Everyday Ansel Adams

Everyday Ansel Adams -- Composing Everyday Pictures

A Monday Night "Kick it Up a Notch" Class

Click Back to Basics
Click Camera Types
Click Film Types
Click The Aperature
Click The Shutter
Click The Lens
Click The Flash

There are five categories of cameras that can be used. Each have there own distint advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the best one for you all depends on your priorities and your comfort level using that camera. Concepts of composition and light are all basically the same for all of the camera types, so it is truly a personal preference to which kind you want to use.

Viewfinder Cameras
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.
Rangefinder Cameras
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.
View 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.

|~EAA Home~ |~Camera Basics~ |~Composing Principles~ |~Lighting~ |

|~Camera Types~ |~Film Types~ |~Aperature~ |~Shutter~ |~Lens~ |~Flash~ |