DSLR vs Point and Shoot Camera

Why would you pick DSLR vs Point and Shoot Camera or vice-versa? As DSLRs are becoming more and more affordable, a lot of people are wondering if it is time for them to switch to a DSLR and toss their point and shoot cameras. Nowadays, point and shoot cameras have a long list of features and capabilities, compared to even slightly older versions. GPS, face-detection, smile detection and many other new technologies are making their way into the point and shoot market, over-saturating it with new cameras and making it more difficult for people to choose the right camera for their needs. A similar thing is also happening in the DSLR world, where manufacturers are dividing the market into multiple segments, trying to capture a range of potential customers: from entry-level to advanced professional. But one thing for sure – there are many people, who are stuck in the middle, trying to decide whether they want to stay with their point and shoots, or bite the bullet and switch to a DSLR.

DSLR vs Point and Shoot Camera

NIKON D700 @ 85mm, ISO 250, 1/250, f/2.8

In this article, I will go through the advantages and disadvantages of both DSLRs and point and shoots, so that you can evaluate what’s best for your needs and make the right decision. So, if you are one of those people who are stuck in the middle, this article is for you.

Anyway, let’s analyze the advantages of point and shoot cameras:

  • First and foremost, it is the Size. You can simply slip them into your pocket and carry them anywhere. Heck, some of the new phones have excellent cameras and you don’t even need a dedicated point and shoot camera anymore…hitting those ski slopes and keeping good memories is easier than ever.
  • Weight. Most point and shoot cameras are very light weight. You do not need extra bags, tripods or other accessories to carry around. There are, however, advanced “SLR-like” point and shoot cameras that tend to get bigger and bulkier, due to their super zoom capabilities.
  • Fixed lens. All point and shoot cameras come with fixed lenses. You don’t sweat in trying to change lenses.
  • Massive Depth of Field. In layman’s terms, it means that point and shoot cameras typically cannot separate foreground from background, bringing everything in focus and making the entire scene look sharp. This could be both good and bad.
  • Price. A point-and-shoot camera is always going to be cheaper to purchase and maintain than a DSLR.

Disadvantages of point and shoot cameras:

  • Quality. Due to the smaller size of the camera sensor, point and shoots are no match to DSLRs when it comes to image quality, even with more Megapixels.
  • Downside of a large depth of field. While a point and shoot gets your entire scene nicely in focus, there is not much you can do to isolate your subject from the background and make it look soft and blurry. With DSLR cameras and special lenses, you can get a very shallow depth of field and completely isolate your foreground from the background.
  • Adaptability. Point and shoot cameras are not upgradable. You cannot change their lenses or mount external flashes (with the exception of some high-end models) and the number of external accessories is limited to the brand and make of the camera.
  • Limited control. Unlike DSLRs, point and shoot cameras give much less control over the process of taking pictures. In many compact point and shoot cameras, there is very limited control over aperture and shutter speed, there is no distance marking on the lens and the cameras are tougher to control in manual mode.
  • Shooting in the dark. Point-and-shoot cameras do not have good capabilities for night photography.
  • Inability to capture wide-angle shots. Most point and shoot cameras have lenses that start at 30-35mm, which means that you cannot fit much of the scene and would have to stand back to capture more.
  • Most point and shoot cameras are limited in how fast they can capture an image. Point and shoots are not designed for sports and action photography.
Caspian Tern with a Fish

NIKON D700 @ 420mm, ISO 250, 1/2000, f/5.6

Now, let’s talk about the main advantages DSLRs:

