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Telephoto lens advice

Telephoto lens advice


What is a telephoto lens?

To put it simply, a telephoto lens is a lens that brings subjects up close. The focal length starts here at 80mm and has no real upper limit. Increasing the focal length changes the depth of an image significantly. The further the focal length moves into the telephoto range, the blurrier the background becomes and the larger the background becomes compared to the subject.

The area of ​​application

There are different areas of application for telephoto lenses, which depend somewhat on the actual focal length . A lot is possible between 80 and over 1000mm focal length .

Telephoto lens for portrait

The effect that telephoto lenses bring with them makes them great for portraits. They separate the person very well from the background and provide significantly more blurring in the background. You have to go a little farther away than you have to with a wide angle or normal lens , but you can clearly see the difference.

As you can see in the example images, increasing the focal length gives you significantly less background on the image. The second effect is the blurring. Although the picture was taken at 200mm with aperture 5, the background looks blurred and the subject stands out much better. However, since it is difficult to photograph a portrait at 200mm and there is often simply no space for this, a telephoto focal length between 80 and 130mm is often used in portrait photography .

Standard telephoto lens

The standard telephoto lens is in the focal length range up to 200mm and is used in travel, nature and sports photography. In this focal length range, you remain unnoticed as a photographer and can simply bring distant subjects closer. When buying, it is worth paying attention to a large open aperture and an image stabilizer, but more on that later.

Super telephoto lens

The super telephoto lens goes far beyond 200mm and is intended for large distances between the subject and the photographer. If something is very far away, it is worth using a super telephoto. The longer the focal length, of course, the stronger the effects that you get through the telephoto lens.

The cons / limitations

There is actually nothing in photography that has only advantages. It is of course the same with the telephoto lens.

Exposure time

The larger the focal length , the faster the exposure time has to be in order not to blur the image. In theory, as explained in the article on the exposure time , at 600mm, for example, 1/600 sec. That is extremely fast, especially in poor light situations, and naturally makes the picture dark. As a result, we usually have to go up with the ISO value or use a tripod.

An image stabilizer can of course also help here and so you can take photos with your free hand with 1/250 of a second, as in this example.


If you want to take photos from the free hand, you should be aware of one thing. Telephoto lenses are extremely heavy. Yes, not all of them, but you can quickly achieve a decent weight and of course a corresponding size that is not exactly easy to transport.

A tripod is extremely helpful here and you can take pictures of yourself in one place and from there. You can get close enough because of the long focal length .


If you don’t feel like taking a huge telephoto lens everywhere with you, I have a tip for you. Use a teleconverter. With a telecoverter, the focal length can be extended, but this has disadvantages. I already said: everything has its disadvantages. Depending on the converter, the lens loses 1-2 stops of light intensity.

However, you can combine these and turn a fast 100mm lens into a 200 or even 400mm lens very quickly.

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Photographing in the fireworks is easy

Photographing in the fireworks is easy

Fireworks are relatively easy to photograph. It should be clear that something like this cannot simply be photographed by hand. With a little luck you can even use compact cameras. If you want more, you should use a manually operated camera. Also recommend a safe stand with a tripod or center punch cushion. In the simplest case, the camera can also be positioned reasonably firmly on a “grain cushion”.

The most important thing when photographing fireworks is that the camera is safely and securely installed throughout the exposure. Because the principle is as follows: The camera exposes for several seconds and captures everything that is going on in the sky. In other words, we’re doing a long exposure .

I always take such night shots with a stable tripod. However, simple tripods are also suitable for lighter cameras, especially if you only need something like this for New Year’s Eve. From around 10 € you can get a simple tripod. Another possibility is the so-called “grain pillow”. To do this, you simply fill z. B. rice or peas in a bag, closes this and thus receives an individual base on which you can align the camera firmly. Disadvantage: Of course, something like this only works on a raised surface such as a table. But if you want to photograph the fireworks outside on New Year’s Eve and not from the balcony, you cannot avoid a tripod.

What must be set on the camera for fireworks?

