DSLR vs Point and Shoot Camera – Which One Is Better?

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In the world of photography, with the advancement of technology, the line between professional and amateur gear has started to fuzzy. For probably every photographer it’s a concern what to buy between DSLR vs Point and Shoot camera.

With a disappearing distinction between these two cameras, it has been more challenging to choose the better one between these two. Hence a neck to neck comparison is needed to see the actual difference between a DSLR camera and a point and shoot camera.

In this article, we will provide detailed comparison of DSLR Vs Point and Shoot camera that will quench your queries.

The Misconception About Megapixel

Before we start the comparison between a DSLR vs Point and Shoot camera, there are some myths that we should diverge before.

High Resolution Image
High Resolution Image

The most common myth in the photography world is about Megapixel mastery. It means that Megapixel is the most significant factor that a photographer should consider while buying a camera.

But it’s not completely accurate as Megapixel is not the elixir of a camera.

For example, you can see that the 20 Megapixel of a Point and Shoot camera can’t match the level of the 8 Megapixel of a DSLR camera. It happens because the sensor used in a Point and Shoot camera is smaller as compared to the sensor used in a DSLR camera.

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The size difference is not trivial, and it can be of the order of magnitude of 25. The small size of sensors used in a Point and Shoot camera means that the camera manufacturers have to load up more pixels in small spaces. The small size of each particular pixels ensures that it can capture less light.

By the lack of detail in photographs brings grains or noise in the picture. The concept of image sensors is very complicated; still, it can be said that smaller sensors provide less quality.

Now we will study DSLR cameras vs Point and Shoot cameras.

DSLR cameras

Nikon D850 DSLR Camera
Nikon D850 DSLR Camera

DSLR cameras come with detachable lenses and a reflex mirror that is used to watch the surroundings through the viewfinder. This mirror staves off the light that comes to the image sensor, and when someone captures an image, the mirror gets flipped, and the image sensor gets exposure to light.

Nikon D850, Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Pentax K-1 Mark II, Nikon D500, Canon EOS 7D Mark II are some of the best DSLR camera for professionals.

Pros of a DSLR Camera

DSLR cameras have lots of advantages over Point and Shoot cameras.

Image quality – As we have already seen that the image sensors are larger in DSLR cameras that ensure a larger pixel size that captures more light and more data. Larger sensors not only reduce noise in images but also allow us to understand with ISO settings and shutter speed.

Interchangeable lenses – DSLR cameras support multiple lenses; this is the advantage. You can purchase a great Point and Shoot camera with a superior lens that will provide excellent pictures. Still it will lack diversity as there will be only one lens and that is not changeable.

DSLR Camera Lens
DSLR Camera Lens

On the other hand, a DSLR camera offers flexibility to trick lenses so that the photographer takes micro shots of flowers or a bee, and by replacing the lenses also can capture picture of a scenery. DSLR lenses are better and of excellent quality. Though Point and Shoot camera lenses are also improving.

Autofocus – DSLR is faster to autofocus than Point and Shoot cameras. The shutter speed is also less in comparison with any other cameras. Sony Alpha 68, Nikon D3400, Canon EOS 80D, Canon EOS 200D are considered as best DSLR camera in India that provides excellent autofocus.

Optical viewfinder – The optical viewfinder of a DSLR camera allows the photographer to view the frame.

ISO – DSLR cameras are also better by its ISO ranges. So, you can get greater control over your camera during photography.

White Balance, ISO And Exposure Buttons On DSLR Camera
White Balance, ISO And Exposure Buttons On DSLR Camera

Battery life – DSLR cameras come with powerful batteries. So, you will get better battery life with a DSLR camera.

Customization – Though presently, Point and Shoot cameras allow manual modes, Still DSLR cameras are designed to provide the photographer control of the frame.

DSLR cameras will enable a layout of manual settings that can be pitched together for accurate control.

Availability – DSLR cameras endure the test of time. But Point and Shoot cameras get two to three updates every year. DSLR cameras update less often, and you can use the lenses in other compatible DSLR models.

It means the investment you put over the lenses does not get wasted.

Full control – DSLR cameras provide control over the depth of field. You can control everything like the focus, the background and the subject. You can blur the background and make the subject clear.

Even you can focus on the background to show the background in detail.

Cons of a DSLR Camera

Not only advantages, but DSLR cameras also have some disadvantages. 

Expensive – Many of the photographers prefer DSLR cameras than Point and Shoot cameras. Moreover, if you want to purchase extra lenses, then also you have to spend extra. On the other hand, for Point and Shoot cameras, you just have to invest once.

Bulky in weight – A DSLR camera is more bulky than a Point and Shoot camera. Also, the lenses occupy a lot of space and make the camera heavier. On the other hand, you can carry a Point and Shoot camera easily in your pocket.  

