Back in the days of film, if you wanted to get serious about photography, you simply went out and bought your compact camera and then started to build up a collection of amazing photos.
Things were pretty straightforward back then, because an SLR was pretty much the only affordable interchangeable lens option. With the transition from film to digital, however, the camera market has become much more diverse, with many more types of camera to choose from.
For this reason, a digital SLR camera is not always seen as the obvious choice for photography enthusiasts.
Without doubt, the biggest challenge to traditional DSLRs in recent years has come from compact system cameras like DSLRs, these also provide access to the world of interchangeable lenses and are often much smaller, too, making them more discreet and easier to carry around.
Despite this there are still many good reasons to invest in a compact camera. They key word here is invest because buying your first the best compact camera under 300 is exactly that an investment. Ultimately, it will serve as the foundation stone around which your lens collection and all your other photographic equipment will be built.
While CSCs certainly have the advantage in terms of size and weight, DSLRs are not without their own unique set of benefits. One obvious advantage that compact camera enjoy over CSCs is that they come fitted with an optical viewfinder that provides a crystal-clear view of what the camera can see though the lens. While electronic viewfinder technology has improved immensely in recent years, most photographers would agree that optical viewfinders still have the edge.
For starters, they tend to perform much better in low light than their electronic counterparts, where a lack of light can cause the displayed image to flicker and become grainy. And while the latest generation of electronic viewfinders undoubtedly provides a better preview of how the captured image will look before you’ve taken it, many photographers still prefer the precision, clarity and immediacy of an optical viewfinder at the point of capture.
It’s not just the viewfinder that makes the camera attractive to photographers, whereas some CSCs priorities keeping size of a minimum, this can sometimes be to the detriment of handling. Compact camera on the other hand, generally tend to priorities handling over size.
And while you’re obviously never going to be able to fit a DSLR in your pocket, it’s worth remembering that most entry-level and mid-range camera aren’t actually all that massive or heavy anyway. In fact, it’s only really when you get to the enthusiast and professional end of the market that size and weight really becomes an issue.
And then, of course, there is the aforementioned lens and accessory market. Buying a DSLR camera opens up a huge and ever-expanding universe of lenses and accessories that are designed to be used with DSLRs.
These can really help you to grow with your new camera and expand your photographic horizons. It’s for all these reasons and more that many photographers choose to purchase and work with DSLRs. If you are thinking about purchasing a compact camera, then in my upcoming blog I will be aiming to steer you through all the main considerations and help you decide on a model that’s right for you.