Talk:Digital single-lens reflex camera

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Requested move[edit]

Digital single-lens reflex cameras → Digital single-lens reflex camera – plural title; originally created as DSLR Christopherlin 07:16, 8 January 2006 (UTC)


Add *Support or *Oppose followed by an optional one-sentence explanation, then sign your vote with ~~~~
  • Support, straightforward case of maintaining the house style. Aapo Laitinen 11:01, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support Scoo 12:47, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support Shotgunlee 12:52, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

This article has been renamed as the result of a move request. Jonathunder 16:22, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Market Share Fluff[edit]

Nonsense about duopoly. I'm cutting it out because it is unsourced and irrelevant. Do not revert my edit without comment. (talk) 08:23, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

For your kind information it was you in the first place who had removed the content without any valid summary. Be careful about that from next time. And it is you who needs to comment and give reasons for your actions. TheGeneralUser (talk) 09:09, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Cleanup requested[edit]

I wanted to quickly chime in here about something that has been bothering me about this page, the section on "bridge cameras". I've always considered fixed lens cameras "bridge" cameras, not cameras with interchangeable lens systems. The wikipedia page on bridge cameras says essentially the same thing. Interchangeable lenses are the hallmark of the SLR be it digital or otherwise. Reflex refers to viewing TTL not in parallax, digital cameras without a mirror (such as in the micro 4/3 format cameras) are in every way a SLR, the focusing "screen" is now viewed electronically and I must say the latest offerings have exceptional quality (no visible pixel structure) I think we'll be seeing many, many more SLRs without mirrors in the next 12-months. If there's a good case to be made for the status quo, someone please make it. Otherwise I'd like to request that one of my fellow editors do a clean-up. I'll get my hands dirty if time permits. CameraPHD (talk) 09:08, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Unwikified; but first needs attention from a camera enthusiast as there seems to be considerable overlap with other camera / digital photography articles. As I'm not a camera enthusiast I've marked as needs attention; corrected the category and removed the author's signature from the body of the article. --Cje 10:12, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I agree this page needs a lot of work, and it's an important and interesting topic that could be expanded. I started by rewriting the entire article from common and publicly available knowledge. I wikified it and will go back to verify and modify the links to make sure they're all focuses on photography articles. I've retained the original text just below this comment. I believe the majority of it is not informative, and is mostly outdated and irrelevant (especially the cost analysis). I do think some points may have merit, but need to be investigated. Specifically, the issue of improved performance over HP-type products because of lens quality. This seems interesting to me, but needs to be expanded, better explained, and backed up by some sources. I plan on taking this project on a bit further, so bear with me while I work out the kinks. Anyone with knowledge/expertise, feel free to dig in with me. Zephlon 14:56, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Original text:

Digital photography's attempt to rival silver haloide film became a reality with a camera body which required an independent lens attachment replicating the 35 millemeter camera. The quality of the sensor in the camera and its complex algorithm to process the image became totally dependent on the quality of the prime or zoom optics attached. This allowed huge optical companies such as Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Minolta-Konica, Sigma to rival and better computer driven companies such as Hewlet Packard et al. Sensor and electronics companies such as Sony now supply their wares to Nikon as Panosonic[Mitsubishi] suppies Leica.This extraordinary and entangled web of interdependent competition has driven digital slr prices down from 30,000 dollars U.S. for a 3 megapixel Canon D 30 to a 8.2ega pixel 1,500 dollar Cano 20D in fall of 2004.The buyer has been the great gainer and film cameras and film have dropped precipitiously. Only medium format film based cameras continue to reign in the professional market. Optical glass prices have not dropped comensurately with Camera bodies.

Don't have time to help much here, but have added UK name of Digital Rebel model (EOS 300D). Not sure which name is used in the rest of the world. If 300D, might be worth changing it around so that the US name is in brackets. HTH.

--Swaldman 22:32, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Why digital SLR?[edit]

What is the advantage of an upmarket digital SLR camera as compared to a hypothetical digital non-SLR camera with exactly the same features, but no SLR mirror? (Both cameras to have a screen display; the non-SLR to have an addtional optical viewfinder subject to parallax but not using power)

The only advantages I can see are:

  • depth-of field-preview.
  • parallax-free viewfinder that you put to your eye, instead of at arm's length.
  • no need to use battery-draining screen display if you want an accurate view.

You could of course fit fisheyes, etc., to the non-SLR and see the image on the screen.

If users like a viewfinder that you put to your eye, our hypothetical non-SLR could include an eye-level optical viewfinder showing the sensor image (in other words, a view of the screen), eliminating the second SLR advantage..

Lens interchangeability, large sensor, etc., are all "SLR" features dictated by the market, not by limitations of what can be done without SLR.

I used to use a film SLR, but now use a zoom non-SLR digital with additional optical (no-power) viewfinder with parallax error. I find I can do everything I want, though I'm not a pro. I often use the optical viewfinder if I don't need accurate framing.

I'm not trying to make any particular point, I just want to see how useful true SLR is in a camera with a digital sensor.

Pol098 10:38, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Actually, rangefinder cameras can also have interchangable lenses. For a time they had superior wide-angle lenses because the rear lens element could extend a long way into the camera body, getting much closer to the film.
Anyway, I've never understood the need for an SLR configuration in a digital camera. The digital sensor is not consumed in using it (like film is), so what's the problem with constantly exposing the sensor and having a live update on the LCD? Consumer digital cameras do this. Is it just that D-SLR's (or their users) want to look more sophisticated? It wouldn't surprise me if that was a major reason, there's a lot of ego masturbation that goes on nowadays with digital cameras. Imroy 14:51, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
I'd tend to keep "rangefinder camera" for film cameras; don't all digital cameras have rangefinders? I wan't aware of any digital non-SLR cameras with interchangeable lenses (besides film cameras with digital backs; e.g., view cameras); do you have any information?
If other people agree that the SLR feature proper is not very useful for a digital camera, maybe we need to edit the article? I did write stuff to that effect, but held off from actually asking why DSLRs are so popular. A high-end digital non-SLR (dNslr?) might be cheaper, smaller, lighter (or less heavy).Pol098 16:09, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Pol098, there's actually a large market of people who strongly prefer the SLR-style viewfinder to a rangefinder and to an electronic viewfinder. The key feature of the SLR makes the market for DSLRs. You don't happen to be a part of that market. Why not let the people who understand it describe it? Dicklyon 07:08, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

dSLRs clumsy setup involving mirrors allows it to use a phase detection autofocus, as opposed to contrast detection in non-SLR digital cameras. If I understand correctly, the former is faster and more sensitive. Indeed, my 350D focuses much faster than my compact, whether USM motor or no USM motor -- 04:40, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

