Sensors in the Point and Shoot versus DSLRs

Most consumers can now purchase a reasonably good and reliable digital camera for an affordable price. Within the past decade, however, even the most complicated and advanced of the digital cameras have become remarkably affordable as well. Consider the many “prosumer” cameras and DSLRs (digital single lens reflex) varieties now available; these used to be priced in the thousands of dollars, but now few come close to such costs. This is due to the advances in production and technology that make more sensitive and durable equipment readily available as well as to the competitiveness in the market.

There are some obvious and fundamental differences between the more basic of the “point and shoot” models and the DSLRs, but none are more obvious than their sensors. The sensors are where the image is recorded into the camera’s memory. The sensor is made of millions of tiny pixels which the camera translates into a recording of the scene to which the camera was exposed. This is the same process that happened with old-fashioned photographic film, but is now achieved entirely via electronic processes instead.

Modern point and shoot cameras use very small sensors in comparison to the DSLRs. Though the smaller sensors work remarkably well, the size of the DSLR sensors allows them to gather much more data and light per pixel. This means that the camera’s computer is better able to interpret the information which all translates to a superior and more accurate final image.

One good way to compare the differences between DSLR and point and shoot sensors is to look at “noise”. This is a common phenomenon with digital photography, and is basically the occasions when a photograph has off color dots or pixels in areas where there should be a single, solid color. This happens when the sensor is unable to translate the brightness (or darkness) coming in from the scene and the information becomes jumbled. Basically, this is something that occurs with far less frequency when a DSLR and its enormous sensor are used to record even complicated scenes.

Additionally, when a camera user places their equipment into a manual, rather than an automatic mode, they might often create scenarios in which the point and shoot sensor cannot accurately interpret the information because it is not getting adequate light. This too causes noise and results in unsatisfactory photographs.

Generally, the major difference between the sensors of DSLRs and point and shoot cameras is that the larger sensors produce the cleaner and more accurate results that are well-worth the investment.

About the Author

Amy is an multi-award winning photographer from Australia. She teaches enthusiast photographers how to take beautiful, professional photos in easy, plain English. She has a monthly photography emagazine and ebooks to help you create stunning images every time.

Comments (19)

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  1. digital cameras today have even surpassed the resolution of the old film cameras. they even have better low light capabilities than film.

  2. Diane Hain says:

    It takes one around and through the digital camera so one knows how it works and what its features are used for as there are hundreds of links to the best sources and products so you can learn even more. There is a great variety in cameras for example the one for the beginners has E-TTL II for stable flash exposures and improved White balance compensation for the clarity of the picture. To store these cameras there is a specially designed carry case with internal pockets large enough to hold money or credit cards.

    Zoom cameras:

    Zoom cameras are used for a better picture and better efficiency by moving the sensor itself to give a better quality of picture. There is an image processing technology, which gives users images as beautiful as those they see with their own eyes and this makes the camera a special one. Some cameras can be described in a sentence by quoting that Good things come in small packages like this digital camera. Most of the good quality cameras are clear, high-quality prints so that one can capture the picture in a better way.

    Small cameras:

    The best part of a small digital camera is that this digital camera is smaller than a matchbox and stores a lot of pictures in its internal memory. Most of the manufacturers have a latest sensor, the all-new eight mega pixels four-color there was ignorance to all other changes that made a formidable combination with a high quality mechanically linked zoom lens. There are many spy cameras with functions that can be of a great use and chief among them its super compact size and as it is of the size that is as small as a credit card that is beneficial for users to carry.

  3. Bob Johnson says:

    A great piece – thank you so much for posting it. I would definitely recommend thet every one else should have a look at it.

  4. Mark Bloomington says:

    Who knew camera sensors could be so interesting! LOL

  5. Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  6. Keep working on more info for your blog, great job!

  7. refi plus says:

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  8. Ups says:

    thanks good post

  9. Ohh very much thanks admin

  10. Fred Bekins says:

    Interesting theme, I will keep close in touch with you.

  11. limo says:

    Amazing article, thanks, I will visit again now.

  12. dentist says:

    An interesting post right there mate ! Thank you for the post .

  13. Very intersting, thank you! I was intersted to know about digital camera sensors and never knew half this stuff.

  14. Michael says:

    Hey – great site, just looking around some websites, seems a pretty awesome platform you are using. I’m currently using Drupal for a few of my sites but looking to modify one of them over to a platform similar to yours as a trial run. Anything in particular you would advise about it?

  15. Fascinating about digital camera sensors- I really like this article.

  16. Tebiah says:

    That’s an excellent article, thanks Amy!

  17. barry says:

    I have just begun to be interested in digital photography and think we are in for a ride over the next few years- technology I mean.

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