There are two main variants of cameras;
Analog: these cameras use layers of light-sensitive silver halide emulsion coated on a flexible base to capture an image on film. It exposes the emulsion to light creating a latent image which is then developed later in a dark room using immersion. Prints are then made by projecting the image through the film onto light sensitive paper and processing them in similar chemical baths in the same dark rooms.
Digital: these cameras use light sensors to convert the image into binary, the camera then condenses the image by getting rid of the useless information and then saves the image to a memory card.
The advantages and disadvantages of both are that it can takes time to develop an analog image whereas a digital image is right there on the screen of the camera and can be deleted. they roughly produce the same quality of image so it usually comes down to personal preference, but digital are taking over because of the convenience of the memory card and images that can be instantly deleted, uploaded and changed.
There are two main types of modern cameras;
Compact: these are smaller, cheaper and more convenient cameras and all the settings, after the button is pressed are automatic.
These cameras are pocket sized and more affordable than professional cameras, and are easier to use and understand. the down side being that they are lower quality, have smaller sensors, a large depth of field (which can be useful just not all the time) and it is often difficult for the user to change the automatic settings to get a better image.
Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR’s): these are considered professional cameras and have a price tag to match, but take professional quality photos.
These cameras are a lot more manual, but do have automatic settings and also have a viewfinder as well as a screen which makes taking professional photos a lot easier. Although they can be very expensive, often double or triple a compact cameras price, they are also a lot bigger and bulkier making them harder to use.