In regards to the first-above user's question, I use and need a D-SLR with optical viewing, and a focusing system that operates especially in low light situations is essential; there is no eye-strain. For available light photography and surveillance photography, nothing beats an optical display versus a fully electronic (EVF) display. Who wants to look at a small TV screen for a long time? I don't!
Fisheye lenses? Some D-SLR's come with mirror lockup so that shouldn't be an issue. Besides there are fisheye converter lenses that attach to the front filter thread of a regular lens and some of these are either currently being made or have been discontinued. Please check eBay.
In regards to a digicam with interchangeable lenses, sooner or later, a manufacturer may come out with an interchangeable lens digicam and I wouldn't be surprised if it was Canon. Look at the current S5-IS. A newer version of that camera, say with an interchangeable lens mount (possibly proprietary) and with an adapter to use Canon EOS DX or full-frame lenses might be very attractive to some photographers. Nikon may or may not 'beat them to the punch' with such a design as, when you look at their previous small APS SLR, the Pronea, it was a very good camera that operated fast! The APS Canon Ixus was also fast, small and used Canon's EOS lenses so, sooner or later someone has to come out with one of these and then another manufacturing race will be on.
The user who used the term "ego masturbation" just doesn't understand the need for the ability to have clear viewing and focusing ability to record an image., When you're really into photography, this is the only way to go. An EVF will never match a good optical system no matter what advances they make in this field. It's not simply a question of wanting to look more sophisticated; it's that we need this capability.
By the way, I've been using SLR's for more than 40 years. Either this or a dedicated rangefinder system like the Leica is the only real way for the serious photographer to go! EVF? Question: Do you 'love' eye-strain?--MurderWatcher1 21:36, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Relative advantages?[edit]

This is in response to the above comments of 4 March 2006, it appears, but I moved it to new section here:

Biggest advantage I can see is the ability to use large sensors, which would overheat in the 'hypothetical digital non-SLR camera with exactly the same features, but no SLR mirror'. Have edited page accordingly 05:23, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
Do you have a source for these hypotheticals? I hate the see the lead filling up again with speculation about advantages relative to other types of cameras, rather than just focusing on what it is. Dicklyon 07:46, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
No source, just my POV... Aren't you allowed to state POV on the talk page? Anyway, I was surprised to see a paragraph in the header section of the article mentioning 'fast view finding with interchangeable lenses' without other typical (though non-defining) characteristics being mentioned... This is also POV. Hence I deleted that small section, and also moved my edit into the body.
Would a small 'potential/perceived advantages' section really be out of place in the main article? after all, DSLR's are a category of commercial product... 04:48, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
It would only be out of place if it's unsourced. Your own perceptions are not what we care about, but if you find statements about perceived advantages in reliable sources, those can be mentioned with attribution. And yes, of course you can mention your own POV here on the talk page; I was just wondering if it was based on sources, since you seemed to be putting similar stuff in the article. Dicklyon 05:05, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

For the same reasons as discussed above, reverted this:

The SLR principle provides two major advantages:
  • Because the viewfinder shows the image as seen by the light coming through the lens it is possible to build DSLRs that allow interchangeable lenses, and in fact all currently available DSLRs do support interchangeable lenses. Being able to change the lens makes it possible to invest in the lenses that are best suited for the kind of photography one is interested in.
  • The fact that the viewfinder is optical means that there is no delay or lag, as is typical for ordinary digital cameras that use the LCD display or an electronic viewfinder for composing the picture. This is especially important for sports photography, but is useful in all applications where the subject is moving.

There are numerous other arguable advantages to the DSLR's available - availability of battery grips; faster shooting rates; lower noise sensors with better bit depth; wider range of shutter speeds; raw mode, and so on. Many are discussed in the body of the article - Why selectively choose two and place them in the lead? There are also numerous arguable disadvantages to the DSLR design, but these would not belong in the lead either. 15:43, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Lifetime of digital cameras (including DSLR)[edit]

I've taken the following out a couple of times; while true it is utterly irrelevant, as it is inconceivable that a digital camera of today would be of any use 25 years after manufacture. Why should this sentence be preserved? What is relevant is that the camera should last until it becomes obsolete, without falling to bits first.

"It remains questionable whether today's digital cameras can ever achieve, in mass volume, the 25-year lifespan of some older 35mm film SLR and rangefinder cameras of traditional design, such as the Nikon F3 or Leica."

Pol098 01:19, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Ah, but that's the beauty of film photography. I can buy a decades-old rangefinder or SLR through eBay, load it with film that didn't exist when it was made, and take great photos with it (in the proper hands of course). Until I can no longer get film in the correct format, a film camera isn't really "obsolete". That's a major problem with digital photography: the camera is no longer merely a light-tight box for holding film and a lens. It's a major electronic device with a sensor that cannot be changed. So it's obsolete as soon as you buy it. Imroy 02:08, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

I took it out again, as it had nothing to do with explaining what a DSLR is, and it was right up in the top section. I took out a lot more, too. If anyone wants that stuff back in, find a good lower place for it. There's a bit left about fast obsolescence causing increased total cost of ownweship, which is really probably plenty for an article on DSLRs Dicklyon 06:57, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

The sentence should remain as, what is the real 'life' of a digital camera? Will it last on the shelf of a used dealer for any length of time? I've seen grey-market cameras in the store windows of Times Square and I wonder what poor fool will buy those. The sun 'bakes' them; the typical tourist doesn't know if the camera has been discontinued, and practically all of these cameras are grey-market, meaning there is no U.S. warranty. The manufacturer won't even look at them if they need servicing! Also, will you be able to buy batteries for it 5 years from now? I have a Canon PowerShot G7 which uses a proprietary battery. Canon just introduced the G9. Maybe it uses the same battery; maybe not!

