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What's a Prosumer Camera?

Updated on January 8, 2014

Prosumer Cameras are Designed for Avid Photographers

A prosumer camera is one that has professional features, but falls within the price reach of enthusiastic consumers. Hence, the name "pro-sumer."

In compact cameras, the term usually refers to cameras that provide manual exposure controls in addition to point-and-shoot automation and may offer advanced features such as super zoom. In DSLR cameras, it usually refers to those that have more advanced features such as weather-sealing and faster performance. Prosumer cameras are geared toward photography enthusiasts who are willing to pay more to get the best quality photos.

Here's a run-down of some of today's popular prosumer cameras and how they differ from entry-level options.

(Image of Canon EOS 7D prosumer DSLR camera provided by amazon. See link below.)

Nikon prosumer camera
Nikon prosumer camera

What's the Difference Between a Prosumer DSLR and other DSLRs?

Many professional features for less than the cost of a pro camera

A good professional camera can cost thousands of dollars for the body alone, and lenses can often exceed the cost of the camera itself. A prosumer DSLR is a good alternative to these pricey pro setups.

A good prosumer DSLR has many of the features that professionals cameras have - more focal points, faster burst rates, better low-light performance, weather sealing, and a host of manual controls. Some even offer full-frame sensors rather than the APS-C sensors found in entry-level and some prosumer cameras. But you get all of these top-notch features for much less than you'd pay for a pro camera. And you can still use professional-quality lenses on a prosumer model. Unfortunately, there's no alternative to the high price of pro lenses made by the camera manufacturers. To save money on lenses, you'll need to look to brands such as Sigma, Tamron or Tokina, who make lenses for the major manufacturers.

Prosumer DSLR Cameras

Popular prosumer choices from Nikon and Canon

Canon and Nikon are the world's leading DSLR camera manufacturers. Here are popular prosumer DSLR models from these two brands.

Canon EOS 7D 18 MP Digital SLR CameraCHECK PRICE

Nikon D600 24.3 MP Digital SLR CameraCHECK PRICE

Nikon D300S 12.3MP Digital SLR CameraCHECK PRICE

Canon EOS 60D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR CameraCHECK PRICE

Leica prosumer camera
Leica prosumer camera

What's the Difference Between a Prosumer Camera and Other Compacts?

A great backup to a DSLR and advanced features

Compact prosumer cameras can be a great asset in a photographer's toolkit because they're smaller and lighter to carry, as well as being less obtrusive. Some of the newer models offer DSLR-type styling, while others can fit right in your pocket. They're an excellent choice for hobbyists who want to move up from an entry-level point-and-shoot, but aren't quite ready to tackle a digital SLR.

Compact prosumer cameras often have advanced features such as RAW file format, white balance control, and manual exposure options. They may also have superzoom capabilities, allowing you to get closer to the action at a fraction of the cost of a professional telephoto DSLR lens. Today some of the best prosumer compact cameras are mirrorless models that contain APS-C sensors, the same size sensor found in most entry-level and prosumer-level DSLR cameras.

Popular Prosumer Compact Digital Cameras

A variety of features available in a smaller body

These compact cameras are small in size, but have features you won't get on entry-level P&S cameras, such as DSLR-sized sensors or super zoom. Click any image to learn more about each model.

Canon G1 X 14.3 MP Digital Camera with 4x Wide-Angle IS Zoom Lens and 3.0-Inch Vari-Angle LCD

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3CT Kit 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 14mm Pancake Lens

Fujifilm X100 12.3 MP APS-C CMOS EXR Digital Camera with 23mm Fujinon Lens

Leica 18191 V-LUX 4 12.7MP Compact System Camera with 3.0-Inch TFT LCD

Olympus PEN E-P2 12.3 MP Micro Four Thirds ILC Camera with 14-42mm Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens

Nikon 1 V2 14.2 MP HD Digital Camera with 10-30mm & 30-110 VR 1 NIKKOR Lens

Prosumer cameras are great for consumers who want better quality without the price tag of a professional camera.

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      JoshK47 4 years ago

      Learn something new every day - never heard of prosumer cameras before!