4 reasons to buy a fixed lens camera and NOT a DSLR

Yesterday I gave you 4 reasons why you may want to consider buying a DSLR instead of starting out with, or continuing to use, a fixed lens digital camera.

Today I’m going to flip the script and present an argument against going with a DSLR and opting for a compact, subcompact or other fixed lens camera.

Lets get to it, shall we?


Reason #1: Price

It’s no surprise that the first argument against purchasing a DSLR is the same as my first argument for purchasing a DSLR.  When buying any new piece of technology, most people’s first qualifier is going to be the price.

Is it really worth it?  Can I get something equal or better for cheaper?  These are the questions you’ll ask.

Even though many are fairly reasonably priced, the fact is that DSLRs are still much more expensive than most of their smaller counterparts.  Unfortunately, it just gets more expensive when you add in your additional lenses, filters, bags, tripods, etc..

So, if you’re on a budget or just don’t feel it’s worth the investment, you may not want to go with a DSLR.


Reason #2: DSLRs can be too overwhelming

For some people, more simple is simply better.

If you’re one of these people and you get overstimulated when presented with multiple buttons, knobs and options a DSLR may not be for you.

Granted, camera manufacturers are making more beginner-friendly DSLRs and every new camera should have multiple automatic modes but they still have a lot of buttons and options hidden in the menus.

Oh yeah, and there’s still the lenses.  Prime lenses, zoom lenses, telephoto, lenses, macro lenses…

So, if you want the utmost simplicity you may just want to look to a sleek compact with a big LCD and only a few buttons and go start shooting.

Bug Eyed Macro. Pentax Optio A30 (F 2.8, 1/320 @ 38mm - ISO 64)

Bug Eyed Macro. Pentax Optio A30 (F 2.8, 1/320 @ 38mm – ISO 64)


Reason #3: Fixed lens cameras are pretty advanced too

Camera manufacturers have recognized that many consumers don’t want a seemingly over-complicated DSLR and lenses to deal with but they do still want the creativity and features that come with a DSLR package.

Because of this a lot of advanced compact cameras now come with many of the same cool things that DSLRs do.

Over the years more and more fixed lens cameras have become equipped with things like image stabilized lenses, wider angle and longer zoom lenses, high ISO shooting modes, focus tracking and even the ability to shoot RAW format photos.

You really don’t have to spend like a pro to have the shooting creativity of a pro.

Plus, if you do like the look of a DSLR but want the ease of a point and shoot most major manufacturers sell DSLR-like cameras with a bigger form factor and longer zoom lenses. The Nikon Coolpix P500 and Pentax X90 are examples of this type of camera.

Many years ago my first step up from a compact camera was actually a DSLR-like camera, the Fuji Finepix S602 Zoom.


Finally, last but not least,


Reason #4: You just don’t need a DLSR

If you only take your camera out every once in a while or only shoot pics of the kids, nieces or nephews when you all get together you probably don’t need a DSLR.

Like I said before, there are many, many excellent cameras that have extremely advanced features matching some DSLRs but at much cheaper prices.

Here’s an idea, save yourself a bit of money on the camera and put it toward a weekend trip to give your new toy a trial run!


Regardless of whether you choose a DSLR or a fixed lens compact, subcompact or DSLR-like camera you’re bound to enjoy your purchase.  The most important thing, after all, is to make photos that make memories and you can do that with any camera.

Happy shooting!



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