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Photography Question 
Tim A. Pierce

SLR Digital Vs. Point and Shoot Digital

I read somewhere that a 6 megapixel digital SLR camera is better then a 8 megapixel digital camera. How does the "SLR" part of a digital SLR camera make it better then a point and shoot digital camera?

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5/28/2004 3:16:06 AM

Dave Cross   Hi Tim. First, let's clarify that a "Digital SLR" has a mirror, a pentaprism and interchangeable lenses just like a film SLR. The "pseudo SLRs" with electronic viewfinders do NOT count :-)

MegaPixels are not everything. Once you get past 4meg or so, the quality of the optical system becomes increasingly important, and the DSLRs use the highly developed, high quality (and often VERY expensive) glass from the film SLR world. What I'm really saying is that a 6 meg DSLR with a decent lens will easily outperform an 8 meg point-n-shoot with a lesser lens. In actual fact, the old EOS D-30 (3 meg) will produce images to rival some of the cheaper 8 meg cameras.

Another factor to consider is that DSLRs, in order to use film lenses, have MUCH larger sensors than the point-n-shoots. It is a fact that the physically larger pixels of these sensors produce less noise than the small sensors of a P-n-S at the same equivalent ISO setting, leading to cleaner images. It is actually easier to get a higher ISO from the bigger pixel because more light falls on it (bigger area) causing more photo-electrons to whizz about. There are few P-n-S cameras that can come anywhere near an equivalent ISO of 1600 (pretty standard for a modern DSLR) with remotely acceptable image noise.

That's the basic argument. Any further questions, ask here. There are a lot of very knowledgeable people on this forum. Listen to them, learn, and above all, enjoy your photography. Cheers.

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5/28/2004 4:45:29 AM

Tim A. Pierce   So, a DSLR takes a better picture becuase they have a larger ccd and can have better lens put on them, is that correct?

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5/28/2004 4:59:45 AM

Dave Cross   Spot on Tim..... :-)

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5/28/2004 5:32:16 AM

Lamont G. Weide
  The DSLR should always provide greater flexibility. However, costs can also run higher. The advantage of the smaller 8 megapixel digitals are that they are smaller and easier to carry, and thus you theoretically have them with you more often. The perfect pocket digital does not yet exist. If you are looking to do any type of professional photos, you probably want a digital that uses RAW. I would suggest looking at the Nikon and Minolta A2 8 megapixels. Also use the Web to look up info and find a store to handle the camera. I was surprised to find the Minolta A2 is light and much smaller than the others. It gets a good rating and can be purchased for under $1000. Remember that these are NOT DSLRs - you cannot change lenses, etc. However, they may well have a place as a lightweight, easy-to-carry second camera. Consider the advantage in backpacking, for example.

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6/7/2004 8:30:06 AM

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