Point and shoot camera vs. DSLR – my thoughts

For anyone who inquires about the differences between a DSLR and a point and shoot camera, the first round of results seem to point out to the DSLR as being the best and most reliable in taking good quality photography.

The DSLR is a camera that has built-in mirrors that reflect the light into the viewfinder, so that you can see exactly what your lens captures. It also gives you the possibility to suit it with the type of lens you desire or need for a specific job, from a wide-angle lens to, let’s say, a fisheye, or a wide-aperture lens for shallow depth of field. Aside these basic features that differentiate the digital cameras from the compact ones, there is another one that makes the balance lean heavy on the DSLR side, and that is the sensor size. While it adds up quite a lot to the cost, a larger sensor has large pixels that increase the sensitivity to light. This translates to less image noise, a shallow depth of field, great dynamic range and high ISO settings.

Drawbacks on DSLR cameras include their cost, the fact that they weight more and are bulkier, the fact that you need to carry more than one lens with you if you want more than one style of photography. Also, the optical viewfinder mechanism creates a lot of noise whenever the mirror goes up to let the sensor catch light, so you might find you’re just shooting the back of animals as they’re running away.


Point and shoot cameras are known to offer less image quality and a certain slowness in their operation. But that doesn’t mean they are bad cameras especially if you are on a budget. While their viewfinder is less accurate, you can use the LCD display to see what you’re shooting, and you have quite a few pre-set shooting modes to play with, including the auto-mode. While the DSLR makes a racket when used, the point and shoot is very quiet, letting you sneak and take pictures of your favorite animal subject without scaring them off.


Lastly, the point and shoot camera is budget-friendly and easily maneuverable, partly because it is so small and lightweight, and partly because of its menu, that’s so easy to get around to know.

Therefore, aside the difference in image quality, there are a lot of other aspects that make ranking these two impractical.