Quote Originally Posted by blockend View Post
It's not just about size, but image. An SLR says serious, maybe intrusive. A compact is just a snapper. In some circumstances it's an important difference.
Back in 1983 I was 20 years old and in Pensacola, Florida. I was on the beach near the Naval base with my first 35mm camera, an amateur, aperture priority only Canon AV1 with a cheap Vivitar zoom lens. There were signs posted on the beach that no professional photographers were allowed. I wasn't worried since there were tourists there with much nicer SLR's than mine and with larger zooms and after all, I was still trying to learn how to use mine. I was approached anyway and asked if I had not read the signs. I replied that I was merely an amateur. The guard smiled and told me that I sure looked like I knew my way around a camera and would I please just put it away.

Boy, I sure had him fooled!