Digital Cameras are broadly classified into two primary categories : Point and Shoot digital cameras; and digital SLRs.
Point And Shoot Digital Cameras
The Point and Shoot cameras have fixed-lens and are the most popular digital cameras for the average user. All major companies such as Nikon, Olympus, Fuji, Kodak, Canon and Sony make plenty of models of the point and shoot digital cameras. On the basis of looks, the point and shoot cameras could be categorized as “Box DigCams” and “Mini-SLRs”. The Box DigCams appear boxy, fold up well and can fit into a purse or a pocket. The Mini-SLRs are larger and tend to resemble a digital SLR. Though features are the same, the Mini-SLRs could prove to be slightly high in price, due to more features and a better optical zoom.
Semi Professional Digital Cameras
These are advanced versions of the point and shoot cameras. These cameras have 5 to 6 megapixels of resolution and provide the user with greater control and additional settings in the camera. These cameras produce image qualities that are good for clear prints of about 8 x 10. These cameras are best suited for those of you seeking greater creative control than in the point and shoot model. Of-course, due to increased flexibility, semi professional models are priced much higher than their point and shoot counterparts.
Digital SLRs are quite expensive, including their lenses, which could cost a few thousand dollars, mainly for their zoom lenses and ultra-wide angle. Digital SLR cameras are high-end cameras typically used by professionals.
Difference Between Point And Shoot Vs. Digital Slrs
Surprisingly, some features in the point and shoot digital cameras appear to be missing in the digital SLRs. Like for instance, the LCD preview. Though the digital SLRs provide the option of viewing a picture after it is taken, it is impossible to use a LCD preview. Instead, digital SLR camera uses a reflex mirror which permits optical viewing directly through the lens. They have sensors with a width vs. height ratio of 3:2 and the point and shoot cameras have a width to height ratio of 4:3. Another difference is the lag time. Digital SLRs have a CMOS or CCD sensor added to a traditional film SLR body, due to which, the mechanical shutter keeps the sensor exposed instead of film. Hence when the shutter button is pressed, a picture is taken instantly.