The very simple way: no manual mode available

I already mentioned it at the beginning: The best thing is that the camera has a manual mode (“M”). If you cannot take photos manually with your camera, you can try the following:

The camera sits firmly on a tripod or something similar. Set the camera’s programmer knob to either AV mode (for Nikon A) or TV mode (for Nikon “S”). Or you simply select the program mode “P”.
However, it must be possible to switch off the flash!
With such compact cameras, however, make sure that you actually only have the sky in the picture and not a brightly lit object or a house wall!

Press the camera’s shutter button. The autofocus won’t find anything (it’s all black) and will eventually adjust to “infinity” – just right for fireworks in the distance. Now the camera initially only sees black and exposed and exposed (hopefully long enough). During this time, however, the fireworks are ignited and wander through the image, so to speak, or leave information on the camera’s chip, which is shown as the tail that you know from other photos or that you want to photograph yourself.

At some point the exposure will end automatically. With luck, you will be as a sufficient number of “tails” of fireworks recorded have. If your camera breaks the exposure immediately after a second even in the dark, it is unfortunately not suitable for this technique. You can easily try it out in a dark room at first.

The camera has a manual mode “M”

Here it gets a lot more interesting. In manual mode, fireworks can be photographed much better at night! After the camera has been placed on the tripod, it starts:

Set the M mode and deactivate the built-in flash here (or leave it folded in).

First manually set the ISO value to 100, at least to the lowest number that is possible.

Set the aperture to 8 or 11.

Set an exposure time of approx. 30 seconds on the camera.

Set the white balance so that the camera yellow light which awaits: So you select “sun” or better yet “light bulb”. Otherwise the photo will be too yellowish.

Manually set the focus to infinity.

If possible, take photos in “RAW mode” so that you can process the images better later.

Wait for the fireworks to really go off and press the trigger!

I put my Nikon on my Triopo tripod and exposed the longest time I could set with the Nikon DSLR: 30 seconds. I continued to work with the settings above: ISO 100 and aperture 8. However, I made a mistake with the white balance: I chose neutral light or “flash”. The light of the fireworks is not white but already very yellowish to red. In addition, the fog scattered the yellowish-reddish light all around.

I used an old analog Nikon wide angle with manual focus, which can easily be connected to modern digital cameras . Due to the long exposure time, I was able to photograph several fireworks following one another on just one picture!

Taking pictures in fog

Actually, I’m only semi-happy with my fireworks photos. For me they are far too red-tinged and not clear / brilliant enough. On the other hand, they are a good example of what fog can do and an incorrect white balance on the camera.
Due to the prevailing fog, all the lights of the city (all the street lighting and also a lot of fireworks that took place on the ground) were reflected and thus also visible in the sky. You have to imagine fog or haze as billions of tiny mirrors that “float” in the air and reflect (unfavorable) light towards the camera. That is simply unfavorable for brilliant images! It’s just like stargazing. The lights of the city are just as annoying there as they are in the haze in the sky.

I will also use a white balance on my camera next time, which corrects tones that are too yellow / too red. The white balance program “incandescent lamp” or “artificial light” would be ideal here. We don’t see it, because our brain automatically corrects something like this: The light from the incandescent lamp is similar to the yellow light from the street lighting, which is disturbing here. But the camera relentlessly reproduces something like that. Without white balance, the photos would get too strong a yellow cast, especially with such long exposure times.

“Catch” the fireworks even longer with long exposure

You don’t necessarily have to rely on e.g. B. Limit 30 seconds. If you have a remote release for your camera (unfortunately I don’t have something like this for my Nikon [yet “]), you can theoretically expose the whole night or capture the entire fireworks display in just one single picture.
The exposure time on the camera is set to “B”. “B” means bulb. This term comes from the old days of photography, in which a small balloon was screwed to the shutter release of the camera using a thin hose and an air pressure was generated by applying pressure, which activated the shutter release. With modern cameras this happens either via a cable or even via radio.
In any case, the camera now exposes exactly until you press the shutter release again. At 100 ISO and over 30 seconds, however, I would close the aperture of the lens further, otherwise the sky will be too bright: From 30 seconds I use aperture 11; from 60 seconds f-stop 16 and from 2 minutes fireworks f-stop 22.

