OK, we admit it, it’s an impossible question. The best camera for a pro photographer is a million miles from the best camera for an adventure sports nut. So what we’ve done is pick out what we think are the standout cameras in their fields. This may be because they have the most amazing features and specifications, because they’re amazing value for what they offer or because they are just brilliant at the job they’ve been designed for.
Along the way we’ll explain some of the jargon and the differences between cameras, though if you need a bit more help deciding what kind of camera you need, you can get a lot more information from our special step-by-step guide: What camera should I buy?
On the other hand, you may already have a clear idea of the kind of camera you want, in which case you could go straight to one of our more specific camera buying guides
- Best bridge camera
- Best travel camera
- Best high-end compact
- Best DSLR
- Best DSLR for beginners
- Best full frame DSLR
- Best CSC/mirrorless camera
- Best CSC for beginners
New and exciting cameras are coming out all the time, of course, and
DSLR stands for “Digital Single Lens Reflex”. In simple language, DSLR is a digital camera that uses mirrors to direct light from the lens to the viewfinder, which is a hole on the back of the camera that you look through to see what you are taking a picture of.
1) What do DSLR cameras consist of?
Take a look at the following image of an SLR cross section (image courtesy of Wikipedia)
- Reflex mirror
- Image sensor
- Matte focusing screen
- Condenser lens
2) How do DSLR cameras work?
When you look through the viewfinder on the back of the camera, whatever you see is exactly what you are going to get in the photograph. The scene that you are taking a picture of passes through the lens in a form of light into a reflex mirror (#2) that sits at a 45 degree angle inside the camera chamber, which then forwards the light vertically to an optical element called a “pentaprism” (#7). The pentaprism then converts the vertical light to horizontal by redirecting the light through two separate mirrors, right into the viewfinder (#8).
When you take a picture, the reflex mirror (#2)
DSLR cameras by design have some inherent flaws and limitations. Part of it has to do with the fact that SLR cameras were initially developed for film. When digital evolved, it was treated just like film and was housed in the same mechanical body. Aside from the circuitry required for a digital sensor and other electronics, new digital film media and the back LCD, the rest of the SLR components did not change. Same mechanical mirror, same pentaprism / optical viewfinder, same phase detection system for autofocus operation. While new technological advances eventually led to extending of features of these cameras (In-camera editing, HDR, GPS, WiFi, etc), DSLRs continued to stay bulky for a couple of reasons. First, the mirror inside DSLR cameras had to be the same in size as the digital sensor, taking up plenty of space. Second, the pentaprism that converts vertical rays to horizontal in the viewfinder also had to match the size of the mirror, making the top portion of DSLRs bulky.
Lastly, manufacturers wanted to keep existing lenses compatible with digital cameras, so that the transition from film to digital was not too costly or too limiting for the consumer. This
I have been getting a lot of questions from our readers about whether they should pick a particular camera from Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax or some other manufacturer. These inquiries are only increasing over time, so I decided to post an article on what I think about different camera systems and why you should go with a particular brand versus others. Many of the questions are something like “should I go for Nikon D5000 or Canon 1000D” or similar, with readers asking me to tell them why I would recommend or pick a certain brand/type of a camera over another. When it comes to the question of Nikon vs Canon vs Sony, there are lots of heated debates over the Internet, so I wanted to share my personal thought on this subject matter as well.
As you know, I have been mainly writing about Nikon – simply because pretty much all of my gear is from Nikon and it is the system of choice for me. Why don’t I shoot Canon or Sony? Is Nikon superior than these brands? No, not
The spring migration of birds in North America offers many opportunities for photography. A trip to Point Pelee National Park during the Festival of Birds in early May has become a yearly event for us. Point Pelee is the southernmost point of Canada, reaching into Lake Erie at the same latitude as northern California. This point is along primary bird migration routes and is often described as a critical area for birds migrating northward in the spring. The 50km crossing of Lake Erie can be exhausting and the point offers a place for birds to rest and feed before pursuing their migration. Bird sightings and photography are made easier because leaves are not fully developed at that time of the year and there is a good number of birds moving northward along this narrow point. The warblers are in their breeding (usually more colourful) plumage, making them perfect subjects for photography. While Point Pelee is known as the “Warbler Capital of Canada”, sightings are not limited to warblers. You will also find sparrows, wrens, woodpeckers and thrushes, many of which remain shy and elusive at other times of the year. During the peak of the migration, it is relatively
Buying photography equipment for the first time is a daunting task. Useful guides exist to help beginners choose a good camera, but few newcomers realize that the camera itself is only the first of many pieces of equipment necessary to create a full setup for photography. In this guide, I will suggest a complete kit — everything from lens cloths to computer monitors — that will provide a beginner with high quality images (and room to grow) for a price of around 2000 US dollars.
Note that this guide is not a comprehensive list of equipment that will work for every type of photographer. As your photography becomes more specialized — portraiture, landscapes, wildlife, or anything else — you will gravitate towards more specialized equipment as well. The recommendations below can be considered an all-purpose starter kit rather than a list tuned to one specific type of photographer.
1) The Camera
The core of photography is a camera, or at least the sensor of a camera. At the moment, one of the biggest debates in the photography world is between two different types of cameras: mirrorless and DSLR cameras. Both have their merits, but a beginning photographer on a tight budget should be