  • Better image quality. A DSLR camera typically has a much bigger sensor than a point and shoot camera – a point and shoot typically has a sensor area that is only about 3-5% of a full frame DSLR sensor. Having a big sensor helps to get images that have much less noise (noise is the grain you typically see in a picture) and much better overall image quality.
  • Better sensitivity to light. Less noise means that you can work in very dim environments and capture photographs that you would never be able to with a point and shoot camera.
  • Shutter and focus speeds. DSLRs can acquire focus very quickly and take multiple shots per second. Professional DSLRs are capable of capturing up to 10 frames per second. All professional action and sports photography is done with SLRs.
  • You see what you shoot. A DSLR is constructed with reflex mirrors, which means that you look through the lens, instead of a see-through hole in the camera.
  • Flexible Controls. DSLRs are not necessarily created for “simplicity” as most point and shoots are. So, you will typically find a lot more buttons and controls on a DSLR than on a point and shoot. Once you learn how to use those controls, you can quickly change settings, if necessary.
  • Better investment. Generally, DSLR cameras hold their values much better than point and shoots. Although no digital camera can be considered a good investment, chances of selling your DSLR at a reasonably good price are much higher than even a slightly used point and shoot camera. Our Nikon D80 that we first bought was sold for about 10% less than what we bought it for after a year of moderate use.
  • Ability to use different lenses. There is a big array of lenses that can be mounted and used on DSLRs, from super wide angle to telephoto, depending on your needs. My husband uses long telephoto lenses such as the Nikon 300mm f/4.0 for his bird photography, while I primarily shoot with portrait lenses such as the Nikon 50mm f/1.4. On point and shoots, you are limited to the “optical zoom” of the camera lens. DSLR lenses are also much better optically compared to lenses in point and shoot cameras.
  • Full control over depth of field. You are fully in charge of isolating foreground from background or bring everything in focus through aperture control of the lens. Some portrait and telephoto lenses can really isolate your subjects and create a creamy and beautiful background blur, also known as “bokeh“.
  • Weather sealing. Forget about using a point and shoot in challenging weather conditions. While point and shoot cameras are only suited for normal use, higher-end DSLRs can withstand dust, moisture, rain and snow and severely cold weather. My husband often shoots landscapes in subzero temperatures with his DSLR and he has never had a problem with it.
  • Solid construction. DSLRs are built to last. While there are some parts that are made of tough plastic, the professional DSLRs are made of magnesium-alloy and can take a lot of physical abuse, while point and shoots would quickly break down.
Jade Portrait

Downside of owning a DSLR:

  • High price tag. DSLR cameras are more expensive than point and shoot cameras. Even a used, entry-level DSLR is probably going to cost more than an advanced point and shoot. But the expense does not stop with the camera – good lenses typically cost more than the camera itself and you will have to cash out on other accessories (larger camera bags, filters, memory cards, etc). To get started, an entry-level camera with a kit lens will cost you anywhere between $500-800. That’s just the initial cost. Overtime, you might spend three times as much on accessories alone.
  • Complexity. DSLR cameras are quite complex to work with. Once you buy a DSLR, you will need to invest a lot of time to learn the main features and figure out what all the buttons do. Some people get easily frustrated with this process. With a DSLR, you will have to learn how to be patient.
  • Ongoing maintenance. The cost of maintenance on a DSLR is much higher than on a point and shoot. The camera sensor can get dirty and dust can get into lenses. While all manufacturers have some sort of a warranty period, there is no guarantee that things will keep on working when the warranty expires. Obviously, the cost of repair on DSLRs and lenses can get outrageously expensive. You will have to learn how to care for your camera and lenses to prevent dust accumulation and other mechanical problems.
  • Weight and Size. These babies are big and heavy! It took me a while to get used to the size and the weight of my camera. My neck would hurt so badly from carrying the camera around. We ended up purchasing special straps to ease the pain. Weight also makes it hard to hold the camera still and you will have to learn how to properly hold it to have less blur in your pictures.
  • Noise. Due to the nature of DSLRs and their construction, every time the shutter opens and closes, there is a substantial amount of noise that comes out of the camera. Some newer cameras now have a special “Quiet” mode (such as Nikon D600), which helps lower the noise.

I am not going to ask if you’ve reached the limit of your point and shoot camera, because most likely, you haven’t. Personally, I used to shoot everything in auto mode, trusting the camera to do all the work for me. I didn’t think about the settings or functions and to be honest, I don’t even remember changing any camera settings, because I didn’t care. If a picture didn’t come out right, I would always blame the camera, thinking that only a DSLR would produce a better image. Now that I know how to use a DSLR, every once in a while when I get a hold of a point and shoot, I realize that it was me who didn’t know how to take pictures, not the camera. But owning a DSLR pushed me to learn photography and get to know the basics such as ISO, aperture and shutter speed. I didn’t think about any of those before, because they were all pre-determined for me by my simple and easy to use point and shoot.

So, keeping in mind all your needs, ask yourself these simple questions to find out if you really need a DSLR:

  1. Am I ready to invest my time and a considerable amount of money into a DSLR?
  2. Am I willing to learn about photography and the camera?
  3. Do I need a more advanced camera for more than just family pictures?
  4. Can my business or family benefit from this purchase?