If you want to expose even longer, we recommend using an ND filter . Then, however, it may be that the individual lights of the fireworks get too dark, because they only act on the camera’s chip for a few seconds. It may be possible to make them brighter again later in the image processing by changing the so-called “gradation curve” or by increasing the contrast.

A tip on composition

When photographing fireworks, I always make sure that not only sky + rockets are shown. Personally, that’s a bit too arbitrary for me. I always try to take pictures of other picture elements: trees, for example, or houses that are beautifully illuminated by the colorful fireworks.

If you want to be very colorful, in addition to the long exposure of the actual fireworks, you can manually flash the surrounding houses in the picture with a flash and a weak color filter in front of it during the long exposure. But don’t overdo it here. Because if you only flash very subtly, you will get the impression that this colored light is coming from the fireworks themselves! With such a trick you create an illusion or an even greater expressiveness of the image.

This tip does not always make sense, but it is definitely worth a try for motifs with nearby (up to approx. 20 meters) houses, walls, trees, etc.

Pay attention to the battery consumption

If you have installed your camera on a tripod outside (e.g. on a small hill) and are now waiting for the fireworks to be lit, you have a spare battery for the camera in your pocket as a precaution! The camera quickly drains the battery during long exposures! At least my Nikon DSLR does.

The trick with the black box

Finally, a tip that I already gave in my article about long exposure times: If you have longer exposure times, have a black box with you!
I swing the box in front of the lens in the empty phases, i.e. when a certain time elapses between the individual fireworks (of course so that I don’t touch it). With this shadowing I achieve the following:

The sky is not brightened unnecessarily and the contrast between the sky and the fireworks is increased significantly: the images become more brilliant!

In this way I prevent continuously illuminated elements in the picture from being unnecessarily overexposed (e.g. street lamps).

If someone walks through the picture with a sparkler, it leaves an unwanted tail. I quickly hold the box in front of the lens and then pull it away again just as quickly.

After the aforementioned empty phases, i.e. when new rockets are just rising up in the sky, I release the lens again. Curious looks are guaranteed when you use this technique to photograph the next fireworks display together with other photographers.

Or does your digital camera have a (as real as possible) multiple exposure function? Then you can record several sequences of the fireworks in one picture by double exposures and do not have to expose in a whole piece but several times (shorter) one after the other. Of course, a tripod is also essential here.

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The aperture in photography

One of the most important factors in photography is the aperture . The aperture is a lamellar opening in the lens that opens and closes. It has two influences on a photo. On the one hand, it controls the brightness and, on the other hand, the depth of field (or depth of field).

General information about the aperture

Surely you know the portraits or macro shots where only a small part of the picture is sharp. The rest disappears in a blur. With this type of image we speak of a shallow depth of field. We sometimes control the size of this area through the aperture and have different areas of application for this. In landscape photography, we want to be as sharp as possible. But for this it is not necessary to close the shutter as far as it will go! Depending on the lens and camera, aperture values ​​of 5.6 or higher are enough to speak of a high depth of field. The opposite are low aperture values. These open the aperture further and ensure a low focus range.

Aperture value

The aperture value is a little bit confusing, because with a higher value we have a closed aperture and with a lower value we have an open one. This is because the aperture value is a fraction. We don’t actually set an aperture of 4, but an aperture of f / 4. This is because the aperture value is calculated from the focal length of the lens and the diameter of the light passage. This explains why lenses are sometimes very thick, but is difficult to remember for beginners.

Aperture step

If that wasn’t too much for you, I have another tip for you. Because we have a certain approach to the aperture values. As you may have already noticed, you cannot set an aperture of 3.8 on your camera ; an aperture of 4 works though … Why?

It has to do with a very simple calculation and logic. If the aperture makes a full step (from 5.6 to 8, for example), only half as much light falls into the camera. Conversely, of course, from f / 4 to f / 2.8 we let twice as much light into the camera. In this case one speaks of an aperture step. This is available in whole steps and in thirds.