Now User:Imroy has the right idea. I did buy a Leica IIIf just a few weeks ago. It doesn't need any batteries! I loaded it up with film (film technology has greatly improved since this camera was introduced in the late 40's or early 50's) and I then prepared to use it. The camera had only one defect: the fast shutter speeds didn't work and the frames came out blank! I took the camera back, of course, and exchanged it for some other equipment that I needed. But, Oh! The feel of a Leica! At least I owned it for a week! At this point, I'd go with a Leica IIIG as, I want a better rangefinder, which the IIIG had. Also, I want a photographic instrument that will never 'die' in the field.

The strongest argument against digital: It's IMPOSSIBLE for a computer virus to destroy a photographic negative! The virus exists in the virtual world, NOT the real world, as a film negative does! The only real way to back up a digital negative, would be to photograph a large print made from the digital file with a film camera! Then, you have a real-world negative! I'd personally go with a 2 1/4 negative at least. By the way, I do have a Nikon F3 and I will never sell that! If the battery 'dies' on that camera - well I still have a mechanical 1/80 of a second plus 'B' and 'T' speeds, so with that aperture-priority camera I'm not 'dead' in the field. Do I need to do a time exposure? No problem! I can put the camera on a tripod and use a mechanical cable release which I can probably purchase anywhere. Don't have a cable release but want to do a time-exposure anyway? I have the 'T' setting! Put the camera on 'T', press the shutter release, and the shutter stays open for as long as I need it to. Don't worry about battery power. The Nikon F3 also has interchangeable prisms and viewing screens so I can take the eye-level prism off in a 'pinch' and view in 'waist-level' fashion; or affix the Nikon sportsfinder for an optical "TV-Like" view. No EVF or LCD required! Still think digital is superior to film? You have no idea what's out there that is still current or even discontinued!

There are lots of fantastic film equipment out there! For example, do a search on the Speed Magny Polaroid Back for the Nikon F and F2. One of these backs, the Speed Magny 45, transformed the Nikon F or F2 to a 4' x 5" camera. The back used mirrors and an EL Nikkor enlarging lens to enlarge the 35mm frame to 4" x 5" proportions. You could use cut film sheets, roll films with a roll film adapter, and the back also accepted Polaroid's 4x5 instant film back. Polaroid makes a black and white film with ISO 3000 speed standard! Of course, they also manufacture Polacolor, which has been around for ages. An instant print in the field without using a USB cable attached to a portable printer. Try that with a digital camera! They also manufactured (or used to manufacture) an oscilloscope trace B&W film with an ISO of 10,000. Some photographers used that film for creative special effects and some available light photography.

A small 35mm SLR? I used to own an Olympus Pen FT system. The camera was actually a half-frame 35mm SLR camera with a rotary focal plane shutter. The camera was all mechanical, synched electronic flash to 1/500 of a second (unheard of when it was current), had no bulging pentaprism as, Olympus designed a porroprism system, similar to the EVOLT E330 digital camera. It had an odd through-the-lens metering system which meter needle pointed to a number in the viewfinder and you had to manually set the corresponding number on the lens for proper exposure. The number was on the diaphgram ring, which rotated to also display regular f/numbers. My system consisted of 3 camera bodies, 13 Olympus lenses, 2 tele-converters, lens adapter for Pentax, Nikon, Exakta, Leica and a T-Mount adapter; two bellows extension units. The whole thing fit into a 26" suitcase. I sold that, then switched to a Canon F-1n system in 1976.

Ten years later, I switched back to Nikon, my first SLR 'love'; this was because Canon changed their lens mount (from FD to EOS). Nevertheless, a first-time user getting into photography can pick up a Canon with FD lens mount at a rather attractive price; or a used Nikon F; or a used Olympus OM camera; or even a used Pentax Spotmatic, which used screw mount lenses. Many screw mount lenses were manufactured because Pentax, Yashica, Olympus (with an early SLR design) and many others manufactured screw mount cameras and lenses. These cameras are still fully usable and will produce excellent pictures. There is a wealth of equipment out there. Just check out eBay.

--MurderWatcher1 15:50, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Total cost of ownership[edit]

I made an addition to the article, when comparing digital and non-digital, about the total cost of ownership of a series of digital cameras being vastly greater than a non-digital which might last 25 years. What I meant, and perhaps it should be spelt out, though it does get a bit long-winded, is that a fair comparison of the cost of owning DSLR equipment should be compared with non-D over the full useful lifetime of the non-D (alternatively, the resale value of the non-D camera at the end of the life of the D should be accounted for).

This is very relevant and should be left in. Typically people look at the purchase price of a camera: but the useful life of a digital camera is just a few years, limited by obsolescence. In the first instance we can compare the price of a good (25-year) non-digital SLR with, say 5 or more digital SLRs. Can be refined For greater accuracy, add to the respective side film, processing, batteries, etc.

Myself, I have a Pentax Spotmatic II which works fine; it cost, I think, $200 (or $100??) a great many years ago. A digital camera I bought a couple of years ago for about the same price in real terms is ready to be retired.

This isn't a reason not to buy digital, but it must be a factor.

There are a few other points that are debatable. I won't revert anything about this or other points without looking here.

Pol098 01:36, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Sorry if you thought I edit out your comment about TCO. I was just trying to keep it brief, simplifying it to "High TCO, compounded by their shorter useful lifetimes". I thought this was a more succinct way of saying essentially the same thing. After all, someone might not buy a series of DSLR's, just one or two. Doesn't change the fact that they're only "useful" for a few short years. You don't think the two statements are equivalent? Imroy 02:17, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I think it's quite an important practical point, worth spelling out. Technically yes, you can just say TCO. But you used to buy a camera and use it for decades (my Pentax), without thinking in terms of TCO. If you go digital (SLR or not), you don't necessarily realise that you're in for a lot of expense over the years if you want to have a usable camera to hand. Probably less relevant for the pro who'll do cash-flow forecasts when investing.
Pol098 03:59, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Unless you include an analysis of film and processing costs, and the costs of the relative difficulty of keeping track of negatives and such compared to digital, how can you make any useful statement about total cost of ownership? Dicklyon 07:03, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Attraction of interchangeability[edit]

"A major attraction of digital SLR cameras as compared to non-SLR digitals has been to allow photographers to convert from 35mm film cameras using the lenses and equipment that they are familiar with. For this reason, camera manufacturers design digital SLRs to be as similar as possible to their film counterparts."

