Looking to Buy a DSLR? Here is why you should buy a DSLR!
Reason # 1: Ability to use Different Lenses
The ability to change lenses on demand is probably the single most important reason why photographers prefer an interchangeable lens camera. Lenses are what gives the unique perspective that photographers yearn for.
It is an extremely important aspect of photography and one that has the power to make or break a photo.
Being able to switch from a sharp 200mm telephoto to a 105mm portrait lens and then on to a 60mm macro is impossible with a Point & Shoot. Yes Point & Shoots have a versatile lens that can extend from wide to telephoto zooms which also has a handy macro mode.
However, there is a limit to what even a well written sales copy can convince you to believe these lenses can do. Unfortunately, photography does not reply on sales copy. It does on the actual quality of the hardware and more than that on the skills and the intuition of the photographer.
Reason # 2: Maximum Aperture of Lenses
Yes, they come with super zoom lenses, but those are limited in a number of ways. For a start, you cannot hope to shoot with a wide open aperture when using the tele end.
That means in low light situations you will be forced to shoot with a slower shutter speed. But even then there is a limit to how much you can slow down the shutter.
Thus, you would be forced to increase the ISO because these cameras don’t give you the same degree of control over exposure settings like interchangeable lens cameras do.
Related Post: Understanding the ISO – Shutterspeed – Aperture Triangle
Reasons # 3: Optical quality of lenses
With increasingly longer zooms manufacturers try to concentrate on the ability to zoom rather than the ability to make sharper images. The more flexible a lens is the less would be the optical sharpness.
Even a 5 year old DSLR would be better suited than a modern Point & Shoot camera for serious photography.
With a DSLR you can always go back to getting a sharp lens which would make it possible to shoot great images using even a 5-6 year old camera.
Reasons # 4: Size of the Sensor
Then again you have the sensor size parameter to consider. A DSLR has a significantly larger sensor size when compared to a smaller camera like a Point & Shoot. A Point & Shoot has a sensor size roughly 1/2.3″.
There is another less-frequently-used size which is the 1/1.7”. Essentially these are both very small when compared to the sensor size of a full-frame DSLR which is 36 x 24mm.
A larger sensor inherently has a bigger area to collect light. Additionally, the pixels or the light sensitive photo-diodes that make up these sensors are bigger in size too.
You would think that a 16 megapixel Point & Shoot would be better than a 5 year old 12 megapixel DSLR. You would be wrong.
The smaller the sensor size, the smaller is the space between each pixel and the size of the pixels themselves. Smaller pixels can affect how much light the sensor collects. Less light means noise and poor low light performance.
Reason # 5: Creative Control
Creative control, if nothing else, should be the primary concern of a budding photographer.
Sure, these days smaller Point & Shoots are also capable of shooting in manual mode and allow DSLR-like functionalities to shoot in shutter priority and aperture priority, but to be honest these are not meant to be serious cameras.
At best these are good enough to master the basics of photography – light, exposure and the rules. But for a serious pursuit of your passion, you will need a serious camera.
Related Post: Which DSLR camera body should I buy?