Question Home

Position:Home>Visual Arts> What's the big deal with digital SLR cameras? ?

Question: What's the big deal with digital SLR cameras!? !?
How exactly does it make a photo better!?

Like what sort of differences would you see in a photo taken by a SLR vs regular digital camera!?Www@QuestionHome@Com

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker:
There are several reasons why a DSLR will give a higher quality picture compared to most Compacts, first there is the size of the sensor!.

Heat is the enemy of good pictures as it generates noise, particularly in low light!. A small sensor heats up faster than a large sensor so the noise threshold is a lot higher in the small sensor, on a bright day the light swamps the noise and you get a reasonable image, in dim conditions there is not enough light and the percentage of self generated noise is a lot higher!.

In reference to the above there is the way the cameras work!. With a Compact the sensor is active all the time you are composing your shot, generating noise all the while!. With a DSLR the sensor is only active during the fraction of a second whilst it takes the picture so there is less time to generate noise!.

The larger sensor has another advantage too, pixel density!. You can think of the individual pixels on a sensor as tiny buckets collecting photons, small sensors have really tiny 'buckets', larger sensors have bigger ones!. when you expose the sensor as you take the picture these buckets fill with photons, if the 'bucket' gets too much light the photons spill over into the surrounding pixels, softening the image, result burn out, no detail recorded!. Larger sensors with their lower pixel density suffer a lot less from this and usually offer a wider tonal range from black to white or from dark red to bright red, or blue or green etc!.

This double 'whammy' of noise in the darks and the ease at which it can blow the brights mean the camera can only record well a limited tonal range, brighter you get burn out, darker you get noise!. Now you can see why professional photographers go with very expensive cameras with full frame sensors!.

Then there is the shutter lag on all Compacts, when you press the shutter on a Compact it has to focus the image work out the exposure, on some it has to recognise faces and focus on them etc!. etc!.!. It all takes time so from pressing the shutter to actually exposing the picture will have a delay of a sizable fraction of a second (up to half a second and beyond on some models)!. This makes it almost impossible to 'capture the moment' when photographing children, pets or sports as you have to try to press the shutter 1/2 a second or more before the action you want to record, which is almost impossible!. With a DSLR the focus is worked out by the camera optically, and the exposure is updated by other sensors in the viewfinder so when you press the shutter the camera reacts virtually instantaneously (I say 'virtually' its within 50mS as it has to move the mirror out of the way)!.

Add to this higher quality optics, a faster write time to the card, the ability to save in RAW (though some Compacts offer this) you end up with a much better camera with a DSLR!.


well the first thing you should know is the fact that the SIZE of the sensor in a digital SLR is HUGE compared to the point and shoot camera!.

Therefore if two cameras , both 10 megapixels took the same image, the
DSLR would be able to capture more information and therefore the picture would be clearer and have much more detail

Next, there is no shutter lag on dslrs!. This means that they are suitable for lots of high speed action shots whereas the point and shoots are useless for high speed action shots!.

Third, because the SIZE of the sensor in a dslr is a lot larger, it has an much greater ability to capture MORE light in low light situations!.

Most dslrs can take great pictures in low light situations using a higher iso setting like ISO 800!. ALthough a point and shoot can claim it can take pictures at the same ISO 800, the quality will be terrible!.

Al of that being said however, I recently placed in 3rd place in a photo contest with over a 150 entries with a picture that was take with my mom's $150 10 megapixel point and shoot camera!!Www@QuestionHome@Com

Lower noise, smoother look, better dynamic range, better color rendition, fewer blown highlights, less artifacting!. They have larger sensors, which allows for bigger photosites to capture detail and dynamic range!. And usually the lenses a serious photographer will use on a dSLR will have much better optics that a point-and-shot compact!. But for general use, like taking snapshots and printing at regular sizes like 5x7, you really won't see much difference!. But a good photographer can take excellent pictures with a compact camera- it's just that dSLRs have higher image quality in most respects!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

You really need to know more about cameras!. I have a Sony Cyber shot and like it better than my Nikon D60!. The Nikon is beautiful, but I would have to take a special course to figure it out! It was one of those "must have" things, that I will admit, I didn't need!. I love my little Sony!Www@QuestionHome@Com