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Is It True?

by ddhpark / October 29, 2005 1:15 PM PDT

I heard point-and-shoot gives you better/sharper picture than SLR, assuming all conditions are same, such as camera setting/skills.

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It's true, but ...
by jump1127 / October 29, 2005 10:03 PM PDT
In reply to: Is It True?

It's true that the smaller size of point&shoot camera's sensor ( either CCD or CMOS ) provides a sharper/contrast than that of DSLR for the same common shooting aspects; nevertheless, it's hard for me to tell the difference when putting on the computer screen. Any way, anyone can readjust the sharp/contrastness on photoshop to the way you want. So, it's not that matter to me any way. What I'm more concerned is that it's hard for the point&shoot camera to shoot the selective background blurry ( for the low f-stop ). This technique is very necessary for shooting portrait type picture.

Any way, the contrast/sharpness does vary upon the shooting conditions as well. Depends upon the following categories :

1. The distance between the shooting object and camera.

2. lighting condition.

When shooting at the dimmer light, point&shoot camera seems to reveal its limitation. The camera with a smaller sensor when shooting at the low light condition gives the picture more noise - comparing to grain when shooting with film camera - than camera with the larger sensor for the same ISO. It's hard to say which camera is better, just how you shoot the picture, I guess.

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Whoa............Whoa.........what was this orig. post about?
by smurphy5 / November 3, 2005 7:49 PM PST
In reply to: It's true, but ...

Somewhere the focus was lost on the subject of the original post, pun intended. Anyone who believes that a P&S camera is capable of repeatably taking higher quality pictures than a DSLR type camera is being misled. The most important thing in a camera is the quality of the glass. Let me rephrase that: Teh most important thing in a camera is the quaslity of the lens! The quality and quantity of the glass determines the amount of sharpness, light avalailable to the sensor, speed of focus, Bokeh (won't go there in this post), Etc...Etc. Take a look at a P&S camera and then take a look at one of the sports photographer's set-up on the sidelines of a football game. Don't you suppose that if a P&S was capable of even similar quality; then you would not see these people lugging around 15lb+ of gear. Now that is not to say that a P&S can grab a fabulous picture, most of the time a picture depends on the eye of the photographer and the timing of the shot. Case in point: Give a DSLR to a newbie and had a P&S to a seasoned photographer and chances are the better photos will come from who?....yup the seasoned photographer. However anyone can get lucky.
I personally carry a small pocketable P&S camera almost all of the time; I just hate to miss a great opportunity. Many other ''pros'' do the same. Some newer P&S cameras are capable of surpasing the quality of a first or second generation DSLR camera (3+ yrs old), that's the price of technology. Camera and lens makers are always figuring out new ways to shrink technology, however quality does not always go hand-in-hand with technology. Just my $0.02.

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The Lens = Most Important
by acdavis2005 / November 4, 2005 2:25 AM PST

I've heard before that the lens is most important.
Whether SDLs are superior or not, on most occasions
I'm more likely to have a Point and Shoot with me.
Which Point and Shoot cameras -- costing $250 or
less -- do you think have the best lens?

Also, is it safe to buy cameras off ebay?

posted by acdavis (see profile) 11/04/2005 12:26 p.m.

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It's not true assuming that SLR includes DSLR. For starters,
by Kiddpeat / October 29, 2005 11:54 PM PDT
In reply to: Is It True?

an SLR will be using a much better lense. If you say the lense must be the same, then you are limiting the SLR to the specifications that the point & shoot has. There is little point to doing that.

Focus is another. A modern SLR will have a much faster and more precise focusing ability. Ditto for metering. Ditto for shutter and aperture setting where a more precise range of settings is available even in auto (point & shoot) mode. Ditto for color saturation. Ditto for image processing within the camera which will yield a well balanced histogram. Ditto for resolution in the image (You can hardly insist that an SLR be limited to P&S sizes here. Even film SLRs have full 35mm frames for their images.) I could go on, but you should be getting the picture.

Even a film SLR has many of these advantages over point & shoot.

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Time for the Cooking Story
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / October 30, 2005 12:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Is It True?

A couple had decided to invite a famous Photographer friend for dinner. They requested that he bring some of his photographs with him.

Before dinner, they looked at the photograhs that he brought. It was obvious why he was a famous photogapher because the photographs were outstanding.
The wife gushed about the excellence of the photographs and said "You apparently use some expensive cameras".

