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I Have Heard Of SLR, But What Is A Digital SLR or dSLR?

Aug 17, 2007
When a photographer has a camera where the focus, composition, and depth of field are perfect, and they can be perfectly seen through the viewfinder in the same way as the photographer himself, nothing more needs to be said. With the lens being able to change according to the needs and desires of the photographer, there will be super freedom to take outstanding pictures.

What makes digital dSLRs so special? Just the fact they are the dSLR. The "single lens reflex camera" (dSLR) presently dominates the market for professional cameras. The other camera type is the rangefinders (RE) - their main difference with the dSLR is the way photographic scene is displayed, accessed, and processed in the viewfinder.

The main, fundamental principal of the dSLR is the TTL, or through-the-lens, mechanism. The earlier ones did not have today's "instant-return" mirror which we used today. Some advantages of the dSLR camera which caused it to move up on price, is the distance between the lens and film is increased due to needed space for the mirror, forcing the "retrofocus design" to be required, a special approach to the lens design.

The movement of the mirror needed to be more precise as it caused vibrations due to the impulse produced by stopping the mirror. With the lastest developments in the dSLR, many benefits occurred: ease of composition; the ability to control the focus accuracy; ability ot use lenses for unrestricted range of focal lengths; and ease of use various filters.

The dSLR will give us a clearer and brighter image than any electronic viewfinder ever can. If a point and shoot (P&S) camera has a separate viewfinder, it will be much smaller than a dSLR and will not display any shooting data. The dSLR has a larger sensor in terms of physical size (not pixels), than a P&S camera. This is usually almost six times the area and this can significantly improve the image quality.

The main reason for this is that with a larger sensor, noise is less of a problem. Another benefit of having a larger sensor is that you can have a shallow depth of field for blurred background effects. A P&S camera with a higher pixel count than a dSLR may not provide images that are as good as the SLR.

There are many advantages of using the dSLR. Superior lens are one advantage while having the option of changing lenses is the other advantage. Using a macro lens with an SLR will give you better images than those provided by a P&S camera, with a macro facility.

Digital SLRs have a higher dynamic range than P&S cameras. Dynamic range refers to the brightness levels that a camera can capture. This is the range of light, from the lightest to the darkest, in which you can still make out the details.

In a dSLR the shutter lag is almost non-existent. This is the lag between the time when you press the button and when the photograph is taken. With an SLR, it may be as low as millionths of a second, while it may be much higher in a P&S camera. Most P&S cameras cannot capture images in the raw format, while all digital SLR cameras can.

Raw formats are images from the sensor that are saved without any manipulation by the camera's software. This can provide the best image quality that you can get from a digital camera.

However, a dSLR camera does have disadvantages. It costs a lot more, especially if you start adding the cost of the lenses and accessories. A digital SLR is also much bigger and heavier with the weight of the lens and accessories adding to the weight. Still, if you are interested in obtaining the best image quality, then a dSLR may be the best option for you.
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