DSLR is the acronym for digital single-lens reflex, which in a free translation would be “digital camera of reflection by a lens”. This means that the DSLR is the digital version for older SLR film cameras, where light passes only through the lens before arriving at the sensor – or in the film, in the case of traditional cameras.
This all gets very complicated in technical language, but in theory the only difference from a DSLR camera to a compact digital camera (the ordinary digital cameras) is how it works. Instead of the image being captured by a sensor and thus reproduced on an LCD screen behind the camera, the image is reflected by a mirror directly to a viewfinder. When you take the picture, this mirror collapses and the sensor captures the image.
Still complicated? Just look at the diagram above. Light enters through the lens and is reflected in a mirror at 45 ° and then into a pentaprism, which simply directs light to the viewfinder where the eye is placed. When you press the shutter release button, this mirror turns upwards, and the light goes straight to the sensor, capturing the photo.
Although this is the big technical differential, in practice, a DSLR has many more attributes that make it more advanced than a compact digital. To begin with, the image quality is superior, since the sensor that captures the image is bigger than the ordinary cameras. This favors in low light environments, for example.
In addition, DSLRs offer far more settings than a regular camera – an attribute that is only valid for those who understand a little more photography. The lenses are also of better quality, and these cameras enable the use of accessories such as external flashes.
Still do not know if it’s worth buying a DSLR or not? See some more advantages and also the disadvantages.
The good side of DSLR
- Although some DSLR already have a live preview, that is, seeing the image to be photographed on the LCD screen behind the camera, most professionals prefer to see through the optical viewfinder – that tiny hole on the camera. This is because the display shows exactly the light conditions and what the lens captured. Another advantage is not having image lag – what you see is happening at the speed of light and not in the processing time of your camera. This also causes less eye strain, since you will not need to look at a screen that emits light. But there’s no need to worry: although some do not have the live preview, all DSLRs allow you to see what the image looks like later, like a regular digital one.
- Overall, the battery lasts much longer, since the LCD display does not stay on all the time. In addition, many of them allow the fitting of a grip that prolongs the battery life.
- One point that is definitive for those who will take pictures of moving things is the shooting speed. The DSLR is much faster than an ordinary camera. The fastest can release ten clicks in just one second. Great way to ensure a good shot.
- The DSLR is a lifelong purchase, we can say that. Even if you do not keep yours forever, they lose value much less quickly – unlike compact digital ones. That is, if you keep it carefully, you can sell it later and still get good money for it.
But not everything is perfect
- Although it is already much more feasible, the price of a DSLR is exorbitant near a compact camera. What makes it more expensive are the lenses, which come to cost the same as an ordinary camera. Before buying analyze whether it is worth it and if it is really the camera you want, as well as make a complete budget:the camera body, the lenses you want, an extra case and accessories.
- DSLRs are much heavier and larger than compact ones, precisely because of the set of mirrors that take place inside the camera. It’s not a camera you carry in your pocket or backpack.
- Because its system is very mechanical, the DSLR may require some maintenance. Outside that changing lenses can allow the entry of dust – which requires a skilled person to do the cleaning.
- DSLRs are not easy to handle. Even the automatic mode sometimes requires a little more attention than a compact one.
- For those who like to be discreet, the DSLR can be considered noisy. Like the old cameras, the trigger is mechanical, making the famous “click”.