Nowadays, markets are flooded with different types of cameras. And if you are a beginner in the field of photography, then hurray! This article is for you. In this article, we will discuss how the working of an SLR camera is different from a DSLR camera and some factors which differ in both the types of cameras. Also, I will be telling you which one should you consider buying.
A few years back, when I thought of investing in a new camera, I found myself stuck on a very basic question: What is the difference between a DSLR camera and an SLR camera’? And I am damn sure that you guys also face trouble in getting the proper differentiation between both of them. Well, today, in this article, I will be telling you how a DSLR camera is different from an SLR camera and which one should you buy.
- 1 Difference between a DSLR camera and an SLR camera
- 1.1 Working of an SLR Camera
- 1.2 Working of a DSLR Camera
- 1.3 Difference Between an SLR camera and a DSLR camera
- 1.4 DSLR Camera vs. SLR Camera: Which one should you buy?
- 1.5 Conclusion
Difference between a DSLR camera and an SLR camera
An SLR (Single Reflex Camera) works on the mirror-prism system that allows the user to see through the lens in order to capture a shot. Let’s understand the detailed working of an SLR camera.
Working of an SLR Camera
SLR cameras have a complex working. The prerequisites for light to pass through any camera are a mirror, focusing screen, eye-piece, and prism. You might already know that the lens is responsible for focusing light on the film (its the basics of optics). The mirror present in this camera is extremely light, which can be easily moved up or down. The focusing screen is made of ground glass, and when an image is cast on it, the image becomes visible and doesn’t go through as in case of regular glass. The prism (which can be of any shape depending on its application) is made of glass, and it reflects the image from the focusing screen to the eye-piece, through which you look while taking a perfect shot.
A number of actions occur while taking a photograph: the mirror moves up, the shutter opens and closes, and finally, the mirror comes down to its initial position. You might have noticed that the viewfinder becomes completely black while taking a photo using an SLR camera. That’s nothing but the mirror in an upward position preventing the excessive light from reaching the eyepiece while the shutter is open.
Now you might have a question ‘why there is a prism above the focusing screen and not some another regular mirror.’
Well, if you see the focusing screen of your camera, you’ll find the word ‘UP’ (written upside down) written on it. If there were another regular mirror instead of the prism, the image, the image would be totally inverted.
This was the working of an SLR Camera, now let’s read about DSLR Cameras.
Working of a DSLR Camera
When you look through the eye-piece of a DSLR camera (which is located at the back), whatever you visualize is passed through the lens of the camera, which means you are exactly looking at the shot which you’ll be capturing. The light coming from the object that you want to capture passes through the lens into the reflex mirror, which lies on a 45-degree chamber, which further transfers the light to the pentaprism. The pentaprism then converts the vertical light to horizontal by redirecting the light through two separate mirrors straight into the eyepiece.
When we take a shot, the reflex mirror goes upwards, blocking the vertical pathway and letting the light go through it. After this, the shutter comes into action. It opens up, and the light reaches the image sensor. Note that the shutter remains open for a time frame, which is required by the image sensor to record the image, after which the shutter closes, and the reflex mirror goes back to its initial position.
If you think that the process stops here, you are wrong. After the image sensor records an image, the digital processors take the information from the sensors and produce an image in a particular format, which then gets recorded into the memory.
Difference Between an SLR camera and a DSLR camera
Both DSLR and SLR cameras use the single light reflex cameras to produce an image. But, there is a huge difference between their respective characteristics. Let’s discuss this in detail.
If we go into the basics, we will see that both DSLR and SLR cameras make use of single-reflex technology, which allows users to see through the lens what the image will actually look life after being captured. But, DSLR carries an advantage over SLR cameras. In modern DSLR cameras, you get an LCD screen on which an image is shown how it will actually look after you take a shot. Also, having an LCD screen makes you look professional, isn’t it?
The basic difference between SLR cameras and DSLR cameras lies in their sensors. SLR cameras have analog sensors, while DSLR cameras have digital sensors (you can guess it easily by the ‘D’ in ‘DSLR’). There is a specific memory in DSLR cameras, which makes it easier for you to store thousands of pictures. Whereas, in the case of SLR cameras, you are can only take a limited number of shots per reel. That sounds archaic, right?
Both the DSLR cameras, as well as SLR cameras, have the option to change the lens according to the needs of the photographer. For example, you need to capture a tiny insect in your photograph, switch to macro lenses, and you are set to go. This is a feature that is available in both types of cameras. So, in this case, DSLR-1, SLR-1.
Nowadays, with different classical bodies, it has become difficult to classify one from the other. But earlier, the SLR cameras used to have a number of buttons and no monitor, whereas DSLR cameras have sleek bodies and a monitor.
How does it feel when you get a soap free with a bottle of shampoo? It makes you happy. Similarly, when you buy a DSLR, you get an additional feature of video recording. Nowadays, there are many cameras that can record videos at even Ultra High Definition! On the other hand, if you look at the case of SLR cameras, you don’t get the feature of video recording in them. So, that’s the major disadvantage of SLR cameras over DSLR cameras.
Resolution and Image Quality
In this case, the SLR cameras beat the DSLR cameras. The output image of an SLR camera is far better in terms of contrast, brightness, and color. They also provide a better pixel output as compared to DSLR cameras. Even today with modern sensors, it is still difficult to beat the analog sensors of an SLR camera.
DSLR Camera vs. SLR Camera: Which one should you buy?
Both DSLR, as well as SLR cameras, have some advantages and disadvantages. If you consider buying an SLR camera, you should be aware of the fact that you’ll be able to capture amazing pictures. But, you will have to think twice about capturing a few shots of the same object. Also, it will be totally analog in nature, so you will have to visit a dark room to get your photographs.
However, in the case of DSLR cameras, you will get the option to capture as many images as you want, but the quality of the image will not be as good as an SLR camera. Furthermore, you will get a digital LCD screen and wireless sharing options, which will make your photography sessions easier.
If we talk about the pricing of both the cameras, then SLR cameras are expensive as compared to DSLR cameras. Since there are a number of DSLR cameras in the markets nowadays, they often get a number of upgrades, and sometimes it becomes annoying to upgrade them again and again. But in SLR cameras, you won’t get any upgrade for a long time. I would recommend you to invest in SLR cameras (only if you intend to capture images) as they can be great collectibles and can be sold at a profit later on. Otherwise, if your main purpose is to shoot videos for YouTube or other platforms, go for DSLR cameras.
We hope that now you are confident in investing in the type of camera you want regarding your work. In this article, we provided you with the working of an SLR camera, working on a DSLR camera, some differences between them based on various factors, and which one should you consider buying. If you want to check some of the DSLR cameras available in the market, you can check our previous post in which we have given a detailed explanation regarding various factors you should consider while buying the best DSLR.
We hope that you have loved this article and have got the desired information. If you have any queries or suggestions, you can use the comment box provided below. Do share this article with your family and friends so that they can also get to know about the difference between an SLR camera and a DSLR camera.