Difference between DSLR and Digital Camera

By Arindam Roy

The term DSLR is an acronym for digital single lens reflex. The term has become so popular in recent years, it has begun to be used interchangeably with digital camera. DSLRs are typically used for amateur photographers while digital cameras are more commonly seen on the market due to their affordable price ranges and technological advances. However, there is a difference between these two types of cameras that even professional photographers must be aware of just in case they are shooting and editing images on a regular basis with either type of camera. This article will give you an overview of the differences between a DSLR and Digital Camera so you can decide if purchasing or renting one is right for your needs.


What is a DSLR?


The first thing that needs to be mentioned when discussing DSLRs is the fact that they are most commonly used by amateur photographers. A DSLR has some advantages over a standard digital camera, but it also has some disadvantages. The primary advantage of a DSLR is the capability of changing lenses as needed which can help when photographing in different environments and in various situations. Another advantage of a DSLR is the ability to change settings on the camera such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO without editing or editing software. Our professional photographers like to use this feature while they are on the job.

The primary downside to these DSLRs is the cost. For many people, a DSLR camera that has the features mentioned above costs more than a regular digital camera that does not have these features and can be more affordable for those who decide to purchase one of those cameras. This can also lead to some limitations with certain cameras which will not have the ability to change lenses or settings as easily as others. You will want to make sure you are aware of your needs and what your budget allows before purchasing one of these cameras so you do not end up buying something that does not fit your needs in the long run.


Read more: How Does a Digital Camera Work: Explained

What is a Digital Camera?


As mentioned earlier, the term DSLR is being used more and more to refer to both types of cameras on the market. However, there are still some differences between what the two cameras offer photographically. A digital camera will have fewer features than a DSLR and may not be able to edit or change settings as easily as a DSLR. Digital cameras also tend to be smaller and lighter than DSLRs making them easier to carry on most occasions. Another advantage of digital cameras is the ability to be able to purchase them more cheaply than a DSLR camera. However, the main disadvantage of digital cameras is the fact that they do not offer some of the same features as a DSLR. It may not be as easy to change lenses or settings on a digital camera so you will need to learn how to do it on one if you decide to go with one first and then purchase a more advanced camera later.


What are Some Features that are Similar?


There are several features that can be similar between these two types of cameras. Both are able to record video footage, both shoot in RAW, and both have optical zoom capabilities. Additionally, they both have the ability to shoot in a variety of different modes and settings. Most digital cameras can be used in places where flash photography is not allowed or in areas that do not have lighting found, such as a wedding reception hall where there are no lights on.

As one of the most popular consumer cameras, digital cameras are well-suited for amateur photographers. However, they do not match the quality and performance of a DSLR camera and should never be considered a replacement for one. This article examines the key differences between DSLR vs. digital camera with information on prices, image quality, weight, size and mirrorless cameras.

Relevant reading: Things to Know When You Use a DSLR Camera | DSLR Photography Tips

Digital or Film? Making The Decision Today’s market offers a variety of options when it comes to making a decision about what kind of camera you need to purchase – whether it be digital or film (slide). Although digital has taken the spotlight these days, many people still prefer the classic film look to the more modern digital look. However, using a digital camera is better for many reasons.

First of all, it has a higher quality image because it records images in pixels (picture elements) instead of segments (when using film). It offers more flexibility and is much easier to store and transfer when compared to physical media such as film strips and slides. Digital cameras also provide instant feedback about your image via a LCD screen or computer screen instead of having to wait for processing in order to know how your pictures came out.

The main differences between DSLR and digital cameras are:

  • Image Quality
  • Weight
  • Size
  • Mirrorless Cameras and Price


There are also many other minor details that differentiate DSLR and digital cameras.

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A comparison of the weight and size of a DSLR vs. digital camera is as follows: A DSLR is heavier than its digital counterpart by 16-20% depending on the camera body type. It is slightly smaller but not significantly larger than a similar point-and-shoot digital camera (see below). The size difference has little significance, but it can be important if you are specifying your choice based on portability (e.g., hiking). If you’re looking for something durable (e.g. military/sports), consider a DSLR.

