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How to take good pictures with different cameras

By Michael Saba, Special to CNN
There are many types of cameras on the market now; which one is right for you?
There are many types of cameras on the market now; which one is right for you?
  • iReport Boot Camp offers guide to taking good pictures with a variety of cameras
  • Portable devices like cellphones and tablets can take high-quality images
  • Every journalist should be well-versed in how to use them
  • We examine some of the most popular image-taking devices on the market and give our verdict

Editor's note: This report is part of a series about storytelling and reporting skills called iReport Boot Camp. In this edition, we share some tips on how to make the most out of whatever camera you use. Read up and then give this advice a try in this week's iReport Boot Camp challenge.

(CNN) -- In photojournalism, good hardware can go a long way in helping you capture high-quality images, but someone who can properly use a cellphone camera is just as likely to take great photos as a novice equipped with a top-of-the-line DSLR. Knowing whether you're trying to capture spot news or shooting a photo essay is only half the battle: You also need to know how to use different cameras and which tool is appropriate for which situation.

Can you tell whether a photo was taken by a phone or a fancy DSLR? Click here to take the quiz.

These days, built-in cameras on cellphones and other portables can flirt with image qualities previously only seen in expensive, high-end devices. So, there are some important distinctions to keep in mind when shopping for your photo-taking tool of choice.

Here is a brief look at some of the most popular forms of digital video- and image-recording devices currently on the market. Though by no means exhaustive, this list will give you a good sense of what your camera can do.

Above, you'll see them in action: CNN photographers went out and snapped some candid pictures to show you each of these types of image-taking instruments and the kinds of pictures you can expect to take with them. Take a look! You might be surprised at what camera took which photo.

We've also compiled a helpful set of tips and tricks to keep in mind when operating each of these devices, to help you get the most out of your tools. Once you've got your camera in hand, head on over to iReport Boot Camp and start telling your story!

Part I: Cellphones

Part II: Point-and-shoots

Part III: Tablet PCs

Part IV: DSLRs