Whole aperture steps:

1 – 1.4 – 2 – 2.8 – 4 – 5.6 – 8 – 11 – 16 – 22

In order to be able to adjust the aperture more finely, there are now third steps. These can be found in most cameras between all the steps for the blind. ( 2 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.8 ). Many values ​​in photography are based on this aperture value; also the exposure time and the ISO value.

In simple terms, however, you can say that if you turn a setting wheel on the camera three steps in a certain direction, you have halved or doubled the amount of light. Depending on which direction.

The focus range

The area of ​​focus is the area in an image that is in focus. The size of the focus area is controlled, among other things, by the opening of the aperture . If you keep it open, the area of ​​focus will get smaller, and if you close it it will get bigger.

With the autofocus, you can control at which point the image is in focus, through the aperture how far this focus spreads to the front or back. Please note that this focus area spreads on the camera axis. Everything that is left or right of your subject can therefore also be sharp.

Take pictures with the aperture open

There are several advantages to opening the bezel . In this way, you can keep the focus area in your photo small, which makes for a wonderfully focused look in portrait photography or macro photography.

Take pictures with the aperture closed

The complete opposite is of course the closed aperture . The closed aperture ensures that the picture is naturally darker. Less light comes into the camera, so the picture becomes darker. This can be an advantage if we want to expose longer or if we need a large focus area.

Closing the aperture (f / 5.6 -> f / 8 or smaller) increases the focus area . This is great for group pictures or landscape shots, because at this moment we want everything to be sharp. To do this, it is not necessary to close the aperture to f / 22, i.e. as far as it will go. In most cases an aperture of 5.6 is sufficient. That depends on other influences on the sharpness range. I’ll explain this to you now.

Further influence on the focus range

The focus area depends on the distance to the subject and the focal length used . If you take photos at a wide angle, the field of focus (also depth of field) is significantly larger than with a telephoto lens at the same distance.

An example with aperture 2 and a distance of 4 meters:

  • 17mm = 20.92m depth of field
  • 50mm = 0.77m depth of field
  • 200mm = 0.05m depth of field

The distance to the subject has the same influence. Have you ever noticed that the distance to the subject changes the blurring in the background? With a lot of distance the focus area is quite large, with a short distance it becomes smaller and smaller.

Again the example with aperture 2 and a focal length of 50mm

  • 1 meter distance – 0.05m depth of field
  • 2 meters distance – 0.19 m depth of field
  • 5 meters distance – 1.21 m depth of field

So if you want to have blurring in the background of your portraits, you should not only choose an open aperture , but also get close to your subject (and keep a distance from the background).

The connection between all these influences and factors is certainly not easy to understand at the beginning, but over time this becomes easier and easier. With a little practice you will develop a feeling for which combination of aperture , distance and focal length is the right one for the respective situation.

Limits of the lens

You have already learned a lot about aperture and depth of field. As you have probably already noticed, not every lens can set every aperture . The reason for this is usually the zoom. The zoom requires space in the lens. Every moving part takes its toll and usually ensures this limit. This is why you can usually not open the aperture any further, but what is the solution?

Lenses with the largest open aperture are fixed focal lengths. A fixed focal length is a lens without zoom and usually creates f / 1.8 or even more open (f / 1.4 or f / 1.2). There are also zoom lenses that work in a similar field, but these are often very expensive. So if you want to work with a small depth of field, you should use a prime lens.

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The Digital single lens mirrorless camera (DSLM) purchase guide

The Digital single lens mirrorless camera (DSLM) purchase guide

The DSLM; for a couple of years it has been changing the photography market. What started out as a poor SLT attempt developed into a completely new and booming market? The market for DSLMs (D igital S ingle L ens M irrorless) or system cameras.

These are now available for every budget and many manufacturers now have a mirrorless camera in their portfolio. But should you buy a mirrorless camera? Does it have any advantages over DSLRs ? That and much more is the content of this page and finally I will show you a few models that I would recommend.

