The Meaning of DSLR
When moving up to a digital SLR camera, it’s important to first know the true DSLR definition. SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex. A DSLR camera is a digital single lens reflex camera. This might sound complicated, but all it means is that the camera uses a mirror and prism system so you get to see exactly what your lens does through the viewfinder when the shutter is depressed. This differs from other camera designs, where either a separate lens is used for the viewfinder, or the image is viewed on a digital screen directly from the sensor. This mirror and prism system is the key design feature which separates an SLR from other types of camera systems.
DSLR vs SLR vs Mirrorless vs Point and Shoot
There are a number of features that you will find on a DSLR and not on a point and shoot or mirrorless camera.
DSLR vs Point and Shoot
While there are many little differences between DSLR vs Point and Shoot cameras, there’s one major thing that sets these cameras apart: the lens. A point and shoot camera is also known as a “fixed lens” camera. These cameras include one standard lens that can’t be changed. You can adjust the zoom and other features, but you won’t change the lens. DSLR cameras like the Canon EOS Rebel T6 don’t come with an automatic lens. It requires manual adjustment of the lens whenever you take a shot. Another major difference is that DSLR’s have an optical viewfinder whereas the point and shoot provides an electronic viewfinder. Point and shoot cameras will almost always be smaller and lighter than a DSLR. Plus, the DSLR requires accessories like lenses that need to travel with it for everything to work. Point and shoot cameras range in size with some being small enough to practically fit in your pocket.
DSLR vs Mirrorless
DSLRs aren’t the only type of interchangeable lens camera now available, as smaller mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (ILCs) have recently begun appearing on the market. Mirrorless cameras are popular buying options because of their small size and colorful camera bodies. The mirrorless ILC is smaller than a DSLR camera, as the mirrorless does not make use of a tilted mirror to reflect the actual image from the lens to the viewfinder. Mirrorless tend to offer touchscreen displays and other advancements that make their operation seem a bit more like a smartphone while maintaining strong image quality. Mirrorless cameras can use an electronic viewfinder. Although some mirrorless cameras don’t offer a viewfinder, only showing the scene on the display screen, just like a point and shoot camera.
DSLR Features to Consider
When searching for a DSLR, there is a range of options to consider regarding what type will best suit your own personal needs.
The most expensive part of a camera is the sensor. This plays a major part in a camera’s image quality and operation. There are two in common use: APS-C and full frame. APS-C sensors are smaller than full frame, they only make use of the central portion of the lens. This makes it appear as though you’re using a longer lens. They’re well suited for more distant subjects such as when shooting nature and sports. Lenses specifically designed for these cameras can also be made smaller and cheaper than full-frame ones because they require less glass. A camera’s AF system will often cover a wider proportion of the frame with an APS-C sensor, helping the camera to quickly focus on subjects away from the center.
Full-frame cameras keep the focal length the same as if you were using the lens on a 35mm film camera, so they’re great for when you need your wide angles. Furthermore, pixels can be larger on a full-frame sensor than they can on an APS-C sensor. This can help to keep noise in images low while also recording plenty of details in shadows and highlights simultaneously. It’s also easier to achieve shallow depth-of-field with a full-frame sensor to produce blurred backgrounds.
Of course, today’s DSLR shoot more than just images. DSLR’s like this Canon EOS Rebel SL3 are capable of capturing professional-quality 4K video too!
Other things you may want to check is whether a camera has Wi-Fi, as well as GPS system, which can come in handy when travelling. This Canon EOS Rebel T7i DSLR from Buydig.com has you covered!
Best DSLR Cameras for Beginners
If you’re in the market for an entry level DSLR, the Nikon D3500 from Buydig.com offers great image quality at an affordable price of under $500. For photographers who want to step up, try the Nikon D5600 Pro Bundle, which has a better sensor and autofocus capabilities for under $1000.