Then weigh in the advantages and disadvantages from the above list and see what you are leaning to. If you are leaning towards purchasing a DSLR, please take a look at my husband’s DSLR purchase guide. He gives nice pointers on what to pay attention to while purchasing a new camera. Oh, one more thing, do NOT toss your old point and shoot, because you might need it someday!

Osman Portrait NIKON D700 @ 110mm, ISO 400, 1/800, f/4.0

Subject isolation with soft background

Here is my quick story to end this article:
As a mother of two children, it is very important for me to preserve my family memories in forms of pictures. I always wanted to have a big album, full of beautiful pictures of my family for us to go back and look at in the future. I didn’t think about cameras or lenses, because I thought that if I wasn’t able to capture those special moments with my point and shoot camera, I could always hire a photographer to take our pictures. But soon after, I realized that there are too many of those special moments that happen in our lives (first smile on my child’s face, first walk, etc.) and it is not always practical and, in some cases impossible, to hire a photographer to save those memories. While trying to document those moments with what I have, I quickly started getting frustrated with bad pictures and memories that were lost forever. I was getting tired of thinking “I wish that image was better” or “I wish it was not as blurry” and really wanted to do something about it. Two years ago, my husband and I finally made the decision to upgrade to a DSLR and I am grateful that we did, because not only am I able to photograph my family and my kids, but also, I always had a passion for photography and I now have the right tools to fulfill my dream of becoming a professional photographer.


  1. December 14, 2009 at 6:56 am

    that was really nice to read and… nice images .. great job…

    • 1.1) Lola Mansurov
      December 14, 2009 at 10:52 am

      Thank you, Peter! I appreciate your feedback.

  2. 2) fox
    December 14, 2009 at 11:15 am

    i’d buy both of them. sometimes it’s more convenient (or safer) to carry a P&S than a huge DSLR.

    • 2.1) Lola Mansurov
      December 15, 2009 at 9:46 pm

      fox, I agree, which is why I recommended to keep the point and shoot :)

  3. 3) WebMonster
    December 14, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    “…Two years ago, my husband and I finally made the decision to upgrade to a DSLR…”

    You have gone so far only in two years? Motivating!

    • 3.1) Lola Mansurov
      December 15, 2009 at 9:47 pm

      It’s been a little over 2 years, but definitely under 3 :)

  4. 4) Donald
    December 24, 2009 at 1:37 am

    Your images here are definitely motivating. I am dying for a DSLR but cant fit it our budget yet. So will have to improve my skills on my point and shoot!

    • December 24, 2009 at 10:57 pm

      Donald, you can get great results with a point and shoot too! If you learn how to manually control aperture, shutter speed and ISO, you can get some incredible pictures. It doesn’t hurt to know those anyway, because once you get a DSLR, you will be able to get started right away and the learning curve won’t be so steep.

      Merry Christmas to you and your family!

      • 4.1.1) himanshu
        November 18, 2014 at 3:47 am

        You can not be a good photographer…if you do not have DSLR

        • Shally I. Dragna
          August 13, 2015 at 3:14 pm

          NOPE its not the camera- two of my prints taken w/ a 35 MM film manual camera were jurried of 400 students into a UT state college professional art show for display to the public and professional photographers. Also, I used the same manual camera to win regionals for USA Skills Competition won a medal for my shots but not because of the camera, because of my eye for unique composition

  5. 5) Viki
    December 24, 2009 at 4:07 am

    Lovely photos and a very useful article. Thanks a million! This website is a godsend for me looking forward to my first child. Could you please let me know what camera was used for the picture ‘Osman with an apple’

    • December 24, 2009 at 11:02 pm

      Viki, thank you for your feedback and congratulations! We got into photography because of our first child too :)

      We mostly use Nikon D300 to photograph our kids, but the above shot with the apple was taken with a Nikon D700.

      If you do not already have a DSLR, I would seriously consider either the Nikon D5000 or Nikon D90, along with a 50mm f/1.4 lens for portraits. On tight budget, the D5000 with a 35mm f/1.8 lens is a killer combination.

      Please let me know if you have any questions!

      • 5.1.1) Viki
        December 25, 2009 at 1:11 am

        Thanks. I bought a D90 yesterday and was pleased to note that you would have recommended the same. Will keep in touch if i have questions! Happy New Year

        • Nasim Mansurov
          December 25, 2009 at 1:26 am

          Viki, congratulations on your purchase! I used a D90 in the past and I fell in love with that camera. Too bad it came out after the D300, because I would have purchased it instead, had it been available at the time. Couple it with a nice lens and you have a killer combination!

