The difference depends on what you want from your photgraphy. SLR's tend to have lenses that can be changed, normal digital cameras have a fixed lense where the user is limited to what he/she can shoot. For example nature photgraphy or sports would be better with a 300mm or greater lense, normal cameras wouldnt have this option. SLR's also have greater functionality giving the user more experimental control, such as aperture, shutter speed, RAW shooting ect. So what camera you buy depends on how far you think you might want to get into photraphy, thats why i bought an SLR, i wanted total control over my hobby. Hope this helps.