Point & Shoot Vs DSLR Cameras
As more and more people are buying cameras and the camera becoming affordable this is an oft asked question, not by the first time buyer but others too – Point & Shoot compact cameras or the DSLR? One of the reasons this question is being asked more frequently is that the price of the DSLR has come down and many find it within striking distance, stretch a bit and maybe one could buy a DSLR. The other cause is the growing breed of serious amateur photographers who are chasing their love for photography, be it nature, wildlife, people, historic structures and so on.
Like most things in life everything has it pros and cons, so does the Point & Shoot and the DSLR. Many of the more serious photographers own both the Point & Shoot and the DSLR. The Point & Shoot is compact, easy to carry, could fit into a pocket or a handbag, and needs no great amount of caring. Small, compact, light, here are the biggest pluses.
As the name suggests you pretty much point the camera at your subject and shoot the images. In the ‘Auto’ mode the camera pretty much looks after everything for you. The ‘Auto’ mode is fast improving making it a decent proposition. The choice of camera is largely driven by the purpose the quality one seeks. Family gatherings, friends meeting up, impromptu meet-ups are all best captured with a Point & Shoot. Since they are easy to carry they come in handy easily. Now that most of these images are stored and shared on social media platforms and digital platforms, the quality of the Point & Shoot serves the purpose effectively. We will explore the DSLR and its benefits and not so convenient bits. This conversely will allow us to understand the pros and cons of the Point & Shoot too.
DSLR, at the outset what is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) Camera? Before the DSLR there was the SLR (Single Lens Reflex). These Cameras have a lens and a mirror or a prism that reflects the image allowing the photographer to view the image through the lens, unlike viewing it through the viewfinder. The two images can be drastically different in the finer details. The SLR gives the photographer lot more control and clarity in framing the image and then shooting it.
Lenses: On the DSLR camera the lenses can be changed, allowing one to use the appropriate lens for the shot, wide angle lens, Zoom lens and the like. There some newer cameras that get classified by the manufacturer as DSLR based on interchangeability of lenses yet the image viewing is not through the lens. Hence they are not true DSLRs. The Point & Shoot has a fixed lens with no flexibility. The lenses on the DSLR are bigger and usually given the cost difference, the quality of the lens on the DSLR is much better than the one on the Point & Shoot producing higher quality images.
Sensor: The DSLR has much bigger sensors than the Point & Shoot – more than twenty five times at the least. This means clearer pictures. The clarity of the image is not solely defined by the pixels. So a DSLR with a lower pixel will produce better quality images than the Point & Shoot with higher pixels since the sensor on the DSLR is much bigger. As a result you have lesser grains and better photographs.
Adjustments & Adaptability: The DSLRs gives the photographer full control, not only do they get to view the subject as the camera views, but also in various adjustments. The f-stop or the focal lengths of the lens can be adjusted, the lens itself can be changed. The photographer can choose different exposures (ISO) allowing them to operate in different light qualities. Slower shutter speeds to allow more light in low light situation and higher shutter speeds when the light is bright. The Point & Shoot does not have the flexibility to shoot with different ISOs.
Depth of Field: This is probably the biggest differentiator, the DSLR allows the photographer to compose the frame and blur out the back ground or the foreground, not only highlighting one but more importantly providing the viewer a sense of depth which a Point & Shoot is unable to do.
RAW Format: The DSLR camera can capture the photograph in RAW format and not just in TIFF or JPEG as the Point & Shoot does. Though the RAW format is much bigger and heavier files they are the true photographs since they capture the image as is. The JPEG and TIFF formats, are compressed with algorithms and the original is lost. RAW formats are true and is the best format for image editing and enhancement, all the elements are captured as is and can be worked on to create the photographs using image editing tools and software.
Value: The value of the DSLR can be said to be long lasting, as the changes are few and farther in between and even changes happen, one could continue to use the lenses of the older camera and many of the other accessories like the lens hood and so on. This makes the value long lasting, the change in the Point & Shoot are much faster and frequent making the equipment obsolete much faster than the DSLR
The DSLR cameras are big, they are noisy, but they are fast to start up, focus, shutter lags are low, one can shoot with variable ISOs as for the Point & Shoot they are small, light easy to carry on oneself, they are not noisy, they are easy and simple to use. As for the ideal one to have would largely be defined based on the purpose and occasion the camera is being used and the quality and flexibility desired.