          What lens did you get for it? Did you buy the kit version?

          Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  6. 6) Viki
    December 25, 2009 at 1:35 am

    Merry Christmas! i bought the kit version and now looking for the 50mm f/1.4 lens you have mentioned :)

    • December 25, 2009 at 3:28 am


      I highly suggest getting the newest “AF-S” version of the Nikon 50mm f/1.4. It has a round-bladed aperture that will create beautiful circular bokeh. I use mine more than any other lens – it is my workhorse.

      • 6.1.1) Ali Atif
        January 12, 2014 at 5:41 am

        Hi there.A very nicely written article.My query rests a little uncleared though.Im a dentist and an amateur at photography I recently bought nikon d5100 wid 18-55mm +. Afs nikkor 50mm+afs 55-200mm.i love d potrait lens.prob is wen I want to take a group pic n ppl r arranged in haphazard manner, it tends to blur ppl in background.den again if I want a group pic with a monument in d backgroud, the blurring kills d image.its like either d monument or the group.how to handle that? Please suggest me a lens which will help me click both background scenery and the object in a sharp n crisp manner.

  7. 7) Cameta
    December 29, 2009 at 9:52 am

    After being a DSLR user for five years I find it very difficult to go back to a point and shoot. I like the way there is so many accessories for the dslr that can enhance the image and the way that you can create drama by adjusting the aperture or shutter speed.

    • December 29, 2009 at 1:31 pm

      Cameta, I totally agree with you! In some rare cases, where size is the issue, you almost have to use a point and shoot, but other than that, I wouldn’t want to part with my DSLR either :)

  8. 8) Gunasekhar
    May 3, 2010 at 3:43 am

    Very useful information and I can easily relate to the experiences shared here. I have been using Fujifilm Finepix s8100fd and am accustomed to use manual mode more often than the auto modes. I am pretty happy with this cam but the sharp backgrounds sometimes annoy me, even though I chose the least aperture possible.

    I use this guide to decide on a DSLR. Thanks Lola for this article.


    • May 5, 2010 at 6:13 pm

      Gunasekhar, you are most welcome! Let us know if you have any questions.

  9. 9) Cody Frogness
    November 12, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I think you cover everything. I’m doing my senior paper on photography. I’m trying to become a professional myself

    April 13, 2011 at 6:57 am

    Hi Lola, I am a fresher to this, I mean to Photography. I have an old sony cybershot. Now planning to upgrade to a DSLR, with so many hopes of learrning new things about photography…At the first look this Website is excellent and i read the above article and helps me alot to understand the basic things. On the coming days I will go through the rest…. Thanks for the contibution really helpful for beginners like me…Cheers!!!!


  11. 11) AbHi ShEk
    April 25, 2011 at 9:55 am

    hi there. You have explained the basic differences between a dslr and point-and-shoot quite impressively.
    take more time and read these differences as explained by me : http://digital-camera-photography.blogspot.com/2011/02/point-and-shoot-versus-digital-slr_06.html

  12. 12) Sonu Aircrazy
    May 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Read all your articles and i just loved them. It helped me in gathering more info related to cameras you have really explained them nicely in simple words. we are planning to buy NIKON COOLPIX L120. So please suggest if it is better camera or not. We need it for family outings during vacations and as well as to capture some natural scenery. So is it suitable for that. Our budget is upto Rs.17,000 INR. So in that according to our purpose which camera will be better. Please do suggest.


  13. 13) SHEY
    June 25, 2011 at 3:28 am

    i l0ve taking picture, I always g0 0ut with friends and family, go to diffent places and im int0 sp0rts …
    I was thingking to buy a dslr but i want s0mething g00d that can als0 be use by kids. A cheap one and a g00d 0ne! Im n0t into professi0nal but a sh00t that l00ks professi0nal when kids use it.
    A dslr friendly user that can be automatic and can be a p0int and sh00t camera

    H0pe to hear from you!

  14. 14) Asheesh
    July 3, 2011 at 11:22 am

    I have gone thru most of the pages of your website, liked most is of flash tutorials…amazing and brief

    I’m currently having Sony DSC h9 – pretty good camera, gives amazing shoots…planning to upgrade

    I’m planning to by Nikon DSLR, can you please suggest which one should I go for…….I’m a learner (not a biggner). Suggest on lens as well, please. Thought to go for FX rather than DX lens, if in future I go for FX camera this will help.

