How a DSLR Camera Superior to Compact Digital Cameras?
A major difference is in the image sensor size. The image sensor in a DSLR camera is much larger, and hence able to capture much more detail than a compact camera. This affects quality of photos captured. DSLRs have a much higher image quality due the larger sensor size and thus a larger pixel size. Better image quality translates to more effective reproduction of colors. This also helps DSLRs to be used at a higher ISO with lesser grain.
An important difference in their construction is the presence of a true, optical through-the-lens viewfinder in the DSLR camera. Compact cameras, on the other hand use an electronic viewfinder or as is the trend these days, they have done away with a viewfinder and instead have only the Live View on the LCD screen to compose photographs. A through-the-lens viewfinder is an indispensible feature for the serious photographer, for it shows the scene exactly the way it will appear in the photograph. It also helps in composing a scene in low light. The Live View feature of a compact camera, though meritorious in its own right, lacks these advantages. The DSLR camera of today even features Live View along with the optical viewfinder.
One of the biggest advantages a DSLR provides is the ability to change lenses. They can be fitted with many high quality lenses depending on the kind of photography that is required of them and it can be adapted to different situations. Whether it is shooting portraits, or wildlife, or landscapes, there is a quality lens for each purpose. Apart from the lenses, a DSLR can also be equipped with many accessories like flash, filters, etc.
In terms of creative control that depth of field offers in DSLRs, compact cameras are no match. The ability to selectively keep a part in focus while photographing opens up numerous ways to compose a photograph. It allows you to keep either the whole image in focus right from the foreground to the background or to have a wonderful looking blurry background. Also, many DSLRs provide with a way to preview the accurate depth of field before taking photograph.
DSLRs offer shooting abilities in low light that cannot be matched by compact cameras. A wider range of usable ISO makes the DSLR stand out during night time whereas a compact camera struggles to catch up.
While a compact camera can take quite some time before starting up and being ready to photograph, a DSLR is far quicker in those areas as well as focussing and shutter lag.
Many compact cameras are made to shoot in automatic mode, and do not provide much manual control in the photography process. A DSLR on the other hand, gives full manual control to the photographer, allowing him to change aperture, shutter speed, and ISO speed at will. Not only does this open up a whole field of endless photographic opportunities, it also helps in making of a better photographer.
A DSLR camera with its set of lenses doesn't lose its value in time. On camera body being upgraded, the old lenses can be used with the newer body without any trouble. It is this compatibility that helps photographers in buying lenses without thinking twice because they can be sure that the lenses will never get outdated. But of course, the new body has to be of the same brand.
If a DSLR is superior to compact cameras in so many ways, there are quite a few areas where it loses to compact cameras. Most important among them, a DSLR is not a compact camera. It is costly, it requires more maintenance, and there is sufficient amount of learning curve to use the DSLR to its full potential. But anyway, a DSLR is a DSLR, and will always remains so!
Author: Ritesh Saini, IIT Mumbai (India)
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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )