How Do I Choose the Best Camera for Image Processing?

Jennifer Leigh

Image processing can occur directly on a camera or with software that you place on your computer prior to processing your images. The best camera for image processing depends on how complicated you need your images to be once they are completed and how much editing you plan on doing afterwards. Budget is also a concern when choosing a camera for image processing, as the more that a camera can do directly on it, the more expensive it will be. Film and digital cameras provide different types and styles of photography so it is important to consider that when finding a camera for image processing.

A DSLR or Digital Single Lens Reflex camera.
A DSLR or Digital Single Lens Reflex camera.

If you are looking to be able to change simple settings such as lighting, image rotation and tone, a point and shoot camera might be all that you need. These cameras are much less expensive than single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras that have more complicated image processing abilities including various exposures, highlighting and shadowing capabilities. Film cameras have film inside them that have to be developed prior to being edited further, so a film camera needs to have settings on the camera that can affect the image. The more settings you have on a film camera, the more you will be able to adjust your shots before they are developed onto the film for good.

Film cameras are a more traditional choice.
Film cameras are a more traditional choice.

Digital cameras have many more options for image processing as the images can be downloaded onto a computer and changed after they have been taken. There is still a large range of image processing features on digital cameras, ranging from automatic settings to manual settings where many things can be adjusted prior to taking the shots. Most digital cameras work with image processing software, so it would not be a problem to edit them after the fact. There are both film and digital point and shoot and SLR cameras available.

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If you want a hobby camera for image processing, it is not as important to have as many features, but if you are a professional photographer, you should go with the most expensive camera you can afford. Digital SLR cameras offer many types of image processing and can import pictures onto your computer in a range of file types depending on your needs. More features available on a camera for image processing will cause it to be more expensive. Film cameras are generally less expensive than digital, but there are exceptions to this with high-end film cameras.

The more settings on a film camera, the greater control the photographer will have over the image that will appear on film.
The more settings on a film camera, the greater control the photographer will have over the image that will appear on film.

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Discussion Comments

JaneAir

@ceilingcat - I agree that it's fairly easy to edit pictures on your computer. However, I think it's still important to get a camera that comes with good image processing features. It's always easier to get a good photograph when you start out with the best image possible. It's no fun to spend a long time editing a photo when you could have gotten it right if your camera had the right features!

That being said, if you still need to do complicated editing, there are some really good freeware versions of advanced photo editing software out there. These packages go way beyond what the standard photo software that comes with your computer can do.

ceilingcat

@Monika - Yeah, I'm amazed sometimes at all the features even "cheap" digital cameras have on them. Also, you can do some pretty good image processing with free computer software these days too. So you don't even have to worry about in camera image processing.

Most digital photography software comes with features for getting rid of red eye and increasing or decreasing the exposure. You can also crop your pictures and rotate them with most programs too.

You can get a pretty good picture with a standard digital camera and free software!

Monika

It is true that digital SLR cameras have a lot more features than a standard digital point and shoot camera. However, I've noticed in the last few years that the gap in features between these two types of cameras is decreasing.

Now a lot of point and shoot digital cameras have some pretty advanced features. They come with different settings based on what kind of picture you're taking, what the lighting is, etc. If you don't have a lot of money, you can probably still afford a camera that has some kind of image processing built in.

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