After dinner, when the photographer was getting ready to leave, he looked to the wife and said "That was an excellent dinner, the best I have had in a long time. You apparently use some expensive pots and pans".


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So, the famous photographer used a Brownie?
by Kiddpeat / October 30, 2005 3:45 AM PST

He did say which type of camera would do better assuming the same skill level.


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But, it's not Saturday night?
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / October 30, 2005 5:40 AM PST

I have always like a photo that tells a story.
Here is an example that I found on the internet:

It makes you wonder....
Did the photographer plan the shot or was it just
right place/right time?

Also a good example of how a fisheye lens distorts a photo.


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The right place and time, but also, probably, the right
by Kiddpeat / October 30, 2005 6:32 AM PST

camera. Too slow to focus and shoot probably would have missed it.

A lot of the ones that I like the best are ones where I didn't really see the good part when I shot it. I'm still too new at this.

One of my instructors likes to tell us how he doesn't shoot a fancy digital or film camera. He uses an old clunker for his shots.

Then he shows us his Hasselblad. Well.....

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Also, the right skill
by Donaldsc / November 3, 2005 6:13 PM PST

I will bet that he has an excellent exposure meter, takes most of his pictures on a tripod, and spends a significant time taking each picture.

For the ultimate example of low tech high quality photographs, consider the view camera. You may not take many pictures but in the hands of a skilled photographer, they are unmatched.

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For sure, but you are outside the realm of the original
by Kiddpeat / November 4, 2005 1:52 AM PST
In reply to: Also, the right skill

question. The original question was will a P&S do better than an SLR/DSLR if the shooter's skill is the same in both cases.

As an aside, one doesn't get a great shot of Micheal Jordon in action with a view camera. They do have their place, but so do other types of cameras.

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Cooking story
by tasuray / October 30, 2005 12:51 PM PST

LOL.well said Snapshot.Great !!!!Everything expressed in that story. Thanks.

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I like The Story, But
by ddhpark / October 31, 2005 7:49 AM PST

You can not compare cooking with camera shooting because they are different. Picture is a product of camera shooting while delicious foods are products of/from not only pans and pots but also other factors, e.g. spices, cooking time, ingredients, their combinations, etc.

I think I know the implications of the story. Anyway, you gave us a little break and made us be a little bit relaxed in this tough world, by providing such funny story. I am sure other people like the story too.

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Other Factors
by penguinfrost / November 3, 2005 9:20 PM PST
In reply to: I like The Story, But

'' Picture is a product of camera shooting while delicious foods are products of/from not only pans and pots but also other factors, e.g. spices, cooking time, ingredients, their combinations, etc. ''

And here I thought a good picture was a product of not only a camera, but composition, lighting, subject, waiting time to get just the right clouds, sun, shadows, and other factors as well.

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I Agree
by ddhpark / November 5, 2005 10:46 AM PST
In reply to: Other Factors

I think the following phrase implies what you mentioned.

''A good picture is a product of a skilled photoprapher's camera shooting with a good camera----''.

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A very good example
by sidsen / November 3, 2005 10:18 PM PST

Wasn't it Lord Snowdon (1930-), Photographer; formerly married to Princess Margaret, who once said something like this:

"You can teach a man how to take pictures but you cannot teach him how to see".

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Images are not in the Camers
by kd7mnr / November 4, 2005 2:59 AM PST

When I was a small boy Growing up my father a well known photographer in the area gave each of us 5 children a camera, these were all point and shoot cheap cameras having a intrest in taking photos, I ask how come he haden't gotten some thing with more ability to it.
He then gave me a roll of film and told me to go take photos and bring it back. He took another camera the same as mine and we went on aphoto shoot. When we got back we processed our film and printed it up. Mine were awfull my fathers looked just like all his other photos which he had won prizes on. He then asked me what the diference was. It is not the camera but the person taking the photos which make the diference.

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Depends Upon How Much Work You are Willing to Put Into It
by Donaldsc / November 3, 2005 6:09 PM PST
In reply to: Is It True?

The more expensive cameras have the potential to run circles around any point and shoot - if you are willing to read the manual and learn how to use it. Initially you will be put off by the multitude of buttons and controls on the dSLR. I have had my Nikon D70 for about 3 months now and I am not completely comfortable with all the controls. With my Canon P&S, it took me about 10 minutes to learn how to use the camera.

