05-09-2009 10:46 PM
Quality of build
The main advantage of a DSLR over a standard point-and-shoot camera is its superior construction. DSLR cameras are made of higher quality materials and are tested extensively by the manufacturer before they are released for sale. With proper care, DSLR cameras can last a lifetime.
The biggest reason to use a DSLR, other than the quality of construction, is the control you have over your final image. Almost everything on these cameras can be customized to your own specific needs and shooting situations. At first this might seem overwhelming, but with a small investment in learning, you should reap a great reward of images that are far superior to ones you had before.
ModesMost DSLR cameras have a dial to access standard settings or scene-mode settings. This is sometimes called the “PASM” dial as it generally includes a minimum of Program, Aperture-priority, Shutter-priority, and full-Manual modes. Other possible modes include full-auto, landscape, portrait, macro, night, and action.
DSLR cameras allow you to use interchangeable lenses, which are more versatile and give you the ability to upgrade over time. You can usually continue to use these lenses on new camera models from the same manufacturer, provided the mount on the unit stays the same. DSLR camera lenses, like the DSLR camera bodies, are constructed better and use higher-quality materials.
One main difference between a point-and-shoot digital camera and a DSLR is the reflex mechanism, which consists of a mirror set at a 45° angle inside the camera body that reflects the image up into the viewfinder until the image is taken. This result of viewing your images in this way is a more accurate and stable view.
A number of newer DSLR cameras come with a feature called live preview which allows the LCD to be used as a viewfinder in the same way as a point-and-shoot digital camera, although you cannot use both live preview and the optical viewfinder at the same time. Live preview is helpful in some situations where it is difficult to hold the camera to your eye. In bright sunlight it can be difficult to see what you’re shooting on the LCD screen; in this case, using the viewfinder would be advantageous.
The sensor on many DSLR cameras is at least twice the size of the sensor on a point-and-shoot camera. This means that a 6 mega-pixel DSLR will shoot at approximately the same resolution as a 12 mega-pixel point-and-shoot. Ultimately, this will give you a much sharper image.
FlashWith a DSLR camera, you can add an additional flash via hot-shoe. The use of a hot-shoe flash can help to eliminate red-eye in your subjects, and these flashes are usually a much stronger light source, meaning it can cover subjects that are much farther away.
A cameras buffer is a small amount of built in storage where your image data is temporarily placed while it is being written to your memory card. By having a larger buffer in their internal memory than standard digital cameras, DSLR cameras are able to take more images before they are written onto the memory card. This allows for more continuous shooting without interruption.
Due to the use of interchangeable lenses, dust has a greater chance of entering the camera body and adhering to the image sensor. When changing your lenses, you should always try to do it quickly and in a dust free environment. Never leave the camera body sitting around without a lens attached or a body cover on the camera. Some newer DSLR cameras come with a feature that automatically removes dust from the sensor.
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05-16-2009 12:34 AM
05-18-2009 09:14 AM
I think it's best to say "image quality", not "resolution" in that comparison.
A 6 megapixel DSLR will have half the resolution of a 12 megapixel point and shoot - resolution is resolution.
That said, not all pixels are created equal. The IQ of a 6 megapixel DSLR will typically exceed that of a 12 MP P&S camera, especially as you go into low-light (high-ISO) situations. Another good comparison is that people often will say "has noise at ISO X that other camera has at lower ISO Y" - My Pentax K20D has only slightly higher noise at ISO 400 than my Panasonic DMC-LX1 has at ISO 100. It's basically impossible at any ISO setting for the K20D to do worse than the Panasonic at 400.
05-18-2009 01:08 PM
05-19-2009 10:01 AM
Again, resolution is resolution. 12MP is 12MP. File sizes (assuming the same format and compression settings) will be identical between a 12MP DSLR and a 12MP P&S.
But again, as I said before, not all pixels are created equal. In a P&S, the limitations of a small sensor will often result in those 12 MP "going to waste" due to higher noise, and due to optical limitations. (It's easier for the lens resolution to be better than the sensor resolution if the sensor pixels are larger.) So while the resolution WILL be the same, there will be major differences in general image quality due to the fact that each pixel is physically larger. Larger pixel surface area = able to collect more light = higher signal to noise ratio for a given scene brightness = higher image quality.
05-19-2009 09:03 PM
Written in an article by Vincent Bockaert for Dpreview.com