What is a system camera / DSLM?

There are two types of system cameras, with and without mirrors. The system cameras with mirrors are called SLRs and those without are called mirrorless. Sounds logical, doesn’t it? The mirror in the DSLR is historical and comes from a time without image sensors. The system has been perfected over decades. But for a few years now, DSLMs have been picking up. Teething problems are being eradicated more and more and many photographers are seeing a new alternative that offers many advantages over the old DSLR cameras.

The mirrorless camera / DSLM in detail

Height and weight

Many see an enormous advantage here. The DSLM lacks the mirror and as you can see in the example above, this saves space and of course weight. That is why the mirrorless cameras are much smaller and lighter. But they are still bound by certain limits. They are not as small as compact cameras. This is simply not possible with interchangeable lenses and large sensors. But they are still smaller than the DSLRs and therefore more mobile and inconspicuous.


This is a special feature of DSLMs that you should definitely not forget. Other lens connections are used that allow smaller lenses, but they are not that small. There are certain limits that are physically given and specify a certain size. If you only buy these cameras because you want something as small and portable as possible, you should look around for a bridge or compact camera .


Ergonomics is probably the first thing anyone who is switching from a DSLR to a DSLM should notice. The manufacturers try to make this as similar as possible, but it is simply a different feeling that can seem strange, especially with long-term DSLR users. In direct comparison to an SLR camera, I find the DSLMs to get used to at first. They are just small and lie better in the hand of one than the other. In my opinion, many manufacturers simply have too many buttons on the small housing, which makes operation a challenge.

There is only one option here: try it out. I recommend that anyway before you buy a new camera. DSLM cameras come in different forms. Very large, such as the Sony A3 or Canon EOS R, but also very small such as the Sony A6000 or Canon EOS M50. Depending on the model, you have an electronic viewfinder or just the display to look at your pictures. In any case, try out what suits you and what suits your type of photography.

Electronic viewfinder

A DSLM or system camera takes photos with an electronic viewfinder or the display. This means that the viewfinder does not have a direct optical connection to the subject like the DSLR, but a display. It is like looking at the finished image through the viewfinder.

The electronic viewfinder offers several advantages:

  • Image preview: You get a direct idea of ​​your photo and actually see the finished image before you press the shutter release. If you now change the settings on your camera: for example , closing the aperture or increasing the ISO value , the image changes immediately and you can judge whether you like the photo or not. You can also see the picture in the viewfinder after you’ve taken it. So it’s a second display that works just like your large camera display. The advantage, however, is that you can use it without being distracted by the sun.
  • Exposure aids: Because our EVF is a display, we can use many aids that the optical viewfinder cannot offer us. We can show a histogram , use an overexposure warning and much more … You can see immediately if your camera is not doing something the way you want.
  • Manual focus: With manual focus, we can use the focus peaking to see where our focus is and even zoom into the image. A real help for manual focusing.
  • Much more: Since you can show almost everything in the displays, there are no limits to the manufacturers. Water cars, grids for image creation, image styles and much more is possible.

Now I’ve written so many great things about the electronic viewfinder that I would of course like to point out a few negative points. Because the electronic viewfinder naturally always has to be supplied with power. This should not be ignored with some models and some cameras have extreme problems with high power consumption and thus a short battery life. Also, for many photographers it is not pleasant to constantly look at a display (myself included). It’s a completely different feeling to actually see the subject instead of just being shown it. The cameras are getting better and better here, but sometimes they are lagging behind due to delayed display (the display is delayed compared to reality).

I would like to add one point for those who like to take photos at night (long exposure ). If you take a picture with the DSLR, you have the light intensity of your own eye available. With the DSLM, the display in the viewfinder depends on the power of the camera. That may not sound too bad, but there are a few moments when I would have wished for my DSLR…

If you are not sure which viewfinder is right for you, I recommend that you test both of them once and take a closer look. I find the DSLR to be much more pleasant, especially in series pictures and when photographing fast subjects, but something different suits everyone.