    My interest in mainly macro, potraits, wildlife, few times on structures and landscapes and sports sometime

    Nikon D90 / D7000 – thinking of D90 bcz there’s nothing much in D7000 to pay $500 extra–suggest plz

    any 3 lenses among the list- please consider low light condition as well

    AF-S 300mm f/4D IF-ED
    AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED
    AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED
    AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
    if these can work as a good macro lens, don’t consider below one – macro is important
    AF-S 50mm f/1.4G
    AF 24mm f/2.8D
    AF-S Micro 60mm f/2.8G ED (if this can work for above lens 50mm, than I’ll not take 50mm)

    If you know something better than above list, please do suggest …… but, I’m tight on budget..so within range please :)

    Apart this…any suggestions on sigma or tamron lenses, as they are cheaper than nikkor for same specification. Hope the output quality is considerably same.

    Thanks in advance for your time & help.

    • 14.1) Asheesh
      July 3, 2011 at 11:36 am

      Please consider this as well:
      AF Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6G….thanks

  15. 15) Asheesh
    July 3, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Here the list goes on, getting more confused :( – $150 to $200 more for f/1.4 – your point of view please
    AF-S 50mm f/1.4G – $430
    AF 50mm f/1.4D – $360
    AF-S 50mm f/1.8G – $220 – slightly better than below one – spec’s are almost same as above, only diff f/1.4
    AF 50mm f/1.8D – $122 – not a bad one
    AF 28mm f/2.8D

    sry for increasing my question list……adding my questions u reply :)

  16. 16) Srikanth
    August 8, 2011 at 3:34 am

    It was a very informative article. Thanks a lot. Helped remove a lot of cobwebs in my mind.

  17. September 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Nice very informative and nice photos!
    If you ever had to start over and get a new camera and you had no idea what they were like, then read this article which would you choose: a point and shoot or DSLR?

  18. September 25, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Thanks for this informative and easy to read article. It’s pointing me in the right direction.

  19. 19) ridzuan
    October 14, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Hi mr. Nasim
    I have 1 problem, i don’t know where want to focus the subjec when to get photo potraite with 2 person together, when 1 focus only 1 person the another 1 person the picture will be blur…so i need some advise from you…thanks

  20. 20) Jay B Krishnan
    December 10, 2011 at 12:48 am

    Good article, written in simple language. Though initially I was planning to buy an entry level DSLR like th Nikon D3100 or Canon 1100 D, for the time being I am going to go for a top end point and shoot instead. Probably Canon SX230HS. Saw the pictures in the net and they look like DSLR ones. Further it has the full HD mode video plus GPS. Initially i thought GPS was a waste, but then it is quite useful if you travel to unknown places – and I plan to be a bit adventurous in future. A DSLR with all these would be around a 1000 dollars whereas the sx230 is just about 300 and pocketable, though with 14x opt zoom.

  21. 21) Rix
    December 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    “Quality. Due to the smaller size of the camera sensor, point and shoots are no match to DSLRs when it comes to image quality, EVEN WITH more Megapixels.”
    Please replace EVEN WITH with BECAUSE OF. Due to the small size of the sensor, more pixels means more density which means smaller pixels. And smaller pixels = bad quality and massively more noise.
    So my advice is: If you are going for P&S, avoid those sensors with more Megapixels – this often means less quality photos. Detail of high-resolution photos is pointless if we can’t use it and believe me in low-light conditions there will be a lot noise. Why would you wanna crop your photos with P&S anyway? So avoid small sensors with more than 10MP!

  22. 22) bugz
    December 23, 2011 at 4:54 am

    Nice article and good story.

  23. 23) kellen
    January 30, 2012 at 3:48 am

    That was the most thoughtful and helpful article I’ve found on the subject — thank you. I have a new point and shoot and was so disappointed with the poor quality. I’m making the leap to a DSLR. A little over my budget, but I’ve wanted a good quality camera since jr high. At 45 it’s time to splurge.

    • 23.1) Kellan
      April 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      I liked your comment, and then I noticed that you have the same name as me.

  24. 24) Kellan
    April 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Very very very well-written article.
    I’ve been researching for days, and this simplified much of what I’ve been reading.

