Totally depends on what you use it for
by wibbie - 3/21/09 11:15 PM
I had the same debate when I went to buy a new camera. I decided to go with the super zoom non-SLR Canon S5IS (after wearing out a Canon A95 that I was VERY happy with) and I've been mostly happy with my choice because it is a pretty versatile camera that takes really good pictures. It isn't quite as easy to pack with me as my old camera, though. Size can definitely be a factor in your choice. One of the biggest reasons I chose this one over an SLR is because I want to be able to take video with my camera which I have with me all the time, instead of dragging along the camcorder, too. I believe SLRs don't have video capability... but I could be wrong on that. I take lots of pictures, but I don't make my living doing this and don't blow my photos up to poster size, either. MOST people cannot discern between photos taken with a 5MP camera and one that is 10MP or more because many people never even print their pictures! If you are only ever printing off 4x6 snapshots, don't bother with the SLR.
I think you have to decide what kind of photographer you are, and consider your needs carefully. There are tons of sites that offer checklists about camera buying choices, and of course there are TONS of cameras and reviews out there.
If you are like me, and tend to be a serious amateur... or whatever they call people that take gazillions of pictures, but not necessarily professionally, then you will have a little harder decision to make than if you plan to be a serious professional OR if you only want to be an occasional photo taker. Make sure you know a bit about what the features are, whether they are important to you, and do your research into reliable brands, too. If you are overwhelmed by technology, go for simple. If you plan to just use the AUTO setting... just get very easy to use camera, with a decent zoom, and steer clear of the expensive camera. You'd just be wasting your money.
Anyway, to sum up... make sure you know what you want it for first, THEN make your choice based on features that are important to you.