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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 ?
In addition to the D800, Nikon will also be releasing a supplementary model for those professionals who demand even higher resolution and D-SLR versatility; the D800E.
The Nikon D750 is the camera many have been waiting for; never before has this level of functionality and vast feature set been offered in a full frame D-SLR, at such an attractive price," said Masahiro Horie, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc.
Designed to give users even more creative freedom in a compact body, the P300 comes equipped with several features commonly found in D-SLR cameras such Aperture Priority (A), Shutter Priority (S) and Full Manual (M) Control.
Camcorder prices are continuing to fall and the D-SLR is merely another example taking that direction--and on how manufacturers are responding to it.
Five decades later, the Olympus passion for innovation is still setting the pace with the new Pen E-P1, which combines an incredibly small size, retro style, and ease of use without giving up any of the benefits of D-SLR quality.
Canon's D-SLR products have achieved consecutive no.
Nikon's D3, the spectacular professional D-SLR camera, won the 'Best Professional D-SLR of the year'.
In honour of Lord Lichfield, there's a competition to win an Olympus E-400 D-SLR camera for best overall picture from categories including People, Architecture, Wood & Parkland, Gardens, children aged 11 and under and children 12-18.
announced the D810, the next benchmark in D-SLR image quality for professional photographers and cinematographers.
In April of this year, the Nikon D800 was also the recipient of the prestigious Best D-SLR Expert Award presented by the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA), an authority in the photography and imaging industry.
Similar to high-performance D-SLR optics, the lens features seven-bladed circular apertures.
has been named an International CES Innovations 2011 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree for the Nikon D3100 D-SLR camera.