What does a DSLR mean: perfect shooting photos and videos

Hello everyone! We are in touch with you, Timur Mustaev. There have been so many articles devoted to the intricacies of working with a camera, so much has already been discussed, including the types of devices. But in my opinion, one of the most important questions could remain aside from understanding, namely: what does a DSLR mean? I will try to explain in simple terms what is special about DSLRs and what are their advantages over mirrorless models.

DSLRs and mirrorless cameras

All cameras are very similar, since they are created for one purpose - to capture a visible picture, be it a landscape or an image of a person, and transmit it to the viewer's judgment. To be able to create an image, the camera has a complex device.

The light waves must be picked up by the objective lenses. If we are talking about a digital apparatus, then the light is converted into an electrical signal, and the finished photo appears as information written in the language of bits and binary code. The matrix and the processor, which is busy with processing, are directly involved in this.

In analog cameras, film is the material that records and stores a photograph.

Both film and digital cameras can be SLRs.

The specificity of SLR cameras is the presence of a small mirror and related assemblies in their structure. This mirror is positioned at a specific angle (45 degrees) to the optical line of the lens.

Along the axis, the light moves to the mirror, is reflected from it, refracted further in the pentaprism, and enters the viewfinder. Interesting, right? It is thanks to this scheme in the eyepiece that we see a real picture, not distorted in anything. As you can imagine, this is a more complex device than mirrorless ones. The price of DSLRs is higher, and soon we will be convinced that this is fully justified due to their undeniable quality in terms of photos and videos.

slr camera cutaway

Thanks to the impressive matrix and having mirrors, a photo и video are an order of magnitude higher than in mirrorless cameras. Many operators no longer use camcorders, for example, Canon 5D Mark III DSLR, shoots very high-quality video, not to mention gorgeous photos.

Another group of cameras is mirrorless. The term, accordingly, means that the device does not have a mirror visor. In cheap models, the viewfinder can replace the LCD, and in expensive models there is an electronic viewfinder, so to speak, an additional screen.

Mirrorless photographic equipment can be the same as our usual mirror, with interchangeable optics, but it happens that they do not have the opportunity to change the lens. In the latter case, the lens and viewfinder are a single unit, and such eyepieces are also called telescopic.

The mentioned models still exist, but they are already outdated and rather inconvenient to use. That is, each camera has its own lens.

Without a lens that comes standard with such a device, further work with it is impossible. Only this kit is at your disposal. And if you want to shoot with different optics, well, a new camera will help you! Such photographic equipment is also called “soap dishes” and can be purchased at a modest price.

Unfortunately, cheap cameras are prone to such an unpleasant phenomenon as parallax. When you look through the eyepiece, you see one picture, but the lens observes a slightly different one, shifted to the right or left.

This can significantly complicate the shooting: some foreign object or part of the environment unexpectedly creeps into the frame. As already mentioned, a camera with a telescopic viewfinder (without a mirror) often has only one lens. Although progress does not stand still, and now, even for such a camera, you can find optics.

SLR camera without lens

Advantages of SLR cameras

Having considered the concept of a SLR camera, let's dwell on its advantages over a mirrorless camera:

  1. External reliability ... Despite their large dimensions, which are not always convenient for the photographer, SLR cameras are more durable, usually protected from dust and moisture.
  2. Functionality ... SLR cameras have tons of possibilities! Almost any type of shooting is available to you with the available choice of settings, as well as a variety of optics options.
  3. Duration of work ... A DSLR on its own battery can last significantly longer than a mirrorless camera.
  4. Average price. Professional-grade DSLRs are, of course, quite expensive, but budget cameras are affordable for most buyers. In addition, even with the same cost, DSLRs will never be inferior to mirrorless models in terms of quality.
  5. Fast focusing ... It is believed that focus works much better with mirrorless models than with mirrorless ones, and it allows you to concentrate on the subject in a matter of seconds. Only DSLRs can boast of phase detection autofocus.
  6. Optical viewfinder with mirror ... Unlike other types of eyepieces, this one transmits a normal image and without the delays inherent in electronic visors.
  7. Changeable lenses ... Replacing lenses is a big plus over other cameras.
  8. Full control over shooting ... Thanks to the wide settings, you can have full control over the entire shooting process, which allows you to take perfect photos.

reflex camera in hand

Despite the huge number of companies engaged in the production of equipment, only specialized and reliable brands should be trusted in this matter.

Today, only two firms are popular among photographers for the production of SLR cameras, lenses, flashes and other photographic equipment. These are, of course, Canon and Nikon.

They have a huge selection of models that will suit both beginners and advanced photographers. Their quality is excellent. And in principle, there is no serious difference between brands, even the set of functions and the result of their use will be the same.

The only thing that everyone, without exception, needs to know is the color rendering features in Nikon and Canon. In the instructions, you will not find a mention anywhere, only in practice you can notice that on Nikon the photo turns yellow in most cases, while Canon increases the red shades.

In the previous article, I already wrote about the choice of a camera, namely, which SLR camera is better than a canon or a nikon, if you are interested, you can familiarize yourself with it!

Although sometimes they talk about the dominance of blue. Apparently, depending on what you are shooting, that effect will be. For example, if there are clouds and a bright blue sky in the frame, then most likely the cold tint of the sky will spread to the entire image.

This fact is not critical, but still important, since the white balance will have to be edited directly through the camera settings or after shooting in a graphics editor.

This is where I will conclude my article. I hope I fully answered your question and convinced you that SLR photography is a worthwhile thing! If so, then it will be very useful for you to familiarize yourself with the course “ My first MIRROR ". It will open your eyes to the main advantages and secrets of SLR photography.

My first MIRROR - for users of the SLR camera CANON.

DSLR for Beginner 2.0 - for NIKON SLR camera users.

Goodbye readers! I will be glad to see you and your friends, acquaintances who are interested in the world of photography, on my blog again. Subscribe to the blog and be always in the center of interesting news!

All the best to you, Timur Mustaev.

Features and selection of SLR cameras

SLR cameras are insanely popular today. Such equipment is presented in the widest range - there are copies of different price categories and with different functionality on sale. In this article, we will learn about the features of modern SLR cameras and figure out how to choose the right one.

What it is?

Before getting acquainted with the characteristics and features of modern "DSLRs", it is advisable to understand what they are.

So, a SLR camera (or SLR camera) is a device whose viewfinder works mirror based just behind the lens at a 45 degree angle to its immediate optical axis.

Due to such features of the internal device, it becomes possible to carry out sighting through a removable or auxiliary lens.

Nowadays, SLR cameras are very popular and in demand, because they allow you to get very beautiful, high-quality pictures with rich and rich colors. Such devices have a huge resource of work and a fairly simple control that is easy to deal with. Consider what other advantages are characteristic of the technology in question.

  1. Modern SLR camera works efficiently and reliably. Focusing on a particular object occurs as quickly and clearly as possible. This advantage plays one of the most important roles when choosing a technique of this type.
  2. Using such equipment, you will notice that the resulting image is transmitted immediately, without delays, unlike other devices.
  3. Mirrors are also attractive because the lens in them can always be replaced with another one. Often, one camera comes with a couple of different lenses with different focal lengths. These components are installed very easily, as well as removed.
  4. Modern SLR cameras are made multifunctional. Many devices provide the ability to change settings, frame quality. You can even pick up such copies on which it is convenient even to edit the photographs taken. Modern equipment is often complemented by built-in modules for wireless networks (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi).
  5. By working with a SLR camera, the user can completely control the shooting ... You can independently set certain settings, for example, white balance, shutter speed, color saturation and many other important parameters.
  6. Most DSLRs boast battery life. A single charge can be enough for a huge number of frames.
  7. SLR Cameras assembled using modern technologies ... The build quality of such equipment can be safely called impeccable. Cameras are well protected from moisture and dust. With all its appearance, this technique speaks of its reliability, strength and durability.
  8. On sale, buyers can find not only very expensive, but also budget models of high-quality DSLRs ... Today many brands produce inexpensive but functional and reliable hardware.
  9. Modern SLR cameras attractive and user-friendly ... Most models are equipped with informative and bright displays. A sufficient number of buttons are provided on the body, due to which it is as simple and convenient to operate the equipment as possible.

The advantages of SLR cameras are quite significant, so this technique has conquered the market. But there are also some disadvantages that you should also be aware of.