There are several options when focusing with a mirrorless camera (DSLM). You may be familiar with the first option from the DSLR. If you switch to live view here (i.e. using the display), the autofocus becomes significantly slower. This is because the camera is using the contrast AF. This simply shifts the focus until the image has the highest possible contrast has. This is very precise, but unfortunately a lot of time is lost in trying out and “pumping” the focus. That’s why there is still phase autofocus, which was reserved for DSLRs for a long time. Here, two sensors compare the light (phase) falling into the lens from different angles and thus know from the first measurement what needs to be changed on the lens to focus. Cool right?

Most modern DSLM cameras use a combination of these two methods in order to be able to focus both quickly and precisely. If you use a modern DSLM camera, you should make sure that it supports phase or hybrid autofocus.

Picture quality

We come to the last point, and in my opinion the most important point. The image quality. In terms of image quality, the system camera is in no way inferior to the SLR. Of course, not all cameras are the same here, but in most cases you don’t have to worry that you have something worse just because you are using a different system. Most cameras even have the same image sensors installed (Sony makes sensors for some Nikon cameras and Canon has installed the same sensor in the 5D4 & R and the 6D2 & Rp). There is only one real way you can be sure that the quality will meet your expectations. Test the camera 🙂

Choice of lenses

From my point of view, this is a major negative point. It is not the case with all manufacturers that the newer the manufacturer is in the DSLM market, the more likely it is that the choice of lenses is limited. For decades it took a long time to develop a wide variety of lenses for DSLR cameras. This has only just begun with DSLMs and although lenses are already on the market, one only starts with the most important ones at the beginning. One or the other special lens may not be found here yet. Of course there are adapters that allow the use of DSLR lenses, but I have made the experience that it often leads to problems (slow autofocus etc.).

There are always new lenses on the market, but keep in mind that you may not find everything here and that you have to expect limitations.

Is the mirrorless camera or system camera right for you?

This is of course a question that cannot be answered easily. I always recommend trying out the camera beforehand. But I would like to give you a little support along the way that should help you with your decision.

The DSLM is interesting for you if the following points apply:

  • You’re used to smaller cameras – that  was the first thing I didn’t like about the DSLM cameras. The size. Ok, I also come from the DSLR segment and am used to large cameras with battery handles. However, if you’ve been taking photos with a compact camera or mobile phone the whole time, then the size of the DSLM is perfect for you.
  • You can handle the digital viewfinder – the electronic viewfinder is not for everyone. Some have problems seeing everything on a display / digital viewfinder. If that is not a problem for you, then you can use the mirrorless camera.
  • You want to try something new – that was one of the reasons why I keep getting a DSLM for different jobs. It’s just fun to use a different camera. Maybe it fits better than the current one? Just keep in mind that you don’t need a new camera straight away because it can do one thing a little better than the current one.
  • Video – Yes, the site is actually called Learn Photography, but especially when it comes to video I would prefer the DSLM to the DSLR and any other camera. They’re small, they’re incredibly powerful, and you can’t beat the autofocus when filming.

Buy recommendations

Entry level DSLM

Canon EOS M50 * – Sony Alpha 5000 * – Olympus PEN E-PL9 * – Panasonic LUMIX G *

Advanced DSLM

Sony Alpha 6300 * – Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II *

Professional DSLM with full format sensor

Canon EOS R * – Nikon Z6 * – Sony A7 III *

Otherwise, make sure that you try your camera before buying and that you do not justify the purchase with the one feature that the new camera can do better. You take the photos and not your camera 🙂

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The compact camera – camera purchase advice

The compact camera - camera purchase advice

Which camera should I buy? One of the most frequently asked questions in the beginning of a photographer and beyond. On this page I’ll show you why compact cameras are the right choice for you; or not. Let’s go 😉

1 What is a compact camera?

2 The advantages of a compact camera

3 disadvantages of compact cameras

4 Who is the compact camera for?

What is a compact camera?

