is DSLR always better then digital P&S ?
I'd like somebody clarify this for me, are the picture takes with dSLR better then.

Some good digital P&S? I just bought 350D XT and would like to know if I did right thing. I don't want spend time on post processing, si will I have better pictures with dSLR or not necessary?thanks..

Comments (32)

Short answer: yes. The sensors in all modern DSLRs are superior to the tiny P&S sensors..

Caveat: A picture you capture is always better than one you don't. If you don't have your camera with you because it was too big, versus a P&S in your pocket... Or if your P&S was a super zoom and you were able to zoom in and capture something in the distance where your DSLR only had a 18-55 kit lens.... CompatctmP&S cameras have there place-I would never not own one. Also for a DSLR to out shine a bridge super zoom, it needs a variety of lenses (or at the very least a very versatile one like 18-200 type)..

Comment #1

Since you have bought a camera, and don't want to spend the time-aggravation with post processing, the camera you have will produce excellent results and give you the time to learn quite a bit about photography ... the relationship between aperature and depth of field, the different aspects of using different ISOs, help you form preferences in shooting portraits, nature, landscapes, etc. Enjoy your new camera.Stephen in Miami / Home of the Hurricanes..

Comment #2

First, define 'better', as it applies to YOU. Once you've got that out of the way, you can make up your own mind. As has been said already, the picture you take is better than the one you don't - hence, in some circumstances, a PnS in your pocket is better than the SLR in your cupboard..

If it's just image quality you're looking at, any dSLR will be far ahead of any PnS, at least until the camera manufacturers start putting seriously large, good quality sensors into small cameras. That's where the quality difference is, in the sensor, and small sensors just don't cut it..


Everyone, everywhere, has to do everything for a first time. There is no failure in failure, only in failing to learn...

Comment #3

Motif wrote:.

I don't want spend time on post processing.

Send it back. Now...

Comment #4

'better' I mean picture quality of course, somehow I was never satisfied with P&S pictures quality. And even those better ones like mine last Fuji S600 was OK but.

I like taking pictures of nature and animals and those always were not as good as real view. So if the difference is only the sensor, why SLR are much heavier and have so small zoom in kit lenses?..

Comment #5

Really? I want my pictures to be as real as it can be, no artistic ones so why I'd need do any post processing? Out of the camera they are not good enough?..

Comment #6

Well then, a DSLR is for you because with my S6500 I only use RAW for my better shots. In difficult shooting conditions the default tone curve on JPEGs lets it down..


Comment #7

If you get the JPEG settings in your camera (sharpness, saturation, etc. etc.) set to your liking, which will take a little experimentation, then you should get good results straight out of the camera as long as the focus / exposure are correct. If you don't want to do any PP, you can leave it there..

But there are very few pictures that will not benefit from even a minimal amount of PP, e.g. slight cropping if the composition was not perfect, increasing the contrast a little if the picture was taken on a dull day, etc. And if there was a 'mistake' of some sort - e.g. the picture is under / over exposed (which is very easy to do, even with automatic metering) - then this can be very quickly rectified. This applies to P&S cameras just as much as DSLRs; post-processing is not confined to DSLR owners..

If your dislike of PP is such that you would rather put up with a sub-standard picture than spend a minute fixing it in photoshop, that's up to you... but then what was the point of getting a DSLR? It's a higher-quality tool than a P&S that requires more input from the owner to get the best out of it, and that includes after the picture was taken..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #8

I'm in slight disagreement with some of the statements - a DSLR isn't always "obviously" better IQ wise than a P&S..

If only 6x4 prints are made or images viewed on small-ish PC monitors there is often no obvious difference between the images, at least in good lighting conditions..

Also some DSLR kit lenses are pretty poor & don't match the capabilities of some of the "fixed" lens "prosumers"..

Some people changing from P&S to DSLR expect immediately improved IQ & this isn't always the case, images from DSLRs often need some "tweaking" to get the best from them.