  1. Despite the fact that SLR cameras are presented in a wide variety of price categories, still most of them are expensive ... The difference is especially noticeable when comparing DSLRs with so-called "soap dishes".
  2. Many DSLR cameras have impressive weight ... The dimensions of such equipment are also often significant. Because of this, DSLRs are not very convenient to carry or put in a bag.
  3. Such a technique will require regular recharging. ... Even the most powerful battery will need to be recharged and you should not forget about it, so that at an unexpected moment you will not be left without beautiful photos. This feature can hardly be called a serious disadvantage, but it must be taken into account.

DSLR cameras have no other major drawbacks. Of course, if you analyze the features of specific models from certain companies, then additional flaws can be noticed, but in general this is a popular and high-quality technique. It allows you to get clear and realistic photos.

History of origin

The first DSLR photographic lens was developed in 1861 by T. Setton ... At that time, this event became one of the most important in the history of photographic technology. Already in those days, the new lens made it possible to obtain very beautiful, clear images.

The first SLR camera was impressive in size. It looked like a bulky box with a lid. The whole structure was on a sturdy tripod. Due to the presence of a cover, the light could not penetrate into the interior of the equipment, but observation through it was possible. Focus could be caught with a lens on glass. On it, by means of mirrors, the desired image was created.

In 1883, George Eastman decided to replace the glass plates with photographic film. After 5 years, he made his first lightweight Kodak camera.

Comparison with the system camera

DSLRs differ in many ways from conventional system cameras. Let's see what the main differences are.

  • The lenses of SLR cameras can be changed as needed. In most simple cameras, such actions are not provided.
  • Most DSLRs there is a high-quality optical viewfinder, which is one of the most important elements of the entire machinery mechanism. But mirrorless cameras, as a rule, have only LCD-displays, which do not always help to fully view the composition.

Some examples have a viewfinder, but an electronic one. It displays a picture from a matrix, not through a mirror system.

  • DSLRs, versus mirrorless, boast faster and better autofocus. All the components necessary for this in such devices are located directly under the mirror. Conventional mirrorless cameras are slightly inferior to DSLRs in this, although more advanced devices can be found on the market that focus faster and more accurately.
  • Both conventional and SLR cameras provide a huge number of shooting settings. But most DSLRs have more options and different features than mirrorless cameras.

Many novice photographers find it more convenient to "get their hands on" with the SLR technique, since there are more necessary automatic modes, which are easy and simple to shoot with.

  • The lion's share of SLR cameras has powerful batteries , which is enough for 600-800 shots without recharging. Simple cameras in this regard are weaker and discharge faster.

To take a lot of shots, you need to stock up on extra batteries for such devices.

Species overview

SLR cameras are divided into two main categories - SLR, TLR. These cameras work in different ways. Let's take a closer look at these types of DSLRs.


The largest category is single-lens cameras. These devices use a special movable mirror that redirects light from the shooting lens to the frame window or to the viewfinder screen. There are such models in which a fixed translucent mirror is used to reduce the shutter delay and eliminate oscillations.

True, such a scheme significantly reduces the lens aperture, so it could not be widely used.


This is how dual lens cameras which were very popular back in 1940-1950. This technique has a separate viewfinder lens. Its focusing is automatically synchronized with the focusing of the shooting lens itself. The fields of view of these components coincide, due to which it is possible to frame the image more accurately and clearly.

Dual-lens camera modifications were originally used for shooting photographs on film. But a single-lens camera was originally equivalent to SLR devices.

Popular models

Currently, high-quality and multifunctional DSLRs are produced by many well-known brands - buyers have a lot to choose from. Let's take a closer look at some of the popular models and find out what their characteristics are.

Nikon D3300 Kit

The top model has a matrix with a resolution of 24.7 megapixels. Shoots footage with a maximum resolution of 6000x4000. The type of the device's matrix is ​​CMOS. The battery of this SLR camera is enough for 700 high-quality shots.

In its class, this model has become one of the most popular and best-selling. A very simple and intuitive model to operate, equipped with a tripod mount. The camera can also be controlled remotely, which is very convenient. There is a built-in flash that operates at a distance of 12 m. There is a high-quality and informative display on the body.

The structure of the equipment also provides for a microphone connector. This means that Nikon D3300 Kit can be safely used as a good camcorder.

Canon EOS 100D Kit

A high-quality device with a matrix of 18.5 megapixels. Shoots photos with a maximum resolution of 5148x3456. The sensor type here is exactly the same as in the Nikon sample described above. The shooting speed here is 4 frames per second. The battery from Canon is slightly inferior to the same Nikon D3300 Kit - it is enough for only 380 photos.

This device boasts a user-friendly touch screen on the body. The viewfinder is capable of covering at least 95% of the frame. The photographer can change all settings manually. This DSLR allows you to shoot original shots in HDR quality, you can connect a remote control.

Canon EOS 100D Kit attracts its compact sizes (it is not too small, but not bulky).

Sony Alpha SLT-A58 Body

Famous Japanese manufacturer produces wonderful mirror chambers. So, Sony Alpha SLT-A58 Body has a matrix of 20.4 mp. The shooting speed here is 8 frames per second. Capacitance of the battery of the Creek grabs 690 photos. The maximum size of the photo is 5456x3632, and the video - 1920x1080.

The device from Sony is more advanced and modern. It can be bought to lovers to get beautiful photos and improving their skills in shooting. This is an excellent solution for those who are tired of making simple amateur photos and want to learn something new. The device has an excellent optical stabilizer with a matrix shift.

In addition, it is characterized by a design with a very convenient turning screen.

Canon EOS 600D Kit

Another popular model from the famous Canon brand with a matrix resolution of 18.7 megapixel. Maximum photo resolution - 5184x3456. ISO here is 100-3200. The battery is not the most capacious and grabs it just 440 photos. Without lens, the device weighs 570 g.

The device began to be sold back in 2011, but to this day remains popular and is in great demand. This is one of the best inexpensive mirror cameras. Canon EOS 600D Kit is the perfect device in price-quality ratio.

The convenient turning screen is equipped with a very ergonomic placement of the control buttons on the housing.

Pentax K-50 Kit

Popular model of a mirror with a 16.5 MP matrix. The shooting speed is 6 frames per second. The battery is enough for 480 photos. Maximum photo resolution - 4928x3264, and video - 1920x1080.

The PENTAX K-50 KIT differs from all other apparatuses by the presence of a well-protected housing that does not miss moisture, protected from dust and temperature changes. The camera provides Time Lapse and HDR shooting mode. You can use AA type batteries as a power source.

Nikon D5200 Kit.

Mirror photograph with a matrix of 24.7 megapixel. Removes photos with a maximum resolution of 6000x4000. Type of matrix - CMOS. The shooting speed of the device is 5 frames per second. Without lens, the device weighs 555.

Very high quality, but at the same time an inexpensive camera. It can easily become an excellent assistant for a novice photographer. The device supports white and exposure balance bracketing, equipped with a high-quality rotary screen. The battery is enough for 500 shots.

The user can control this technique remotely.

How to choose?

So that the mirror chamber pleased with the user and did not bring disappointments, it needs to be chosen correctly. Consider what is worth paying attention to the search for the "His" model of the model.

  1. First, the user is recommended to decide on For what purposes he wants to buy a camera. From this will depend on what model it will be more suitable. It is necessary to know that the high-quality mirror can be used for a good video. Consumers can choose the appropriate device, both for a professional and amateur.
  2. Choosing a camera You need to pay attention to the resolution and size of the matrix. Oddly enough, very often unnecessar than a large number of pixels, in the case of a mirror, on the contrary, it does not affect the quality of the pictures.
  3. It is advisable to learn about the photosensitivity and image stabilization capabilities. The higher the ISO, the better the images the camera can produce. Good image stabilization will help you get rid of unnecessary blur while shooting.
  4. The battery capacity of the camera must also be taken into account. Different models have different indicators. You need to choose such a source, the charge of which will be enough for you for the planned filming. If the equipment has too weak battery, the photographer will have to carry extra batteries with him.
  5. It is recommended to buy such cameras which will seem to the user the most comfortable, ergonomic ... Before buying, it is advisable to hold the camera in your hands, click on the buttons on the body. Make sure that the location of all the components is comfortable and convenient for you.
  6. Making a choice in favor of a particular camera, it is worth looking closely at branded items. A camera from a well-known manufacturer will last longer, be of better quality and more reliable, and will be covered by the manufacturer's warranty. It is not recommended to buy too cheap Chinese cameras from unknown companies - such devices do not inspire confidence.
  7. It is recommended to buy a high-quality SLR camera in a trusted store. It can be a large networker or a mono-brand outlet. Here you can easily check the operation of the equipment, as well as receive a warranty card after payment.

