Are essentially what all "point-and-shoot" cameras are. They have a viewfinder
to compose pictures with, and a seperate lens that records the picture onto
your media. The advantages to using this kind of camera is the brightness
of the viewfinder--making it easier to compose pictures; the light-weight and
convenience of the actual camera size; less moving parts, meaning less chance
of the camera breaking; and with "point-and-shoot" cameras it
makes it easy to take the picture, all you have to be concerned with is composing
the shot. The disadvantage of these cameras is the limited control over the
elements of shutter and aperature; slight parallax error occuring because the
viewfinder and lens are seperate; and the limited accessories such as other
lenses and filters. These almost always use small format film.
Are very much like viewfinder cameras, the only difference is that in the
viewfinder, it gives you a "range" of where you can take the picture-- showing
you what in your composition will show in your media of choice. This is
the prelude to in-camera aids to taking your pictures. The advantages and
disadvantages are the same as the viewfinder camera. These almost always use
small format film.
Single Lens Reflex (SLR)
Probably the most versatile, and most used camera type. With this camera type
you look through the same lens as what is taking the picture. This proves for
a great advantage in knowing what kind of composition and exposure you are
going to end up with on your media. These cameras also have a ton of accessories
including multiple lenses to increase the versatility
of your camera. These cameras do tend to be heavier and because of the
moving mirror, can
break easier than simpler cameras like viewfinder and TLR's. You can use small
and medium format film in these cameras.
Twin Lens Reflex (TLR)
Used mostly by serious hobbyists and professionals, this camera type was more
popular in the 40s, because it was cheaper to produce than an SLR. They have
less moving parts, so are much more durable. You have as much control with
these cameras as you do for SLR's, the biggest disadvantage is the Parallax
error due to the fact that you are looking through a seperate lens than what
is taking the picture. These cameras also have less accessories (mainly other
lenses) to increase the versatility. You can use small and medium format film
in these cameras.
Used almost exclusively by professionals, this camera is the definition of
photographic control with the camera. You can even control the planes that
are in focus by shifting the position of the lens board and the film board.
A very versatile, and complex camera, it is the best camera to use for
architectural photography. This was the camera type used by Ansel Adams and
Barry Goldwater. It is a very heavy and cumbersome camera type, but will give
you the very best results, because of the amount of control you have. It is
also the only camera type that can shoot large format film.