The compact camera is, as its name suggests, compact, i.e. very small and handy. All components are designed to be as small and light as possible. A small flash is usually built into the camera housing and the lenses are specially developed for the smaller cameras and are also smaller. They are mostly designed to turn them on and just get started. For this reason, the lens, which cannot always be changed, is designed to simply photograph everything. Some cameras offer further setting options, but the primary focus is often the simple “point and shoot”. Hold on and release.

The advantages of a compact camera


Regardless of whether it is a pocket, a backpack or simply in the hand the compact camera simply fits everywhere. You can just take them with you wherever you go. Due to its small size and hardly any weight, it is extremely mobile and no problem even on long journeys. This is a real advantage compared to a SLR camera 🙂


These cameras are designed to be operated by laypeople and are therefore extremely easy and intuitive to use. They are entry-level cameras and although you can control aperture , ISO and exposure time in some models , you will look in vain for one or the other professional function. But that’s not bad, because it makes operation easier and one must not forget: the cameras are not made for this.


A compact camera with its fixed lens can be used universally in all situations. With a DSLR or DSLM you would have to take several lenses with you, such as a macro lens, a wide angle lens, a telephoto lens, etc … The compact camera combines all of this in one lens. Super zoom and macro are functions that can be found with these cameras. So you are prepared for every situation and it is not necessary to change the lens.

Depth of field

Now it’s getting a bit technical. Compact cameras have a very small sensor. The size of the image sensor has an influence on the focus area. This means that with a small image sensor you can get a large area of ​​focus. If you want to have as much sharpness as possible in the pictures, you need a small image sensor. Architecture and landscapes can be reproduced very well, while cameras with a larger image sensor would have to close the aperture significantly and therefore need more light.


We’re still with the small image sensor. Because small sensors are cheaper to manufacture. There are also devices in the field of compact cameras that exceed £ 2000, but these also have a large image sensor. The purchase and entry into photography is extremely cheap with these cameras, and the enormous spread of smartphones further lowers the price.

Disadvantages of compact cameras

Of course the world is not perfect. Everything has its disadvantages and so of course compact cameras too. Below I have listed the most important ones for you.

Limited image quality

Compact cameras are all-rounders. They can do anything, but that also means they are not really good at anything. Anyone who can do a lot, offers everything and that at a reasonable price has to compromise somewhere. In this case, the small image sensor is to blame. Compared to DSLR / DSLM cameras, you have to compromise on sharpness, dynamic range and the ability to take photos in the dark ( ISO noise). Especially in demanding situations it is very difficult to achieve useful results for these small karmas. Taking photos freehand in the dark? Not a very good idea.

Limited quality of the lens

I already said that you always have to cut corners with an all-rounder. The same goes for the lens. The size of the lens and the usually enormous zoom result in a loss of sharpness, vignetting and chromatic aberration. In addition, every light reflex is reflected across the lens and makes photography almost impossible in some situations. Of course, I am comparing € 1,000 lenses with a £100 camera-lens combination, but you should know what you’re getting yourself into … It gets better (it always gets better)


A problem that I’ve had with many DSLM and bring cameras: They are simply too small. That makes it very mobile, but it is also demanding to use the small buttons and it happens again and again that you press 3 buttons at the same time. The cameras also have no eyepiece and you have to rely completely on the display. This can work, but in strong sunlight this display is almost useless.

Lens change

There are compact cameras in the higher-priced segment that offer the option of changing the lens. However, I now assume that you are using a device that does not offer this functionality. A lens that is permanently installed has advantages, but an upgrade or a change is simply not possible here. As a photographer you always want to adapt the camera to the given situation and that only works semi-well here.

Who is the compact camera for?

I can answer this question very easily. For everyone who wants a camera that just works. You don’t want to deal with many setting options? Just hold on, pull the trigger and receive a photo as a memento? Then this type of camera is perfect for you. It is small, light, universally applicable and also inexpensive. However, if you now expect the ultimate camera that perfectly photographs every situation at the push of a button, then you will be more likely to be disappointed. These cameras have technical limitations and are perfect for someone who just wants to capture memories.