Both types of cameras will have an "idiot" mode. In idiot mode, the dSLR will be better than the P&S. However, the dSLR offers you control that the P&S lacks.

One other point to note is that the control over zooming on a P&S is sloppy at best since you do not actually control the zoom but you move a lever that sort of controls the zoom. In a dSLR, you rotate the lens barrel. If for no other reason than this, you will get much better composed pictures with a dSLR.

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Not generally true, but....
by Vidgamer / November 3, 2005 9:00 PM PST
In reply to: Is It True?

In general, the DSLR is always going to give a "better" picture. Even if the DSLR has fewer megapixels than the P&S, it usually has a higher quality that makes up the difference. In-camera sharpening usually is more of a "special effect" than something you really want to turn up; turning up sharpening will produce "halos" around objects. (Experiment and see!) Perhaps this is giving the effect that the smaller camera is producing a "sharper" photo. (I have sharpening set to "low" in my camera, which I decided on after a lot of testing.)

Sometimes there isn't much diffence in the better conditions, such as normal daylight. Start to make life difficult for the camera (dim light is a big problem), and the SLR has an advantage. You can use higher ISO and still have low noise, while non-SLRs will get extremely noisy.

However, if you tend to only print 4x6 or even 5x7, I doubt there's enough difference to matter (certainly for most people). And look at all the junk that people carry around with their SLRs! Lenses, bulky camera, tripods, etc. Yeah, great pictures, but such a hassle, I'd probably not want to take any pictures.

So, I got a really good non-SLR (Sony V3) with a lot of manual features, fast focusing, fast shutter speed, etc., and enjoy my hobby. I'm quite happy even with my 8x10 prints.

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You Can Never Have Too Much Photo Equipment
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / November 3, 2005 11:15 PM PST
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Wow... I love that picture
by samuelgarcia87 / November 11, 2005 1:30 AM PST

Thanks for that picture... You really made me laugh.

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P&S vs dSLR
by oldlady2 / November 3, 2005 9:31 PM PST
In reply to: Is It True?

As advanced amateur who has USED, not owned,both, the question has no "yes" or "no" answer.

Right now I own an older Kodak D265. Some days I create outstanding printable 8x10s. Other times pictures not worth printing. I'd love to afford a dSLR of my own, but finances do not afford the luxury.

Beyond all the adjustments and potential creativity offered by dSLR, lies the skill and "eye" of the user.

Love the "cooking" story. Has lots of applications! How about the golfer who really is a hacker with pro equipment??? Does his equipment equate to Tiger Wood-like skills?

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As A Golfer
by ddhpark / November 5, 2005 11:55 AM PST
In reply to: P&S vs dSLR

I know the answer is NO. In photography, I am still debating as most of you have been.

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Is it true -- P&S vs DSLR
by harscher / November 3, 2005 9:44 PM PST
In reply to: Is It True?

I am a very amateur photgrapher who has recently bought a Canon Rebel XT Digital SLR camera -- 8 mp. THere is a WORLD of difference in the quality. I took some pics at the beach the other day and you can count the feathers on the gulls they are so sharp!

You can change lenses with the DSLR so my camera can be used for macro as well as telephoto photos. The options are endless. I imagine I will see even more benefits as I learn more about the finer techniques.

Sure you can get great composition with any camera, but the better the lens the better the sensors, etc.. the better your creation will be presented. I wanted a camera that would give me the best possible results in any situation without going into debt. We cannot always have conditions perfect to get a perfect P&S shot. The DSLR will give you more adaptability. Well worth the extra bucks.

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It depends on what you want
by Howling Wolf / November 3, 2005 10:42 PM PST
In reply to: Is It True?

Although digital cameras are still going through growing pains, advantages have been documented. If you are only wanting to snap a photo, the point-and-shoots (PNS) are fine. Keep in mind, however, that their limitations are plenty. DSLR's offer much more including depth-of-field control, the ability to adjust specific settings when shooting under various lighting conditions, ability to change lenses and focus control. PNS cameras don't offer these. Advantages of PNS cameras include lower price, less weight to carry and are usually more compact. Also, the user doesn't have to understand all of the above, they just POINT AND SHOOT without the photog having to think. So if you're going on vacation and you just want something to help remember the good times, PNS cameras are the key.
Bottom line: if you want BETTER pics, a DSLR is superior. If you want FUN pics, PNS is the answer.
Happy shooting!
Howling Wolf Photography
Colorado Springs, Colorado

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by AlbertW / November 3, 2005 11:07 PM PST
In reply to: Is It True?


