Camera Types  -            *All of the below can be a digital camera


Complete Camera Types Summary - review Camera Types Presentation



Summary - After the class presentation, or on your own, review the following, then summarize in your own words the Advantages and Disadvantages of the 5 Camera Types listed below. You do NOT have to write out every word, but you should have all of the key points detailed.



1.      Pinhole - this is like the Camera Obscura…just a light tight box with a hole and cover as a shutter. Matchbox Pinhole Camera. The typical cell phone is similar to pinhole because of the fact that cell phones do NOT have a variable aperture.

a.       Advantages: Easy to use, inexpensive…can make from home materials, Artsy view of subjects (impressionistic)

b.      Disadvantages: No controls, low pictures quality, Tough to shoot in low light, or into to sun. Can't see what you are shooting.

2.      Viewfinder- Uses a separate window for viewing as the lens for taking the picture.

a.       Advantages: Easy to use, “point and shoot” cameras, focus free, small compact cameras

b.      Disadvantages: Few controls…no creative picture control, low picture quality with the cheaper cameras (especially disposable with plastic parts)

3.      Single Lens Reflex- SLR. The Pentax K1000 is an SLR. Viewing and exposure is done through the same lens (TTL).

a.       Advantages: TTL is best way to acquire images spontaneously, with no parallax error, TTL light metering, usually have a wide variety of interchangeable lenses, a variety of controlled adjustments with a wide range of shutter speeds, exposure assisted by a CPU

b.      Disadvantages: Frequently have complicated controls, larger camera size, bulky when carrying extra lenses, shutter and mirror reflex system tends to be noisy.

4.      Twin Lens Reflex- Uses two lenses synchronized for viewing and exposure.

a.       Advantages: Larger film size for high quality enlargements, TTL focusing due to the viewing and taking lenses being tied together, critical focus magnifier to give extra image detail, image always visible in viewfinder, even when the shutter is activated, convenience of both waist-level and eye level “shooting”.

b.      Disadvantages: Lots of controls, large sized camera, many models do not have interchangeable lenses, image laterally reversed from left-to-right in the waist level viewfinder, some parallax error.

5.      View- Large format camera that allows for control of the focal plane, especially for use for landscape and architecture.

a.       Advantages: Allows for perspective and distortion control of landscapes and architecture, large film size allows for very large prints (poster sized), variety of special-use attachments, directly viewing of the image TTL, wide selection of lenses

b.      Disadvantages: Lots of controls, VERY large sized and heavy camera, most models require the use of a tripod, image difficult to see on viewing glass, takes considerable time to set up and use, image lost on viewing glass after film holder is inserted, photographer needs to know when and how to use the four standard movements.


This concludes what you need to write out for the Camera Types Summary for your assignment.


If you want to know more,

  • Pinhole: Unit 7

  • Viewfinder:   Unit 8 - p. 49

  • SLR:    Unit 9 - p. 55

  • Twin Lens:  Unit 10 - p. 63

  • View: Unit 11 - p. 68

  • Polaroid - On very popular, then obsolete, is not back popular again.






Pictures of Camera Types:

View Finder


SLR - Single Lens Reflex - Film, left, Pentax k1000, 1976-1997, standard school and beginner camera & Digital, right, Nikons Flagship DSLR released in 12/2007...MASTER of the Night, state-of-the-art! This was Nikon's FIRST camera to rival film with a film sized sensor.

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Twin Lens Reflex



View Camera