To DSLR or not to DSLR

Hello big boy I had discussion over the last couple of days about cameras. Which is better a DSLR or a Point & Shoot.  Many will say "a DSLR of course", but my opinion is a little of this and a little of that.  To make it plain and simple, use the camera that will suit your purpose.  Really.  As Chase Jarvis said, "the best camera is the one that is with you".  It was an interesting discussion to which I came up with these points.

1. If all you want to do is take pictures a la photojournalistic type, then any point and shoot will do.  They are small, and quick to use and capture the moment.  Right now with all the technological advances, they take great photos.

2. If you want to start mixing it up a little.  Nature, landscape, portraits, macro, then point & shoots start to become a little harder to use.  Most lenses on a point & shoot are not wide enough for a good landscape shot, and not long enough for nature/animal shots.  Portraits and macro are still ok, but any advanced (better flash, DOF, off camera flash), are not achievable with a point & shoot.  Of course there are point & shoots and point & shoot, but on a general basis they lack when it comes to the more advanced photography.

3. Picture quality is debatable.  When shooting in full auto and jpg, then it becomes the camera's job to process the picture.  Some will do a better job, then others.  Better saturation of colors, better sharpness correction and noise reduction.   For me I can't stand when the camera is doing all that for me, thus I shoot RAW, meaning the camera does nothing to the picture.  It just records what it sees at what ever settings I have chosen.  When I get the picture into my computer I can do all the adjustments myself, however I feel like it, and I don't have to worry that the picture has already been altered by the camera.  Think of it as it was in the olden days.  You took a picture on film, and you could give it to a 1h lab to process and print the photos, or you could do it yourself in the darkroom.  Darkroom of course, offered a lot more controls over the development of the picture, which you could adjust and modify to your hearts content.  As long as you had the proper chemicals and knowledge.  Now the darkroom is replaced with Photoshop, or any photo editing software, which with a RAW file allows for more refined process of editing.

So, don't get  hung up on technical aspects of the camera, because unless you actually take one out and start using it, you got nothing to show.  Figure out why you want to take pictures, and go with that.  Figure out what are the limitations of the camera, and either avoid situations where the limitation with prevent you from taking a good photo, or learn how to used them to your advantage.

A camera is a camera is a camera.  Learn one, and learn it well.  Go out there and start taking pictures.  Technical specifications are really not that important in art.