Digital SLR Camera versus a Compact

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Digital SLR Camera versus a Compact Digital Camera
by: Virginia Wong

Digital Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras are excellent cameras that produce clearer,
sharper and more colourful images than most point and shoot digital cameras available.
With prices falling rapidly, they are now more affordable then ever. With the price gap
between an entry model digital SLR camera and the most expensive compact digital
camera narrowing; the question is… do I spend the extra money and get a Digital SLR
camera? or save a few hundred dollars and purchase the best digital compact camera.

Well, it really depends on your budget; however if you do spend the extra money, here's
what you get:

In addition to the price falls in the Digital SLR models, the performance on these cameras
has increased year on year with the latest Digital SLR cameras being quicker and faster
than ever before. They have improved to such an extent that power up or start-up time is
near instantaneous with virtually no lag time. “Lag time is the time between you pressing
the shutter release button and the camera actually taking the shot”. This delay can vary
quite a bit between different camera models and it is one of the biggest drawbacks
compared to a compact digital camera. The latest digital SLR cameras have virtually no
lag times and react in the same way as conventional film cameras, even in burst mode.
Compact digital cameras are catching up; however the difference is still significant. A lag
time of ~0.5 seconds can result in you missing the heartbeat of the moment and hence
that potential great picture.

Digital SLR camera also has a larger sensor versus a smaller sensor in a compact digital
camera. This equates to higher sensitivity and less noise and results in the camera taking
clearer pictures in low light. (They also have better autofocus speed in low light as well).
A measure of sensitivity in a digital camera is ISO and a typical ISO range for a Digital
SLR camera varies from ISO 100 – 1600 with the latter being more sensitive. The ISO
range for a compact digital camera varies from ISO 50 – 400. In summary, the higher the
ISO rating, the greater the sensitivity and the better the photo can be taken in low light.

The Digital SLR cameras have a much longer battery life due to the limited use of the
LCD screen. Please note, that as the LCD screen is only used for viewing the image, the
battery life of a digital SLR can allow up to 2000 shots per charge in some cameras
compared to 500 for a good point and shoot digital camera.

Digital SLR cameras also allow you to interchange lens such as adding a zoom or macro
lens when required.

On the negative side of a Digital SLR camera; they are usually larger and heavier than
compact digital cameras, the image cannot be previewed on the LCD screen prior taking
the picture. If you really require the image to be viewed on the LCD prior to taking the
picture, there are third party manufacturers that produce LCD screens that attaches to the
viewfinder and allow the scene to be view just like a compact digital camera. The other
drawback is the inability to take videos and finally, lenses are expensive with the
majority costing more than the camera itself.
Although compact digital cameras cannot compete on features with a Digital SLR
camera, they are great value, have the ability to take videos and are portable. If you have
decided to purchase a Digital SLR camera I recommend you visit other websites which
has Information on Digital Camera and compare the features. If you are still undecided,
purchase both.

About The Author Virginia Wong is an IT consultant and has a passion for digital
photography. Her research into digital camera resulted in the development of her own
digital camera website. This article is free to use, distribute
and copy as long as the link remains in place.

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