If we choose the right photographic equipment, we will never be disappointed in it. It is better to go to the store prepared, knowing exactly what the camera is being selected for.

How to use?

In order to use a DSLR properly, it is advisable to know at least the minimum basics of photography. With such a camera, the user can learn to take pictures better, better. Let's take a look at some of the basics of photography that you should familiarize yourself with before using a DSLR.

  1. there is A (Av) mode, in which a person sets certain aperture parameters, and the camera selects the shutter speed itself.
  2. The photographer should always keep an eye on the aperture for beautiful shots ... Aperture priority is usually indicated by the letter F. This is a mode with which you can shoot great portraits. You can open the aperture as much as possible and get bokeh effect.
  3. Convenient to use automatic modes , among which there are "landscapes", "portrait", shooting mode at night (when you want to beautifully shoot the moon or the starry sky).
  4. Available in DSLRs and shutter priority mode - S (Tv). In this case, the photographer sets a certain shutter speed, and the aperture value is set by the camera itself. So, if you want to "freeze" some moving objects in order to make spectacular pictures, then you need to set a short time (measured in fractions). If you want objects to be slightly blurred (for example, falling snow), then the time, on the contrary, should be set long.
  5. The mode of independence is "manual mode" ... Here the photographer chooses the appropriate values ​​for both aperture and shutter speed. If you have just started learning, then it is better to start with other modes - A and S.

There are many other DSLR settings. It is easier to understand, configure and master the work of such a technique than it seems.

Just a couple of centuries ago, a camera was a luxury that only a very wealthy person could afford. These days, such a device does not surprise anyone. Moreover, you can capture an important moment in life or a particularly beautiful shot using either an ordinary smartphone or an ultra-modern "mirror" with many functions.

ЗMirkalny cameras differ from other models by the presence of a complex system of mirrors and a prism, which forms and directs the resulting image into a special device - a viewfinder.

DSLR camera - what does it mean

The device of the device formed the basis of its name. SLR cameras are a technique whose viewfinder function is based on a mirror at an angle of 45 оin relation to the product axis.

SLR camera.

@Digital Camera World

Reference. The device, which is most similar to the models we are used to, was born in 1861 in Great Britain. In the time that has passed since the invention, technology has made great strides forward. Today, devices are presented on the market without the usual photographic film, because it was replaced by digital technologies and an improved image sensor.

The device and features of the functioning of SLR cameras

To always get high-quality pictures, you need to have at least a little idea of ​​how the device works and works.

The main elements of the product:

  1. Lens. A system consisting of several lenses that are positioned inside the frame. There are two options: glass and plastic. The second can be found in cheap models. Good glass lenses installed in expensive devices allow you to get sharp images without blurring and other defects.
  2. The matrix. The "heart" of the device, which is an analog or digital microcircuit. It is she who converts the optical image into an analog or digital signal.
  3. Diaphragm. The mechanism located between the lenses of the product. Regulates the luminous flux that enters the device matrix.
  4. Viewfinder. With its help, the photographer can evaluate the frame in advance without pressing the shutter.
  5. Pentaprism. Consists of two mirrors. The system accepts the luminous flux coming in an inverted state and converts the frame to its usual form.
  6. Mirrors. Divide the luminous flux into two beams. One goes to special sensors, after which the device automatically focuses on the desired object. The second goes to the focusing screen. With its help the photographer can evaluate the clarity of the image.
  7. Stabilizer. Prevents blurred frames.
  8. Gate. Located between the mirror system and the matrix. Adjusts the intensity of the light beam.
  9. CPU. The "brain" of the gadget. Responsible for basic settings and processes. For example, it controls flash, interface, contrast, light sensitivity, saves frames, connects the camera to external devices (printer, computer, and others).
  10. Photo flash. Allows you to highlight the filmed objects in the dark or in poor lighting. Typically, standard systems are not very powerful. Therefore, professional cameras are equipped with a connector with which you can connect an additional flash unit.

Reference. The screen in SLR cameras is only needed for convenient use. Without this part, the device will function perfectly.

A small diagram will help to understand the operation of the product:

  1. The light beam passes through the diaphragm and hits the glass. Then the stream is divided into two parts.
  2. The first beam goes to the focusing device, the second to the focusing screen.
  3. The stream then passes into the pentaprism, which flips the image.
  4. Then the light enters the viewfinder.
  5. The processor processes the received information and saves the file on the built-in memory card. The device and operation of the zkrkalny camera.

    @ instantframe.ru

Reference. The most important thing in the process of photography is the light that hits all the surrounding objects. It is important to remember that the camera captures the reflected waves, not the objects themselves. Therefore, the ability to work with the flow of light is the key to high-quality images.

DSLR advantages and disadvantages

The modern photography market offers a variety of options. These can be mirrored and mirrorless devices. Therefore, before buying a device, you need to study the information about its advantages and disadvantages. After all, only knowing about the strengths and weaknesses of the gadget, it is easier to make the right choice.

Advantages of DSLRs:

  1. The ability to see the image through the lens. In other words, the photographer sees absolutely the same thing that the camera "sees", because the picture that falls on the system of mirrors and the matrix is ​​completely duplicated on the viewfinder - an LCD display located on the back of the device. Camera display.

    @Digital Trends

  2. High quality of the obtained images in comparison with the usual "soap box". Moreover, the final snapshot will be better in all the main characteristics.
  3. Due to the presence of a large matrix, certain defects are practically absent in the frames, which means that a high-quality picture can be obtained even in poor photographing conditions.
  4. The function of adjusting the lens by type of shooting. For example, "Landscape", "Portrait", "Macro" - a large number of additional options increases the likelihood of getting a high quality photo.
  5. Fast focusing, allowing you to shoot even in blinding mode.
  6. Almost instantaneous response in continuous and panoramic photography.
  7. High quality optics.
  8. A large number of options. With the help of a "SLR" you can adjust the level of brightness, contrast, blur the background, shoot in the dark or in low light conditions. Thanks to the various functions, you can feel free to experiment and express yourself in creativity.
  9. Possibility to replenish. If necessary, it is easy to install various lenses, flashes of different powers, special filters, tripods and one or another lighting equipment on the camera.
The completeness of the camera.


Reference. A DSLR camera is almost never aging device. By replacing any element, you can get a device equipped with the latest in photographic technology.

There are few cons, but they must be noted:

  1. The main disadvantage is cost. Moreover, the price "bites" not only the camera, but also the additional equipment.
  2. Large dimensions. Such a device cannot be hidden in a lady's clutch. To take a camera with you, you need a roomy bag or a large backpack.
  3. A large number of settings and options can confuse a beginner. Therefore, you will need to complete at least a minimum course of preliminary training.

A "DSLR" is definitely better than an inexpensive "soap dish", "digital camera" and the most modern smartphone. The advantages of the device are difficult to dispute! The high cost will meet the expectations of even a discerning professional: with such a device, you can get original photographs of the highest quality.

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I propose to discuss what a DSLR is. You just don't know this slang or are you going to buy a camera? This means that the topic will be interesting for you. In this article we will consider the principle of operation, important parameters and types of this technique.

What is a DSLR

Where does the name - DSLR come from?

It is correct to call a camera a reflex camera, but for simplicity, someone came up with the idea of ​​reducing it to a DSLR and this word stuck.

What is the connection between technique and mirror? Despite the latest trends in social media, especially Instagram, it is not about taking pictures of yourself in the mirror of the gym and club toilet.

The fact is, the viewfinder of such cameras (the window where you look when shooting) is based on a mirror located behind the lens.

Camera components

To understand the principle of the mirror technique, you need to know what is inside it:

  • A lens is an optical device consisting of a system of lenses (glass is an expensive option, or plastic is a cheap option). They are needed to refract the light flux.


  • The diaphragm is a round window made of plastic petals that change its diameter to adjust the amount of light.


  • Mirror. Closes the matrix. Tilted 45 degrees with respect to the optical axis - the straight line through the lens.


  • Pentaprism is a pentagonal reflective prism that turns the image reflected from the mirror into the correct position.