For the record I own a DSLR !!.



North Wales photographs - Snowdonia & Anglesey..

Comment #9

Motif wrote:.

So if the difference is only the sensor,why SLR are much heavier and have so small zoom in kit lenses?.

It's the size of the sensor...the physical size, not the logical size (number of pixels)...that primarily determines IQ. Have you ever seen a "real" camera? Like this one:.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Or like this one:.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

The big one takes better pix than the small one, because it uses a much bigger piece of film (the sensor). No, it's impossible to put the little lens and big film together...they don't fit. Cameras have to be scaled...that is, the lens and sensor/film must be comparable sizes..

Neither of my example pix (above) are of zoom cameras, but the rules still apply. A big sensor needs a big lens. Big pieces of glass are expensive and heavy. By downsizing the sensor, it's easy to build a companion zoom lens that is small, cheap, and of comparable quality to the sensor (which is less for being small)..

There is also the issue of long-back-focus vs short-back-focus lens designs. Read this:.


Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog:

Comment #10

Motif wrote:.

Really? I want my pictures to be as real as it can be, no artisticones so why I'd need do any post processing? Out of the camera theyare not good enough?.

Some cameras are designed for lazy people. "P&S" is not a description of the camera as much as a description of the people. Any camera can be a "P&S" if the owner chooses to use it that way. Manufacturers cater to the market. If you want to be lazy and operate in a "P&S" way, they will sell you what you want..

Before someone gets excited, I often want to take "P&S" pix. I can be lazy..

This may be viewed as good or bad, but most often, cameras intended to be used in a "P&S" style also have boosted color saturation, sharpness, and contrast. Manufacturers have found that people that take lazy pix also like them to "pop", thus they build cameras that cater to those base desires. .

In contrast, people who buy dSLRs DON'T want their images to look like they were taken with a cheap "P&S" camera. Exaggerated sharpness, saturation, and contrast is tough to remove. It's MUCH easier to take a "dull", natural-looking image and add a bit of sharpening & saturation and increase the contrast...and the result is worth the work. For some people..

Apparently you are not one of these people. You want the ultimate "P&S" camera...high IQ and zero effort. What others have said is that it's possible to adjust a dSLR so that it processes images much like a cheap "P&S", with added sharpening, more saturated colors, and higher contrast. It will take a bit of fiddling" with the menus in the camera, but it's quite doable. These adjustments are, you only have to do them once. But be aware that if you shoot JPEG files, these adjustments are permanent (you can't undo the damage afterward)..

A middle approach (that many people take) is to shoot RAW files. Most RAW converters read the adjustments you set in the camera and use them as defaults, so it's really easy to batch convert your RAW shots so that your friends will think you have a very cheap "P&S" camera. But, when you learn better, you can go back and properly process any of your old shots. .

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog:

Comment #11

All I want to know if having dSLR camera puts me at least in better starting position then even most expensive digital P&S..

Because if for P&S operation the latter is better or the same (IQ speaking) it would be no sense then for me to keep it I guess, because it's heavy and big and zooming is expensive.thanks..

Comment #12

Motif, I think it's tough to argue which is better in your situation. I too have a XT and got it over the summer. One clarification though - post processing doesn't necessarily mean making "artistic" images out of your pics. Much of the time, it's doing what the in-camera process already does - sharpening, contrast, saturation but doing it yourself. Obviously there are no hard and fast rules on how much of each to apply so generally a person can do this much better (after they get experienced and practiced) than a camera/processor can do it..

Here are my thoughts on it. If you are looking at just using the auto modes and not touching the pics in post processing, you may not get the same results as a P&S. I don't really shoot in auto modes but I've seen plenty of threads on here where people feel their SLR doesn't produce the same type of pics as their P&S when they shoot in auto mode. This oculd be as simple as not setting the levels as high as they are in their P&S or maybe it's just SLR doesn't worry so much about this part of it. I'm not sure..