The previous sentence implies that digital SLRs have a capability inherently, due to their nature. This isn't so: it just so happens that DSLRs have been built with support for interchangeability, while non-SLR digitals mostly haven't. It IS true that DSLRs actually manufactured at the moment have this advantage over most (but not all) digital non-SLRs

Pol098 01:42, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure exactly what your complaint is here. Is it with my edits or the basic wording/structure?
My edits:
  • "A major attraction of digital SLR cameras as actually implemented over non-SLR digitals..." => "A major attraction of digital SLR cameras as compared to non-SLR digitals...". I wasn't sure what you were trying to say and substituted simpler words that I thought were appropriate.
  • "...allow experienced photographers to...". Removed 'experienced', I didn't think it necessary. All sorts of photographers might want to re-use lenses from their 35mm cameras.
  • "...that they are familiar with, while adding the advantages of using a digital camera.". Removed the part after the comma, I thought it redundant and a little biased. Of course there are advantages, why only mention them and not disadvantages as well?
Imroy 02:30, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
The point I'm trying to make is that many of the advantages of DSLRs over D non-SLRs (interchangeability, big sensor) aren't advantages of the DSLR architecture, but simply because of what manufacturers choose to make. So the attraction is in "actual implementations" of DSLRs, or DSLRS "actually available" (I think I used those words in two revisions), not in the use of DSLRs just because they're DSLRs. Maybe I'm being pedantic and people won't notice the difference.
By the way, in my comments about the Epson non-SLR with interchangeable lenses, I'd assumes the sensor was 35mm size; it's actually smaller. I don't know if the interchangeable lens non-SLR concept will catch on; if it does, some of the stated advantages of the DSLR will apply to them too.
I'm a great believer in cutting out verbosity, but the meaning needs to be preserved.
Pol098 03:59, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, the Olympus E-10 and E-20 were DSLR's with non-interchangeable lenses. Phr 12:45, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I do not like this section either, not sure what it tries to say and why it is so high up in the article, but I want to take it out, or possible move it down to Digital SLR ... / Compact section! It sounds like non SLR digitals are equal to DSLR and the only reson to use a DSLR is that you happen to have old lenses, if not use a compact digital instead, and BTW there are 35mm film compacts also, so no the sentence does not make sense to me! I would be brave, but since you already have the discussion here I will wait a bit before I edit. Stefan 09:22, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Let me weigh in on the first complaint. Nothing beats analog controls on an SLR or D-SLR camera! Do you like going through a menu system to, say, increase the ISO? I don't! I need to do things fast! Any professional photographer needs to operate fast in the field and if they have to go through a menu system to change ISO, aperture, shutter speed and focus, this is a camera that they won't buy, except for some amateur that doesn't care for speed and convenience. I can do these things with my Nikon D-200. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have purchased this camera! Now, in regards to the comment about the Epson rangefinder, which I assume is the RD-1, I'm not pleased that the sensor is DX sized. Any user of a 35mm film interchangeable lens rangefinder camera like the Leica M-mount cameras, the older Leica and Canon screw mount cameras, the older Contax and Nikon bayonet mount rangefinders, and the newer Bessa and now Zeiss-Ikon M-mount rangefinder cameras will want a full-frame negative or sensor, simply because these cameras lend themselves well to wide-angle lens use photography. These lenses are designed without the problem of the moving mirror being in the way as in the case of SLR and D-SLR wide-angle lenses. SLR and D-SLR wide angle lens-design is called "retrofocus" which roughly means that the moving mirror is taken into account in the lens design so that the rear optics don't touch the mirror, unlike rangefinder camera lenses which do protrude deep into the camera's body. This is the 'raison-d'etre' of rangefinder cameras.--MurderWatcher1 21:57, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

"Rapid obsolescence"??[edit]

"Rapid obsolescence, which increases total cost of ownership" is quoted as one of the disadvantages in the section about pros and cons. First of all, a camera, PC, TV etc. is just as good ten years later as it was new (save for wear and tear, of course). The fact that technological advances may make it seem inferior when compared to newer models doesn't change that; it is still doing the job it was intended to do just as well as it did the first day. Also, total cost of ownership is a term normally referring to a specific item, not to a person's cost for such items during his/her lifetime. Even if someone buys a new camera every three months, because he/she feels a need to constantly have the latest, this will not increase the cost of each single camera. It will increase the overall cost of owning cameras, but it is an individual choice not related to the camera itself. Even in the old days of "analogue" SLR's, there were professional photographers who would buy a new body as soon as they saw a scratch on their current one, while others would continue to use their beloved cameras until they were unrepairable. Also, it may be worth noting that before digital cameras were invented, the manufacturers were constantly improving (or at least changing) their traditional SLRs, in order to get the gadget nerds to upgrade, So, it's only because that side has stagnated that there is a perceived difference here.

I suggest that line is removed from the pros and cons. Thomas Blomberg 10:33, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Well said, though I'd remove the pros/cons section in its entirety, as it's already in the digital photography article's digital vs. film section. Generally I'd say that we should be careful when adding comparisions to articles, in most instances the same information is present in the article alreay in plain view or between the lines (i.e. no need for a pencil vs. ballpoint pen discussion, both accomplish the same thing but in different ways and one particular may be more suitable for one particular task, or in other words, we should describe things not pass judgement on them). Scoo 12:11, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
My view exactly. I'll remove the whole section, and then we'll see if anyone reacts. Thomas Blomberg 13:30, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

In regards to "rapid obsolescence", Professional photographers simply 'wear' their cameras out! That's a simple fact of commercial photography. My Nikon F3, for example, was factory designed for the shutter lasting for 100,000 cycles. Some of the current cameras exceed this capability which is very impressive! Manufacturers need to make their money and continue their business by coming out with newer models all of the time. 'Yes' there are photographers who have to have the latest 'toy' but understand: they love photography! These photographers will probably use every new feature that's introduced in the newer model!--MurderWatcher1 22:01, 4 September 2007 (UTC)


I think the main article picture should be a body with a lens attached: The casual reader who doesn't yet know what a DSLR is is going to expect to see a 'whole camera', and I worry that the current picture might make them think that they can pick up what they see there and take photos. Thoughts? -Maebmij 02:01, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, interchangeable lenses are one of the key features of SLRs in general. Think the reader will catch on pretty quick as he/she reads on, though I altered the image description a bit. Scoo 03:08, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

