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Single Lens Reflex Camera (SLR)

A blog post by Darkroom 8 Team

“What you see is what you get” is one of the most significant features offered by a single lens reflex camera, it is also the reason why SLR cameras have been standing out at the mainstream photography tools for a long time.

With its unique features, SLR cameras have been a popular option in the professional photographer network. Thanks to its unique internal arrangement of its components and the precise alignment of reflex mirror, pentaprism and viewfinder, it allows photographers to capture highly precise images.


What you see is what you get

As suggested by its name, a single lens reflex camera works with one lens at a time. Light passes through the lens and reaches the internal components. No matter if you are taking an image or previewing through the viewfinder, the source of light is all the same. Therefore, it gives the feature “what you see is what you get” of a SLR camera.

The view from viewfinder can be changed by the focal length of the lens

Since the view from a viewfinder comes directly from the lens, any changes of lens or focal length will instantly be reflected at the viewfinder without modification of any devices. Therefore, this feature allows photographers to carry less additional equipment. Also, you can view the scene through viewfinder while using a long focus lens.

Depth of Field (DoF) preview – filter function

SLR camera allows precise preview of an image being captured. When lens aperture value is adjusted, the depth of field can be observed easily through the viewfinder. Similarly, when a filter is applied, its filter effect can be viewed instantly from the viewfinder. Therefore, you can preview how an image will look like before taking the picture

Permit high accuracy of focusing

Because the viewfinder and the film lens share the same optical path, it allows a high accuracy of focusing. It is significantly helpful especially for a close-up shot.

Fast shutter speed captures a fleeting moment of the subject

SLR cameras are usually equipped with focal-plane shutters which allow shutter speed to reach as fast as 1/1000 second.

Wide selection of excellent lenses

SLR cameras are usually designed with interchangeable lens features. The wide selection of lenses in the market offers users extensive applications of their cameras.


Heavy and complexed

Due to its unique design, compared to other cameras, SLR cameras have two additional components which are reflex mirror and pentaprism. These additional parts put extra weight on the camera itself and require a high manufacturing standard.

Noise and vibration caused by movement of mirror and shutter curtain

The mechanical function of the mirror in the camera has brought convenience and quality to the SLR camera. However, when you press the shutter button to take an image, the mirror will flip up in order to capture the image. When the shutter has closed, the mirror will return to its normal position for the next shooting. The flipping up and down of the mirror will create noises. Moreover, the weight of the mirror itself generates inertia force during shooting, and it causes instability especially during a hand-held shooting.


Opt for a model from one of the big 5 brands they are: Canon, Minolta, Nikon, Olympus or Pentax. They’re all basic, durable, top quality and affordable.

For tips of purchasing a camera, you can read our another article for more information-


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