What is a Digital Still Camera?

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Updated July 26, 2022

So, what is a digital still camera? They range from easily portable, compact cameras to intense action cameras with larger sensors. You can even find a few modular cameras in this category. Digital cameras have taken the industry by storm because of their easy usage and precise controls. This makes it tempting to buy a new digital camera. But, it’s not always good things about digital cameras, they do have their flaws.


  • A digital still camera uses a digital medium instead of film, storing photos on a memory card so you can access them for editing immediately.
  • The automatic mode offered by digital cameras allows even amateurs to control exposure settings and quality settings more easily. On the other hand, they have a shorter battery runtime.
  • Digital cameras use a liquid crystal display (LCD) viewfinder that helps you frame your photos ideally before hitting the shutter button.

The best digital camera will perfect your white balance, offer an automatic mode, and include manual controls. Whether you want larger or more compact cameras is up to you entirely. You may even like a translucent mirror digital camera or a good digital DSLR camera. There is a consumer model for every need.

Explaining Digital Image Sensors

Larger sensors give you better control over exposure settings no matter your mode of shooting. This makes them the best for action cameras since they can capture every movement due to their faster shutter speed. A digital camera might have a large or small sensor, depending on the model.

However, the larger the sensor, the larger the camera. If you’re looking for compact cameras, you’ll need to sacrifice a few of the features that larger sensors provide.

Insider Tip

Compact cameras are great for traveling and are a popular product for those creating editorial content for their travel blogs.

Whether it’s worth it to you depends on your intentions. If you’re looking to travel, a more pointed question like, “What is a good digital camera for vacation?” will be helpful.

Why Use a Digital Camera?

You’ll find endless reasons to invest in a digital camera. From an attractive automatic mode to complete control over ISO speed to their crystal clear LCD display, there are multiple reasons these models are so popular.

Whether you’re using them as action cameras for perfect image resolution or using a consumer model for photos of friends in automatic mode, digital cameras are fantastic.

These models have come a long way since their inception in 1991, changing from CCD sensors to the CCOS sensors found today. There have been plenty of other modifications to provide a better manual mode. Still, it has come at the cost of shorter battery runtime.

Why Memory Cards Matter

The most significant benefit to digital cameras is their flash card readers. This allows you to transfer photos to your computer without losing image resolution, especially when shooting in RAW. You’re also less likely to lose your images in the first place since they’re stored independently of your camera. Knowing that, where are your pictures stored on the digital camera itself?

Unlike with film, you’re able to get countless photos per card. This allows you to select the best range instead of praying any of the film photos you took will end up working out.

Because of this, they’re an attractive alternative to film. They aren’t the only technical parts to understand about digital cameras, however. Our article, “What is a digital camera gimbal?” will answer far more.

The Benefits of a Digital Camera

There are several benefits to using this style of photography:

  • You can find models that are modular cameras
  • They offer a MicroSD card slot for easy editing in post
  • Their automatic mode helps amateur photographers

The Drawbacks of a Digital Camera

As with anything, there are cons to this investment:

  • They sometimes take too many photos per card
  • The manual mode of shooting is complicated to understand
  • They often have a much shorter battery life


Using the auto setting might allow amateur photographers to take better photos right away, but becoming a professional means understanding your menu settings thoroughly.


Do all digital cameras come with a built-in flash?

While a built-in flash is relatively standard, not all modern cameras come with them. You can purchase an external flash if you need one. Most photographers will require the usage of one due to light conditions.

Are mirrorless cameras worth investing in?

There are several reasons you might invest in mirrorless cameras as opposed to other types:

  • They are some of the most compact cameras
  • You’ll enjoy a faster shutter speed
  • They feature the same image quality settings as competitors

Is photographic film still in usage?

There is still a small community of people that use film. However, digital cameras are the new alternative to film and have become a far more popular product.

Should I invest in a cloud service for my photography?

If you’re afraid of losing your camera or images, this is a clever workaround. Storing your photos in a cloud service means you’ll never worry about disappointing clients.

STAT: Quality improvement is obtained by increasing the resolution of the sensor and by using more sophisticated image processing algorithms. (source)

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