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DSLR, Mirrorless and Compact Point and Shoot: What’s the Difference?

I recently joined a group of bloggers on a press trip to Marietta, Ohio. Located on the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers, this picturesque town with historic homes, brick-lined streets and river views is a great destination for photographers. Each morning we arose bright and early for sunrise photos and each morning I second guessed myself as to which camera I should use. Good thing I packed all my camera gear (even if I’m still not sure how to use all of it).  I may not know all there is about photography but I will share a few things that I’ve learned over the past few years.

DSLR, Mirrorless and Compact Point and Shoot: What's the Difference? We offer camera tips to help you determine which camera type you need.
Different Types of Cameras

There are three basic types of digital cameras- Digital Single Lens Reflexes (DSLR’s), mirrorless cameras, and compact point and shoot cameras. DSLR’s offer the ability to change lenses, they are speedy and do not produce a lot of digital noise. Plus, a lot of brands allow you to change lenses easily, for example, Canon EF lenses work on any of their SLR bodies.

Mirrorless cameras offer many of the advantages of a DSLR in a smaller body – Interchangeable lenses, low noise sensors, and a compact form size. These cameras have a full selection of compact lenses and can use many vintage lenses with a suitable adapter.

Compact point and shoot cameras are great for those looking to get away from relying on their smartphone cameras and have more control over how they shoot. There are two types of point and shoots- ones with electronic viewfinders and ones with optical viewfinders. Optical viewfinders usually do not provide any setting details such as f-stop numbers or shutter speed, however, you will be able to view the autofocus indicator. If you want to shoot in areas where noise will be an issue, beware the shutter speed sound of a point and shoot. Finally, point and shoot cameras are generally slower than SLR’s, so if you’re looking to use the burst sequence or take RAW images, you may be waiting a while.

If you are looking for the capacity to use multiple lenses, shoot sports or fast action photography, disregard a point and shoot and focus on DSLR’s or Mirrorless cameras. If you want a camera to fit in your pocket or a starter camera for a teenager or child, consider point and shoots.

I also have a point and shoot that I adore. It takes great photos, shoots in 4K, and allows me to transfer the images from my camera to my phone effortlessly. This is perfect for the blogger in me who is constantly sharing images to social media. As far as point and shoot cameras go, it is on the higher price end but it is so convenient.

Budget is always important when looking for new gear. If you’re a pro and want to upgrade, consider the Nikon D5600 or the Canon T7i (coming soon!). These cameras will generally stand up to the wear and tear of professional use. If you’re in the market to upgrade but the price is still an issue, look into less expensive models such as the Canon T6 or Nikon D3400.
Finally, speed is everything. If you want to upgrade your gear fast, buy your top picks from You can purchase up to 3-year gear warranties and receive free shipping!

What type of camera do you use?

DSLR, Mirrorless and Compact Point and Shoot: What's the Difference? We offer camera tips to help you determine which camera type you need.

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