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SLR VS Point and Shoot: Pro’s and Con’s While Traveling

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Pros and Cons of SLRS vs. Point and Shoot Cameras While Traveling


You’re packing for your vacation and you’re trying to decide which camera to take—your point and shoot or your SLR digital camera. If you’re lucky enough to own both, you should think about what makes the most sense given where you are traveling, what subjects you will be photographing, the environment you will be shooting in, and what you plan to do with the photographs when you return.

Point and shoot cameras are great for their portability and ease of use. They are very quiet, so if you’re taking pictures in a venue where you don’t want to make any noise, this is your best bet. The limitations of point and shoot are that you are stuck with one lens. If you are traveling to a country or place where there are beautiful landscapes to photograph, a wide angle lens would be best and you would be limited with your point and shoot. The quality of the pictures will definitely be better with an SLR. This is because the imaging chip is bigger in the SLR. This is important if you plan on making enlargements of your photos. The point and shoot photos will be grainier when enlarged.

If you plan to take pictures at night, your point and shoot will have limitations that your SLR won’t. You will be able to control the settings on the SLR to achieve the night time shots you want. What if you’re traveling to a place where you will be doing a lot of hiking or boating? If you run the risk of getting water on your camera, would you rather damage a less expensive point and shoot, or you’re very pricey SLR? If you’re hiking, toting an SLR and all the lenses will be added weight in your backpack.

Another consideration is the shutter lag. Point and shoot cameras have a longer shutter lag, so that it is difficult to capture images at a sporting event, for example. Your SLR will take the pictures as fast as you can press the button. So, if you’re going to the Olympics, you definitely want your SLR.

The best solution is to bring both if possible and take the camera that suits the particular activity you will be doing that day. Point and shoots will be great for taking pictures of your family and friends at tourist stops, but if you want to be able to capture the beautiful scenery like mountains or oceans, your SLR will give you much better options.

Consider what kind of photographer you are. If you always want the ability to take the perfect shot, you’re SLR is a must. The point and shoot is convenient, but definitely has limitations if you are particular about your photos. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Traveling with a photography club can be fun because all these answers can be there for you while right in the action of taking photo’s abroad!

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2 Replies to “SLR VS Point and Shoot: Pro’s and Con’s While Traveling”

Greg Goodman
November 28, 2011
Can't live without my SLR on the road, but I do get jealous of all those people with small lenses and cameras not lugging around 10+ lbs of gear just to take a pic.
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