Here is what I find better about my SLR than my P&S :.

1. No shutter lag - This was my main motivation. I was tired of the P&S shutter lag. This was one big reason my pics weren't great. I would miss the shot 90% of the time..

2. High ISO - SLRs perform way better at higher ISO than P&S. Thus, I can crank up the ISO and not be afraid that I'll ruin the picture with noise..

3. RAW - I know you don't like it, but I find this to be an advantage..

4. Flexibility - I'm not bound to the glass thats bolted on my cam. If I need more reach, I can buy another lens. If I need fast glass, I can buy another lens..

5. Low light performance - partly due to #2 and #4, I can get glass and combined with lower noise, I can take way better shots in low light.

6. Control - I'm in complete control, or can be if I want to.

7. Physical Controls - I always hated those electric zooms on P&S. They are slow and it's tough to get to the focal length you want to be at..

8. Overall IQ - I'm sure there are some great P&S out there that produce great images. I will say this - Recently I printed out some pics. Some were taken with my SLR and some with my P&S. They were 4x6 prints and I could tell the difference in quality. On the web or on my computer screen, I couldn't tell much difference when viewed small, but when I got them printed at a photo lab, the differences were night and day.

The 50mm is even better. It was actually disappointing b/c I realized I had 5 years of pics of my daughter that aren't as good as they could have been..

Here are the disadvantages as I see them:.

1. Size - obvioiusly much easier to bring along the point and shoot.

2. Durable - Of course I don't have data around this, but I will say that I feel myuch more comfortable throwing my P&S around, leaving it laying aroud, then I do wit hthe SLR. If I were to drop both, I would expect the P&S would fare better.

3. Using - a P&S is much easier to use. The SLR requires more knowledge and for a while, my pics were worse than the P&S b/c I didn't know how to properly use the cam.

4. Price - since you can't buy lenses for P&S's, you can't really go out and spend a ton of money on accessories..

5. Inconspicuous - a P&S blends into the crowd and doesn't stand out..

So I'd take what's important to you and make your decision. I can see why some people may be turned off by SLR. I personally enjoy it. I like taking the pics with it and I also like post processing. I have a lot of fun taking pics with it. Another poster had an excellent comment - if having an SLR means you aren't taking it out with you and you are missing shots, then a P&S is better for you.

But for me, I can't compare what I get from the SLR with wht I get from the P&S..

Just trying to learn.


Comment #13

Motif wrote:.

I'd like somebody clarify this for me, are the picture takes withdSLR better thensome good digital P&S?.

- Yes, because with DSLR you have the following advantages:A) RAW (although some pocket cameras have it too)B) Possible use of different lenses, from fisheye or extreme wideangle.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

To long tele.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

As well as certain rather special lenses, like this portrait one.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

C) Bounce flash (although, once again, some pocket cameras give you an option to mount the flash)D) Larger sensor = better DR and noise at higher ISO settingsE) Very long exposures at night:.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Which a pocket camera is incapable of..

A pocket camera has certain advantages over an SLR too:.

1) Smaller - easier to always have with you and less intimidating when you want to keep low profile2) Smaller sensor = more DOF for extreme macro.

3) Fully functional live view, especially convenient with a rotating monitor (although there is at least one DSLR which has the same feature and in principle you can add it to any DSLR with ZIGVIEW).

I don't want spend time on post processing.

- That's your choice, of course, but I wouldn't call it a wise choice - because your images would look miles better if you do process them, regardless of which camera they come out of..


Comment #14

Motif wrote:.

All I want to know if having dSLR camera puts me at least in betterstarting position then even most expensive digital P&S..

Nobody can tell you this answer! We can only give you facts. You have to make the decision..

As I already noted, I think you are lazy and that probably means that you would be better off with a high-end compact than a low-end dSLR. I say this because I doubt you would be willing to spend the time to get the dSLR off it's factory default settings so that it's output has the "pop" expected from a compact camera..

