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What is the difference between a "point-and-shoot" and a "DSLR" camera?

DSLR Vs Point-And-Shoot Digital Cameras

Mark Comon (Vice President, Paul's Photo, Torrance, CA) gives expert video advice on: What is the difference between a "compact" and a "big zoom" digital camera?; Will a DSLR or a point-and-shoot camera give me higher quality photos? and more...

What is the difference between a "point-and-shoot" and a "DSLR" camera?

What's the difference between a point-and-shoot or compact-style digital and the SLR-style digital? The compact camera goes into your pocket, very simple to use, easy, very quick, easy, simple to use. The disadvantages are you're limited on your lens and you're limited on what the camera can do.The SLR-type camera can be just as easy to use but it gives you the ability to change all of the settings and change the lens. Takes a much better picture. It takes a better picture because remember we talked earlier? The imaging chip on this one is a little bit larger than a standard postage stamp where the imaging chip on your small cameras is a little bit smaller than the fingernail on your pinkie finger. Huge difference in the amount of picture quality and the amount of image you can capture. Pinkie finger. Postage stamp-sized image. Even though they're both ten megapixels the picture quality on the screen and the picture quality on your print will be miles apart.

What is the difference between a "compact" and a "big zoom" digital camera?

What's the difference between a "compact" digital camera and a "big zoom" camera? Well, the "big zoom" camera use to be called bridge cameras or ZLR or "Zoom Lens Reflex" camera, "3-to-1 zoom" 8, 10, 12 , “16-to-1 zoom.” This is the new camera “16-to-1 zoom,” in a small, relatively small-sized camera. The differences are"3-to-1 zoom", "big zoom", pocket size, not so pocket size. Their functions, how they work, just about the same. Just the bigness of the zoom is all the difference.

Will a DSLR or a point-and-shoot camera give me higher quality photos?

Everybody asks me, “Mark, what's the difference between a ten mega pixel compact camera and a ten mega pixel digital SLR?” There are a couple of differences. Number one, the digital SLR uses a much better quality lens so it gives you much better picture quality. Number two, you can change that lens and choose a better lens if you like. Number three, the digital SLR uses the larger imaging chip. The chip is about the size of a postage stamp versus the chip in the pocket camera, which a little bit smaller than the size of the nail on your pinkie finger. It's a huge difference in picture quality. So, once again, digital SLRs general make better pictures than most compacts because better lenses, ability to change the lenses, and the size of the imaging chip.

Does a DSLR or a compact digital take faster pictures?

When I take pictures with a digital compact camera, you press the button and the camera takes some amount of time to focus, set the light, set the distance and take the picture. That's shutter lag. On the digital SLR, when I press the button, it takes the picture right away. On my digital compact camera, I have the ability to set the camera to the motor driver action or the sequence mode. One of two things happens when I do that; number one, the camera shifts to a lower picture quality or lower resolution so that it can shoot quickly. Or secondly, the camera fixes the exposure lightness and darkness and the focusing distance on the first picture. Most digital SLR's adjust the light, adjust the distance on every picture and are able to shoot three, five, eight or sixteen frames per second, thereby getting quick action, fast moving subjects as fast as you can pull the trigger. Your digital SLR will generally take the picture.

Do DSLR's have built-in flashes like most compact digital cameras do?

Most digital SLR cameras sold today have built in flashes. So the low-level to mid-level digital SLRs have a built in flash. Your pro-level digital SLR never have a built in flash because no professional photographer will ever take a picture with a built in flash. We're always going to use an add-on flash because it gives us better pictures (no red-eye, better flash distance, the ability to control the flash output). You can choose built-in flash on your digital SLR or the better cameras where you have to add the flash later on.