DSLRs / Digital Single Lens-Reflex Cameras
What is a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera?
With a DSLR / Digital SLR camera or Digital Single Lens Reflex camera what you see through the optical viewfinder is exactly the same image that will... (show more)
What is a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera?
With a DSLR / Digital SLR camera or Digital Single Lens Reflex camera what you see through the optical viewfinder is exactly the same image that will end up in your photo. As you can see in the diagram whatever exact image you can view passes as light into (#2) the reflex mirror. This reflex mirror sits at a 45 degree angle within the camera chamber, right up until the moment you actually take the shot. This 45 degree angle allows the light to be reflected vertically upwards into a pentaprism (#7), which has the primary function of bouncing the light off the roof and then front side so that it ultimately is directed into (#8) the viewfinder and then your eye!
When you squeeze the trigger the same reflex mirror swings upwards, blocking the vertical pathway to the pentaprism (hence the split second that the viewfinder goes dark), and thus the light entering the camera lens continues in a straight line and reaches (#4) the image sensor. The photographer (manual modes) or camera (on automatic) will decide how long (#3) the shutter remains open for, and during that brief moment the light is able to pass through to the image sensor so the image can be recorded. After this the shutter closes again and the reflex mirror goes back to the same 45 degree angle so that the light image is again redirected into the viewfinder.
The image is then processed, stored in the preselected format and written onto whatever type of memory card the particular DSLR camera uses. This process can occur many times in a single second in many of the quicker digital SLR cameras today!
Advantage of Digital SLR Cameras
The DSLR / Digital SLR camera or Digital Single Lens Reflex camera is at the pinnacle of all cameras. A digital SLR camera is a camera that combines the optics and the mechanisms of a single-lens reflex camera with a digital imaging sensor. The digital imaging sensor is what differentiates DSLR’s from the old film SLR cameras. DSLR’s offer the ultimate in terms of photographic image quality and subject diversity.
The easiest way to tell a Digital SLR camera from a compact ‘point & shoot’ camera was always that a DSLR had removable lenses, larger sensors and was way better quality. Nowadays you get some pretty impressive quality pics coming out of compact digital cameras, but ultimately they will never be able to offer what SLR digital cameras do. The introduction of Mirrorless Interchangeable lens cameras (MILCs), discussed here, has further bridged the gap towards DSLRs but without the bulky reflex lens technology, but ultimately these also cannot stand up to DSLRs in terms of speed and accuracy of autofocus tracking.
Major Brands of SLR digital cameras
The majority of DSLR camera brands are currently being made by Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sigma. In the past Panasonic and Sony also made Digital SLR cameras and so many can still be found on the market, but they have discontinued them to focus on mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (which are often functionally often grouped together with either digital single lens reflex cameras or compact digital cameras based on whether or not their lenses can detach).
Best Digital SLR cameras on the market right now
The quality of the average Digital SLR camera has increased hugely over the last two decades. This point was recently reinforced for me when the Canon 7D Mark II came out in 2014, 17 years after the Canon 7D Mark I. This has always been a favorite camera of the wildlife photographer hobbyist, due to its extra reach over full sensor options, allowing one to get 640mm out of the lightweight trusty Canon 100-400mm lens, and an incredible 960mm reach at F4.0 out of the Canon 600mm lens! I was amazed by the increase in IQ, particularly in terms of low light performance. The increase in quality has been similar to that of a long day post processing with Photoshop Lightroom!
Obviously the idea of a universally ‘best’ SLR Digital camera is extremely subjective and that stimulates many a light hearted banter among lovers of the photographic arts. It is also difficult to compare cameras across a large price range. But here is a subjective list of 14 of the absolute best available at the moment (in no particular order):
- Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
- Sony Alpha A99 II
- Canon EOS 5DS R
- Nikon D5
- Canon EOS 7D Mark II
- Pentax K-1
- Canon EOS 5DS
- Nikon D500
- Canon 1Dx Mark II
- Nikon D750
- Canon EOS 750D (Canon EOS Rebel T6i)
- Nikon D810
- Canon EOS 1DC
- Nikon D4S
Feel free to contact us here at Cameraverse if you would like some advice on which DSLR will best suite your needs!(show less)