  • The shutter is a mechanical opaque plane that opens and closes access to the matrix with incredible speed. The time in which it is open is called exposure. The shutter has a certain actuation resource: the better and more expensive the equipment, the larger it is.


  • The matrix. Forms an image. Digital analogue of photographic film.

The matrix

How it works?

You can see the world as it is through the viewfinder, not just through some kind of glass, but thanks to a complex scheme. Light passes through the lens, reaches the diaphragm, is reflected from the mirror, passes through the pentaprism and enters the eyepiece (viewfinder element). This is necessary in order to carry out sighting through the lens, that is, you can immediately understand what the final picture will be, including focus, blur, etc.

What kind of click is heard when photographing? When you press the shutter button, the mirror rises, the shutter retracts, and the entire stream of light hits the matrix. Then the shutter is closed and the mirror is lowered into place. These actions create mechanical noise.

Diagram of a mirror apparatus

One more point.

The camera has a focusing module that tells it how far to get a clear image. The same principle as with a magnifying glass or binoculars. When you press the shutter button halfway, the motor automatically turns on and sharpens the lens with the movement of the lens. This also causes a little noise. Note that autofocus works only for still images, but not for video.


DSLR classes

SLR cameras are divided into 3 classes:

  • Amateur. The cheapest, easiest to use and lightest in weight. Even a 5-year-old child can cope with the shooting, since taking pictures is no more difficult than with a soap dish. There are also manual modes.


  • Professional. At least 3 times more expensive than the previous class. Designed for an experienced audience of connoisseurs. They often do not have a built-in flash and additional modes such as "landscape", "night photography", etc. An experienced photographer, in fact, does not need them, because he can set the necessary parameters on his own. It has many advantages over the amateur version: a stronger case, protection from dust and moisture, an increased shutter resource, a sensitive matrix, etc. In addition to the price, the disadvantages include large dimensions and weight.


  • Semi-professional. As you can imagine, this is a cross between the described two classes, including the price. Such cameras, like amateur ones, have automatic modes, their own flash. At the same time, they have a more reliable body and a higher number of shutter operations. Although, according to the last parameters, they still fall short of professional technology.


How else are classes different?

The main distinguishing features are:

  • Photo quality. If it is shot in good lighting and with the same lens with an amateur and professional camera, then you will not see the difference. She will make itself felt in a bad light. In the first case, noise appears already at ISO 1600, and in the second - starting from 6400.

Click and see how the mirror camera works

  • High-speed performance. This refers to the accuracy of autofocus, burst speed and shutter speed. The higher the class of the camera, the better these parameters are. For comparison: an amateur DSLR can take 3-4 pictures per second and the shutter is released with a delay, and a professional one - 8-12 frames and without pauses.

Скорость снимков фотографий

  • Matrix size. The parameter is measured not in megapixels, but in millimeters. The dimensions of the matrix for all amateur-class cameras are 22x17 mm (APS-C). In slang, they are called "cropped" from the English word "crop" - "crop", because the pictures are smaller than the film. The "professional" class has 36 × 24 mm matrixes, like stills on film. They are called "Full Frame", which means "full frame".

Размер матрицы

What is a mirrorless camera?

БеззеркальныйMirrorless cameras should be singled out in a separate category. As the name suggests, they do not have a DSLR viewfinder.

Instead, a screen (budget option) or an electronic viewfinder (more expensive) is used.

Why am I mentioning this technique in this article? Because mirrorless cameras have common features with their mirror counterparts: the ability to change optics and the presence of models with a cropped and full-frame sensor.

Still, mirror devices have some advantages. What is it?

  • The optical viewfinder allows you to see the picture as you would have seen without it, and in real time. The electronic version immediately produces an already digitized image and this happens with a slight delay.
  • They have a phase focus.
  • Wider choice of lenses.
  • Work faster.
  • They serve longer.
  • They use energy more economically.

Don't forget mirrorless cameras because they produce high quality images and compare favorably with DSLRs for their lower price and weight.


Decoding professional vocabulary

When choosing a camera, you may come across these words:

  • Body (from the English body - body) - the carcass of a camera without a lens. An actual option if you already have some kind of optics, since it is impossible to shoot without it.
  • Kit - camera with a lens. It usually has a focal length of 18-55mm. For a beginner photographer, this is enough, but with experience there is a desire to get a better and more detailed picture, so professionals buy other optics.
  • Double Kit is a device with two lenses. As a rule, this is the standard and simplest telephoto lens.

Боди - Кит - Дабл кит

What kind of camera to take?

The answer to this question depends on the means available and the goals you set for yourself. If you are looking to buy your first camera for family photography, the mirrorless or hobbyist option is worth considering. They are inexpensive and more than meet your needs.

Are you already a little tech savvy and taking your first steps towards photographing people for money? Pay attention to semi-professional models. Their functionality will be enough for you at first.

Have you already gained experience? Then you should look at professional equipment. This is my subjective opinion. You can buy one right away, but if you are a beginner, then for a long time you will not understand why you paid off a huge amount.


What is a DSLR I think I sanctified it is clear.

If you want to study in more detail all the subtleties in choosing such devices, then I advise you to study this video course: photoshop-master.org/disc33/

Good luck in your choice.

I am waiting for you on a visit on my pages!

How is a DSLR different from a regular one?

SLR cameras are film (SLR: Single-Lens Reflex camera) and digital (DSLR: Digital Single-Lens Reflex camera). A film SLR camera differs from a digital SLR camera in light-sensitive material. A digital camera, instead of a film coated with a photosensitive composition, has an electronic device - a matrix. But what is the difference between a DSLR and a conventional camera? Why is it called mirrored?

What is a DSLR camera?

A SLR camera is called because it has an optical viewfinder consisting of a shaft in which a mirror (or a system of mirrors) is installed. There are single-lens and dual-lens reflex cameras.

In the picture below, you can see for yourself what a single-lens reflex camera is and how it works inside. To "press the shutter button" of the SLR camera shown in the picture below, just click on the picture, just keep in mind that a real camera works much faster!

What's inside a DSLR?

Click on the image of the DSLR to look inside the camera
Что такое зеркальный фотоаппарат

In a single-lens reflex camera [ Single-Lens ] sighting (framing and camera settings) occurs through the shooting lens and mirror system. This system of mirrors serves only for adjusting the camera and does not take any part in the process of photographing (exporting a frame), but only interferes, since is located between the camera lens and the matrix (or film, if we consider the operation of a film reflex camera).

Therefore, after the SLR camera is set up for photography and the photographer has pressed the button, the mirror rises and only after that the shutter opens. After the shutter is closed, the mirror is lowered back to its original position to adjust the next frame. Because of this, nothing is visible in the viewfinder at the time of shooting. There is no such disadvantage in two-lens reflex cameras.

Dual lens reflex camera

In two-lens reflex cameras, sighting and photography are performed through different lenses - and there is no need to raise the mirror before exposing the frame. This simplifies the shutter mechanism and the cost and reliability of the camera.

In a two-lens reflex camera, the focus rings of both lenses are mechanically linked and work synchronously during focusing. However, when replacing the shooting lens, you need to change the focusing lens. In addition, when shooting at close distances, the distance between the axes of the focusing and shooting lenses should be taken into account. This misalignment of the axes of the viewfinder and lens is called parallax. Due to the prallax, the boundaries of the sight and the frame itself do not coincide a little, and the closer the distance to the object being shot, the more noticeable this discrepancy.

Single-lens reflex cameras are more compact than dual-lens ones and do not have parallax. In addition, they allow quick replacement of the shooting lens - there is only one lens! Exposure metering in single-lens reflex cameras, as a rule, is done through a shooting lens, therefore this exposure metering system is called TTL - Through The Lens When using filters and various lens attachments, the change in light transmission in SLR и DSLR cameras are counted automatically. Despite the complex mechanism of mirror rotation, single-lens reflex cameras have practically supplanted two-lens ones.

Video: How a DSLR Works

Want to know why a DSLR can shoot better than a soap dish? Read about it in the FREE eBook "DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS"

Several years ago, a DSLR was purchased for professional photography. Today, the time has come for social networks, where everyone wants to stand out with beautiful photos, share photo reports from trips and walks. Often they buy a DSLR for these purposes. The variety of brands and models makes it much more difficult for beginners and hobbyists to choose. In this article, we will describe in detail what you should pay attention to, how to choose a camera in accordance with your goals.

Is a DSLR really necessary?

