Point and Shoot vs. SLR Cameras


Authored by Phil Dotree in Gadgets 
Published on 12-11-2009

SLR (single lens reflex) cameras are the tool of choice for many expert and advanced amateur photographers. They have several distinct advantages over many point and shoot cameras, as well as some disadvantages. Here’s a look at a few of the main differences between the camera types.


SLR cameras have a view that’s identical to the picture that they take, since they use a single lens (hence the name). The same lens you look through to frame the picture ends up taking the picture. This is in contrast to dual lens cameras. Dual lens reflex cameras may have parallax problems at closer ranges. When these problems occur, the picture can be off center or poorly framed. This makes SLR cameras a good choice for accurate photographs at a close range.

Color and Image Reliability

Modern digital screen cameras can give an accurate of a view as SLR cameras. There are some disadvantages to these screens, however. For one, digital screens often can’t replicated the exact colors and shading of a subject. This is due to the relatively low resolution of these screens. SLR cameras are extremely reliable in this respect. There is virtually no difference between what the photographer sees and the captured image. Many professional photographers prefer to work with SLR cameras for this reason. They’re a more accurate choice. When you’re centering a close picture, the extra difference certainly matters.

One major disadvantage of SLR cameras is their shutter click. In order to capture an image, the camera temporarily covers the viewing window of the lens. This means that the photographer can’t view anything while the picture is being taken. Photography speed is limited in this manner. There’s also an often audible click. If a photographer’s working with an easily startled subject, this can be an issue. Nature photographers, for instance, may have noise problems with SLR cameras.


SLR cameras vary in price, though on average they tend to be more expensive than many point and shoot cameras. Many high-end professional cameras are some type of SLR camera. As you’d expect, the more expensive the camera, the better its typical feature set. The lower end SLR cameras may have various issues. Digital technology is also very prevalent.

For this reason a digital point and click camera may be a better choice than a lower end SLR camera in the same price range. Before deciding whether to buy a point and click or SLR camera, it’s best to read user reviews. Look at aggregate review websites such as Google Shopping. If possible, try each camera out and note the results. Look at whether the point and click camera frames subjects well. This is particularly important at close range. Reading online photography websites is a great way to know what to look for. This can also help you to decide what metrics to use when judging different cameras.

Do you use an SLR camera? Prefer a different type of camera? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below this article.


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