Compact Digital Cameras
What are Compact Digital Cameras?
Compact Digital Cameras or Compact System Cameras or Hybrid Cameras so named due to their compact nature. You will find an in-depth blog article on compact digital cameras here, and... (show more)
What are Compact Digital Cameras?
Compact Digital Cameras or Compact System Cameras or Hybrid Cameras so named due to their compact nature. You will find an in-depth blog article on compact digital cameras here, and one describing different types of digital cameras, including compact digital cameras over here.
In essence, though, compact digital cameras were designed as a solution to the question, ‘how can we design a camera that is smaller, lighter and cheaper than a Digital SLR camera, and that has a fixed lens attached to it’. The compact nature of compact digital cameras, therefore, stems from several factors:
Compact Digital Cameras are Mirrorless
Compact cameras do not have a mirror system for optical view finding, which allows them to be both smaller and cheaper. Most only have a digital viewfinder – that tends to be viewed on an LCD screen on the camera. If you want a better optical understanding of digital single lens reflex camera then go to this blog.
Compact Digital Cameras are designed to be less expensive that DSLRs
Most compact digital cameras are cheaper than a DSLR, and as such often lack many of the additional features that DSLRs have.
Compact digital cameras have smaller sensors
One of the cost-cutting measures that compact digital cameras tend to implement is that they have smaller sensors on them. A camera sensor is the thing that light is ultimately directed onto, and that creates an image that is then recorded. Unfortunately smaller sensors (and the resultant smaller photosites), means that image quality – and particularly in low light - is reduced. This is because the smaller sensors collect less light, which thus has to be greatly magnified, and in the process, the tiny aberrations in the image are also magnified!
You can read in detail in this blog about how sensors and photosites work, and also why sensor size is so much more important than megapixels!
Compact digital cameras tend to focus on automatic functionality
Although some compacts are able to work full manual mode, the focus of a compact camera is on ease of use, and thus the focus is on automatic and semi-automatic options.
Compact digital cameras have fixed lenses
This is an important point. Compact cameras and mirrorless cameras used to be pretty much synonymous. Both ultra compact cameras and bridge cameras (less compact in order to have a greater magnification available on the zoom lens) have always had a fixed lens.
The recent introduction of Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens cameras (MILCs) has created a new type of camera that is neither compact nor DSLR, and you can read about MILCs here. But interchangeable lens cameras, no matter what type of viewfinder they use, are not compact digital cameras.
Compact digital cameras vs digital single lens reflex cameras
Compact digital cameras, digital SLR cameras, and indeed mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras all have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Here at Cameraverse, we believe in empowering you with information so that you can make the best possible purchase for your own unique needs. With this in mind, we strongly suggest that you read these blogs on Types of digital cameras from compact cameras to DSLRs to everything else, as well as DSLRs v Compact Cameras - Sensor Sizes, Megapixels and Image Quality.
Also feel free to contact us here at Cameraverse if you would like some advice on which particular compact digital camera or indeed other types of camera is best suited to your idiosyncratic needs!