Digital SLR is usually better. It has a higher quality sensor.

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by stan2000 / November 3, 2005 11:39 PM PST
In reply to: Is It True?

Assuming similar settings and skill of the photographer, the dSLR will usually take better pics due to a larger sensor, which will have a lower s/n ratio and greater light sensitivity. Account for lens quality and the disparity is often greater. Keep in mind, this has no bearing on how good a photo will look (that's dependent on the photographer) but the quality of the file is dependent on the camera.

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Not True
by mbarnard / November 3, 2005 11:40 PM PST
In reply to: Is It True?

It is true that my comparison does not fit the question exactly because my point-and-shoot has fewer megapixels than my dSLR, but the results are consistently so dramatically different that I thought I would reply. I own both a digital point-and-shoot and a dSLR with 5.0 and 6.2 Megapixels, respectively. The dSLR regularly turns out better shots. The shots from the point-and-shoot nearly always require more care and attention in photoshop. Low light, sunlight, etc. - it doesn't matter - the dSLR is heads and tails above the point-and-shoot in terms of consistently reliable picture quality (focus, exposure, color).

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P&S vs. D-SLR
by montyfowler / November 4, 2005 1:18 AM PST
In reply to: Is It True?

I am what most people would call a hobbyist photographer. That being, I know more than the average guy/gal about photography but nearly as much as a pro. I began my sojourn into digital photography about 6 years ago with an Olympus P&S 2 megapixel camera. It was virtually identical in every way to our Olympus 35mm. My wife and I could both use it with ease and get consistently good results.

About 2 years ago I purchased a Canon EOS Digital Rebel 6.2 Megapixel D-SLR, and a couple lenses, flash, and other accessories. The overall flexibility and different shooting options are wonderful, but getting consistently good results has been a learning process.

I think the main reason for seemingly better P&S results is that P&S cameras use an infinite focus length. You can tell the difference between a P&S and D-SLR by glancing at any picture where the subject is relatively clse to the lens. On a P&S camera the background will generally be in focus just like the subject. The depth of field is much greater on P&S lenses. A D-SLR will show an background that is more or less out of focus, depending on the focal length of the lense.

In terms of sharpness, saturation, etc., these are all greatly affected by the settings of the camera.

Digital photography can be simple as point & shoot, but to unlock the true potential of any camera, you must read the user manual and learn all the features. You will be very happy with the results.

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True In Certain Circumstances
by jawx / November 4, 2005 2:48 AM PST
In reply to: Is It True?

As has been pointed out above, the size of the image sensor (Canon Powershot = 5x7mm, Digital Rebel = 15x23mm)and lens size and opening (ISO 50-400 vs 100-1600) make the DSLR a hands-down winner. In addition, DSLRs are faster and more expandable, but they are big, heavy, and require a tripod and massive lenses totalling up to $5000 for the whole enchalata.

The newest technology limited to the "advanced compact" units, such as the Canon Powershot S2-IS, Sony DSC-H1, and the Panasonic FZ5 which incorporate electronic stabilization (used in video camera for years). This minimizes the need for a tripod, and motion can ruin the picture on ANY camera at shutter speeds below 1/60th sec. The impressive zoom on the new cameras (12x to 15x) may yield a better resolution than a cropped shot from a DSLR.

The original advantage of the SLR was the ability to see the same edge-to-edge scene as the film. In cameras with sensor-derived viewfinder in high resoution, the advantage tips to the advanced compact, since you not only see the exact image the "film" sees, but in low light, the image can be brighter. In a few years, the sensors will be larger and more sensitive, rivaling the DSLRs. (Of course, the DSLRs will catch up with full-sized (24x36mm) sensors (already in Kodak Pro and Conon EOS-ID Mark II $5000+)with image stabilization and eletronic/optical viewfinder.)

In addition the new advanced compacts have MP-4 video at VGA , 30 fps, for up to 20 minute "home movies". That is not likely to come in DSLR. Check out this clip: has comparison articles on the subject.

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P&S versu Prosumer
by Donaldsc / November 4, 2005 9:00 AM PST

But are these really P&S in the way that most people think of P&S or are they somewhat more. Contax, I believe, makes a none-dSLR that runs several thousand dollars. All non-dSLRs are not P&S.

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