Should I buy DSLR or Compact Camera?

Choosing between a DSLR and compact camera is probably the first most significant decision that anyone has to take before starting the photography career. What does DSLR stand for ? This question also arises in the minds of enthusiastic photographers who consider photography as a hobby. Some people need to purchase a high-quality camera for casual photography, but they also encounter the same problem.

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Every single camera type is for a different target market. There is not a single camera meant for all purposes because it is not possible. Whether you go for a compact camera or even DSLR, expecting proficiency is fair but expecting perfection is entirely unfair.

If a camera could suite every single purpose, then the competition will die giving rise to monopoly. As this is not the situation, therefore, nothing is perfect in the camera market. However, you can find a specific camera perfect for your particular needs. What does DSLR stand for is for all the professional level requisites.


The big decision of camera purchase

Purchasing a camera is a significant financial decision for most people. Therefore, they need to put in some extra thought. A camera will also affect your creativity and style of shooting in particular situations.

A compact camera with less aperture range will be the worst choice if you have to capture most images in low light situations. In the same way, a DSLR will be the worst choice if you are a street photographer and portability is a big issue for you.

A photographer must cut the marketing hype to make the right decision according to his needs. One must look for the question that whether DSLR or compact camera will suit his needs?

For deciding between compact camera and DSLR, you must find out and organize your own needs as the very first step. The second step will be to understand the true meaning, mechanism, and features of both compact cameras and DSLRs. Comparing both these things will give you an answer for what camera you should purchase.

what does DSLR stand for

Finding your own needs

Seeing your individual needs will start with a question that why do you need a camera. Are you a professional photographer looking for some extra hand? What does DSLR stand for you?

Are you a person who wants to pursue his hobby of photography? Or you want to have a beginner camera for the learning phase of your photography?. Some people may need to purchase a camera for family use or for capturing essential memories of life.

All of these people need a different camera and different models within the same camera type whether it is DSLR or compact camera. One thing that everyone wants is that his camera must produce a good quality image or video.

Further parameters of this quality are different like some photographers have to print their pictures while others don’t. Also, the size of these printouts will also be changed resulting in a camera with different megapixels.


Once you have decided your needs, the second step is to look at specifications and differences between the two camera types. DSLRs and compact cameras have three main differences which affect image quality.

These differences are:

Mechanism of viewfinder

As an example for what does DSLR stand for, Digital single lens reflex (DSLR) captures the right amount of light in the viewer as in the resulting image. Compact cameras, on the other hand, are different than these.

Compact cameras cannot capture the right amount of light as that of in the resulting image through its viewfinder. This point is the reason that they are cheaper, smaller and lighter in weight as compared to DSLRs.

To capture the correct light performance, DSLRs have incorporated a mirror and a pentaprism. The mirror sets in a way that it reflects light to this prism which they send it to the viewfinder.

During all this process, the sensor remains right behind the mirror and does not capture any light or image. When you hit the shutter button, the mirror goes up allowing light and vision to fall directly on the sensor for image capture. This mirror mechanism is the reason behind noise which produces while capturing images with a DSLR.

Compact cameras, on the other hand, do not have any mirror or prism in them. Therefore they are silent in taking pictures, but the light through the viewfinder is never the right amount which resulting image will have at the end.

Hence, DSLR is best for people who need to keep track of light while capturing images while the compact camera can do the trick for others. Compact cameras focus on LCD to serve as a way of image composition which suits people who are used to smartphones.

Fixed and interchangeable lenses

The first and foremost difference which anyone notices in DSLRs and compact cameras is the feature of changeable lenses. Some compact cameras also offer the benefit of interchangeable lenses, but the original lens will remain there even if you mount a new lens over the camera.

This point in what does DSLR stand for is done through camera adaptors and is only available in top notch as well as expensive compact cameras.

While reading this, one must think that why is there a need to change the lens of a camera? Well, it will be foolish to expect from one camera to capture all types of images of all kinds of external conditions. Every style of the painting can catch well by a lens which specially designs for this purpose.

Some lenses perform better in low light situations while others are for telephotos. You will need a DSLR if you have to capture different styles of images, but your portability will lower.

Lenses must change when you need to change your shooting style, but this will interrupt the shooting rhythm. A compact camera must be preferred by people who do not like to clean their cameras very often because lens changing procedure introduces dust to the camera and its sensor.

The sensor size of a camera

DSLRs have bigger sensor size than compact cameras, and this is the main under the hood difference between these two types of cameras. A bigger sensor captures high-quality images but also increases the cost as well as the weight of the camera.

Those who cannot afford expensive lenses must go for compact cameras which offer interchangeable lens because DSLRs are only compatible with expensive lenses.

Portability is another big issue. Therefore, a compact camera must be preferred if you cannot carry a bulky camera around your neck all the time.

What does DSLR stand for

Marie White

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