What is Digital SLR (DSLR) Camera?

SLR Cross Section

Before getting into DSLR we must understand what is SLR. SLR stands for Single Lens ReflexNow we know what SLR stands for but that doesn’t really help answer your question, does it? Let’s get into the details little more:

  • With an SLR camera, you see exactly what the lens sees.
  • You can change the lens on a Digital SLR.
  • Digital SLRs have large image sensors that produce high-quality photos in digital formats, such as RAW, TIF or JPEG. 
  • An SLR has a near-zero lag time and is ideal for action kind of photography.

Finally, in simple a line, we can say, Digital SLR is a versatile camera system. DSLR can allow you to take pictures of everything that you are looking for. Means a single camera equipment can help you to take pictures from sleepy snails to running car and you will never be limited to your camera. And in SLR you might miss many important photography opportunities as you were not prepared as your camera creates limitations. We will try to understand more about DSLR now –  1, DSLR cameras consist of what all? And 2, How DSLR works.

1, DSLR Camera consist of what all?

SLR Cross Section
SLR Cross Section

2, How DSLR Works?

It’s time to explain how DSLR works. When you look through a viewfinder and whatever you see into that, you see the exactly what you get in your pictures. The photograph you are planning to take passes through the lens in as a light into a reflex mirror, that is fixed at 45-degree angle inside the camera body, from where it will be forwarded towards pentaprism vertically. The pentaprism coverts vertical light to horizontal by redirecting through two separate mirrors right on the viewfinder. 

Here Path goes as per image – I shown about – (2) > (7) > (8).

When you click a picture the reflex mirror swings up and block vertical path and light directly comes through. Now it’s time for action for shutter, where it opens up and light reaches to the image sensor. Shutter remains open as long as light needed to create pictures on the image sensor and records the image. It’s time for a shutter to close and reflex mirror to drop back at 45-degree angle to its fix position and redirects light to viewfinder back.

Here Path goes as per image – I shown about (2) > (3) > (4) > (3) > (4) > (3) and back to (2).

This is not the end of the story, there are much more to do and it’s complicated image processing happens on camera in the backend, which is done by imaging processor. After this important processing, it’s time to write data (image) on a memory card. A real pro camera can do this process as fast as 7 – 11 times in a second.

Earlier days SLR duty was to mark image on negative and rest of work photographer used to do it in colour lab, in DSLR image is ready to use as you click. We will talk about the different images later post.

I think this was really a simple way to explain how DSLR works in a real sense, please do write to me or comment on the topic for more information.

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