That green thing there is the camera sensor. It is many times larger in system cameras than in smartphones. — dpa Sure, smartphone cameras are getting better and better and
the devices are nearly always to hand. However, there are occasions
when only a real camera will do the job and when that happens a
system camera is a good option.
System cameras are cameras with interchangeable lenses. Unlike
digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, they don’t have a reflex
mirror or an optical viewfinder.
This makes them more compact and lighter than a DSLR. They do have a
viewfinder, but it’s usually a high-resolution mini-monitor that
shows the live image from the sensor.
The lens you choose determines what you can photograph. Long focal
lengths (measured in millimetres), for example, allow you to zoom in
on faraway objects.
Light intensity determines how well photos taken in low light turn
out and that depends upon the lens’ maximum aperture. The smaller the
number next to the letter ‘f’, the more light is allowed in.
Beside the lens, system cameras differ mainly in their sensor format.
Full-frame cameras have the largest sensor and thus the largest area
for recording image information. The smaller formats APS-C and Micro
Four Thirds are also widespread.
”Most smartphone photographers will not need a system camera,” says
Markus Bautsch, a photography expert with German consumer goods
tester Stiftung Warentest.
As long as you view, edit and send your pictures solely on your
smartphone, you’ll hardly notice any differences in quality.
However, if you’re photographing distant subjects such as wild
animals or sports events, or taking pictures in low light, most
smartphones will quickly reach their limits.
For mirrorless system cameras, prices start at around US$500 (RM2027.25).
They generally come with simple standard zooms. These are lenses that
cover the most frequently required focal length range, between 18 and
Whatever model you buy you should check beforehand whether it is
compatible with lens made by other manufacturers.
”The lens collection can be worth many times that of the camera
housing,” Bautsch says. And you can’t just screw a branded lens on to
Those who want to delve deeper into photography not only need a
s lightly larger camera budget, but also a willingness to learn.
”It is a misconception that you only need a camera for 600 euros (RM2,942) and
then it takes good pictures,” says photographer Matthias Halthof. – dpa
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