Reflex, Hybrid, or Compact?

When comes the time to get a new camera, you have to pick between three main categories that sort cameras according to certain specifications. It might seem a bit complicated, but Gosselin will help you understand and make the right choice!

Reflex Cameras

A reflex camera, also known as a DSLR, takes its name from the fact it incorporates a mirror inside that reflects light coming from the lens towards the optical viewfinder, allowing you to see directly through the lens and, thus, get an accurate preview of the final photo you are taking. Because of that, these are generally bulkier and heavier than other types of cameras. But they are also desirable for professional and amateurs because of the added and more advanced features they integrate. Furthermore, they can be used with a vast array of interchangeable lenses and accessories made especially for DSLR cameras.


Reflex (DSLR)

- Mirror inside
- Interchangeable lenses
- Advanced features

Compact and Bridge Cameras

A compact camera, as the name suggests, is smaller on purpose, making it more practical, easier to carry, and simpler to use. While it may not be ideal to apply all photographic techniques, newer generations of compact cameras create very good quality images, while also integrating useful features such as WiFi connectivity and even some more advanced functionalities. Compact cameras have a fixed (not interchangeable) lens, but some include a powerful zoom as well as a larger grip, making them look almost like a DSLR; they are known as bridge cameras.


Compact & Bridge

- Fixed lens
- Smaller and more portable
- Sometimes integrate a powerful zoom and a larger grip (bridge cameras)


A hybrid camera combines some features of the other types of cameras. They are usually smaller in size than a DSLR because they do not use an internal mirror; that also means they do not make it possible to see directly through the lens and they use an electronic viewfinder instead. The lenses, however, are interchangeable and the cameras usually offer more advanced features, making them an ideal compromise.



- Body is smaller than a reflex
- No iternal mirror or optical viewfinder
- Interchangeable lenses
- Advanced features

Which one should you get?

What really matters is that you feel comfortable with your camera and know how to use it properly. You may be able to make much nicer pictures with a compact camera you understand than with a complex DSLR you struggle with. You might also opt to learn basic techniques with a reflex that you will keep and upgrade over the years as you develop and improve your skills.

This is, of course, a short overview and there are expections. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions – the eperts at Gosselin are here to help you! Group classes and custom private classes are also available at College Gosselin to help you learn and train.