DSLRs have interchangeable lenses for a reason. It makes the cameras more versatile.
So no matter what situation you can think of, you can have a particular lens for that shot.
With a DSLR, you are gaining all the features like larger sensors, interchangeable lenses, higher quality images overall, but you can still shoot in a fully automatic mode. The difference is though, that shot will come out a lot better.
As you learn more about what a camera can do, and how a camera works, the DSLR actually grows with you.
So in a compact system camera, you have all the same manual features that you'd have with a full-size DSLR.
They are, sort of, the little brother of a DSLR.
The idea is they take out the mirror mechanism so there's less moving parts in the camera. It's a lot lighter and smaller, so that way it's easier to carry around. But you still get all the benefits of a bigger sensor and interchangeable lenses.
With a DSLR, the millisecond you press the shutter, the photo is taken. You're ready to take another one.
When we talk about fast, we also talk about frames per second. When I hold the shutter button down, and I'm taking several pictures in a row, how many pictures do I get in a period of one second? They range anywhere from three frames per second to 10 frames per second.
So it does most of the processing before you even start to take the picture.
There are burst modes. So if you're shooting sports, you can just hold the shutter down, and it'll auto-focus and shoot for each frame that you want. On some DSLRs, they have the Wi-Fi functionality built in, so it allows you to upload either directly to a computer, to a cell phone, and then you can put it on whatever site you want.
Whether it's a wedding, or a baby's first steps, or a soccer game, or anything that you want to treasure for a long time, that's where DSLRs are actually a lot more reliable.
Those are moments that you don't get back. And having really good quality images helps to preserve those moments.
The best thing to do is to demo the cameras, feel the weight in your hands, you use the menu system, and you shoot with it-- you can tell right away if you like it.