  25. 25) AJ
    May 8, 2012 at 4:08 am

    Gr8 work. Its a very good article. I have purchased a Nikon D3100 and I am new to DSLRs. After days of googling finally I got this website as a nice tutorial. Start today with your tutorial, but I the quality and simplicity of our contents forced me to put some appreciation words after reading just two articles. You will be seeing more from me on different articles. :-)

  26. 26) Prashant Harpude
    May 19, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Nice article. It helped me to decide the camera. Thanks a lot. :-)

  27. 27) Vishnu
    October 4, 2012 at 5:42 am


    great blog i would say. this has really helped me now to decide that I should opt for advanced point and shoot depending on my camera usability and budget.

  28. 28) M. Prabu
    December 18, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Hi, i am prabu from India. Thank you for your great and useful post . Now only i learned about difference between the dslr and point and shoot. I love photography. Now i have point and shoot camera. but i am not satisfied . as you said before in the post i want to know more about the photography tricks and i would like to learn more on my lovable photography. let me know about photography pls….

  29. 29) beehive
    December 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Does anyone like any of the mirrorless cameras better then a spending money on a

  30. 30) Shibin
    January 6, 2013 at 6:01 am

    Thanks for sharing this great article. Indeed a bundle of guidance for all those who are getting into core photography.

  31. 31) Zuhaib
    April 9, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Great work Lola.. :) It helps me alot in understanding the difference. But i’m stuck somewhere and thinks that you might help me out. I’hv got a P&S camera (Samsung ST66) i.e 16.1 megapixels and now planning to buy DSLR camera (Nikon D3000) i.e 10.2 megapixel. Now my point of confusion is that am i upgrading or is it degrading?

    Anyone who can help me out … zahid.zuhaib@gmail.com

  32. 32) Jeet
    May 20, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Thanks a ton for this post. Reading books is my hobby. Reading tutorials, manuals and comparison has become second nature… can’t remember the last time I came across such a well constructed, objective, easy to relate and informative comparison. Keep up the good work. You are a star :)

  33. 33) Sheshadri SR
    July 3, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    I would like to buy a Camera, I am confused about which to purchase Point and Shoot OR a DSLR. I had selected SONY DSC HX 300V Point and Shoot Camera. What is your Opinion on this. Also DSLR is quiet expensive and Out of my budget. But I can purchase an Entry Level DSLR, but usually I like to have a High Zoom which is possible only with Point and Shoot camera. What is your Opinion on Canon SX50HS. Please suggest the best Point and Shoot of the 2 specified.

  34. 34) Manish
    August 27, 2013 at 12:59 am

    thanks a lot really its a good n informative article, i m a beginner to photography it will help me a lot Thanks again

  35. 35) Katie
    September 15, 2013 at 5:23 am

    Hello! I found this article really useful and so clear to read and understand for someone who is not a professional photographer! Thanks very much! :-)

  36. 36) Camera lover
    September 25, 2013 at 5:34 am

    Really a great article… its very clear to understand the differences between these two cameras.. thanks much….

  37. 37) Bojan
    October 10, 2013 at 6:28 am

    I have read your reviews and their seems very fair. I am tired of reading specifications, what is important is that one experience a camera before say something.
    I am camera enthusiast with limited budget, so I have bought point and shoot camera. It is Canon SX220HS, since it provides wide range of manual controls for such kind of cameras. I found most annoying thing of compact cameras is lack of high dynamic range. I hate when I try to take a shot of my kid with beautiful sky, but I can get only one part of picture with nice exposition. I could solve problem with graduated filter. Do you have any experience or advice how to fit it on my compact travel zoom.

    Sorry for mistakes in my English, it’s not my native language.

  38. 38) gingerbear
    October 22, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Hi, I am glad I have read your post. As a former 3D animation student, I had a photography class in school but never really showed a big interest in photography itself. Now, a few years later, I am more and more interested in buying a camera, but hesitated between a p&s or DSLR. Of course I would much rather the second but considering the price differences, I am a bit hesitant. I also plan to travel a lot (backpacking) in the near future and would love to have a great camera to capture the most of my trips but am worried that a DSLR would be too big/dangerous (considering its value) to carry around. Anyway with the help of your article I will meditate on that. thank you!