Oftentimes, buying a DSLR (SLR camera) seems like a good idea only until the moment you buy it. According to many newbie photographers, buying a camera is one hundred percent guarantee of high-quality images. Let's say you invited a photographer to an event, paid for an hour of work, after a couple of weeks got wonderful pictures without distortion, with an even face tone, "bikes" in the background. And then a business plan looms in my head, only an hour of time, such an amount, and I myself shoot well. The idea of ​​investing money in photographic equipment is ripening, the work is not dusty, and how profitable it is!

Not everything is as simple as it seems at first glance. When you buy a DSLR, you are not only purchasing a device, but you are signing yourself a verdict for the purchase of the whole system, which requires a lot of investment. Undoubtedly, high-quality images are obtained with a semi-professional SLR camera, and even with a whale lens. However, there is also a "but" here: in order for the pictures to match in quality and performance, you need to know the theory. Studying all the nuances will take not a single day, understanding will come with experience in a month.

That is, when buying a DSLR, you should stock up on:

one. Finance (be prepared for additional costs).

2. By the time (gaining experience in photography, time for processing photos).

3. Knowledge (It is important to understand at least the basics: composition, color matching, volume, poses and angles, creating effects using various shooting modes, graphic editors).

This is where the anti-advertising ends. If, after reading the above, you are still sure of the need to buy a DSLR, then first of all, before going to the store, outline the goals.

What goals should be guided by when buying a camera and how this will affect the choice:

- Amateur photography for family archives, photos of friends, children and relatives.

In this case, it is not necessary to consider top-end models. It is enough to confine ourselves to a semi-professional camera (the manufacturers themselves position them as models for the entry-level, it is not difficult to distinguish them by their low cost, a large number of numbers in the name). Starter models are completed with a universal lens marked KIT (kit lens). It is difficult for an amateur who does not have experience and a wagon of knowledge to get decent pictures with this optics. If your plans are to develop yourself as a photographer, then at the initial stage a kit lens is enough to get the hang of shooting in manual mode. When a camera is needed only for creating a photo for a family archive, and you have the finances, it is more expedient to replace it with a better and more light-sensitive model of optics.

- Professional and commercial photography.

This type of shooting implies that the buyer is already a photographer with a certain experience, has a baggage of knowledge, technology and accessories.

Professional SLR cameras are far from being a budget option (if you also consider that the optics must correspond to the level of the camera, or even be an order of magnitude higher). Therefore, beginners and amateurs who are ready to buy a camera today and post an advertisement for commercial photography tomorrow are not recommended to purchase expensive models. Shooting with a DSLR requires the use of thinking, and if the whole process takes place in auto mode, then this is wasted money.

DSLR parameters

A DSLR has about fifty characteristics, but not all of them are important, as the manufacturers assure. What should you pay attention to first of all?

Matrix size and megapixels

It is the matrix that is the main unit of the camera, the digital analogue of photographic film. Through the matrix, the flow of light is converted into electrical signals - thus the picture that we see on the monitor is obtained. Simply put, a matrix is ​​a microcircuit consisting of millions of light-sensitive sensors.

In addition to the name of the matrix, the characteristics always indicate the number of elements (sensors), which is more familiar to us in the formulation of megapixels. One megapixel (Mp) equals a million light sensors.

The number of megapixels is directly related to the resolution of the matrix, the quality of the photo, detail and noise level depend on it. More megapixels allow you to get a picture with high detail.

But such an indicator as megapixels should not come first. First, decide on the choice of the physical size of the matrix (matrix diagonal in centimeters or inches). The fact is that a larger pixel size provides a high degree of light sensitivity, capturing more photons of light. Comparing several matrices with the same number of photosensitive sensors, with a lack of illumination, a matrix with a larger diagonal will provide a lower noise level.

You can often see digital compact cameras with 24 megapixels, but has at least one professional switched to a “soap box” just because it has more megapixels than an expensive DSLR? Of course not. Manufacturers are pushing the demand for multi-pixel models, but the image quality does not get better from this. This is because the size of the matrix remains the same.

If we consider, for example, several matrices, from a compact camera and a DSLR camera, then the difference in physical size is immediately evident, while the number of pixels for both cameras is the same. But the size of the DSLR sensors is larger, therefore, the light sensitivity is better.

What does a manufacturer do when it claims to increase the number of pixels? Increases the physical size of the matrix? No it's expensive. The manufacturer places on the same small matrix not 12 megapixels, but 24 megapixels, for example. In photography, this is reflected in an increase in sharpness and detail, and this is where the pros end. The area of ​​the light-sensitive sensors becomes several times smaller, the light sensitivity drops, and more digital noise appears.

In SLR cameras, the size of the matrix is ​​indicated only in millimeters, in addition to the physical dimensions, there is such a concept as the crop factor.

The crop factor shows the difference between a 35mm film (the same dimensions as a full-frame sensor) and the size of the sensor installed in the camera. All entry to mid-range DSLRs are not full-frame.

Full frame makes it easier to achieve the effect of blurring the background, to use the full potential of the lens (wider angle, higher sensitivity, easier focusing).

From this we conclude that Full Frame matrices (full-frame) allow shooting in low-light conditions, produce a picture with less digital noise and better color rendering.

Noises in photos - an unwanted defect, which is randomly located multi-colored dots that appear in low light. Noises are clearly visible in photographs in darker or more uniform in saturation and color objects (background out of focus, dark clothing, etc.). Yes, you can get rid of digital noise in professional graphics editors, in which case the problem seems to be solved. By no means, getting rid of unwanted noise entails a loss of sharpness, a decrease in the detail of small objects and contrast lines. In more expensive models of cameras, manufacturers are introducing new algorithms for noise reduction, they only partially help.

Of course, any camera will give out noise, but only they will appear at different ISO values.

ISO - the sensitivity of the matrix, indicated by a numerical value. ISO is one of the three settings for correct exposure. The more the sensitivity is set in the camera settings, the wider the possibilities for shooting in the dark. However, it is still recommended not to work with high ISO values, this will lead to a loss in the quality of the resulting images. The optimal values ​​of ISO are 50, 100, 400, when setting the parameters above, noise and digital debris will appear in the photos. So focusing on buying a camera with a higher ISO is also not correct. If you plan to shoot in low light conditions, then it is better to stock up on additional lighting equipment.

Everything that is described above should be of concern to the buyer first of all. But, as practice shows, entry-level models from different manufacturers are similar in their values ​​and design features, so it will be important to study additional parameters of DSLRs. The following characteristics do not affect the quality of the picture, however, they bring convenience to the shooting process.

Image stabilization

Almost all compact cameras are equipped with a stabilizer, but DSLRs are not always. This is primarily due to the weight and dimensions of the camera, small compacts are more prone to shaking in the hand, in contrast to the overall and heavy SLR cameras. Slight shaking of the hand leads to defocusing and blurring in the image. DSLR cameras are easier to hold in a shake-free position. it is necessary to hold them with both hands very close to the face. I would like to note that the presence of stabilization does not greatly affect the cost of the camera, there are both amateur models with stabilization and professional ones without it.

Stabilization is useful when:

- Shooting with a long-focus lens (the longer the focal length of the lens, the more difficult it is to focus, the oscillation distance increases exponentially when zooming in).

- Shooting in low light conditions and at long exposure (indoors, evening and night photography).

Stabilization systems:

- Optical. It implies automatic add-ons of the lens unit; technically, this is a rather complex type of stabilization in comparison with digital.

- Digital. With digital stabilization, it is not the optics that move, but the matrix. Digital stabilization is less effective, so it is inappropriate to focus on buying a camera with digital stabilization.

If you liked a camera without built-in stabilization, do not be upset. In any case, the best stabilizer is a tripod, rarely when shooting at a long focus or with a slow shutter speed is possible without a tripod.


The undoubted advantage of SLR cameras over digital compacts is the ability to change optics. Depending on the goals set, the photographer needs to change and select lenses. Portrait and full-height shooting is best done with medium focus, nature and the sky with wide-angle lenses. Unfortunately, universal optics "both for the feast and for the world" have not yet been invented. In this regard, SLR cameras provide the ability to change the lens. The bayonet acts as a connecting element between the camera and the lens. The mount is made of metal with a swivel joint (until it clicks). The mount contains contacts through which the lens is powered and information commands are exchanged.

After choosing a camera, check in advance the compatibility of optics for this model. Each global manufacturer of photographic equipment has its own mounting standard.

