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Point and Shoot Vs. Digital SLR

Monday, June 21st, 2010 by | Filed Under: Digital Photography

Are you looking to upgrade your Point and Shoot camera? Are you thinking of buying a Digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex)? Do you know the difference between the two and do the advantages of the Digital SLR truly justify the extra cost? In this tip, we’ll examine the practical usage of Point and Shoot cameras and compare them to a Digital SLR. Without going into Photography jargon, this tip will help you to determine which type of camera to buy.

In the spirit of the Soccer World Cup 2010, let’s start by leveling the scores –

Point and Shoot Camera 0 : Digital SLR 0

Depending on how and where you take photographs, flexibility may be a critical deciding factor. The advantage of a Point and Shoot camera is that they can be carried around in your pocket. The sheer size of Point and Shoot camera is a powerful advantage for people who are essentially into taking photographs on the fly. Since Digital SLRs are bulkier, you would hesitate to haul it around for day-to-day photography.
In the Flexibility arena, Point and Shoot cameras easily score past Digital SLRs and take an early lead.

Point and Shoot Cameras 1 : Digital SLRs 0

Image Quality

The Megapixels (MP) debate has been going on for quite a while now. Each digital camera brand boasts of more and more megapixels. It’s quite a silly marketing gimmick. Megapixels are one aspect of image quality; the other aspect is the image sensor within the camera that processes the image taken. Digital SLRs are larger and have larger image sensors. Hence, the quality of an image taken by using a Digital SLR is far superior to that of a Point and Shoot.
If you had a choice to get a 8 MP Digital SLR or a 10 MP Point and Shoot, in terms of Image Quality, the Digital SLR will win hands down! And, with that Digital SLRs level the score.

Point and Shoot Cameras 1 : Digital SLRs 1

Image Control

After attending a few photography training sessions, you’ll probably know the nuances of fine photography. The goal of capturing the perfect image is never too far if you know photography. A Point and Shoot camera is usually used to take pictures in automatic mode. Its technology is for use by everyone. Therefore, there is limited user control. However, a Digital SLR allows you the flexibility of both automatic and manual. For example, you can manually adjust the lens to get that perfect picture. If the lenses in the Digital SLR aren’t suitable, you can change them. Similarly, you can change the aperture and shutter speed to a very great extent. A Digital SLR even allows you to apply filters. In terms of image control, the Digital SLR has no competition.

After being one down, Digital SLRs take the lead!

Point and Shoot Cameras 1 : Digital SLRs 2

Ease of Use

Since the Point and Shoot camera is meant for use by a novice, it is designed in a manner to make it more usable. You don’t need to know photography jargon to figure it out and take a decent picture. Digital SLRs require you to have some knowledge of photography. Actually, the more the better!
Point and Shoot cameras easily win in this section and square the match in the nick of time.

Point and Shoot Cameras 2 : Digital SLRs 2

Last Word
I could create granular evaluation parameters, but really there are only four parameters that you need to make a decision on whether you need a Point and Shoot camera or a Digital SLR. As you can see, it is a draw!
You selection will be based on the type of photography you are into and the level of expertise you have. It is also quite common for experts to own both types. Expert photographers may carry a Point and Shoot camera with them for daily photographs and then take a Digital SLR for photography sessions. If you aren’t an expert, then stick to a Point and Shoot camera with a decent optical zoom (at least 10x)!

~Rupen Sharma

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