More info requested on physics - Shutter-release cycle - flash synch[edit]

I would like to know more about the specifics of an SLR-camera. I would like to know how exactly the mirror flips away (then the bottom of the film would be more illuminated than the top?), and how the autofocus and light sensor fit into the picture.... -- Parasite, civil engineering student

Well, I'd call it Design or Technology, but you're right, the article doesn't even mention focal-plane shutters or the fact that an SLR can use a phase-difference AF detector, which are critical aspects of typical SLR design that would answer your questions. Dicklyon 23:47, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Sequence of events in a 35mm SLR Camera (in answer to the above). You press the shutter release button and a number of actions take place: 1) the mirror flips upwards (some mirror designs actually slide the mirror deeper into the mirror box and are dampened against vibration) 2) the diaphragm stops down to shooting aperture, and 3) then the shutter opens and closes, then the diaphragm reopens and the mirror is returned. Note that in early 35mm film cameras that the term "automatic" meant that the camera had an automatic diaphragm and an automatic mirror - which meant that the lens was at viewing aperture (the largest aperture) but was stopped down to 'shooting aperture' then it reopened; the mirror was 'automatic' in that it returned to viewing position. A critical point: in many film SLR's before motor drives became integrated, the mirror did NOT return to the critical 45 degree viewing and focusing angle! You had to advance the film advance lever FIRST to tension the mirror for the precise, proper viewing and focusing, otherwise, if you focused first, then advanced the film and exposed the film, the image might be unfocused! As for shutter design (i.e., focal plane shutters, leaf shutters, etc.) maybe I'll 'weigh-in' on that another time.--MurderWatcher1 22:11, 4 September 2007 (UTC) Updated my comment: --MurderWatcher1 14:18, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure the exposure isn't determined by the mirror or even the physical 'curtain' focal-plane shutter. It is an electronic signal that starts and stops the sensor 'counting photons', just the same as in a digital non-SLR. I'm trying to think of film SLRs without an instant-return mirror, and failing. But then I was only born in 1962, when they were already almost universal ! -- (talk) 04:25, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Try photographing a CRT computer monitor, which has a scanning spot of light. Film SLR will give a different result if held on its side in 'portrait' mode, a DSLR will give the same result whichever way up ? Of course, your DSLR may work differently ... -- (talk) 04:39, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Both film and digital SLR will respond to rotation the same way, since both have focal-plane shutters; which rotation does what will depend on whether they are vertical-travel or horizontal-travel shutter, but not on whether you put film or a sensor behind the shutter. I can guarantee that in most DSLRs the exposure is determined by the mechanical shutter itself, not by the timing signals; there may be some half-exceptions, where the exposure start is electronic and the end is determined by the closing shutter (several companies have patented such ideas); I don't know if any of those are actually in use, though. Dicklyon (talk) 04:50, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Wow! Maybe my Nikon D40 is unusual - the experiment above shows that exposure is not determined by a moving slit or curtains opening and closing. Try it with your camera, and review that guarantee ! You can't beat a bit of original research that anyone can do. Of course I would have to publish it in a peer-reviewed scientific journal for the self-evident facts to be accepted in Wikipedia ! (Or am I a rare member of a dying breed of CRT-users ? It's not wasteful if your computer & monitor give off about 1kW - then you can turn off the central heating ! LCDs won't work for this test - it's a raster thing.)
Pity we can't do this anymore !-- (talk) 05:41, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it turns out that Nikon 'pro-sumer' DSLRS only use the focal-plane shutter for slow speeds ( < 1/90 s), and CCD-gating at higher speeds. Bonus is flash-synch at 1/500 second, cost is blooming streaks if you point it directly at the sun. See Imaging Resource. Interesting ! A little surprising that the Pro Nikon DSLRs don't give you the option. Major software differences ? See Nikonians for a table listing Nikon DSLRs - 'Flash Sync' row shows flash sync speed. I think the 'Slow Sync' mode is also known as 'FP Mode' - the flash is lit (>50,000 flashes per second) while the slit moves from top to bottom (?) of the sensor (can be as slow as 1/25 second). So we can do the 'Lartigue' effect even with flash !
NB The Casio EXILIM Pro EX-F1 has dual mechanical/CMOS shutters and achieves 1/40,000 second ! (EVF not DSLR)
This info is notable enough for inclusion in the article ? -- (talk) 00:33, 25 March 2008 (UTC)


The bit on SLR-like cameras mentions parallax-free views with an EVF, which, while true, seems to me to imply that DSLRs have parallax issues. Being as the view's through the same lens as the picture, of course, DSLRs have no parallax. Silvermink 19:29, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes, that bit was badly written. I worked on it a bit, along with a few other related bits, like the term "prosumer" that was applied to SLR-like; my search indicated that's not the an appropriate association. See what you think. Dicklyon 20:21, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
That looks better. I figured that was what you were getting at with the original writing. Silvermink 17:15, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
Not me, but I get your point. That line appears to have been reworked several times before I got involved, not always for the better. Part of the problem is some editors with a non-neutral point of view trying to steer people away from DSLRs. Dicklyon 17:33, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Movie making[edit]

As we know, a Canon digital camera was used to shoot the movie Corpse Bride. But because still cameras are designed to take pictures, not shooting movies, some modifications had to be done. Is there ever going to be produced any still cameras from Canon or others that are specially made for movie production?

