Photography - Knowledge

What is DSLR Camera: Everything You Need to Know About It!

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Let’s be honest here, for any aspiring photographer, nothing can be more rewarding than getting that perfect shot on your smartphone or point-and-shoot camera. If you cannot manage a good picture because of the slow speed of your camera, there is a sense of disappointment that disturbs you. There would be a time when you finally get bored with your old point-and-shoot camera and would want something that gives you more control. This is when you would consider getting a DSLR and the first question that pops up is- What is DSLR camera?

Are you ready to make the switch? But, first, you need to learn about the basics of what is DSLR camera and how does it function. Listed below is everything that you need to know and consider before purchasing your first DSLR.

Understanding SLR’s

SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex and is a camera that generally uses a prism and mirror system. This way the photographer gets to see through the lens and perceives exactly what would be captured on the camera. With the help of twin lens reflex and the rangefinder cameras, the image that is viewed would be much different as compared to the final image.

dslr vs point and shoot
SLR Camera (Source)

When you press the shutter button on an SLR camera, the mirror would flip out of the path of light. This way light would easily pass through the light receptor and a brilliant image would be captured.

With advancements in the field of photography, the cameras today have become far moiré better than before. The cameras of today’s times are much faster and are therefore capable of capturing shots brilliantly. If you ever ask a photographer what they use, they would answer DSLR’s. But, what is DSLR camera? Is it better than the SLR’s?

What is DSLR: Understanding DSLR’s

So, what is DSLR? The Digital Single Lens Reflex is popularly known as DSLR. It is basically a camera which utilizes the mirror mechanism so as to reflect light from the lens of the camera to the optical viewfinder or to allow light to pass completely onto to the image sensor.

The digital camera combines the mechanism and optics of an SLR with a digital imaging sensor. The reflex design scheme is the basic difference between DSLR and all other kinds of cameras.

By using just a single lens, the DSLR camera Nikon’s viewfinder presents an image which doesn't differ much from what has been captured by the sensor of the camera.

What DSLR Cameras Consist Of
The Anatomy of a Digital SLR (Source)

The difference between SLR and DSLR is that the viewfinder allows a direct optical view through the camera’s lens instead of being captured by the sensor and then displayed on the digital screen.

How Does a DSLR work?

Now that you know what is DSLR, let’s see how it functions. The viewfinder of the digital camera helps in framing the subject by allowing the scene to pass through the lens in the form of light into a reflex mirror. This bounces the light off vertically to the pentaprism or the pentamirror. The pentaprism converts the light to horizontal from vertical by bouncing off into the viewfinder with the help of two different mirrors.

The reflex mirror of the DSLR camera opens up as soon as you press the shutter button and thereby allows light to pass directly through it. The shutter mechanism, therefore, opens up until the image sensor is done capturing the image.

The opening of the shutter mechanism allows the light to reach the image sensor easily. As soon as the image is captured, processed and converted to the right format, the shutter closes and the reflex mirror return back to their original position.

As the image is processed and converted into the right format by the DSLR, the shutter closes and the reflex mirror returns to its original position. With such cameras, you get superior image quality, various manual control options and superior performance levels. Basically, everything is comparatively much better than what you would get with fixed lens cameras.

Advantages of a DSLR Camera

The best DSLR cameras offer a wide range of advantages as compared to other types of digital cameras, film cameras or smartphones. If you are wondering which one is better DSLR vs. point and shoot, it definitely has to be a digital camera. Still not convinced? Given below are a few advantages of a DSLR camera.

Manual Control Options

Clicking pictures with the automatic mode is fine but as you gain experience as a photographer, you would want to have more control over the outcome of the images. Towards the beginning, using the auto mode is okay. But, gradually as you get to learn more about light and all the other factors that affect the quality of the image; you would want to modulate the camera settings.

This is when the manual control of a DSLR camera would be helpful as they allow tweaking certain aspects of the shots. This means that you would be able to use slow shutter speeds in order to capture more light when capturing in poor lighting conditions. For better color replication, tweak the white balance and so much more.

Superior Quality Images

These advanced cameras have rather larger image sensors as compared to the portable counterparts. This allows capturing superior quality images. They can also be easily be used at faster ISO’s which creates less grainy images as compared to the pin and shoot cameras. Also, these cameras have the capability to record images in RAW format.

A Lens for Every Occasion
Superior Quality images with DSLR

This is helpful as the camera software wouldn’t be able to use any kind of compression which is what happens with most of the JPEG formats. With this, there wouldn’t be any kind of diminution in the image quality.

More Flexibility with Shooting

The Sony, Canon, Nikon cameras and other options provide the option of changing the lenses. This means that by simply changing the lenses, you would easily be able to vary your shots. Use a prime or telephoto lens to capture crisp and clear portraits, a wide-angle lens to shoot stunning landscapes and large group shots.

You could use a macro-lens to get that absolutely detailed close-up shots of flowers, food, small insects and much more.

With these cameras, you also get a lot of control over your setup. When combines with the right filter, flash and the right lighting, a DSLR would be able to produce impressive results.

How to Choose the Right DSLR?

The best DSLR camera for beginners would be dependent on the kind of photography that you are interested in. There are actually quite a few factors upon which your choice would be dependent.

Know your Requirements

Consider what exactly you are going to be using the camera for. It could be anything from wildlife photography, travel photography, street photography, food photography or anything else. Other than that, consider if you would mostly be shooting outdoors or indoors. Jot down all of your shooting requirements. This way you would easily be able to judge all the specifications that you are looking for.

Decide How much Weight you are Willing to Carry

A lightweight and compact DSLR would be the perfect option if you aren’t someone who’s willing to carry big, bulky cameras in large camera bags. However, if size and weight isn’t the issue for you, you could purchase full-frame, heavy cameras.

Budget is Important

You need to set a budget first. This would aid in narrowing down the choices. These digital cameras are made up of several components and therefore you would have to take into account the cost of lenses, batteries, memory cards, filters and the camera bag. Write down how much you can really spend and then make your decisions wisely.

Once you have assessed your requirements you can go ahead and make your choice from the wide variety of cameras available. The best DSLR camera makers are- Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Pentax and Sony. They produce a wide range of cameras which you can choose from. The DSLR price would be dependent on the functions of the camera. So, make your decisions wisely.

Summing Up

As you can see, we have answered the most asked question which is what is DSLR camera. We have tried to explain it in the simplest possible way. One thing that you need to understand is that the DSLR cameras do have a lot of advantages. But, can at times be more expensive than the than fixed lens cameras. However, all of the benefits overshadow this one disadvantage. If you are serious about photography and wish to take your passion to the next level, getting a DSLR would be a great option.

Would you like to anything more? If yes, feel free to leave your questions in the comment section below.