Because if for P&S operation the latter is better or the same (IQspeaking) it would be no sense then for me to keep it I guess,because it's heavy and big and zooming is expensive..

The dSLR will have much better IQ. But you and your friends may not think so. There is the problem. The dSLR output is not "impressive"...but it's good. It's up to you, the photographer, to MAKE it "impressive"...either by adjusting the camera settings or performing post processing on the RAW output. Lazy people don't like to do either of these..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog:

Comment #15

Hey riceowl,thanks for great summary, great help here from you guys,.

I appreciate it. I'll go out and take some pictures on this weekend at the seashoreand see if I like them. Something tells that I will.But prices of these zooming lenses are killing me...because would be nice to have good zoom when capturing nature images...

Comment #16

MICHAEL,wow! great photos, were they taken with XT ? .

OK, I guess you guys convinced me to keep it and learn it ..

Comment #17

Are we taling noise, resolution, portability, close-up capability? It all depends on the photographic job you want done.STOP Global Stasis! Change is good!.

Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos..

Comment #18

In lab tests, the SLRs will always do better than the nonSLRs. However, you hardly ever see a blind test, using prints, with no one knowing which camera produced which print. The only similar type of test I have ever seen was done by the NY Times technology editor: [For some reason, the forum blocks the URL; try a search under "Breaking the Myth of Megapixels." The author is David Pogue.].

This isn't exactly the same as a comparison of the SLR & nonSLR. but it comes close..

Personally, I am on my third digital camera, a Fujifilm S9100 (nonSLR) and I love it a lot; it produces outstanding pictures it's small and allows handholding (a small sensor shows great depth of field with a moderate aperture), so it makes a fine hiking camera, for when I don't want to carry a tripod. After Christmas, I intend to buy an Olympus E-510 and retire my E-300. This will be the "serious" camera, for use with a tripod..

If only Heidi Klum would pose for me, I would be in photographic paradise!.


Comment #19

I think defined already what is for me 'better', but again: It simply that the picture (IQ) has to be as close as possible to the original, real view I'm picturing in any given conditions and same size of the image. Obviously real view doesn't have any noise etc...

Comment #20

Motif wrote:.

MICHAEL,wow! great photos, were they taken with XT ? .

- Actually not, the first 2 are scans from 35 mm film (Minolta Dynax 9), the last 3 are Canon 5D. Between those cameras I used Canon Digital Rebel (300D), samples:.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

You see, cameras don't take pictures - people take pictures. Although decent equipment doesn't hurt..


Comment #21

Are these pictures real? they look too perfect .

That one with red stone and the meadow I like the best,the sky is like painting. So don't tell me it was taken by Xt.....

Comment #22

The two things that can confuse first time DSLR users....

1. The pictures may be softer out of the camera. As mentioned above, this is likely due to less aggressive in-camera processing. Default settings on the P&S cameras usually have higher contrast and sharpening to limit the need for postprocessing..

2. The shallower depth-of-field of the larger sensor can result in missed focus shots. P&S cameras usually take much longer to get the shot due to shutter lag, but will usually focus in the "right" spot, or at least cover the range of focus required. In default mode, a novice user may find a lot of DSLR shots to be blurry, since the focus point wasn't where they intended and the larger sensor demands more accurate focus..

So in that sense, there are plenty of times when a P&S is a "better" camera...the least of which mentioned above are the times when having it fit in your pocket is the reason you have it with you..


Comment #23

Motif wrote:.

Are these pictures real? they look too perfect .

- Yes they are quite real. Proper development of RAW and further (minimal) enhancement in the Photoshop were only directed at producing what I saw when I took those photos..

That one with red stone and the meadow I like the best,the sky is like painting. So don't tell me it was taken by Xt....

- as I already said, those were actually taken with the previous (worse, less technologically advanced) similar model..


Comment #24

Indeed DSLRs, even low end one, can give neutral results in raw mode, to you to develop the raw at your convenience. It can be very interesting, but neutral means no sharpening, saturation and such, so less appealing at first start, but so better after development !.

