Digital SLR versus Compact Cameras

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If you’re looking to buy a new camera, you’ll have to make a decision between a compact or digital SLR camera. The two types are completely different in terms of technical specifications and intended audience. In this guide, we will look at the considerations you should be making before you decide which camera to go for.

How do you normally take your photos?

If you’re the type of person who likes to use the LCD screen to compose your photos, then a compact camera may be more suitable. They are usually equipped with a large colour screen by default and eliminate the use of a view-finder altogether. The screen tends to haveguiding lines on it to help align your photo.

Digital SLRs have this functionality too, but it isn’t as seamless and user-friendly as a compact camera. They tend to waste the battery of a digital SLR a lot quicker, and you usually have to switch viewing modes every time you want to use the LCD screen.

Is size and weight an issue?

It’s important that you consider where you’ll be taking you camera. For example, if you’re going on a city break to London, are you willing to carry around a bulkier digital SLR with a large lens attached? Or, would you prefer to use a smaller, pocket-sized compact camera on the go?

Compact cameras are great for quick, snap and shoot photography. However, you shouldn’t rule out digital SLRs quite yet. While they certainly are more cumbersome, the design of the camera bodies has become more compact over the years, and there are specialist bags you can buy to carry them.

How much are you willing to pay?

Compact cameras tend to be cheaper than most digital SLRs. At the end of the day, the type of camera you chose will depend upon your own personal budget and how seriously you want to take photography. Digital SLRs do cost more, but they produce photos of outstanding quality and are near future-proof if you outfit the body with different lenses and attachments over time. Jessops has a large selection of digital SLR cameras to suit a variety of budgets. Cameras like this Canon EOS 1100D are excellent entry points to this type of photography. Just be aware that you’ll need to purchase a lens separately to start taking photos.

How much control do want over settings and features?

When a digital SLR is put into manual mode, it grants you complete control over focus, depth of field and much more. Compacts will handle most of this automatically and their manual modes tend to be rather lacking. If the added level of control is appealing, you should read this guide from Popular Mechanics, on how to shoot in manual mode with a digital SLR.

+Kerry Tiwana is a full time tech savvy blogger, author and founder of TechMafia, you can follow him on Facebook.

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