Point-and-shoot vs. DSLR: What’s the Difference?


Hi, Sweet Things!  It’s Melissa back for another installment of Picture Perfect!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend!  A little sunshine after a week of clouds was just what I needed to revive my creative mojo and I’m ready to tackle a new week!

Today, I thought I’d compare point-and-shoot cameras to DSLR cameras just to show you the difference.  I don’t know if any of you are considering purchasing a new camera, but this is interesting even if you aren’t.

For a visual, let’s compare two photos.  These are both straight out of the cameras, no enhancing has been done yet!  Both were on auto setting with no flash.


 2014 May5 PaS example Cmpr


2014 May5 AutoExample Cmpr

I took both of these photos in the exact same place, just to the side of a big window in the living room (without a tripod).

The first thing you’ll notice is the overall color of the photos.  There is a yellowish tint to the point-and-shoot photo.  The second thing you may see is that there is a bit of a haze, or lack of clarity, in the first photo.  The third noticeable difference is in the color of the flowers.  It’s a bit more vibrant in the second photo, don’t you think?

Here’s a comparison of the cameras to show you why these things differ between the two:


  • Smaller sensor = less light-sensitive than large sensors, which means the image quality is going to be lower.
  • Really depend on good lighting.
  • Often have fewer features to help you create high-quality images.
  • May lack the ability to use manual settings, restricting your photographic creativity.
  • A bit slow to focus and activate the shutter.


  • Large sensor = higher quality images.
  • Allow the user full control over every single setting on the camera, not just full and semi-auto.
  • Can adjust the ISO levels to increase light sensitivity to reduce the amount of noise in your photos.
  • Work with interchangeable lenses to help you adapt to many different lighting conditions.
  • Faster focusing and shutter activation.

These features were some of the main selling points for me when I decided to take the DSLR plunge a few years ago.  Like I mentioned in the last installment of Picture Perfect, this does not mean you can’t get nice card photos if you own a point-and-shoot!  This is simply to show why DSLR’s tend to take higher quality images.

There is one thing I want to mention to those of you who may be wanting to upgrade from a point-and-shoot, but are dragging your feet at the investment of a DSLR.  Did you know there are cameras that fall somewhere in between these two categories?  They are called advanced or enthusiast compact cameras.  These are a step up from a basic point-and-shoot camera, having more features, but still no interchangeable lenses.  If you are interested, I found a comparison of cameras over at pocketlint.com.  Scroll down to the advanced/enthusiast compact camera category to see what these cameras have to offer.  From what I can tell, these are a little over half the price of what a DSLR camera would cost you, but offer some nice features that the basic point-and-shoots do not have.

I hope this helps you understand at least a little bit about the differences between cameras.  I kept it pretty basic, but this should help you see why there is a difference between the images taken by each of the two!  If you are seriously thinking about upgrading your camera, I’ve found some great deals around Thanksgiving time!  I know.  I know.  That takes a little patience since it’s only May!

So what did I use for my final photo today?  My Nikon DSLR.  Here is my final staged and edited photo:

2014 May5 Post

I used the bowl from the Baking Love set:

The paper pieced flowers are from the Elegant Flowers set:

For more details, you can visit my blog, Oh, Smudge!

Wondering what is in store for you this month?!  Another new release on the 15th that you aren’t going to want to miss!  Keep yourself in the loop by following Sweet Stamp Shop over on Facebook!  Oh, and do you follow us on Pinterest yet?  There is lots of creative inspiration already pinned there for you to view, so if you have some sets already in your stash, but need some inspiration to get you started, go take a look and follow the Sweet Stamp Shop’s boards!

Next time will be my last post for the Picture Perfect series.  I will be leaving the team the end of May since life gets rather full in the summer for me, but you can still follow my blog for future photo tips!  I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time, enjoy life!


2 Responses to Point-and-shoot vs. DSLR: What’s the Difference?

  1. Your card is adorable…what a fun mix of stamp sets!

    Love seeing the side by side comparisons. I use a Nikon DSLR, but truthfully, it’s my son’s and I only do basic stuff with it.

    I have totally appreciated this feature, thank you so much Melissa!

  2. katie brooks says:

    love your card and love your tips, thank you for sharing!

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