Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Compact? Prosumer? DSLR? Wat is tat?

In my very 1st blog entry i mentioned about having a camera, upgrading a camera into prosumer camera, and finally a DSLR (Digital single lense reflex camera)(or more commonly, the PRO-camera by many commoners... hehe). OK, but wat is all these things?

Most camera-users like to categorize digital cameras into three:

1. normal compact (or point-and-shoot camera)(i prefer the chinese name, silly's camera, more cute.. haha..) (acronymed as DC below)
2. prosumer camera or semi-pro camera
3. DSLR camera or pro-camera

Each type of camera has their own advantage and disadvantage. Althou i am not very clear about it, i wil try my best to explain it.

In simple words:

For details or complete post, click the 'read more' below...

Normal digital compact(DC) are the common camera v normally use or saw ppl using. For example, my family's 1st ever DC is Nikon's Coolpix S3.
photo from

Ofcoz the obvious advantage of DC is its relatively easy to use. The fully automatic control of the camera ease the user. All u need to do is juz look into the screen, half-press shutter for the camera to auto-focus onto object, full press to take photo and checking ur photo. Not satisfy then u can delete and re-snap. Tats all. Then, the small size of DCs made them easy to be carried evywhere witout the worry of camera weight and size .

Summore now-a-days DC price ranges from 200+ to 1k+, evy1 can buy a camera based on their abilities and requirement. In order to compensate the lack of photography skills among the users, cameras have also been equiped wit several useful semi-auto function, for example the Macro-mode(to take close-ups of small things), Night mode, Portrait mode, In-Door mode.. (if u wanna noe bout diff btw each mode, leave ur comments to tel me bout it..) The higher end of DC also come wit manual mode, where it enables the user to haf more controls on shooting. As far as i noe, some Canon models provide 'long shutter' mode where u can choose shutter speed from 1-15 seconds! Snap, snap and snap.. There comes most of the photo in FB album...

This is one of my better photo snapped using Canon IXUS 850:

Well, the downside of DC is ofcoz the image quality taken is not as good as Prosumer and DSLR in terms of exposure and noise performance. But if u cannot differentiate the quality/not so particular about the quality then its find. Inability in changin lens of coz would be de biggest limitation of DC.

Prosumer camera, or commonly known as semi-profesional camera. The word "ProSumer" suggest that it's used by Professional Consumer. Erm.. to me a professional is professional, but not a consumer anymore.. haha.. so oni those who has a higher requirements towards image quality than those DC rookies, but stil not PRO enough..

Prosumer lies between DC and DLSR. It has some advantages from the two, and also disadvantages of both. It offers more manual controls which is not available on DC, like aperture-priority, shutter-priority, depth of field priority. The image quality is better than DC as the lens has larger aperture and better sensor. The size of prosumer cam r generally smaller than DSLR, slightly bigger than DC.

Canon G11, the ultimate prosumer cam:
image from:

The downside is, the mounted lens cannot be change like DSLR. There is no manual focus for prosumer cam too, which is an important property for producing better image. The lower price is more expensive than most DC, and the expensive ones can easily by-pass entry level DSLR. Conclusion is, its not supreme in function wise, but the mobility and pricing are also not an advantage over DC. It'd be hard for some to choose prosumer, as the lower priced prosumer r not worth buyin compare to high-end DC wit similar function and price, then the higher level prosumer r not comparable with entry level DSLR.

Then the DSLR. A digital single-lens reflex camera (digital SLR or DSLR) is a digital camera that uses a mechanical mirror system and pentaprism to direct light from the lens to an optical viewfinder on the back of the camera. (from wiki)

Too complicated?
In simple, DSLR is a digital cam that looks more pro than the others... haha.. Tats wat you're telling others when u're holding tis kind of cam. Hahahaha..

Well, the advantages of DSLR had also been mentioned above. Better image quality (as better sensor provided), more manual controls to gif better image, ability to change lens, look professional.. Actually the advantage of DSLR is due to its sensor and lens. I wont explain on sensor as i m not clear of it myself too. For lens wise, i can tell u tat many lens r specifically designed for specific use. There are lens specifically for taking portrait(the prime lens), sports photography(zoom lens), macro/micro(wide lens) etc.. U can suite urself to take better photo wit a proper lens of ur choice. Ability to manually focus the image is also a big advantage, as u can blur out background to extrude ur object/ focus on things which are hard to the camera to autofocus.

Canon EOS 1000D, my 1st and oni DSLR..
image from

Ofcoz, better quality=higher price, DSLR is more expensive than the two categories. It can ranges from RM1.8k to more than RM30k!!(as far as i noe la..) (i bet there r some cam which is more expensive!) The size of DSLR is also bigger. Manual control meaning more difficulties in balancing various factors to produce good photo. The biggest downside is, once u r into it, u wil be spending more on lens, external flash, battery grip, filters, hood, then better camera, lens.. the vicious cycle nv ends.. haha..

Below r some links to the official webpage of digital camera companies in m'sia. If u r interested, u can read the specification of each camera there! Enjoy!


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  3. most prosumer got manual focus...sommore a group of prosumer got superzoom....which is surpass 18-55 dslr kit lens....hehehe...

  4. prosumer got manual focus o? tat one i really duno.. hehe.. super zoom so wat? blek...

  5. advantages of superzoom:
    1)paparazi (e.g kap lui or kap zai)
    2)astronomy (e.g moon,sun?)
    3)wild life photo (e.g bird)
    4)for lazy ppl who dun wan to move <10 steps forward..haha....

  6. erm... 1,2,3 is not my favourate yet.. haha.. but superzoom is quite useful in taking stage event, can take from long distance.. n u skipped sport photographt too..

    for number 4, move more then oni u discover really such thing as再往前一步就没有我要的东西了……哈哈……

  7. would u recommend panasonic lumix LX3?

  8. u buy one i try le then i write my review.. haha..

    got ppl use dy comment that its better than Canon G10/11. but i think tat its impossible as G11 is ady comparable to DSLR, juz cant change lens. but one thing for sure is G11 is heavier than LX3.

    u can read
    but i would stil recommend DSLR if u r going for quality instead of portability.. n prosumer cam isnt small too, if compare to normal compact..

  9. the reason i dun wan DLSR would be its bulkiness. i'll juz keep it at home rather than carrying along wherever i go. so the size of normal DC is preferable.
    at 1st im thinking of buying sony tx1 or tx7. very handy. but since szee now working at panasonic so i think better buy panasonic 1 lo...

  10. depend what u want lo....

    if want big aperture+bigger sensor than normal compact with manual control then go for LX3 lo...but have to scarify the zoom length...LX3 is too short...

    LX3 was 2 years old in market...duno when panasonic going to release new modal?. .

    @guang...LX3 still cheaper than dslr....hahaha...

  11. hmm.... thanks for the advice... have to survey somemore 1st....

  12. you should include EVIL camera into ur post..haha...


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