Related article: How to Set up a DSLR Camera: A Beginner’s Guide

Image Quality and Resolution


The image quality of a DSLR is different from that of an digital camera because they take different pictures. Unlike film, which is a high-resolution medium, digital still retains lower quality images as the number of pixels on the image increases. The main difference between sensor size in a digital camera vs. DSLR is measured by their megapixel count or megapixels (MP). More MP means higher resolution, but this comes at a price: more storage space is required and you will need to connect to your computer through an SD card for downloading images when you are done shooting. This is more convenient and safe than the chemical processing system used by traditional film cameras.


Image Stabilization


DSLR cameras offer image stabilization capabilities because they have reflex mirrors and interchangeable lenses. Although a DSLR camera does not require image stabilization, it is highly recommended to use an image-stabilized lens when taking pictures using a tripod or in low-light conditions. The advantages of using an image-stabilized lens are as follows: reduced blurriness and no need to use a flash. It is best for fast action shots from sports to kids playing.


Relevant reading: How to Photograph Forest and Trees: Detailed Guide

Mirrorless Cameras


The most important difference between DSLR and digital cameras is size. The mirrorless camera market has been expanding rapidly but it is still not as big as the DSLR market. Many photographers who want a camera that is small, lightweight and easy to carry have discovered that a mirrorless camera is a better option than a DSLR. Mirrorless cameras are also very popular with people who want to take pictures in tight places or at concerts due to their smaller size.

They are more expensive than digital cameras and typically have fewer features, which explains why they do not match the quality or performance of a DSLR. Since they do not include mirrors, they are more compact. The physical shutter is also not needed and so the camera can eliminate this completely. It is designed to be used with interchangeable lenses, just like a DSLR.


The image quality of a mirrorless camera is approximately 80% of that of a comparable DSLR.




Digital cameras are cheaper than DSLR cameras, but it is not always the case. You can get an entry-level digital camera for $100-$200, but a basic entry-level DSLR costs around $600-$700. Price differences also depend on additional features such as lenses. The cost of using a DSLR camera increases with the number of lenses you purchase and your preference for better image quality over compactness (bulkiness).

If you can afford it, a DSLR is a better option since it provides the best image quality. For those who are on a budget or are looking for something more compact, a mirrorless camera might be the right option. It is usually smaller and does not have interchangeable lenses.

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Digital cameras are faster, much more convenient to use and easier to transfer than film because they only require the user to download the images for archiving in order to view them on their computer or another device (unless you have an SD card). However, with every new technology in photography comes newer techniques and skills that must be learned.

DSLR cameras work better for professional and advanced photographers. They are more complicated, but they provide the best value for your money. Mirrorless cameras are more convenient in that you do not need to swap lenses like DSLR cameras. The size difference between both cameras is minimal and the mirrorless camera has a smaller body than its digital counterpart, but the lenses have quality images comparable to DSLR cameras (see below).

However, since they do not have interchangeable lenses, mirrorless cameras are harder to use than DSLRs, therefore you spend more time deliberating over whether you should buy one.


We hope this article has helped you understand the difference between digital cameras and DSLR cameras better. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below. We will be happy to help you with your questions on digital cameras!



Q: Will it work with a zoom lens?

A: Yes. The Pro-DSLR Holster can be used with any two lens combination that weighs less than 12 pounds when both lenses are combined.

Q: I have a large camera and I want to carry it by my side. Is this possible?

A: Yes. The Pro-DSLR Holster will accommodate a camera that weighs up to 12 pounds when both lenses are combined.

Q: How is the Pro-DSLR Holster used?

A: There are three ways you can use the Pro-DSLR Holster. The first way is with the Velcro attachment behind the neck. The second option is with a camera strap in front of the neck, and the third option is with a frame around your neck such as a backpack.

Q: What is the best strap to use with the Pro-DSLR Holster?

A: We recommend using the BlackRapid RS-7 Strap. This strap has a padded shoulder pad that fits between the neck and camera allowing you to carry it by your side or across your body. It distributes the weight evenly and has an added benefit of giving you quick release from the camera.

Q: Will the Pro-DSLR Holster fit an X underwater housing?

A: Yes. The Pro-DSLR Holster will fit your camera with any underwater case up to 12 pounds. We recommend using the Pro-DSLR Holster in front of your chest for better balance and access to your camera buttons.


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