What prompted me to write this article is my father-in-law’s announcement that he purchased a Canon DSLR camera from QVC last night. He already owns a couple point-and-shoot cameras and has no idea how to transfer photos from the camera to his laptop, much less print them. He can’t seem to remember how to look at his photos on the camera itself either. He loves technology, but doesn’t have or understand the skill needed to use it. I feel bad for him.
When I asked him why he bought the new DSLR, he told me that he wants to be able to shoot photos like mine. After some discussion, I told him it’s probably way too much camera for him to handle and suggested he cancel the order. I don’t think he will though… he told me that he thinks that I can teach him to use it. I don’t mind trying, but experience tells me that it’ll be a lifelong vocation.
So, I decided to shoot a few photos and show him the differences between four different cameras.
I have a Canon Rebel Xsi, an entry level DSLR camera with which I’ve shot nearly 20,000 photos. I also have a Canon PowerShot SX200IS, a point-and-shoot camera that has a history of about 1800 photos. The third camera is a Nikon CoolPix L120… my least favorite point-and-shoot camera with less than 150 photos. Finally, I have my iPhone 4s, which I use quite often. The iPhone camera has at least 1500 photos to it’s credit.
Here are the four photos. All are straight out of the cameras, SOOC, no post processing at all.
The verdict? In my opinion, the first three photos are very acceptable for an amateur photographer. If I had to choose, I’d use the second shot from the Canon PowerShot SX200IS for printing. If I were to do some post processing, the DSLR photo has purer whites and would be a good candidate. Th iPhone camera is pretty amazing… I use it a lot because it’s just so handy and it is a decent camera. The colors are typically a bit washed out, so I’ll use an app to tweak the hue and saturation if needed.
Even the Nikon point-and-shoot camera could produce some great photos. Although there are several settings for different conditions, there are no controls for setting aperture, shutter speed, or ISO, the three settings that make or break a photograph.
All in all, I believe that you can take an outstanding photo with any camera.