Anyway, you have settings in the bodie which are used when you shoot jpeg, so to give more fast appealing/PnS results, rise up sharpening, saturation and a bit of contrast and you should get fine. But you would still, sometimes, need a bit of PProcessing..

Also, the better image quality of DSLRs comes from their larger sensors, more light are gathered per pixel, even having more pixels at the end. Put outdoor in good lighting, when you can use your PnS at 80 or 100iso, you can have good results with it. Others shooting condition will put DSLRs head and shoulder above PnS..

Apart that, like Michael nicely illustrated, DSLRs put you in a complete different world, from 8mm fisheye to 600mm telephoto, fast aperture portrait lenses etc etc. And larger sensor with fast aperture lenses give you shallow depth of field that no one PnS will ever give you, this is simply physic..

But all this can become a lot of money (body, different lenses, tripod, etc), and a lot of stuff to transport, where you can allways have a PnS in your pocket. It is really two completly different philosophies..

To follow Michael, you can see on my website, all photos are done with the old 300D, largely old fashionned for a few years, but still far ahead any PnS today..

So, it is to you to balance between portability/fast result, and possibilities/qualities. Where you are between this is to you .

Just as last note, a lot of DSLRs shooters have also a PnS everyday in the pocket, as a notepad. Mine is a remimder for ideas I see along the day, to not forget coming back with my tons of gear for real photo (take it easy)  Ho, and I didn't mention reactivity, fast and precise AF (well, not on 300D lol !!), etc etc which at then end help to get better images..



Comment #25

Motif wrote:.

All I want to know if having dSLR camera puts me at least in betterstarting position then even most expensive digital P&S..

I think yes as in a NASCAR race car puts you in a better starting position than your family car to win most races. But, the point is moot unless you are willing to put in the time and effort to learn to drive it..

Stu - Camera User (see profile for gear)http://www.DigitalPhotoPeople.com


Comment #26

Interesting's a quiz for you all: Which of the following pictures was taken with my (now relatively ancient) 3.4 megapixel Nikon 990 point and shoot and published nationally? The others were taken with a Pentax 6x7 medium format film camera and a Nikon D1x 6MP DSLR..


Anyone who understands the basics can make a good image with just about any camera; the differences are noticed mostly in versatility, convenience and handling - especially in extreme shooting situations. If I were shooting non-stationary or fast moving subjects, subjects under tough lighting conditions, sports or pj-like subjects that require high-speed features or making prints 16x20" or larger, a point and shoot is less desirable if not unusable in many instances. If you are just asking about plain image quality under normal conditions, then a P&S in capable hands will be just as good if not better than a DSLR in lesser skilled hands. You can do a lot with a P&S - especially if it has a manual mode..

If I didn't believe this in my heart, I'd not still keep my my little Nikon 990 with me in addition to my D200 DSLR with it's weighty 17-35 AFS lens..


Comment #27


Contrary to what riceowl says, I think your question is not that tough to answer, though he was spot on with all his other comments..

The IQ of the DSLR will always be better than with the P&S, for all the reasons he (and others) mentioned..

As for the cons, the most important one is the fact that a DSLR is less inconspicuous when you photograph, and the fact that it is larger, especially if you start carrying around some extra gear: lenses, flash,... This is the reason most owners of a DSLR also have a P&S. Same with me: if I go to a not so special party in a bar e.g., I don't want to carry my big camerabag all night, or chase away my subjects with the big camera. I just take my small P&S, enjoy the evening, and still may end up with a few nice shots. It's only for the more decent stuff I take my more decent camera with me..

I think you might be similar to me: You want to get good pictures, are prepared to put in a reasonable effort when photographing, and try to learn how to get the best use of your camera in every situation. You don't want to spend all the time PPing all the pics you make..

