Buying a DSLR or Digital Compact Camera, that is the question

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You finally come to the decision that you need a digital camera; but you discover that there are so many manufacturers, models, terms and jargon that confuses you. This short article will help you with the basics so that you can decide which digital SLR camera is right for you.


Buying a digital camera can be quite an exciting experience. Understanding the basics of two of the main types of digital cameras will help you make a more informed decision when making your first big purchase. One of the big decisions you need to make is to choose between a digital compact camera or a digital SLR camera.


Why a Digital SLR?

 Digital CompactDigital SLR
Size and WeightIf you want your camera to be light and fit right in your pocket, then this is the camera for you.DSLRs weigh more than compacts and they are huge. Add on a lens and you need some special carry gear..
Manual ZoomDigital compacts have automatic zoom. All you will have to do is point, wait for the camera to focus and shoot!DSLRs can have many different lenses and, as a result, zooming is totally manual. This is actually faster and more effective than auto zoom, but it does require a little more effort.
Zoom RangeSome compact cameras have a very large zoom range, however many of them use a digital zoom which can result in marginally lower image-quality.Digital SLRs have much versatility when it comes to zoom lenses. That said, they come at a price. Look to spend anything from a few thousand rand to well over R200,000.00.
PriceMuch cheaper than DSLRs, compact cameras are the right choice for you if you want good photos for you holiday, but don't expect to get the amount of versatility you'd expect from a DSLR.DSLRs start off at around R4000 but usually go way beyond that due to all the accessories you are able to buy: better zoom, lens and lighting equipment. You will, however, be rewarded with a great hobby and amazing photos.

Is a Digital SLR or a Digital Compact Best for Me?

While understanding some of these basic differences may have helped, you might still be unsure of the best option for you. Below is a short check-list to help you decide. Ask yourself these questions:
  • Will I want to take photographs in dim light?
  • Do many of my photos come out blurry?
  • Do I want more control over how my photos come out?
  • Would I like the option of changing my lens to accommodate different situations?
  • Do I want to take really good looking photographs?
Score one point for each answer to which you responded "yes".


5A DSLR is definitely for you! Don't stop here, buy a DSLR camera now!
4You may not be ready for the DSLR experience, however you should still consider it. If you're still stuck between the two you may want to look into getting a hybrid camera.
1-3DSLRs are great, but you don't need one right now. If you're looking to buy a camera, have a look at a digital compact camera.


Using a DSLRBefore You Buy a Digital SLR Camera

If you're still unsure about which digital SLR camera suits your needs best, it may help to ask an expert a few questions. At bidorbuy, you can find the largest collection of photography retailers in Kenya, right in one spot. If you find a camera that suits your budget and you need to know a little more, simply ask the seller a question by clicking on ¿Ask the seller about this item¿ in any product listing.

Things to consider asking:

  • If you plan on using your DSLR for sports photography, for example, consider asking if the camera is suitable for this.
  • If you have specific lighting requirements, ask the seller what lighting will work best with the camera.
  • Also, ask what else you might need along with your camera to complete your kit.

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