Maintenance – You can face maintenance issue with a DSLR camera. As with a DSLR camera, you will keep on changing the lenses, and there will be a high possibility of dust getting in. Dust on the image sensor will bring more issues as it will leave blots on the images that you will capture.

Camera lens cleaning with special brush
Camera lens cleaning with special brush

But for a Point and Shoot camera, there are no issues with maintenance.

Though manufacturers are working on to solve this issue by introducing such sensors that can clean themselves, these type of DSLRs will be very expensive. 

Sound – DSLR cameras make very much sound while taking the picture. The mirror prism technology and the movement of various components in the camera make a lot of noise.

On the other hand, a Point and Shoot cameras hardly make any sound. 

Complicated- If you are a novice in the world of photography, then the DSLR cameras will make you puzzled. As DSLR cameras provide more control, so naturally, there are a lot of control and settings that you have to deal with.

This complicated setting makes new users puzzled who is not used to the technique of DSLR photography. Though there are some auto modes, also that will keep your fears far away. 

Viewfinder issue – The viewfinder is not also very comfortable for novice photographers. Newbie photographers find LCD screens more convenient. Though upcoming versions of DSLR cameras are coming with Live view modes, so this problem also going to disappear.

DSLR Camera Viewfinder
DSLR Camera Viewfinder

So far we have seen some of the features and pros and cons of a dslr camera. Now we shall discuss about Point and Shoot camera.

Point and Shoot Camera

Silver and Black Point and Shoot Camera
Silver and Black Point and Shoot Camera

When discussing on DSLR Vs Point and Shoot camera, you also have to know what is a Point and Shoot camera. Point and Shoot cameras are one of the most popular cameras used by individuals and families. This camera comes with a built-in lens, built-in flash component, and autofocus.

These cameras are compact in size and user-friendly. Most of the photographers think Point and Shoot camera is inferior to DSLR cameras. Still, it all depends on the kind of photography you want to capture and your level of expertise.

The Point and Shoot cameras are improving day after day. These cameras also have some pros and cons.

Pros of a Point and Shoot Camera

Portability – Point and Shoot cameras are small in size. So, you can carry it inside your pocket. You can carry your Point and Shoot camera anywhere at any time. So, you won’t ever miss any moment to capture.

 Yashica Point and Shoot Camera
Yashica Point and Shoot Camera

Quiet – Point and Shoot cameras barely make any noise while taking a photo. It allows the photographer to capture pictures without disturbing the focused subject.

Automatic mode – The best part of these Point and Shoot cameras are its automatic mode. Manufacturers also are trying to improve the auto modes so that anyone can take excellent snaps without any complications.

Affordable – Point and Shoot cameras are far cheaper than DSLR cameras. So, you don’t need to invest a lot of money over this camera.

LCD screens – Point and Shoot cameras come with LCD screens to view the shots. It is very user-friendly for beginners.

Samsung Point and Shoot Camera LCD Screen
Samsung Point and Shoot Camera LCD Screen

Cons of a Point and Shoot Camera

Now, after knowing the pros, we will move to the cons of a Point and Shoot camera.

Small pixel size – As Point and Shoot cameras come with smaller sensors, they produce lower quality images in comparison with DSLR cameras. But if you don’t need large wall-sized prints, then Point and Shoot cameras will provide moderate pictures.

In the last couple of years, the picture quality of Point and Shoot cameras has improved a lot.

The small range on ISO front – Point and Shoot cameras offer a low range on the ISO front. It is a significant issue while shooting in different light conditions.

Vintage Camera on a wood path
Vintage Camera on a wood path

Annoying shutter speed – Point and Shoot cameras are much slower than DSLR cameras. The shutter lag of Point and Shoot cameras are annoying enough. It also can spoil many photos.

Though manufacturers are working to solve this issue.

Lack of viewfinder – Point and Shoot cameras do not come with a viewfinder. So, any DSLR lover will miss the viewfinder in this camera. Most of the Point and Shoot cameras come with LCD screens where you can preview the images.

Though some of the Point and Shoot cameras have a viewfinder, but these cameras are smaller in size and useless.

Lack of manual settings – There is no manual settings in a Point and Shoot camera, so these cameras do not offer any flexibility.

Man Holding a Point and Shoot Camera
Man Holding a Point and Shoot Camera

Lack of interchangeable lens – You can’t change the lenses in a Point and Shoot camera. So, you have to stuck with the inbuilt lens functionalities.

Though you can get adapters to improve the zoom on wide angles photography but it will not be so wise to spend over such adapters.


We have just seen some of the key features, pros and cons of both DSLR camera and Point and Shoot camera. Now it is up to you what you will purchase.

Still, if you want our suggestion, we will suggest that for better photography you can buy the best DSLR camera for beginners.

But on the other hand, if you want portable cameras, then you can go for Point and Shoot cameras.

Hopefully, this information on DSLR Vs Point and Shoot cameras will be helpful to select one between these two cameras.

Source: Digital Photography School, Photography Life


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