As I comtemplated whether that was a dumb question, how should we know, etc., it finally occurred to me that the answer is obvious: no. Dicklyon 21:42, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
Of course you don't know, you don't even know how to behave yourself. Remember; No personal attacks.
Then who could know? Well, there is a lot of people working in the industry, and if there was any plans or something and they visited this place, maybe they could tell about it. Such a special camera would be a little expensive for ordinary people, but in Hollywood and such that is not a problem, even if just a small amount is made on demand. And in case someone should wonder, when I say movies I mean stop motion animated movies.
The question of a "still camera...specifially made for movie production" just seemed self-contradictory enough to deserve a no, but even if you take it seriously as a camera designed for stop-action movie making, then the idea that a mass market camera brand like Canon would make such a thing is very unlikely, imho; and if a major brand camera company employee knew about something like that in the wings, the chance that they would choose to pre-announce it on Wikipedia is also pretty low. Sorry about admitting contemplating that the question might be dumb, though. What's more likely is that a camera specifically designed as a mass market pleaser might include features that makes it easier to use for stop-action movie; my son just made such a movie using a compact digicam, no special features necessary. The main special feature of that Canon 1Ds, however, was adaptation to Nikon lenses, and you can be pretty sure Canon's not going to provide that feature. So what kind of feature or adaptation do you have in mind? Dicklyon 00:11, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Still cameras WERE USED for the rotating effects used in the movie "The Matrix". If you can obtain the DVD, there is a clip showing the detail used for creating some of the "rotating" fight scenes between Neo and the Agent character. We may, indeed, see some kind of "bridge-digital" camera if the current Canon TX-1 is any indication of this trend.--MurderWatcher1 22:14, 4 September 2007 (UTC)


I have tagged the following statement as "original research":-

DSLRs dominate the high end of the digital camera market. However, if electronic viewfinders with near-zero lag time, increased reliability, very low power consumption, and good brightness are introduced, and if a good fast AF mechanism that is compatible with using the main sensor for viewing is developed, then non-SLR cameras may become a viable alternative for a large number of people who now use SLRs.'

It comes across as if the author her/himself had written this speculation, which is not acceptable (see Wikipedia:No original research).

We can include such speculation if (and only if) it reflects the views of an authoritative/reputable third-party, and is already published elsewhere. In which case we (a) need a reference and (b) Need to rewrite to show whose view it is.

If no reference/evidence is provided sometime soon, it will be removed for the normal reasons.

Fourohfour 22:47, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Note: I wasn't the person who removed this; I'd prefer that the person who did had included their reason in the edit summary, but I've no qualms with it otherwise. Fourohfour 11:33, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
I noticed that it was removed before I noticed the tag. I agree with the removal; it's just opinion. Dicklyon 15:16, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Slight update for Olympus[edit]

The lower section refers to Olympus having four DSLRs including the E-330 with Liveview however there are now currently five in the range - E-1, E-300, E-330, E-500 and the E-400. The E-400 is significant as it's the smallest and lightest DSLR available, coupled with newer compact kit lenses. Since this is a general DSLR page I don't know if the four should be updated to a five and th E-400 information left out although on the other hand it does have significance on the whole. 21:54, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

I understand that the E-400 only lasted a few months and was only sold in the European market. It was never introduced into the United States (see's review of the E-410 which succeeds this camera) and it appears that Olympus was only selling this camera to refine it to the current E-410. I've handled this camera and it appears very good! Reminds me of the older OM mount Olympus cameras which I miss!--MurderWatcher1 22:18, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

The features have nothing to do with SLR[edit]

This article is overly broad, full of stuff that has virtually nothing to do with SLR. None of these features depend on SLR:

  • Parallax-free optical viewfinder
  • Fast phase-detection autofocus
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Sensor size and quality
  • Depth-of-field control
  • Angle of view
  • Mode dial

There is zero relation between a set of mirrors or lenses internal to the camera and any of these features. They are just features that may or may not be included with any digital camera.

I urge that the in-depth description of features unrelated to SLR technology be removed from this article and put elsewhere. Otherwise, this article is just playing into marketing that these cameras are better simply because they are SLR, when in fact the SLR technology is just a small part of a large package of enhanced features and functionality.

Nova SS 21:23, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

In many cases the features are not inherently specific to SLR, but they certainly do have something to do with it. Better explanations would be useful when the current disclaimers don't go far enough, but repeated assertions of "nothing to do with" are of little use. Let's try for meaningful improvements instead. If you really believe that "nothing to do with" is the correct relationship in some case, please provide a source for that conclusion. And if you don't believe what is said about the relationship of some of these features to SLRs, feel free to call for citations on questionable assertions.
One thing that might be useful would be examples of non-SLRs that have a particular feature; for example, what other kind of camera has a parallax-free optical viewfinder? If you know one, say what it is, and that will be a positive step. Dicklyon 22:48, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree that "parallax-free optical viewfinder" is a mistake. However, "parallax-free viewfinder" would not be a mistake. The main historical SLR benefit here is "parallax-free", not "optical." (Non-SLR viewfinders were also optical.)
I'll throw the question back at you. Prove why any of these have a clear dependence on SLR technology:
My responses are intercalated below. Dicklyon 04:55, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Parallax-free viewfinder
The parallax-free OPTICAL viewfinder for the obvious reason that only through-the-lens optical viewing cameras have it; you could count view cameras in this category if what you mean is to further clarify what is meant by optical veiwfinder.
  • Fast phase-detection autofocus (this may have a relationship but only for lack of
The type AF requires diverting the main lens optical path to an AF sensor, which requires a mirror. Or, I suppose it could be coupled from a secondary lens, though I've never heard an anyone trying that.
  • Interchangeable lenses
That's primarily an inheritance from film cameras, where using interchangable lenses with other than SLR was a pain; the coupling in rangefinders is tricky. And with compact cameras, zooms are good enough that there's little motivation to change lenses, given the limited sensor quality.
  • Sensor size and quality
The full-frame size and moderate crop-factor formats were pretty much defined by SLR lens family compatibility. These big sensors naturally give better quality because bigger pixels have higher dynamic range and allow bigger apertures to collect more light. And the demand for quality is stronger among people with SLR experience.
  • Depth-of-field control
As above, it's a size issue.
  • Angle of view
  • Mode dial
Again, the market for DSLRs is to some extent based on film SLR experience. The expected standard modes are well known and the extra scene modes are not wanted.
Most of these relationships are "soft". That's not the same as "nothing to do with". Dicklyon 04:55, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Nova SS 03:09, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
By the way, I reverted your reversion because:
  1. I did not add text to the article to all these technologies saying they are not connected. Fast phase-detection autofocus may have a relationship, although I even question that one. Still, I did not comment on that one.
  2. The obvious conclusion for most of these is that there is no linkage between SLR and the technology (e.g., a mode dial or sensor quality obviously has nothing to do with the construction of the viewing apparatus), so it is the non-obvious conclusion that needs proof.
  3. It is quite difficult to prove a negative. Given that, and given that the negative (no link) is the obvious answer for many of these, it is the positive (the proposition that there is a link) that needs documentation and proof.
Nova SS 03:16, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Good, we agree. That's why I suggested you ask for citations on things that need proof, instead of asserting an unverifiable negative. Ctrlfreak13 has done pretty well at adding clarifications, I think. Feel free to add "citation needed" or "dubious" tags on things you think need to be referenced or made more clear or correct. Dicklyon 04:25, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Please provide examples of non-SLR, non-rangefinder digital cameras that offer interchangeable lenses. I have also reverted/clarified some of your edits that are inaccurate or a stretch of the truth. Please reply here with any questions, comments, etc. --Ctrlfreak13 04:17, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
TO USER:Ctrlfreak13: Currently, there aren't any non-SLR, non D-SLR or non-rangefinder digital cameras that use interchangeable lenses. There was in the past, however, a Robot Royal 35mm camera that used interchangeable lenses and it wasn't an SLR or a rangefinder. Robot Royal cameras were mechanically motorized 35mm cameras, some used for surveillance and perhaps time-lapse photography. --MurderWatcher1 21:37, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