    • 38.1) Bojan
      October 22, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      I found that DSLR cameras are not as expensive as additional equipment is. First, you need a telephoto lens, second bunch of filters as well as tripod and bag. If you travel a lot, good point and shoot camera will do the job. I have recently found out that most of canon cameras can be hacked without problems and previous knowledge. Furthermore, CHDK WIKI allows use of advanced options without harming camera since firmware is untouched, and everything is on the SD card. For instance, I have SX 220 HS, and CHDK allows HDR mode, as well as taking RAW files in .DNG format. Everything else is good enough by default.
      I hope it will be useful for further considerations.

  39. 39) Somnath
    November 21, 2013 at 4:52 am

    I recently bought a Nikon 5100 with its Kit lens of 35-55mm. I have taken few snaps and I am fairly satisfied. But will it be possible to take good images in dim light with this kit lens ? Also , I am able to isolate my subject from the background and make it look soft and blurry but not as good as the images I normally see around in photography blogs … so I guess using better lens like 70-300mm will achieve better result than this ? Just to let you know I am just a beginner in this field.

  40. 40) Vishal
    November 30, 2013 at 10:26 am

    I want a camera mainly for backyard bird photography and landscapes.should i go with nikon d5200 with 18-55mm kit lens and 55-300mm vr telephoto or canon sx50hs with 50x zoom equivalent to 24-1200mm?
    Need help.

  41. 41) Linda
    December 12, 2013 at 9:41 am

    I have a DLSR as well as a point and shoot. I like the point and shoot to take on vacation as it is small and if I lose it, it is not too expensive to replace. However, nothing beats the quality of a DSLR. Great article.

    • 41.1) Mohamed
      April 20, 2014 at 10:22 pm

      but on a vaccation u need a DSLR to capture those great moments rather than with a point and shoot.

  42. December 26, 2013 at 9:20 am

    thanks. This post is a really useful read. You helped me make up my mind. DSLR it is then!

  43. 43) Mohamed
    April 20, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    This is by far one of the most beneficial piece of information on photography i had learnt in a while. You have a good sense of writing as well as capturing those family moments with two talents in sync.

  44. April 22, 2014 at 12:48 am

    Thanks Lola Elise for this great piece. Absolutely amazing. Its clear the little dilemma I had, to buy my first DSLR. Now I can share it my would be also.

  45. 45) Chinni
    April 27, 2014 at 4:06 am

    Thanks much for the article. In search of finding a good camera for me, I went through your article and it’s very much helpful.

    I’m looking for a P&S for taking family pics. Could you suggest one for me?

    These are my choices from priority 1(most preferred) thru 5… which I found in budget of 15K INR:
    1. Nikon Coolpix L830/L820
    2. Sony Cyber shot DSC-H300
    3. Nikon Coolpix L330
    4. Canon SX500 IS
    5. Canon powershot SX170 IS

  46. 46) Sajin Shah
    May 1, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Thnk U So Much
    This Article Is So helpful For Me
    I went through it and i lovd it.
    Am a teenagr and Am planning to Buy a DSLR whch’d delight me
    I was confused whethr i Should buy a point nd shoot or a dslr.
    Now am sure tht am gonnna buy a dslr.
    Am going for the new Canon EOS12ooD.
    As a beginner its enough fo me
    Thnks for this post.
    Hv a grt time :)

  47. 47) Anna
    June 20, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Great pictures! I’d love to learn more about taking pictures thru DSLR

  48. 48) Rajesh Dharmaraj
    July 4, 2014 at 1:47 am

    Thanks for the good article to differentiate point-shoot and DSLR very useful one. great photos too.

  49. 49) Manoj Mahadik
    July 18, 2014 at 3:29 am

    May I know which is best P&S or DSLR for Photography Beginner?
    which is Best camera models for Beginner ?

    Totally Confused..

    Thanks alot In Advance..

    • 49.1) David Rodriguez
      April 6, 2015 at 10:52 am

      I have a Nikon P100 which is a point and shoot camera with a long zoom, is very simple to use and has HD video to boot. http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Nikon_COOLPIX_P100/index.shtml I also have a Pentax K100D DSLR camera that has only 6.1 megapixels but it’s fine for me and has no video. As the article says, point and shoot cameras are a whole lot expensive but practically can do what a more expensive DSLR can do. Here is an article on the Pentax K100D, enjoy. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pentaxk100d

  50. 50) Sanjay
    July 22, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Hello! Thank u so much for providing such a wide information about camera.
    I am planning to buy a Nikon P600 as my budget can’t afford dslr and even i can’t spend everytime on lenses. Also I heard that this camera provides some features of dslr. So plz guide me weather its a right decision of mine or I do have some better option than this..

