Translation:Do you like cameras?
So, basically, if you use は, you like cameras in general, whereas if you use が, you like a particular camera. Did I understand the two particles correctly?
No. Both cases are asking whether you like cameras in general or not. は is used here for stressing the topic, usually used to compare with different simikar topics.
(I like plastic models. I do not like radio-controlled cars.)
(Then, do you like cameras?)
- I have bought a new camera.
- Do you like the camera?
It tranlates to:
So you need その for "the" camera. Otherwise, it would be in a general sense "Do you like cameras?"
There is more to HA/GA than topic/not-topic. See "The structure of the Japanese Language" by Susumu Kuno. A great book albeit a bit technical, but still useful for advanced language learners and non-linguist teachers.
What's the meaning behind this question?
Is it literally asking if you like cameras or is it more of a "do you like to be photographed?" ?
English isn't my first language so I apologize for any confusion.
It is "do you like cameras (or possibly taking photos with cameras in general)" To "like to be photographed" it would be 写真（しゃしん）を撮（と）られるのが好き
Is this basically a question/statement thing, where you use は for a question (sort of like "cameras - do you like them?") but you use が when you're making a basic statement?
は and が is confusing. I've stopped trying to figure the specifics and just let my brain get a feel for how it's used by natives in various situations.
However, highly recommend Jay Rubin's "Making Sense of Japanese". ~$10 on Amazon. excellent は/が explanation.
I second that recommendation. Far better than most of the attempts to explain it I've seen in these comments.
No. Wa and ga are, in most sentences, interchangeable. The distinction falls with whether you're stressing the topic of the conversation or the grammatical subject of tthe sentence. Most non-native Japanese speakers have trouble with it, but you'll get it eventually!
For questions about using は vs が this article is enlightening Credit goes to another duolingo user who originally posted it
According to my early Japanese teacher, the 'object' or thing of 好き takes a が particle. Is there an exception to this? Nothing I've found online indicates anything other than が is ever used for 好き.
Yes the "target" of these preference "adjectives" is always denoted by the particle が. So カメラが好きです. But we can always make a phrase or clause a topic by appending は to that clause. So to make the phrase カメラが a topic, カメラがは好きです. But there is a rule that は supersedes が instead of appending to it (another pair is を + は) so カメラは好きです with が superseded by は.
Can this also be, " Do yoy lile photography?" Because i feel like j hear people say they like camera but really mean they like taking pictures or photography
Same nuance in English. Personally I feel that people like cameras do not necessarily like taking photos with an artistic sense, but instead like knowing and using camera functions or just owing cameras. Photography is the former I believe.
The right particle should be が, not は. By using は, the sentence almost translates as "does cameras like?", whereas with が it translates to "do you like cameras?"