Types of Cameras for Photography
Before we get to the list of cameras, it is important to understand the brackets of classification, that make each of them different. Or the features of the camera that help in classification. The main element is the sensor of the camera: that is the element to capture image, it may be digital or film, or a photographic plate processing.
Optical Finder: the frame of viewing of the camera, like the LCD screen or lens. Focus: it may be manual, automatic, range finder or guess focusing, etc. Metering system: that is the metering modes and sensor, like speed, aperture, etc. Rigidity: this is whether the camera is monorail, folding, rigid or telescopic, etc.
All these aspects have been considered when designing a specific camera. Sometimes there are combination's of these aspects in a single camera. Here is the compilation of the most common types.
They sported a single element lens in the end of the box and a default leaf shutter speed. A small reflex view finder was mounted on the top, but without any focus controls. They were only suitable for photography at a limited distance and in day light, because of lack of controls. However the later versions had a flash, shutter speed and aperture controls.
A folding camera occupied less space, which was possible due to the folding design with bellows on the camera. Some also came with hinges that could enable the fold. Some of these were also known as collapsible box camera.
Not all the cameras with a bellow, can be termed folding camera. The variations in the bellow length in certain folding cameras allowed focusing with the means of lens. After folding the camera, the camera had an impressive ratio, of the physical size to the film size. These cameras were extremely popular due to their compactness.
However, with the introduction of 35 mm film format, that enabled more compact design, folding cameras eventually faded from the market.
This feature gave the photographer a control on the perspective of the picture. A ground glass screen at the focus point would enable focusing in these cameras. The composition would be done on the ground glass screen, and as this screen had a faint picture, often a black cloth was used by the photographer to cover his head and focus well.
After this process, the screen was removed and a sensitized plate was kept to capture the image.
Range Finder Camera
This type of camera saw the development in elements like focus. These poducts used a mechanism, that enabled viewing distance determination, which was termed as range finder. This allowed accurate focus to the object. This is achieved by using two images to focus. Two images are projected on the view finder.
One of these has a region of the viewer area and has a slightly yellowish color. Now the focus ring on the lens is adjusted, so as to get both the images in sync, overlapping each other. When they overlap to make one single clear picture, it meant focus was accurate.
These types were developed later to get more focusing mechanism, like a prism and mirror arrangement. Some of the latest electronic cameras with a large range finder base, help in excellent focusing.
Point and Shoot Camera
With these cameras the automated aspect in camera technology was introduced. The point and shoot cameras, just as the name describes, did not require the photographer to adjust the shutter speed, lens, film speed, focus and not even use a light meter. These did not have any manual controls, all that was needed was to point and shoot.
They used an infrared focus, that used light to bounce on the object and determine the distance. They are also known as P&S cameras, which flourished in the 1980s and 1990s. This technology is still applied in digital and film cameras.
The older versions of these cameras could do little for excellent picture, but the recent cameras have much advanced automated mechanisms.
Twin Lens Reflex
Abbreviated to TLR, these cameras can also known as two eyed cameras. They have two lenses, of the same focal length and speed. The lower lens is the one that takes pictures, while the upper lens is used as view finder.
This viewfinder lens has a mirror that is elevated at 45 degrees. This lens reflects the image to the ground glass, which is situated at the top of the camera. This ground glass is surrounded by a hood like structure from all sides. The lower lens exposes the film, and the upper lens is used for compose.
However, with these cameras, the final image was not the same like the viewed image. This was due to the difference in the distance of the center points of both lenses. This is termed as parallax error, which however could be corrected, by lifting the camera.
Single Lens Reflex Camera
Also abbreviated as SLR, this camera has only one lens that enables viewing and taking the image as well. Unlike TLR, this camera has one lens that exposes the picture and acts as view finder. These cameras make some of the most loved equipment among professionals and photography amateurs.
These were created first to be operated manually. But there are certain cameras that come in fully automated mechanisms. The lens will give a view via a mirror that blocks the shutter. In SLR the aperture will be wide open for focusing. This enables excellent view finding. The SLR also comes in Digital Single Lens Reflex known as DSLR.