Written by: Subhasish Adhikary

DSLR vs Point and Shoot Camera – What is the best choice for YOU?

Photography has gained a lot of popularity in recent years.

Everybody wants to capture special moments on the reel so that they can relive those moments over photographs and videos.

Not everybody is a professional photographer and buying a camera as per your needs can be difficult.

If we talk about digital photography, the market has two broad categories for cameras, Point and shoot and DSLR Cameras.

This article covers the basics which one should know about Point Shoot Cameras and DSLR

Cameras before making a decision of which kind of camera one should buy as per their requirements.

What is a Point and Shoot Camera?

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What is a Point and Shoot Camera

As the name suggests, a point and shoot camera is the camera through which you point to the object to capture and click on it to shoot it and capture it.

Point and shoot camera is a digital camera that is quite handy and even comes in pocket sizes.

The photographer has less control over the shutter speed and aperture and everything is handled by the camera.

Although there are various modes available like bright sun, dark, etc which you can set while clicking the picture as per the light availability.

There is no option to focus on one particular object and make the background blur, thus making the entire photograph blur.

This can be both a good thing or a bad thing. Point and shoot cameras are noise-free and quite budget-friendly.

If you’re someone who is not in professional photography and basically want everything to be handled by the camera while clicking then a Point and shoot camera can be an excellent choice for you.

Advantages of using a Point and Shoot Camera:

Having discussed what point and shoot camera is, let’s discuss the advantages of point and shoot camera:

Size: Point and shoot cameras are very handy.

You can easily slip them into your pocket and so you don’t need a dedicated camera bag to carry them while traveling.

You can carry them everywhere and so capturing memories has become so easy and accessible.

Weight: These cameras are very light weighted.

They do not require any extra accessories like an extra lens or a tripod to be carried around while traveling. 

Fixed Lens: These cameras have fixed lenses and you cannot attach an external lens to them.

So you don’t need to invest in buying an extra lens and change the lens now and then while clicking. They are quite convenient.

Focus: Point and shoot cameras do not have a massive depth of field. In simple words, it means that you cannot focus on one object while blurring the background, this makes your entire image sharp.

This can both be a good thing or a bad thing; depending on the requirement of the scene captured.

Price: Point and shoot cameras are very budget-friendly.

If you’re someone who is not in professional photography and are not interested in learning the features and manual settings, then these cameras are a good option for you.

Disadvantages of using a Point and Shoot Camera:

With advantages there come disadvantages as well.

It depends upon your requirements as to if you should be concerned about the advantages or the disadvantages.

Some of the major disadvantages of using a point and shoot camera are:

Picture Quality: The camera lens attached to point and shoot cameras is small because of which the picture clarity is not that good.

Unavailability of Massive Field of Depth: As discussed above, point and shoot cameras do not have a massive field of depth and so you cannot focus on an object while blurring the background in the scene. 

Limited Control: You have limited control over the settings of the camera. You cannot change the shutter speed and aperture manually.

It is also controlled automatically by the camera. Point and shoot cameras are not a wonderful choice for capturing an object in high-speed motion.

Shooting in the dark: They are not an excellent choice for capturing the image in the dark. You have no control over the shutter speed and aperture.

The camera does provide different modes to control the light, but it’s not a good choice for night photography.

Not able to capture shots of wide-angle: Most of the point and shoot cameras come with a lens which is 30-35mm.

You cannot capture the entire scene with clarity through them since point-and-shoot cameras do not support wide-angle shoots.

Adaptability: They are not adaptable. They come with a fixed lens and you cannot attach an external lens to them. They do not support mounting external flashes in them as well.

Investment point of view: The return value of these cameras is not that much.

You will not get a good return if you decide to sell it out. It is more of a liability than an asset if we talk about the investment point of view.

What is a DSLR Camera?

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What is a DSLR Camera

DSLR stands for ‘Digital Single Lens Reflect’.

It means that it is a digital camera that is used to capture pictures and videos.

It uses a mirror mechanism which either allows it to reflect the light from a camera to the eyepiece through which you see what you’re trying to capture or lets the light fully pass on to the image sensor by moving the mirror out of the way which will not be able to reflect the light anymore.

In simple words, a DSLR has full control over light because it uses the mirror mechanism to either reflect or capture light.

