What's the differance...?


TPF Noob!
Nov 11, 2004
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So, as most of you know, I'm uber new to photography. And I was wonder, how does an SLR differ from a reg. run of the mill camera. I currently have a Nikon CoolPix 4300, and I was talking w/ a friend about wanting a SLR. She told my my camera was just as good as an SLR and that "shouldn't waste my money..." I know this can't e true, other wise my camera would have cost more.. but what is the real differance between And SLR and a point an shoot?

I feel kinda' stupid for asking this question... but I wanna know, and I don't really know where to look to find out....

Big Mike

I am Big, I am Mike
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Supporting Member
Dec 16, 2003
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Are you talking about Digital SLR cameras?

If you are...there is a big, important difference. The size of the sensor. Go to www.dpreview.com and look up the specs of any point & shoot digital camera...even the expensive 8MP ones. You should see that the sensor size is listed as something like 1/2" or 2/3".

Now check the specs on any digital SLR...Digital Rebel, D70, 10D, 20D...these ones all have APS sized sensors. Much bigger than the smaller sensors...even though some are less MP than the smaller sensors...they are much better.

There are even full frame sensor DSLR cameras that have a sensor the same size as 35mm film. These are very, very expensive at the moment.

There are other advantages of SLR cameras, including film.

What you see is what you get. With SLR, you are actually looking though the lens and not though a view finder.

The lenses are interchangeable (most models). You can put on any compatible lens to suit your needs & your budget. With p&s, you are stuck with the lens you have...and most are not as good as any lens that goes on an SLR.

There are other reason that SLR is better than p&s but in the end...they are just tools that photographers use.

Hope this helped.

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