In addition to the differences in mounts between manufacturers, you should take into account the difference between the mounts of full-frame and cropped technology. For full-frame cameras, each brand has its own separate line of lenses, in most cases with a "cosmic" cost. Of course, it is always easy to find an adapter-adapter for "non-native" optics on sale, but these are separate costs.

If you have friends, photographers, then find out what kind of mount they have, suddenly there will be an opportunity to exchange or borrow a lens. It is easier to find an analogue of an expensive original lens to the popular type of mount. If you are on a budget, the most common mount is the best choice.

Shutter Life: Together Forever?

Probably there is no amateur photographer who did not worry about the camera shutter resource. Everyone knows that DSLRs have a mileage limit, but should you be afraid? When buying used equipment, the shutter resource is almost the first parameter on which attention is focused.

The numbers set by the manufacturers do not always correspond to reality, the same models of DSLRs fail at different mileage. For example, the manufacturer specifies a mileage of 50,000 frames, there is no guarantee that the shutter will work for this particular period.

It all depends on the operating conditions. If the camera is located in a room or studio and is used in a "greenhouse" environment, then it is really possible to extend the life of the shutter. Sometimes the mileage is two or three times. Taking pictures outdoors in dusty and windy conditions will not benefit the camera.

Frequent lens changes are also detrimental to shutter life. To extend the production limit of the shutter, it is sufficient to avoid situations of dust and debris getting into the mechanism.

The camera can always be handed over to a service center to replace the shutter and clean the matrix, the service is not cheap, but the price of a new device is several times higher.

In addition to the resource, the gate is associated with a parameter such as excerpt .

Before purchasing, decide which style of photography will prevail when shooting.

A short shutter speed will allow you to capture moments from life, "freeze" water and moving objects. Slow shutter speeds deliver long-lasting light that pushes the boundaries of evening and night photography.

Built-in flash, is it really needed?

The flash built by the manufacturer is suitable only for amateurs who shoot in auto mode and do not really think about the quality of the picture. If “click to be” is your goal, then the built-in flash is for you. For development in photography, shooting volumetric images, the built-in flash is not suitable, often its use "negates" the full potential of the camera.

Cons of built-in flash:

- shooting "in the forehead", all shadows on the face are highlighted, or have hard transitions, because of this, the effect of a flat image is created;

- red eyes and bright hard glare (overexposure) on reflective surfaces;

- there is no possibility to reduce the light intensity, therefore the exposure is not always set correctly;

- hard black falling shadows from objects;

- does not turn off during automatic and semi-automatic shooting, it works automatically depending on the illumination.

Despite the weighty disadvantages, there are pros:

- the flash is absolutely free, buying a camera with a built-in flash, you do not overpay. The built-in flash is rarely seen on professional-grade models, as only amateurs use it;

- compact size. It's hard to forget, lose, or break.

If you seriously decide to engage in photography, use the camera for commercial purposes, then think about buying an external flash.

Viewfinder and LCD

One of the important elements of a DSLR camera is viewfinder ... The primary transfer of information from the camera to the photographer takes place through the viewfinder.

The viewfinder is not responsible for the quality of the photo, but it does affect the photographer's perception of the final shot.

In modern SLR cameras there are:

- Optic. It is a set of lenses built into the camera. The image is displayed with a certain error, the focus adjustment becomes more difficult.

- Electronic. Allows you to see the image without distortion, you can immediately see if the image is correctly exposed, white balance. Helps to accurately focus in manual mode. Displays shooting options.

Lcd screen installed on all modern SLR cameras. Taking pictures in liveView mode (looking at the LCD screen) is not recommended, but it is still a useful addition. Manufacturers complete the LCD display with a touchscreen, rotary mechanisms.

Buying a camera with a rotary display will make life easier for a photographer, save new jeans from dirt and dust. How, you ask? Often it takes a long time to select an angle for a successful shot, shooting from below has always been a winning option, but it is not pleasant to kneel down or lie down on the asphalt for the sake of the shot.

It is enough to rotate the screen in LiveView mode and lower the camera to the desired level. Note that shooting in LiveView mode consumes power many times faster. To save energy, many models are equipped with a monochrome display. An additional display facilitates the adjustment of shooting parameters, displays the main indicators.

Video recording

The function is not found in all cameras, and not every photographer needs it. Suitable for wedding videographers, for shooting semi-professional videos, maintaining a personal blog. You can improve the recording quality with additional purchases: a microphone, a tripod. Modern camera models support Full HD video recording, but this is still not enough for creating ads or clips.

Let's summarize

Choosing an SLR camera puts not only beginners in a difficult position, but also professional photographers.

We recommend not to get hung up on a specific brand of the camera, but to proceed from the required characteristics. Having previously studied the information on the Internet, choose several suitable models and test them in the store. Pay attention not only to the characteristics and indicators of the "filling", the shape and weight also play an important role. Cameras with a metal body are more reliable, but not every photographer will be able to carry a kilogram carcass in his hands, and to this add the weight of the lens and flash.

Hold multiple cameras in your hand, the ergonomic shape and rubber pads will be an additional step towards comfortable shooting.

If you don't have a budget for a full-frame camera, consider inexpensive crop cameras. The characteristics of DSLRs in the same price segment are similar, so take a closer look at the little things that make the shooting process easier.

Check in advance the compatibility of accessories and packaging for your preferred camera. Sometimes buying a little-known brand leads to problems in the selection of non-branded accessories. It is easier to find additional equipment for popular cameras at a lower cost, it is easier to resell.

The main mistake that novice photographers make is a complete investment in the carcass of a camera. While the best option is to invest in a lens, but in addition to buying a mid-level carcass. A good lens unlocks the potential of the camera and the photographer. It is extremely difficult to achieve a professional level with a budget option of a kit lens.

Remember, 80% of success depends on the person managing the technology, not the other way around.

About DSLRs in simple language

Artem Kashkanov, 2020


The appearance of this article may cause confusion among regular readers of the site - it seems that everything has already been said about DSLRs. However, the site has articles about the choice of a soap dish, about mirrorless cameras, but a separate FAQ on DSLRs has not yet been created. This article aims to fill that gap. I am often asked to tell "simple truths" about DSLRs, and I am already a little tired of answering the same questions a hundred times. That is why I am writing this text ...

The Mirror - What is it?

DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) - Digital Single Objective Mirror Camera, in Proslezodia Mirror - This is one of the most common types of cameras that are positioned in a segment of 500 dollars. These devices received their name on the basis of the principle of transmitting the image from the lens to the viewfinder in sight mode - the light passes through the lens, reflected from the inclined inclined mirror, passes through the pentaprism (which "turns" the image so that it is not upwards) and falls into eyepiece.

The mirror in the context on this schematic figure is represented by the "in the context" mirror, and in two modes - sights (left) and shooting (right). In the sight mode, half of the light flow is reflected from the translucent mirror (1) and is projected onto a matte focusing screen, which we see through the pentaprism into the viewfinder, the second half - through the second small mirror (2) enters the phase autofocus block (3). When shooting mirrors, the entire light flux falls on the matrix (4). Despite the bulky design, the DRIrs have a number of significant advantages over compact devices in which the LCD screen or a small optical viewfinder is used to sight (now it is a big rarity!)

  • Unlike the LCD screen, no mirror viewfinder, nor the matrix consumes electricity during the frame layout. It significantly increases the autonomy of the camera - some models it exceeds 1000 shots on one charging of the battery!
  • LCD screen of most compact devices displays a picture with a small delay. The mirror viewfinder of this shortage is also deprived.
  • Unlike the optical viewfinder of the soapfounders and range rays, the mirror viewfinder is deprived of such a phenomenon as Pararallax, when when shooting with a close distance, the picture falling on the matrix differs from the one that we see through the viewfinder, since the viewfinder is removed for some distance from the lens.
  • Phase autofocus works faster than the contrast, used in compact.

Classes of mirror photographs

If we speak in a simple language, any technique (not obligatory cameras) is divided into three classes:

  • Amateur
  • Semi-facilities
  • Professional

Amateur technology It is inexpensive and provides quality that satisfies, roughly speaking, up to 90% of photographers. The main emphasis is placed on ease of use of the device to make the latest housewife to make high-quality photos. Amateur seals are the lightest, compact and cheap. The shooting process is about the same as on the soapbox - brought and clicked. It is always possible to use manual settings.