DSLR consists of a lens, reflex mirror, shutter speed, image sensor, focusing screen, condenser lens, pentaprism, and eyepiece.

There are 3 main features that play a key role in capturing the perfect click from a DSLR.

They are:

ISO: ISO deals with the light intensity (brighter or darker) to be captured in your photograph. Read more about what is ISO.

Shutter Speed: Shutter speed is used to handle the motion blur. Shutter speed helps you to capture images in high-speed motion.

Aperture: Aperture is the opening in the camera’s lens which allows the amount of light to be passed in the camera. 

Advantages of using a DSLR camera:

Better image quality: DSLR cameras have better picture quality because they have bigger sensors and the photographer has more control over the camera.

There is an availability of wide-angle shots and so scenes with a larger view can be captured through them.

More sensitive to light: DSLRs are more sensitive towards the light.

They have ISO, which manages to darken or lighten the image. They have light sensors which allow the amount of light to be entered.

Check this out: Best Low light cameras in India

Massive Field of Depth Availability: DSLRs have a good focus and you can have the entire focus on an object to be captured by blurring the background. It is best for macro photography.

Shutter Speed and Aperture availability: Shutter Speed and Aperture play a key role in increasing the clarity of the picture.

The DSLRs provide manual settings to adjust the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to capture the best quality image.

Adaptability: You can attach an external lens to the camera and can increase the zoom lens of the base camera. This helps in achieving micro and macro photography.

Solid Construction: DSLR cameras are robust and can survive in harmful climatic conditions. 

Better Investment: DSLR cameras are always a better return in terms of investment. You’ll always get a good return value for them.

Disadvantages of using a DSLR camera:

Heavy: The DSLR cameras are bigger and are much heavier than compared to point shoot cameras.

You always need to carry a separate camera for it. The other accessories like the additional lens, tripod, hood, etc and also increase its weight.

Expensive: DSLR cameras are expensive because of the features it provides.

There are very few people that are well known for the features it offers, while the others usually click pictures in auto mode and not using the cost that they have paid for the camera.

Complexity: There are a lot of manual settings which a DSLR requires for clicking the perfect photograph.

Maintenance: The ongoing maintenance of DSLR cameras is more than compared to that of point and shoot cameras. The sensor of the camera might get dirty and it requires regular cleaning.

Also, the dust might enter its lens which again needs regular cleaning.

One should make sure that it does not expose the camera to direct sunlight, which changes the lens because it exposes the internal body of the camera to direct sunlight, which is not good for the sensors of the camera.

Who should buy a DSLR camera?

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of using a DSLR, these are some questions which you need to think about before investing in buying a DSLR camera. They are:

  • Are you ready to invest an extensive amount of money in a DSLR camera?
  • Are you ready to invest time in learning the key features of a DSLR camera?
  • Will it be worth buying the camera for clicking pictures of just your family members?

Must read: Finest DSLR Cameras for Beginners

Major differences between a DSLR camera and a Point and Shoot Camera:

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  • Point and shoot cameras are easier and not complex to use whereas DSLR cameras are comparatively complex and one needs to understand its features for capturing a good quality picture.
  • Point and Shoot cameras are lighter and smaller whereas DSLR cameras are heavier and larger.
  • Point and Shoot cameras cannot have an external lens be attached to them whereas DSLR cameras allow you that flexibility.
  • DSLR cameras can shoot a good image in dark and of objects in high-speed motion whereas Point and Shoot Cameras cannot.
  • DSLR cameras are more expensive than Point and Shoot cameras.

Read also: DSLR vs Mirrorless camera: Which one to buy?

Frequently asked questions:

Why are DSLR cameras better than Point and Shoot?

DSLR cameras are better than Point and Shoot Cameras because of the more camera control it provides to the user for clicking a better picture. DSLR cameras can capture an image in dark as well as of the object moving in high-speed motion.

Do professional photographers use Point and Shoot cameras?

Yes, some pro models available in Point and professional photographers use Shoot Cameras.

Photo of author

Subhasish Adhikary

I'm constantly in search of the latest gadgets & technology news that I can share with you. In my meantime, I blog on topics ranging from digital marketing, online business, startups to tech gadgets.


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