Disadvantages of Super-Zoom Cameras for HDR Photography

There are a million-and-one camera and gear choices out there for high dynamic range photography. One category is that of high-end compact digital cameras, also called super-zoom cameras, or dSLR-like.

Here are the cons of spending more money to get a more capable camera:

  • Not a dSLR: As the cost rises, you approach the price of budget dSLRs but don’t get the same benefits. If you’re considering upgrading to a dSLR, seriously consider the two types of cameras and whether you need the super-zoom.

    No matter how expensive a super-zoom camera is, the camera and lens combined often cost less than a professional quality zoom or telephoto lens for a dSLR.

  • Flexibility: Super-zooms tend to be single-purpose cameras. Sure, you can stand on the sidelines of the soccer game taking photos of little Timmy across the way competing his heart out. However, wide-angle capability is limited, which can restrict your ability to shoot certain scenes in HDR. High-end compacts are much more versatile.

  • Noise: Compared with dSLRs, these cameras have more noise, especially at higher ISOs. Shooting at ISO 100 can negate this problem. See an example in this figure.

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