Professional devices On the contrary, they are calculated only on experienced photographers. The technique of this class practically does not have any amateur "lotions" like the built-in flash, plot programs "Portrait", "Landscape", "Sunset", "Animals", etc. It is understood that the photographer is perfectly familiar with the technical side of the photo and itself is able to figure out which buttons and how many times you need to click to fall asleep. Professional technique is stronger, more reliable, often has dust / moisture as well as a huge shutter resource. Naturally, it imposes an imprint on the dimensions, weight, as well as the cost of the camera. Professional technique costs at least 3-4 times more expensive amateur.

Semi-professional devices occupy an intermediate niche, combining properties of both amateur and professional technology. More often than not, this is a kind of compromise - an amateur device with an extended set of functions, enclosed in a sturdier body and having an increased shutter resource. As a rule, the same matrix is ​​used in amateur and semi-professional devices. The cost of semi-professional equipment is about 1.5-2 times more expensive than amateur equipment. Often people with zero photographic experience buy semi-professional equipment, only to indulge their pride, having no idea what is inside and whether they need it.

  • Image quality in difficult conditions ... In good lighting conditions, the difference between a picture from an amateur and a professional device is practically invisible, but in poor lighting conditions, a professional camera will give pictures of noticeably better quality.
  • Performance ... Focus time, shutter speed, burst speed and volume - all this increases with the growth of the class of technology. For amateur photography, the capabilities of the cheapest SLR cameras are quite enough, but for more complex tasks with a high price of error, amateur DSLRs are practically unsuitable.
  • Accuracy ... By this we mean such things as the accuracy of autofocus, exposure metering. Autofocus accuracy is especially important when using high-aperture optics when shooting with a shallow depth of field. Amateur cameras are mainly used with inexpensive optics, which have less stringent requirements for autofocus accuracy, therefore, with a fast professional lens, it will not always be possible to focus correctly the first time.
  • Resource ... This category includes the mechanical strength of the structure, the ability to withstand aggressive environmental influences (moisture, dust, rain), as well as the life of the camera shutter. Amateur equipment has no dust and moisture protection. As for the resource of the shutter, it makes sense to bother with it only when several hundred photos are taken every day. In this case, you need a professional technique. The most typical situation is when the camera is used a couple of times a week and several dozen frames are taken. In this case, the resource of the shutter of an amateur device will be enough for many years of operation.

There is one more thing that should be mentioned when talking about amateur and professional equipment. it camera sensor size ... This does not mean megapixels, but size in millimeters. Without exception, all amateur DSLRs have a matrix of approximately 22 * ​​17 mm (this matrix is ​​called APS-C). Often DSLRs with APS-C matrix are called "cropped" (from the word crop - "crop", the matrix is ​​smaller in size of the film frame, as if it had been cropped at the edges).

Most professional SLR cameras have a 36 * 24 mm matrix. The frame of the photographic film has exactly the same dimensions, therefore such matrices are called Full Frame (in Russian - "full frame"). This means that on amateur cameras, only the central fragment of the picture, which the lens gives, falls on the matrix. This causes a noticeable narrowing of the field of the frame and makes it difficult to shoot "wide-angle" landscapes. Below is an example of a landscape shot with a full frame camera. The frame shows the boundaries of the frame, if the shooting was carried out by an amateur SLR (with the same lens).

As you can see, with landscape shooting, the full frame allows you to get a much more interesting result, especially in combination with an ultra-wide-organized lens. However, now it is not a problem to find a wide-roller under the crop, so that the above described above can be transferred to the section "Myths and delusion" section. Another thing is that really high-quality professional glasses are made precisely under the full frame.

When shooting portraits with a blurred background (BOKE effect), the full one has the advantages over the crop through the use of longer-focus optics at the same shooting distance. More focal length is stronger than blur.

When shooting a telephoto already, the APS-C matrix has an advantage over "full frame", since it allows you to see the object being removed larger. This is relevant when shooting animals and macros. Often, professional animal photographers deliberately use the Mirrows with the APS-C matrix to shoot animals and birds larger. Full-frame matrices, in addition to the larger corner of the frame, is also distinguished by the longer working value of the ISO sensitivity.

Since the pixels on the full frame are larger, they are capable of catching more light during the exposure, therefore the picture will have a smaller level of noise. Again, it should be mentioned that the real difference between the crop and full frame in the level of noise is manifested with poor lighting, and it is not always. Some sprinkled apparatuses have a level of noise comparable to full-frame, however, only the models can be paid to this - mainly "top" krops from the reporting family.

Can the novice deal with a mirror?

"I never kept the camera in my hands, but I want to immediately buy an amateur model. Is I doing right right? Maybe still start with soapbox?" - One of the typical questions that the readers of the site are asked. In other words, a person has a desire to take pictures and the opportunity to afford a mirror photo, but he will be given doubts that he will not be able to deal with the settings of the mirror photo. From somewhere, the belief was taken that the mirror was photographed much more complicated than a compact or smartphone ...

First, everyone, without exception, the amateur mirrors have authorship and plot programs - a portrait, landscape, sport, night, etc., which greatly facilitate shooting those who are not friendly with theoretical foundations of the photo. Scene programs are a set of settings with which the best result will be with the shooting of certain plots.

If you turn the disk to the "Portrait" position, photos with slightly muted colors and a blurred background. In the "Landscape" mode, everything will be sharply - and the front and back plan, the colors will be bright and saturated, and so on. By the way, the mode selection disk is always at hand and to switch from the "portrait" in the "landscape" will be required no more than a second, while the soap box with a touch screen will take much longer.

Fast autofocus Slirls will allow you to capture exactly those moments that I want to capture - for example, a smile of a child (instead of its backbone), an athlete during the execution of the jump (and not at the moment after landing). All these tasks are easily performed for the mirror and difficult to work for soap.

Over time, when the hand is packed, it will be possible to try to move into creative modes and independently control the shutter speed, aperture, sensitivity and other parameters, but at first there will be authorship and plot programs. The quality of the photos will be noticeably better than the soap mix and smartphone - they will look "less" and "volumetric".

Should an amateur buy a professional DSLR?

Many times I have been asked the question - "I have 60 (80, 100, 200, ...) thousand rubles. I want to buy a good camera to photograph my family." Moreover, the authors of such questions are not always wealthy people for whom plus or minus 50 thousand is not a matter of principle. It happens that a person has received a bonus or "thirteenth salary" or simply sold something unnecessary and wants to make a gift to his beloved ... God forbid you tell the sales assistant from a photographic store "I want the best camera within 100 thousand rubles." You will be instantly "promoted" in full. I do not argue that you will most likely buy the most worthy camera from those that are in the showcase, with a good lens and a full set of accessories, but the question of the expediency and practicality of such a purchase remains in great doubt.

Comparison of the sizes of a professional DSLR (left) and an amateur (right)

Personally, I am of the opinion that buying professional photography equipment for amateur photography is like buying a mountain bike designed for extreme descents from the mountains and using it for leisurely rides along park paths. Yes, it is very strong and reliable, but for ordinary walks it is not convenient - a very rigid frame that transmits the shock from a collision with every pebble, toothy tires that will itch on the asphalt and prevent rolling, contact pedals, for which you need special shoes, a rigid saddle, from which the fifth point will then hurt, and so on.

A professional camera for amateur photography is the same. It is large, heavy, with many controls, which are quite difficult for a novice amateur to understand - all this will be a reason not to take the device with you. In other cases, shooting will most likely be carried out in auto mode. I don’t know about other devices, but in Canon EOS 5D Mark * there is an automatic mode only "for show", the quality of pictures in auto mode is not better than that of amateur cameras. To achieve good results, there is a lot to be done by hand, including manipulating photographs. Without understanding the settings, you will most likely not be able to realize even half of the potential that this device has. Professional equipment is able to work with full dedication only in the hands of a professional.

No subject programs, only creative modes!

Of course, nothing can prohibit you from buying a device for 200 thousand rubles and using it, as they say, "for household needs." However, if you look at this issue from the other side, buying a good amateur DSLR for 30 thousand rubles (instead of the 200 thousand pledged for the purchase), you will save enough money to go on vacation with your family and take many bright and beautiful photos there! In other words, everyone decides for himself what is better for him - to go on an exciting journey with an amateur camera, or to buy a professional camera and shoot the sparrows outside the window.

What is "body", "whale", "double whale"?

