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(Digital Single Lens Reflex) A digital still image camera that uses a single lens reflex (SLR) mechanism. Most professional cameras have been single lens reflex, although analog film until digital SLRs emerged in the early 1990s. Following are the two major differences between DSLRs and standard digital cameras.

Removable Lenses
No single lens can handle every photographic requirement, and SLR cameras have always used removable lenses. A wide variety of lenses are available for each camera system, and many lenses that fit 35mm film SLRs also fit digital SLRs. However, the CCD or CMOS sensor in all but high-end digital SLRs is generally not as large as a 35mm frame, and 35mm lenses produce different focal lengths (see crop factor). See CCD sensor and CMOS sensor.

Through the Lens
In an SLR, the photographer sees the image through the actual picture lens. To compose the picture, a mirror reflects the light from the lens to the viewfinder. When the picture is taken, the mirror momentarily flips out of the way to allow the light to pass through the lens diaphragm to the CCD or CMOS sensor (or to film in analog SLRs). Through-the-lens viewing enables precise manual focusing because tiny LCD screens do not have sufficient resolution. In addition, holding the viewfinder against the face helps steady it.

The LCD screen in early DSLRs was used to review the recorded image, not to preview the picture before shooting. In 2006, Olympus introduced the first DSLR with a "live preview LCD," and other camera vendors followed. See mirrorless camera, viewfinder, digital camera and Four Thirds system.

Beware the Dust!

Unlike an analog SLR, which uses a fresh film frame for each photo, the digital SLR uses the same sensor chip forever. Since the sensor is susceptible to dust, it is imperative to always keep the lens port covered. Starting in 2007, DSLRs began to include automatic dust removal.

A "mirror lockup" function flips the mirror out of the way to expose the sensor for cleaning, and there is a raft of cleaning materials on the market. For a comprehensive overview, visit www.cleaningdigitalcameras.com.
References in periodicals archive ?
Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) Segment Model Series Overall Satisfaction Score Power Circle Rating Canon EOS Digital SLR 823 5 Nikon D Series 823 5 DSLR Segment Average 820 3 Olympus E-System Series 803 2 Pentax K DSLR Series 799 2 Sony a (Alpha) DSLR Series 798 2
This is a guide aimed at those wishing to start using their first digital single lens reflex camera without having to study a comprehensive owner's manual.
The new in-store set separates digital cameras into four categories: Basic Point & Shoot, Advanced Slim & Stylish, High Zoom, and Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR).
Starting May 4th, Circuit City will offer a free firedog(SM) online training session with the purchase of any digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera.
SanDisk Extreme([R]) flash memory cards swept performance ratings in seven of the current top professional-level digital single lens reflex cameras from Canon and Nikon, according to the latest tests conducted by Rob Galbraith, renowned imaging consultant, digital photography trainer and photojournalist.
29 /PRNewswire/ -- The Canon PowerShot SD series ranks highest in the premium point and shoot segment, the Casio Exilim Zoom series ranks highest in the ultra slim segment, the Fujifilm Finepix F series leads the point and shoot segment and the Nikon D series ranks highest among digital single lens reflex (DSLR) models, according to the J.
However, the rapidly growing digital single lens reflex (DSLR) market has been transitioning to CMOS sensors, led by Canon, which exclusively uses its own CMOS sensors.
Lerner credits the sales increase to continued strong consumer demand for digital single lens reflex cameras, the recent addition of thousands of new consumer electronics products, strong corporate sales and attractive holiday promotions including those with Google Checkout and PayPal.
The SanDisk Extreme IV cards are the fastest storage cards in the world and are targeted at photographers who require the highest possible performance and the largest capacities for their medium format and high-end digital single lens reflex (SLR) cameras.
Lerner credits the sales increase primarily to strong consumer demand for new, state-of-the-art digital single lens reflex camera models from Nikon, Canon and others offered at the company's photo-specialty websites.
Whether you are using a Canon or Nikon digital single lens reflex, the Horseman LD gives advanced photographers the ability to add full bellows functions with all the associated perspective and creative effects of the view camera.
SAN DIEGO, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony has established a new brand name for its digital single lens reflex (D-SLR) cameras that will be launched worldwide this summer.

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