We may soon see such a digital camera in the coming months, depending upon technological advances. I suspect it will be Canon or Nikon who first comes out with such a camera, since both manufacturers have a huge lens selection. You can check this website for any possible news: Another website would be for Photokina. --MurderWatcher1 21:36, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Large-format cameras generally have interchangeable lenses, yes? And some medium-format, like the old Mamiya TLR. Also the Foveon studio camera (no longer in production). Dicklyon 17:13, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes to the above. Graflex and Linhof, to name a few large format cameras, specifically 4" x 5" cameras, have (or had in the case of the Graflex) interchangeable lenses that were mounted on lens boards custom designed for that camera and then mounted on the front section. The Mamiya Twin Lens Reflex cameras such as the C2, C3, C33 and C22, then the later C330 and C330F used interchangeable lenses designed specifically for that camera. With the Mamiya, however, unless you used the eyelevel viewfinder, which was an accessory, the image would rotate in the opposite direction as you panned the camera left to right (the image would move right to left). Sorry but I'm not familiar with the Foveon studio camera.--MurderWatcher1 21:36, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Remove "The Nikon F-mount and Pentax K-mount systems" section?[edit]

I'd like to propose removing this section, or at most reducing the info presented in that section to 2-3 sentences integrated elsewhere in the article. At present it seems out of place in a general article about DSLRs, gives too much of an advertising taste, and is becoming obsolete/incorrect, as Nikon and Pentax are slowly but surely abandoning lens compatibility with their film cameras. --RenniePet 15:44, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I think Nikon is restoring some normal lens campatibility with its new D3, which is nearly full frame. Even so, I regularly use a "normal" 60mm f/2.8 AF Micro Nikkor on my DX-lens-based D200 and D70. As regards the K- and F- mounts, if whomever wrote that is correct, I think their unusual capabilities are definitely worth mentions, whether in a separate section or not. It's amazing to me that the micro-Nikkor I noted above will also work in my 1960s F and FTN, and later F2, F3, F5, etc. Motorrad-67 15:55, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
I must admit that I know nothing about the Nikon F-mount and Pentax K-mount. It just sticks in my craw that a section lauding them (and putting down the competition) is in the middle of a general article about DSLRs. The message in this section is only relevant for photographers with an existing investment in film bodies and lenses, and is both irrelevant and confusing for everyone else. Looking forward, film cameras are going the way of the LP and rotary dial telephones, and this article is not about film cameras, it's about DSLRs.
Anyway, so far it's one vote for removal (or rewrite / integration) and one vote against. Anyone else? --RenniePet 10:33, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
I changed the section heading to "Mount compatibility across camera generations", since that's a topic that can be addressed in a more neutral way. The section should be reworded a bit to not sound like it's promoting one of these mounts, but the basic info in the section seems OK. Dicklyon 18:17, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Please see my comments below on "Creeping Essays and Nonsense". I vote 'No' on removing information about Nikon F-mount and K-mount lenses, as well as other mounts in general. This information is useful for a 'newbie' who is just starting out and wants to put together a good "cheap" system. If the beginner buys a used beat-up Nikon, think how delighted that person would be if he/she discovered, when he/she had more money, that the same lens could be used on a digital SLR? I know I would, if I were starting out. Besides, isn't the whole point here about 'mentoring'? Look at what Motorrad-67 wrote above. I agree with him as, I not only have a 60mm Micro Nikkor, but I also have a 105 f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and the difficult to get 70-180mm Micro Nikkor. Someone starting out, say, in Forensics Photography wouldn't just 'want' these lenses; he/she would NEED THESE LENSES. So why not 'mentor' a new user on the in's and out's of photographic equipment and at the same time teach using this article? If I were an instructor, you can bet that I would definitely discuss equipment. --MurderWatcher1 21:12, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

See below. --RenniePet 22:10, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Creeping essays and nonsense[edit]

The article has recently had a flood of edits from a few guys with lots of opinions and sidetracks and no sources. The article suffers from lack of sources in general. Anyone who can help to adding sources for statements, adding fact tags where needed, removing unsourcable stuff, etc. is welcome to help. But please hold off on the essays, opinions, and Nikon-DX-specific stuff. Dicklyon 05:30, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm wondering if I'm one of the "guys with lots of opinions and sidetracks and no sources" that Dicklyon is talking about. If so please say so and I'll stop my current efforts.
Otherwise, I agree that the current article, or at least the way it was a couple of days ago, is a mess, and unless I'm asked to stop I intend to slowly but surely work my way through it. Among other things I propose doing:
  • move some of the stuff about lenses to a separate article, "Lenses for SLRs and DSLRs" (but Dicklyon beat me to it by simply deleting much of it :-)
  • gather everything not specifically about DSLRs into a section contrasting DSLRs with non-DSLRs, and cut it down somewhat.
  • re-organize the current "DSLR design considerations" section, where subjects are thrown in with no apparent order.
Comments welcome. --RenniePet 09:35, 11 September 2007 (UTC) --RenniePet 10:50, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Rennie, I didn't pay that much attention to who did what; I changed a few of your edits but they're mostly OK, so sorry if I sounded like you were part of the problem. Thanks for your support. Dicklyon 15:08, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
> I changed a few of your edits ...
No problem, that's how one learns :-) --RenniePet 19:04, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Creeping Essays and Nonsense? Well, am I one of the people who is being mentioned here? I found the page about two weeks ago in Wikipedia and decided, from memory of reading 40 years of Popular Photography, Modern Photography, U.S. Camera (a discontinued magazine), and various other periodicals, to make this page more legible and understandable. I currently don't have that periodical material at hand but I certainly think that Nikon is a major player in mentioning their products, as well as the other manufacturers. It's not 'nonsense' as Nikon, in addition to the non-SLR at the time, the Leica M, were two 35mm cameras that played an important role in covering the Vietnam War and other conflicts since the early 1960's. Nikons were used routinely to cover the early phases of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space flights using the 250-exposure film back and motor drive to capture the launch of the various rockets used. How many other motor-driven SLR's were being used for that? Leave out Nikon? Well, let's also leave out some of the other manufacturers, and then those 'newbies'j to photography using Wikipedia to check out the history of photographic instruments will not know or understand the impact of photographic equipment 'evolution'. To me, it's just too important to leave out.--MurderWatcher1 21:03, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

