Foto Friday is a new weekly series dedicated to photography tips and tutorials. This series is meant to benefit any photographer from novice to professional. Just as a disclaimer, these posts are just my opinions and what I’ve learned. Although I hold a professional photography certificate, I’m not an expert but any means : )
Kicking off the series with the basics: equipment. It’s the big question that everyone who wants to get into photography is faced with, should I buy a DSLR camera or a point-and-shoot?
The answer to this question completely depends on your goals and budget.
Point and Shoot Digital Cameras
Point and Shoot cameras are getting better and better with technology, and definitely a quality investment. Here are some of the benefits of point and shoots:
- Price. Most point and shoot cameras are pretty inexpensive these days.
- Size and weight. Point and shoots are small, versatile and easy to carry around on vacation, hikes, wherever! Just throw it in your purse and go.
- Easy to use. For the most part, you just press a button and you have a pretty good quality photo, regardless of the lighting situation. No thought required : )
In the days before I had my DSLR camera, I practically lived with my point and shoot camera. It served for the exact purposes I needed it for: to capture nights out with friends and landscapes when traveling. At this point in my life, I loved taking pictures, but I didn’t really feel the need to be able to take higher quality photos or manipulate the photos I was taking.
DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex and have removable lenses. The benefits of these types of cameras are:
- Manual Controls. DSLRs allow you manually focus and capture photographic effects, such as depth of field. This control is what takes your images to the next level.
- Image Quality. Without getting too technical, the larger size of image sensors in DSLRs allows for larger pixel sizes and thus a higher quality image.
- Adaptability. DSLRs allow a photographer to change lenses, add flashes, filters, and so on, making them adaptable to any situation or type of photography.
That being said, DSLRs aren’t cheap. They’re definitely an investment that requires consideration. In my opinion, the decision really comes down to what you’re using the camera for. If you buy a DSLR camera and just put it in automatic anyway, I would say you might as well stick to a point and shoot camera. But if you’re looking to improve your photos, learn how to shoot in manual and have more control with your images, I’d definitely recommend investing in a DSLR!
If you decide you want to take the leap, a great entry-level DSLR is the Canon Rebel T3. I used my Dad’s Rebel when I was just starting out and loved it. I recommend forgoing the kit lens and instead just buying the Camera Body and investing in a higher quality lens (what lens will vary depending on what you want to use it for), but the kit lens is a good, basic option too if you’re just starting out.
Do you own a DSLR or a point and shoot? If you own a DSLR, what made you make the switch?