right model and get the best bang for your buck.

  • Intended use
  • Sensor
  • Focusing points and speed
  • Stabilization system

Cameras let you take quality photos in low light conditions.

Intended Use

Luckily for you, buying a quality camera has become fairly easy. Ultimately, manufacturers have reached very high-quality standards. That being said, choosing the right camera for your needs isn’t so simple. In our opinion, the first thing you should do is ask yourself what type of camera you need. It would also be advisable to test the camera first before buying it.

There is no point in you opting for a professional DSLR model if you don’t know how to make the most of it. If you want to get professional results or use your camera in extreme conditions, on the other hand, you will want to avoid purchasing an economical automatic device.

Sensor

The sensor is one of the most important components of your camera. When comparing and evaluating the quality of the sensor, you should prioritize its size and the technology used to handle it rather than the number of megapixels. If you are a casual photographer, you may find that a compact camera with a one-inch sensor is enough.

This will allow you to enjoy excellent performance without having to resort to much heavier full-format equipment.

Did you know that the first permanent photograph of a camera image was created in 1825?

Focusing Points and Speed

The speed and precision of the camera’s focusing system are essential for sharp photos in high definition. The focusing system keeps the subject of your picture in a suitable focus while you are snapping it. The most common types are the following: phase detection, contrast detection, and hybrid autofocus.

The latter model combines the two previous ones and allows for greater accuracy and enhanced responsiveness. Also, you may want to keep an eye on the number of focal points that your camera offers. It has been tested that the more, the better since you will be able to focus faster and more accurately.

Cameras are optical instruments designed to capture images.

Stabilization System

This optical system is, in many experts’ opinions, essential in any camera designed for beginners. It will help you take sharp moving photos while preventing vibrations. You will immediately notice the difference if you test cameras with and without that feature. The role of this system is to maintain the sensor suspended, hence compensating for any movement you make while holding the camera.

This way, your pictures won’t be blurry. We encourage you to have a five-axis system in your camera’s body. Note that stabilization systems of lenses often don’t work very well, and the difference in the image becomes truly noticeable.

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FAQs

What are the basic elements of a camera?

Virtually all cameras will include at least the following: a viewfinder, lens, sensor, diaphragm, shutter, screen, and buttons. We'll explain the functions of each in the list below so that you have an easier time comparing models based on these functions. Please note that these may vary depending on the type of camera you purchase.

- Viewfinder: This is the element through which the focusing and framing are done. It can be direct optical, reflex, or electronic.
- Lens: This is one of the most critical components of your camera. This optical system consists of a set of lenses that form the image, which is then captured by the sensor.
- Sensor: This is responsible for transforming the optical image into electrical signals that allow the creation of the digital image.
- Diaphragm: Located inside the lens, this mechanism is designed to regulate the light intensity passing to the sensor.
- Shutter: This device allows you to regulate the time the sensor is exposed to light.
- Screen: This component is generally found in digital cameras. The screen gives you the possibility to preview the photo before taking it, view it afterward, and navigate through the camera's setting menus.
- Buttons: These are used to configure the camera and its different parameters.

Which controls are most important for a beginner photographer to learn?

The number of features present in a camera can quickly become overwhelming when you are just starting with photography. In that regard, you should focus on learning how to control speed, diaphragm, and ISO sensitivity. Most experts believe that these are the three most important aspects you should master when you begin your journey in the world of photography.

Additionally, professional photographers recommend opting for an all-around camera. It is also important that you choose a comfortable model that you can always carry around. Ultimately, you will find it easier to learn and test different settings with a simpler, more manageable camera than with a high-end, feature-rich model.

What accessories do I need with my camera?

In addition to the camera and the lens for DSLR and mirrorless models, you will need various other accessories. First of all, we encourage you to purchase a bag or backpack to carry all the equipment. A spare battery often comes in handy as well. You should also buy the fastest memory card that your budget allows.

What is the f-stop scale?

Every camera and lens manufacturer uses this scale (f/1-f/1.4-f/2-f/2.8-f/4-f/5.6-f/8-f/11-f/16-f/22-f/32) to classify the different apertures of a camera’s diaphragm. The lower the number, the greater the aperture of the diaphragm will be. This means that more light will reach the sensor, and you will take higher-quality photos. While this might look difficult in the beginning, you will understand it quickly through testing the different settings.

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