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Digital SLR Cameras
Digital SLR Cameras
A digital single-lens reflex camera (also called a digital SLR or DSLR) is a digital camera combining the optics and the mechanisms of a single-lens reflex camera with a digital imaging sensor, as opposed to photographic film.
Sony Digital SLR Cameras
Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
Pentax Digital SLR Cameras
Olympus Digital SLR Cameras
The reflex design scheme is the primary difference between a DSLR and other digital cameras. In the reflex design, light travels through the lens, then to a mirror that alternates to send the image to either the viewfinder or the image sensor.
The alternative would be to have a viewfinder with its own lens, hence the term "single lens" for this design. By using only one lens, the viewfinder presents an image that will not perceptibly differ from what is captured by the camera's sensor.
Like SLRs DSLRs typically use interchangeable lenses (1) with a proprietary lens mount. A movable mechanical mirror system (2) is switched down (exact 45-degree angle) to direct light from the lens over a matte focusing screen (5) via a condenser lens (6) and a pentaprism/pentamirror (7) to an optical viewfinder eyepiece (8). Most of the entry level DSLRs use a pentamirror instead of the traditional pentaprism.
Focusing can be manual or automatic, activated by pressing half-way on the shutter release or a dedicated AF button. To take an image, the mirror swings upwards in the direction of the arrow, the focal-plane shutter (3) opens, and the image is projected and captured on the image sensor (4), after which actions, the shutter closes, the mirror returns to the 45-degree angle, and the built in drive mechanism re-tensions the shutter for the next exposure.
Digital SLR cameras, along with most other digital cameras, generally have a mode dial to access standard camera settings or automatic scene-mode settings. Sometimes called a "PASM" dial, they typically provide as minimum Program, Aperture-priority, Shutter-priority, and full Manual modes. Scene modes vary and are inherently less customizable. They often include full-auto, landscape, portrait, action, macro, and night modes, among others. Professional DSLRs seldom contain automatic scene modes because professionals understand their equipment and can quickly adjust the settings to take the image that they want.
Currently DSLRs are widely used by consumers and professional still photographers. Well established DSLRs currently offer a larger variety of dedicated lenses and other photography equipment. Mainstream DSLRs (in full-frame or smaller image sensor format) are produced by Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and Sigma. Pentax, Phase One, Hasselblad, and Mamiya Leaf produce expensive, high-end medium-format DSLRs, including some with removable sensor backs. Contax, Fujifilm, Kodak, Panasonic, Olympus, Samsung, and Sony previously produced DSLRs, but now either offer non-DSLR systems or have left the camera market entirely. Konica Minolta's line of DSLRs was purchased by Sony.
The ability to exchange lenses, to select the best lens for the current photographic need, and to allow the attachment of specialized lenses, is one of the key factors in the popularity of DSLR cameras, although this feature is not unique to the DSLR design and mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras are becoming increasingly popular. Interchangeable lenses for SLRs and DSLRs (also known as "Glass") are built to operate correctly with a specific lens mount that is generally unique to each brand.
Canon Point & Shoot Digital Cameras
Nikon Point & Shoot Digital Cameras
Panasonic Point & Shoot Digital Cameras
Top 10 DSLR Cameras
Nikon Digital Cameras
A photographer will often use lenses made by the same manufacturer as the camera body (for example, Canon EF lenses on a Canon body) although there are also many independent lens manufacturers, such as Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, and Vivitar that make lenses for a variety of different lens mounts.
There are also lens adapters that allow a lens for one lens mount to be used on a camera body with a different lens mount but with often reduced functionality.