So I shoot the pics in a high jpeg quality, using a contrast, saturation and sharpness setting that gives out of the box results that best please me and are definitely better than with a P&S. Currently I don't want to spend the extra effort to PP afterwards, though I know it would give better results and I might start doing it later on..

I do spend the effort trying to learn how to be a better photograper, improving composition, lighting and my use of the vast amount of possibilities offered by a DSLR..

I end up enjoying photography, with more and better results, and the reassuring afterthought that I still have plenty of headroom for further improvements because I am certainly not limited by my equipment..

Comment #28

Some people might disagree but based on my experience I think that.

1. If all you are going to be using your pictures is for online viewing, i.e. will not be printing anything then you dont need a dslr..

2. ALL and I mean ALL pictures I have taken with my DSLR need processing to make them pop. When I compare JPGs straight out of the camera from a DSLR with one from a P&S the one from a P&S looks more colourull and has more pop. This is because the P&S does the processing for you in camera. DSLRs can be configured to do some of the processing for you (increase contrast, saturation etc) but i've never been able to get a setting that matches the same as those on a P&S..

3. Since DSLRs have more dynamic range, pictures taken with a DSLR look much better compared to a P&S provided they are pp'd correctly..

Having said that, you need to try it out yourself to know. Since you do already have the camera, try it out and decide what you think. ..

Comment #29

Oh and if you dont want to do any post processing then I think a DSLR is not for you. You will get better images with a P&S straight out of the camera...

Comment #30

I disagree....

It is very well and very easily possible to change the in-camera contrast-sharpness-... settings to give your images more than enough 'pop' straight out of the camera..

I agree that shooting RAW and PPing afterwards will improve the results and get you the best out of your DSLR, but I for one have improved my images using a SLR without PP..

Some things are simply impossible or extremely hard with a compact cam, one example is fast, reliable focussing of sports and doing decent continuous shooting..

Secondly, I find that I use my SLR differently from my compact, taking fewer shots but with better care for composition, metering, focus. And SLR cameras are simply better designed to make use of options that are buried deep in the menus of compacts..

Comment #31

SMPhoto wrote:.

Caveat: A picture you capture is always better than one you don't..

I was once attending a concert in a small village church. I was seated somewhere in the first raws, but the rear ones were also rather close too. I shot with a little silent P&S: no clicking, no disturbing the concert!.

Obviously they did not all turn out to be keepers, but still better than the ones not taken at all...

Comment #32

Click Here to View All...

Sponsored Amazon Deals:

1. Get big savings on Amazon warehouse deals.
2. Save up to 70% on Amazon Products.

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


Categories: Home | Diet & Weight Management | Vitamins & Supplements | Herbs & Cleansing |

Sexual Health | Medifast Support | Nutrisystem Support | Medifast Questions |

Web Hosting | Web Hosts | Website Hosting | Hosting |

Web Hosting | GoDaddy | Digital Cameras | Best WebHosts |

Web Hosting FAQ | Web Hosts FAQ | Hosting FAQ | Hosting Group |

Hosting Questions | Camera Tips | Best Cameras To Buy | Best Cameras This Year |

Camera Q-A | Digital Cameras Q-A | Camera Forum | Nov 2010 - Cameras |

Oct 2010 - Cameras | Oct 2010 - DSLRs | Oct 2010 - Camera Tips | Sep 2010 - Cameras |

Sep 2010 - DSLRS | Sep 2010 - Camera Tips | Aug 2010 - Cameras | Aug 2010 - DSLR Tips |

Aug 2010 - Camera Tips | July 2010 - Cameras | July 2010 - Nikon Cameras | July 2010 - Canon Cameras |

July 2010 - Pentax Cameras | Medifast Recipes | Medifast Recipes Tips | Medifast Recipes Strategies |

Medifast Recipes Experiences | Medifast Recipes Group | Medifast Recipes Forum | Medifast Support Strategies |

Medifast Support Experiences |


(C) Copyright 2010 All rights reserved.