Digital Photography Basics -Comparing Digital Compacts to DSLRs

December 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Digital Photography Articles

Digital Photography Basics -Comparing Digital Compacts to DSLRs

Article by Autumn Lockwood

The basics of digital photography are pretty much the same whether you’re using a digital compact or DSLR (also referred to simply as an SLR), but there are a few important differences.

Digital Compacts

One of the biggest benefits of digital compacts is the low cost. Also when you purchase a DSLR you will also need to purchase at least one lens, and if you want to take pictures from afar, you’ll also need a good telephoto lens. Digital compacts always come with a built in lens and sometimes even come with a zoom.

If you have an optical zoom on your digital compact, you can get some good quality telephoto shots too. An optical zoom is always far better than a digital zoom because a digital zoom works like cropping – it takes away pixels. The more you zoom with digital zoom, the lower the quality of your photograph. Unlike regular zooms, an optical zoom maintains the quality of your picture.

Some compacts will take such high quality images that many a pro will use one when they don’t want to carry all of their DSLR gear. The quality of the photo depends largely on the photographer’s skill.

While digital compacts don’t have as many mega pixels as DSLRs, with only 5 mega pixels, you can produce an 8×10 print of the type of quality you’d be proud to frame and hang on your wall.

Finally, learning the digital photography basics of a compact is far easier then learning how to use a DSLR to its full advantage.

Digital Single Lens Reflexes (DSLRs)

A Digital SLR is the digital version of a single lens reflex camera or SLR. DSLR’s are also called SLRs but never the other way around. With the debut of the Canon Rebel and other more moderately priced DSLRs (relatively speaking) a few years ago, more photography enthusiasts are discovering the advantages of a DSLR.

The big advantage of the DSLR is its creativity and versatility.

For example, by adding a long telephoto lenses, you can capture a close up of an osprey at the top of a towering pine tree or a child at the soccer goal post when you’re at the other end of the field. With a DSLR, you can find a lens or filter to suit almost any photographic need.

Another benefit of DSLRs is their ability to take sharp pictures of sports or action photos in low light situations where a flash won’t work. The larger sensor on a DSLR allows you to do this; whereas with a compact, if you set the ISO high enough to take the shot in the dim light, it would have digital noise (sort of a multi colored grain). If you are taking still photos, it’s not a problem. The problem with Sports mode in a low light setting is that the shutter must close so fast that in spite of a larger aperture setting, there’s just not enough light hitting the image sensor. The only way this can be compensated for is with a flash or a higher ISO setting.

However, you can get rid of most digital noise by using photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop.

Another advantage of using a DSLR is that you can use an external flash instead of always having to use natural light.

Another benefit of DSLRs is that they have more mega pixels than even the best digital compacts so you can take and print high quality big pictures. And lastly, digital cameras are slower to take pictures than film cameras but DSLRs are much faster than digital compacts.

Remember, digital photography basics start with choosing a camera, but the quality of the photographs largely depend on the skill of the photographer. So no matter what type of camera you have or will be buying, it pays to practice.

Autumn Lockwood is a writer for Your Picture Frames and loves taking pictures. Shop online and see our large selection of picture frames like our metal gallery picture frames and wood shadow box picture frames.

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