24 June 2013

What is SLR, DSLR and DSLT camera? Which one do you carry?

Devices has evolved from its simplest form into a more complex and advance state. Like any other, CAMERAS has made its changes from regular camera to single lens reflex camera to digital single lens reflex and to digital single lens translucent. As time goes this device has been improving to provide the best image captivating quality for its users.

It is innate for humans to ask and be curios. You might be using a camera almost your entire life and haven’t even understand its mechanism. You might also ask the difference between SLR, DSLR and DSLT.

What is SLR, DSLR and DSLT

Like Single Lens Reflex Camera (SLR) the Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera (DSLR) is a camera that uses a reflex from the mirror’s reflection. It is the action of the mirror that flip upwards when taking a picture that allow light to travel through the lens until it reach the sensor. This enables the photographer to view through the lens with the exact object to be captured, however contrary with viewfinder cameras, the image seen could be notably different from what will be captured. Single Lens Reflex and Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera are same in mechanism, the difference between the two is that DSLR store images digitally and has more advance features while the SLR tend to be conservative and uses film for image storage.  
                                                   
Cross-section view of a DSLR and its corresponding parts
 1. Camera Lens
  2.  Reflex mirror
  3.  Focal-plane shutter
  4.  Image sensor
  5.  Matte focusing screen
  6.  Condenser lens
  7.  Pentaprism/pentamirror
  8.  Viewfinder eyepiece



DSLT on the other hand stands for Digital Single Lens Translucent. The translucent mirrors are fixed unlike the DSLRs. These allow major light (70%) to pass through the lens and onto the imaging sensor while deflecting a small amount of light (30%) up to the phase detection Auto Focus sensor. This is cheaper to produce compared to DSLR. The main advantage of DSLT is that the viewfinder image never blacks out giving it an increase of frame. Its ability for speed shooting and snappy auto focus is way better than the DSLR, but like any other, it also has drawbacks. The disadvantage shows lack of brightness and clarity due to the replacement of optical finder into the use of electronic finder. The diminution in the amount of light that hits the sensor results to low-light performance.

Canon first pioneered modern digital cameras and did not use fixed mirror design until Sony introduced Alpha a33 and a55 in 2010. Today, it is only Sony that uses DSLT technology. Although there are issues and drawbacks about DSLT, Sony Alpha a77 gained number of awards. Sony has explored and made remarkable improvements to DSLT technology that addresses these issues in order to compete in the market. I wonder when other known camera brands start to widen their horizon and explore the DSLT’s potential. We’ll see in the future then.


Features usually found in DSLR and DSLT

  • Dust Reduction Systems - DSLR is prone to dust due to changing of lenses. Dust enters the camera body that adhere the image sensor resulting to reduced image quality. Cleaning the sensor is a must and techniques on various cleaning exist like the use of cotton swab or compressed air blowing. Some are sent for camera service and other is cleaned by its users alone. Different manufacturers implement and utilize their own version of dust abatement. Types of dust reduction system include usage of piezo crystal to vibrate a filter which covers the sensor and second is a type that moves the actual sensor.

  • Mode Dial - Most of digital cameras generally have mode dials to access standard camera or automatic settings. Manual modes usually include: (M) Manual, (P) Program, (S) Shutter priority, (A) Aperture priority. Automatic modes include: Auto, Action, Portrait, Night portrait, Landscape, Macro. But this may vary depending on the cameras advancement.

  • Interchangeable Lenses - This ability has made DSLR popular among other cameras.  It allow user to select and attached specialized lenses for a specified photographic need. Each brand has unique specific lens mount and uses lens with the same brand but there are other independent manufacturers that make lenses for a variety of different lens mount and this is possible with the use of lens adapters. The lenses may vary in features, specifications and types.
  • HD Video Capture - DSLRs offer recording high definition motion video and it often referred and called as HDSLR or DSLR video shooter. HDSLRs limitation points to lacking one or more video functions found on standard camcorders, such as autofocus and powered zoom.
  • Live Preview - This feature allows the display screen to be used as viewfinder, providing a means of preview before taking the photograph. The display screen can be either a liquid crystal display (LCD) or an electronic viewfinder (EVF).
  • Larger sensor sizes and better image quality
  • Depth-of-field control
  • Wider angle of view

Photography is by far one of the most loved hobbies of all time. Since then, taking pictures has become a form of art, hobby and even a tool for documentation. We crave to capture beautiful scenery, emotions and other unique subjects to photograph. In relation, because of this need and hunger for best image captured result, this device has improved.

Here’s an example of photos taken from SLR and DSLR camera for comparison.

The difference is indeed easy to notice. DSLR cameras capture a lively picture with enhanced vibrant color compared to the image captured by the SLR. The picture seen through the eyepiece is very close to the actual image and the captured picture is even better. However, it is expensive  yet worth the buy. 



Which one of this camera do you carry? Which one do you prefer to buy? Whether your reason for buying a camera is for your personal hobby or for professional use, these cameras can surely satisfy your needs and wants. After all, you brought that camera for that purpose.  There are  various  kinds of  DSLR  and DSLT cameras in the market, and if you ask me which one will best suit you, I’d say it will depend on your budget and preference. What’s important is this, don't just go for a device because it is the best but rather consider your own need, your reasons and of course your financial resources.

References:

wikipedia
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