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What is a Digital SLR Camera?

Updated on January 11, 2017
Digital Camera
Digital Camera

Single Lens Reflex Camera

By Mahavir Sanglikar

In simple words, a Digital SLR camera is a Single Lens Reflex camera which works on Digital technology. A Single Lens Reflex camera is the camera which allows the photographer to look through the lens, so that he could know the actual image to be captured.

Single Lens Reflex camera has a mirror and a prism in it. When the view is actually captured the mirror is uplifted and the rays coming through the lens go to the film or the sensor.

In other cameras, the view the photographer sees in the viewfinder is from a slightly different angle. This makes the actual image that is captured slightly different from what the photographer sees in the viewfinder. If the image is a close up one, this difference is very big. Just like we see an object very close to us by left eye and right eye. So for close up shots and Micro photography, Single Lens Reflex Cameras are the best.

A great benefit of SLR cameras is that you can change the lens and use different lenses like Zoom Lens, Telephoto Lens, Wide Angle Lens etc.

The point and shoot digital cameras lacks many feature which are available in DSLR cameras. These cameras have fixed lenses, so you can not change them.

Cross Section of a Digital SLR camera

Cross Section of a Digital SLR camera 1. Lens 2. Mirror 3. Shutter 4. Sensor  5. Focusing Screen 6. Condenser Lens  7. Prism  8. View Finder
Cross Section of a Digital SLR camera 1. Lens 2. Mirror 3. Shutter 4. Sensor 5. Focusing Screen 6. Condenser Lens 7. Prism 8. View Finder

Comparing Film SLR and DSLR

The term SLR is used for both the Film Cameras and Digital Cameras which use Single Lens Reflex System. In Film SLR cameras, a film is used to shoot photographs, while in Digital SLR cameras, an image sensor is used and the images are stored in a memory card. The image sensor transforms optical image into digital image. Thus in digital cameras, film is replaced by a sensor and a memory card.

Film SLR cameras are now not popular, as Digital SLR cameras save a lot of money on film as a memory card stores thousands of images and you can empty the memory card by downloading the images to your computer, and use the card again and again. Further, a Digital Camera have many more functions when compared to Film SLR cameras. For example, you can take video clips using a DSLR camera, which is not possible in Film SLR camera. Moreover, the quality of a Digital image is superior to film image. That is why Digital SLR cameras are very popular in professional photographers, as well as in amateur photographers.

Technology always changes. It replaces older one. Digital cameras have replaced Film cameras and Digital SLR Cameras have replaced Film SLR Cameras.

Some Famous Manufacturers of Digital SLR Cameras

As market of Film SLR cameras started to collapse, most of the manufacturers of FSLR cameras have started to manufacture Digital SLR cameras. On the other hand, many manufacturers of electronics goods also have started to produce DSLR cameras. Some of the famous brands of DIGITAL SLR Cameras are Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Olympus, Pentax, Sigma, Sony etc. Apart from these manufacturers there are many others who are manufacturing DSLR cameras.

Best 5 professional DSLR cameras

Video: How DSLR Camera Works?


Submit a Comment

  • preweb profile image


    5 years ago from UK

    Great hub...thanks for the technical description!

  • DonnaCSmith profile image

    Donna Campbell Smith 

    5 years ago from Central North Carolina

    Good, easy to understand description.

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 

    5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    Useful info. Voted up and shared.

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    Doris James-MizBejabbers 

    5 years ago from Beautiful South

    Very good, well written informative hub, Jainismus. I've been into photography since the early 1970s and, believe it or not, my favorite SLR camera was my very first one from Sears. Our last one was a Nikon F3. Later in life to my chagrin, my eyes became unable to focus an SLR camera. Mr. B wants to buy a Nikon DLSR and use the lenses from the F3 with it (if it has the bayonet mount). I told him to go ahead, but I couldn't use it unless it had autofocus on it. I'll have to stick with my regular digital camera which is hard to use in sunlight or other bright light. Voted you up interesting and useful.

  • Victoria Lynn profile image

    Victoria Lynn 

    5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

    I've been thinking of getting a DSLR camera. They're expensive so I want to make sure I get what I need. This hub is very helpful in getting there. I'm pinning to my photography board. Thanks!

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Richert 

    5 years ago from Southern Illinois

    Thank you..Interesting and informative hub...

  • UnnamedHarald profile image

    David Hunt 

    5 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    Very nice explanation, jainismus. I believe another advantage of DSLR to point and shoots is a shorter lag time between pressing the "shoot" button and taking the shot-- but I'm not positive about that.

  • kidscrafts profile image


    5 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

    Excellent information! Thank you for sharing!

  • My Cook Book profile image

    Dil Vil 

    5 years ago from India

    Useful information. This is great, i understood and have learnt something new from your well written hub. I voted it UP and useful. Thank you.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    5 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Good information my friend. I need a new one and this is very useful.


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