Body (English body - "torso", "carcass") is a camera sold without a lens. It makes sense to buy a body if you already have some kind of optics park, or you intend to purchase a lens separately. As you understand, it is impossible to photograph something on a "body" without a lens.

Kit (English kit - "kit") - a set of a camera and a lens. Typically, the lens has a focal length range of 18-55mm, which allows you to shoot most scenes. However, the picture quality provided by this lens does not always satisfy amateur photographers, so some of them change this lens for something more serious over time. It happens that the device is immediately equipped with a lens of a higher class, however, this significantly increases the cost of the set.

Double kit (English double kit - "double kit") - a delivery set, which includes the camera itself and two lenses. Typically this is a standard 18-55mm and an inexpensive telephoto lens. A double kit is a rather profitable purchase, since the set of optics included in the kit separately costs significantly more. However, do not place too high hopes on a telephoto lens - it will be the simplest and cheapest. Yes, it will "zoom in", but the picture quality that it gives meets the requirements of only novice amateur photographers. It is not suitable for professional use.

Which lens to buy for a DSLR?

To answer this question, you first need to decide what you are going to photograph. There are no absolutely universal lenses; each of them solves a certain range of problems. If you are a beginner in photography and / or cannot say for sure which type of shooting you intend to give preference to, a kit lens - 18-55mm will be optimal for you. This lens is quite versatile and is suitable for most types of amateur photography. The popularity of the whale lens is eloquently evidenced by the results of the voting conducted on the site:

Sales statistics from major DSLR manufacturers say roughly the same: 18-55mm is the most popular lens. There is an opinion among amateur photographers that the "whale" lens is bad and there is no point in buying it - a waste of money. This myth has started since the first amateur DSLR Canon EOS 300D appeared and the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f / 3.5-5.6 lens of the first version was supplied with it, which, in fact, did not have a special picture quality. Since then, a lot of time has passed and the 18-55 lens has been repeatedly redesigned and improved. The modern Canon EF-S 18-55mm f / 3.5-5.6 IS USM has much better optical performance than its predecessor, plus image stabilization and silent USM focusing (not available in all versions). The same can be said about Nikon and Sony lenses.

Naturally, it is foolish to expect outstanding image quality, "ringing sharpness" and noble skin tones from a 5,000-ruble zoom lens, but for an amateur level, the capabilities of a kit lens are often enough with a large margin. As for the alternatives to the kit lens, optics, which instantly make you feel the difference in the quality of photographs, cost at least 5 times more (if we are talking about zooms).

In addition to zooms, there are also fixed focal length lenses. In the vast majority, they are sharper and faster than zooms, however, the versatility of the fixes is less. Each lens is purchased for a specific task - a separate lens for a landscape (wide-angle, 16 mm), a fast lens for medium-shot photography (50 mm, "fifty"), a lens for portraits and close-ups (85 mm ... 135 mm), etc. Thus, instead of one zoom lens, 3-4 fixes may be required to cover the entire range of focal lengths - this is more expensive, less convenient, but the picture when shooting with a prime lens is more expensive and noble.

What kind of mirror to choose for a landscape, portrait, etc.

In this issue, the device itself does not decide anything! The only more or less important criterion is the size of the matrix. Full-frame mirrors in many (but not in all) types of shooting have an advantage over "sprinkled" - mostly is a portrait and landscape. Experimental seals are preferable if the task is to shoot something close-up - the subject shooting, macro shot, shooting from large distance telephoto lens (photohoot, Plane Spotting - photography of flying airplanes, etc.) Any mirror carcass is suitable for any type of shooting , but only if there is an appropriate lens.

If you know that you will take mostly landscapes, you should buy a good wide-roller - zoom or a couple of fixes, the focal length of which is less than 50 mm (for krop - less than 35 mm). Typical landscape zoom lenses have a range of focal lengths from 17 to 50 mm (approximately). There are more wide-angle lenses, but they give a very specific and unusual picture. For portraitists there is another category of optics - high-focal length lenses. Under the crop optimal portrait focal lengths will be 50 and 85 mm, for a complete frame - from 85 to 135 mm. With such focal lengths, the effect of the prospects on the proportion of the face is minimal (i.e., the portrait will look realistic), and the big light will provide the ability to manage the degree of blurred rear plan.

What is better - a cheap apparatus with an expensive lens or expensive device with a cheap lens?

This question was asked on the site already, probably, not less than a hundred times. The situation is ordinary - a person who does not have a special experience of photography, decided to buy a "cool mirror". Naturally, the high-end technique is expensive, and the budget is limited. Thrust crumbs remain on the lens with such a situation. The cheap lens is bought on these crumbs (even the Soviet nonautophocus is possible) and then the claims arise - why are the photos of the unrear, why the colors are muddy, why the picture is "plastic", etc. But because it was necessary to do on the contrary - the maximum of the means to invest in normal optics, and what will remain - in a carcass (naturally, without falling in extremes).

A carcass is just a "consumable material". She has a limited resource, it is physically and morally obsolete and in the end, it changes to something newer, and more functional. Optics park remains the same. Lens - Here is your basic attachment. High-quality and expensive lens will give an excellent result both on amateur and professional carcass. Only with high-quality optics you will receive a complete return on your camera.

Summing up, I want to warn one of who wants the "Cool Slir" that in order for your device to work with full return, sooner or later you have to fork out for a good expensive lens (perhaps not even one).

Advantages and disadvantages of the mirrors compared to other types of cameras

Compared to soapboxes and smartphones


  • The mirrors provide much better quality picture when shooting in any conditions - from a bright sunny day (due to the greater dynamic range) to twilight and night shooting (due to the low noise level at high ISO)
  • The models are better transmitted in the photo - the main object remains sharp, the rest is the possibility of blurring (especially when using light-sound optics). Soapits for the most part give an absolutely "flat" picture where everything is sharply - and the front and back plan. Smartphones are able to blur the background, but this is a blur software, compare it with optical - it's like comparing, say, soy chocolate candies (although, here everything is subjective :)
  • Through the use of interchangeable optics, DSLRs enable the photographer to realize a much wider range of creative ideas.
  • DSLRs have much greater autonomy - on one battery charge, you can take up to 1500 frames (or even more).

Disadvantages of DSLRs compared to soap dishes:

  • Dimensions of the device
  • Machine weight

Compared to mirrorless cameras

The differences are much less than in the case of soap dishes and smartphones, since the presence or absence of a mirror does not in any way affect the quality of photos, and all the rest of the filling of these cameras is comparable in characteristics. Advantages of DSLRs over mirrorless cameras:

  • Autonomy (DSLR is more economical in terms of power consumption)

Disadvantages of DSLRs over mirrorless cameras:

  • Dimensions, weight (everything is relative here, amateur mirrorless cameras are really noticeably more compact, but in the professional niche there are practically no differences in size and weight).
  • For some, it is important to use non-autofocus optics with a short focal distance, for example, from old rangefinder cameras - DSLRs will not work for this, there is a risk that the mirror will cling to the lens "tail". But such connoisseurs of antiquity are probably 1 in 1000 at the most.
  • Mirrorless cameras tend to have more functionality and performance than DSLRs for the same price.

Should you buy a DSLR in 2020?

At the moment, the situation is such that the ratio of DSLRs to mirrorless cameras on the new technology market is about 50/50, but every year the share of SLR cameras is decreasing. In fact, at the moment, DSLRs have lost almost all significant advantages over system cameras and it makes sense to buy from them only if you have good reasons for this - for example, you already have a park of optics and accessories. In other cases, there is no sense in the DSLR.

In fact, DSLRs at the moment are a slowly dying class of technology. This is confirmed by leading photo producers. For example, Canon in early 2020 announced the completion of the design of the new optics of the EF system. This does not mean that lenses will stop being produced, that new models will simply not appear. All efforts will be focused on the design of the RF system optics (for Canon EOS R mirrorless cameras). This is quite a logical step, since the EF system is at least 30 years old - for a technical standard, this is quite enough age to retire and give way to more "young and promising" standards.

Nikon is in no hurry to bury the mirror system, but given the zeal with which they took up the production of Nikon Z mirrorless cameras, the decline of Nikon D DSLRs is not far off either - the market dictates its own conditions and manufacturers have to adjust to it.

So the article comes to an end. If you liked it, I recommend the sequel - About mirrorless cameras in simple language.

If you liked the article very much, you can thank the author for the time spent and send him a modest "donation" :)

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