Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between SLR and DSLR

nikon_d40Pictures are an integral part in keeping memories. Before the days of digital photography, there was film. Although film has started to disappear from the general public view in the last few years, it’s where we begin our discussion.

SLR or Single Lens Reflex camera are a class of cameras that allowed for much better photographs due to an innovative solution to an old problem. Most cameras have two light paths from the target, one leading to the lens itself while the other to the viewfinder. This leads to the final photo being slightly different from what you saw on the viewfinder. SLR cameras fixed this by using a certain mechanism that lets you see through the lens. After you push the button to take the picture, the mechanism then moves to let the light hit the film behind it.

Most SLR’s are used in professional photography, where the need for utmost quality is very high. It would not be surprising that most of the advanced features also appear on SLRs and not on the common camera.

At the early stages of photography, the LCD viewfinder grew in popularity. Since the LCD viewfinder usually takes its image on the image sensor, it should already be considered as an SLR; but it isn’t. SLRs have begun to become a class of high end cameras with more advanced features, like manual controls, interchangeable lenses, among others. It was no longer just about the path of light.

DSLR or the Digital version of SLR is basically an SLR that has been converted from saving the image in film to saving an image in a memory card. It still shares a lot of the advanced features of the SLR along with a few more improvements that makes it a lot more superior.

The nature of memory cards and the high capacities that are available today means that a professional photographer would not need to change the storage medium as often. The use of very high quality sensors coupled with the capability to instantly review the image you took also gives modern day photographers an undeniable edge.

Despite being a few folds more expensive compared to their counterparts, the SLR and the DSLR were an indispensable tool in professional photography. Even hobbyists who have the money can enjoy and enhance their talents on photography. As most technologies evolve, so does the technology in photography. The DSLR is just the next evolutionary step from the SLR.


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12 Comments

  1. This “article” is full of inaccuracies and unsupported statements. For example “Most SLR’s are used in professional photography”. The vast majority of SLR cameras whether Digital or film cameras are used by amateur photographers. A simple analysis of the unit sales of cameras by type would clearly indicate that there are either millions of professional photographers or that most are used by amateurs.

    “At the early stages of photography, the LCD viewfinder grew in popularity.” Absolute nonsense, the “early stage of photography” predates the LCD by nearly 200 years. Early stages of photography used a ground glass viewfinder with an inverted and reversed image. Eventually cameras were equipped with simple reflex viewfinders or viewing systems similar to those used on telescopes and military rangefinders.

    “Since the LCD viewfinder usually takes its image on the image sensor, it should already be considered as an SLR; but it isn’t.” Taking an image directly off of the sensor in no way makes a camera a reflex camera. Reflex cameras work on the principle of REFLECTING light onto a viewfinder. They operate at nearly the speed of light! Reading an image off of the sensor may provide the advantage of seeing almost exactly what will appear on the film but it DOES NOT provide the nearly instantaneous viewfinder image of a Reflex viewing system, This results in a delay or “lag” between seeing the image to be captured and the activation of the shutter. The first reflex cameras were Twin Lens Reflex cameras that used a simple mirror to divert an image from a viewing lens onto a ground glass. This viewing lens was carefully aligned with a similar “taking” lens with a shutter mechanism inside.

    “SLRs have begun to become a class of high end cameras with more advanced features, like manual controls, interchangeable lenses, among others. It was no longer just about the path of light.” SLR cmaeras have ALWAYS been a class of camera with “advanced” features such as manual controls, interchangeable lenses. What has happened is the exact opposite of this statement, they have become highly automated with features such as auomatic exposure control, automatic focusing and many other features that make them more like Point & Shoot cameras.

    Furthermore, while it is true that most DSLR cameras are designed on the same basic principles as film SLR models, and most manufacturers have simply converted their existing film camera designs to digital there are many differences in the physics of the process. Most notably, color films record all colors in their sensitivity range in multiple layers of film so that subtle differences are recorded at precise points in an image. With the exception of a few specialized sensors such as the “Fovean” design digital sensors never record more than one color at a precise point in the image area. This effects the image quality to varying degrees, but also has important considerations in lens design because lenses for digital cameras need to take into account the light properties and refract light with greater precision to achieve a parallel ray alignment as the light strikes the sensor.

  2. Thank you ! Great article!

  3. Thank you!!! : )

  4. Thanks you!
    It’s the necessary article!
    I’m wait to see more relate to DSLR, especially NIKON D3100.

  5. I am interested in a DSLR camera and Im just getting started in photography for a more business type hobby instead of just a casual hobby. What camera recommendations does anyone have for me? I want something thats professional quality but, does not cost an arm and a leg. Thanks

  6. thankx for the articles on the site.its the necessary written article to them who are thinking of buying and using the dslr camera for there individual purposes.on the viewpoint of the articles i am also going to use the dslr cameras for the documentary purposes and i got the lot of information from the articles of the sites.

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