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Camera showdown: DSLR vs. Point-and-shoot

Camera showdown: DSLR vs. Point-and-shoot


The difference in size isn't the primary deciding factor - quality and price points also help determine which fits your needs.

Allison Pearce | Interrobang | Culture | February 16th, 2015

When it comes to cameras, comparing a DSLR to a point-and-shoot is similar to comparing apples to oranges. What kind of camera is right for you? Let’s discuss the strengths and weaknesses of both types to help you decide which camera is right for your needs.


Pros: The two big things that point-and-shoots have going for them are their compact design and simple operation. Point-and-shoots can fit easily into a pocket, weigh little and have a fixed lens. This can allow you to always have your camera on you and ready to shoot without having to worry about tripods and camera bags. Point-and-shoots are also much quieter than DSLRs, which makes it easier to snap candid photos – undetected.

Cons: Because of the small size of point-and-shoots, the image sensor inside of them tends to be small too. Even with a lot of megapixels, the image quality will not be as good as a full-frame DSLR. The small sensor can also make it much more difficult to take pictures in low lighting. Another downfall of a point-and-shoot is the lack of versatility. Most point-and-shoots come with a non-detachable lens, and the option for a mounted flash is out of the question. Some won’t even allow you to manually control your aperture or shutter speed, meaning your own creative control of the picture is also moot.


Pros: DSLRs allow you the versatility to get the most out of your image. Their large image sensor helps reduce grain in an image and produces a higher quality of image than a photo taken with a pointand- shoot. The flexible controls – although not simple to use at first – allow you to have better control of your image. A fast shutter speed can be advantageous when shooting pictures of objects in motion, and a shallow depth of field is convenient when trying to isolate your subject. DSLRs are also easily upgradeable. Changing out a lens or attaching a flash can be advantageous in capturing that perfect image.

Cons: DSLRs are almost certainly more expensive than a pointand- shoot camera – not including accessories like lenses, tripods and flashes. You’ve also probably noticed there are a lot more buttons on a DSLR. These are complicated machines, which might set people off a bit from owning one. DSLRs are also much heavier to lug around and won’t necessarily fit into a pocket.

Still undecided? Consider how much money you want to invest into a camera, and how much time you are willing to spend on learning how to operate it. Is convenience or quality more important to you?
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