    Thank u…

  51. 51) Sourav
    July 26, 2014 at 12:20 am

    One of the best and simplest article I’ve read.

  52. 52) Rohit Tomar
    August 24, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Nice blog and detailed description..
    The content is awesome and specially the style in which you present data is great.

    Visit http://mypixworld.net for more tips on photography..

  53. 53) Gary Jones
    September 10, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    The expense of DSLR equipment can be lessened by purchasing used. I purchased a D90 with 18-200 lens for $600.00 on eBay. BTW, I highly recommend both. Also I have found several primes and zooms for half the prices new. Some people have an aversion to buying used equipment sight unseen but I have not had a single problem.

    • 53.1) David Rodriguez
      April 6, 2015 at 10:48 am

      For used camera equipment check out keh.com, that’s where I bought a Pentax K100D and 18-55 zoom lens. They offer a free 6 month warranty on most of their stuff.

  54. 54) mahd azman
    September 15, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    Thank you.as beginners,I learn a lot.

  55. 55) Thomas
    October 17, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Yes, smart article, and it sure has legs.
    I have a Casio X10, Panasonic F700, and Nikon D3200, with 35 mm. Lens.
    I get them all in a tiny bag. I do a lot of point and shoot and I am not comfortable with it becoming a derogatory term. This collection of cameras are very good, but each camera has exclusive features, which cover all my point and shoot, carry, pick and mix. When I want to be Picasso, , Actually go to take pictures, or be a pedestrian with surprise capabilities.
    With The Nikon, a bottom end DSLR. I can set it up to control exposure, focus and framing in a lightening three button action, with the camera controlling ISO. The Panasonic gives me superb low light, very intelligent intelligent auto. Also zoom which covers 24 mm. Very expensive the equip the nikon for this. Then the 50mm. And 80 mm. For portraits, although I often use the 35mm. From a range of 6 ft. Then crop. This isn’t the same outcome as using 50, or 80 mm.
    The further your range from the subject, and use of long lens, the greater the loss of your potential creativity, of curse loss because of the image passing through “more”. And you get a flattening effect, which is as common as muck.
    The Casio, What Casio? Oh, the one in my sock. 50 ISO, “best shots” adding up like a manual, and now, as cheap as it’s battery!!
    Best wishes to you, and please keep it coming.

  56. 56) India Discount Shop
    December 25, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Good Article

    Want to buy best cameras visit: http://indiadiscountshop.com/

  57. 57) ripulg
    January 7, 2015 at 7:57 am

    i want to know . what is the difference between point shoot and advance shoot cameras?

  58. 58) Sid
    January 8, 2015 at 2:43 am

    awesome article and pics Lola…looking forward to sharpening my skills reading your posts….Thanks a ton.

  59. 59) Tom Sutherland
    January 23, 2015 at 3:46 am

    Good article, but 5 years on, some of the modern ‘point and shoot’ cameras are much more capable. I have the Panasonic Lumix LF1, 28 – 200 zoom, aperture of f2 (at 28mm) with P, S, A, M and creative modes. This cost around £200 and gives me the chance to try some creative settings while still being portable.

    Biggest downsides would probably be smaller sensor than dslr and no hot-shoe for flash (on camera flash only).
    If I can develop my skills with this model then I may buy a dslr at some point, but the Lumix will stay firmly in my pocket.

  60. 60) David Rodriguez
    April 6, 2015 at 10:44 am

    I had a film SLR Pentax camera that wasn’t working properly but the Takumar 28-80 zoom lens on it was still good. So I bought me a used Pentax K100D (keh.com) and hooked it up with the Takumar, later on I got a Pentax 18-55 zoom from the same company. As for weather proof point and shoot cameras, there are some out there from Pentax, Nikon and other companies.

  61. 61) siriyan
    May 7, 2015 at 6:05 am

    Nice article… really helpful..

  62. 62) ahmed
    June 21, 2015 at 3:59 am

    gud guidance

  63. 63) ahmed
    June 21, 2015 at 4:00 am

    do the dslr compulsary required flash light

  64. 64) Manish
    July 29, 2015 at 4:53 am

    It’s really a great article, I am totally impressed with this.

  65. 65) Andrea
    August 9, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Thanks for the article. It was really helpful. I thought I was ready for a DSLR, but wasn’t sure because I have a pretty decent point and shoot camera. Now I know that I really want one. I am an amateur, so I have a lot to learn.


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