First two disclaimers: 1. I still consider myself to be a relative newbie on Wikipedia, so my opinions may not have much weight. 2. I like Olympus and their Four Thirds System, partly because they went into DSLRs with a whole new system designed 100% for digital - that appeals to me.
This article is about Dslr's. Digital SLRs. DIGITAL slr's, to try to make a point. DSLRs do not have a history of covering the Vietnam War or the early space flights. So that kind of historical nostalgia has no place here.
I envision the typical person coming to this page as someone who is considering moving up from a non-SLR film camera, a digicam or maybe even a mobile telephone camera, and who wants to know what DSLRs are all about. Any discussion of film cameras, lens compatibility with film cameras, or the Vietnam War is irrelevant and confusing for this person.
I also see myself in an abstract way as trying to give good advice to someone I want to help as much as possible. Considering the situation today, and my expectation that within the near future it will become difficult to buy film or get film developed and printed, I feel no desire to recommend anything based on a compatibility with film cameras. (Film will be problematic sooner than most film-lovers expect - but remember how quickly it became impossible to buy LPs and turntables when CDs took over the audio market?)
Enough rambling. That's my opinion, for what it's worth. :-) --RenniePet 22:10, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
My comment to the above statements: "Yes, I know that DSLR's weren't in the Vietnam war but this page is a "Discussion Page" and we're talking about DSLR's and SLR's in general. DSLR's came from film camera manufacturers and I see no problem in putting in the information here as a discussion only. --MurderWatcher1 20:51, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes, MurderWatcher1, you're the main guy I was referring to. Your long unsourced essays of recollections, opinions, and interpretations are not what are needed to improve the article. And some of it was just nonsense, like the bit about a 20 mm lens becoming a 30 mm lens on a DX-format rangefinder camera (for two reasons: the format doesn't change the focal length, and Nikon doesn't apply their DX brand to other people's cameras). I'm sure you can help improve the article if you'll stick to the facts. Too bad this article got long with few sources, but let's make it better, not worse. And keep the focus on DSLRs please. Dicklyon 22:46, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Maybe you didn't read the top of the Discussion Page where it says:
Be polite
Assume good faith
No personal attacks
Be welcoming
Pretty arrogant, considering that I'm only adding to a body of knowledge here. Why don't you check on the history of this page before I 'weighed-in' and then you'll see that I added considerably to a page that needed some information from an experienced and knowledgable photographer. Nonsense? I didn't add 'nonsense' as you refer to it. Also I think that you know what I had meant to say, re: "the bit about a 20 mm lens becoming a 30 mm lens on a DX-format rangefinder camera". I wasn't discussing a CHANGE in focal length, rather a change in the angle of view as, the DX sensor (which is what other writer's are calling it, not me, or would you prefer APS size sensor?) doesn't give you the full angle of view as a full-frame sensor would. A person considering a digital rangefinder over a classic Leica might be disappointed by the results, assuming he was discussing same with a rangefinder film camera enthusiast. If I put my 20mm Nikkor on my Nikon D200, I won't be receiving the same angle of view as if I had put that same optic on a full-frame 35mm film SLR. I believe this lens gives 94 degrees on the diagonal; it won't give that on a DX format sensor, which I understand that rangefinder enthusiasts, especially Leica users, would be very concerned about (BTW, I did own a Leica IIIf for about one week; the shutter had problems so I had to return it). Finally, as I was on Vacation last week, doing panoramic photography up in Boston, I didn't have a chance to see your comments sooner. I don't think I'm making the page 'worse' but I find that as an editor that I have to add, edit, step back and think about what I'm putting in; ask myself hard questions, etc. So, I might have changed a few of my own edits given more time. Give me time and I will add in source materials, unless of course you want to do that yourself? Hmmm! MurderWatcher1 14:58, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Sorry if I was blunt or sounded arrogant, but the "essays and nonsense" bit was intended to be a comment on the content, not the person; I assume and hereby acknowledge your good faith in these edits, and apologize for not being more welcoming; but enough about me. The big problem with the contributions is that they are long on opinions and short on sources, so they make a lot of extra work for others to clean up in the future. I completely understood what you meant about the 20 mm and the DX format, but the way is was said was incorrect, the DX format is a Nikon-only concept, and the lengthy discussion of rangefinders was way off-topic, so I did not think it appropriate to spend the effort to try to repair it. I hope you can see this feedback as constructively intended, and focus on making contributions that I would not categorize as either essays or nonsense. Dicklyon 21:59, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Boys, boys, boys. Forgive my intrusion. Life is too short and Wikipedia is just not important in the grand scheme of things. In a few billion years, the Earth will boiled up and roasted into a cinder by the sun when it becomes a red giant, and all of humanity will be vaporized. This realization always helps with my perspective on life. What we do today is, in cosmic terms, completely irrelevant. So, be calm and avoid becoming aggravated. Motorrad-67 22:11, 17 September 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Motorrad-67 (talkcontribs)
You know what that means, Motorrad? It means that Superman has no more super powers because he can only have them under a Yellow Sun! This is assuming that he'll live for a few billion years, right? ;} Seriously, when (and that's a big 'WHEN') I finally get my photography magazines and re-research this material as, it really is very important that 'newbie' photographers come to love this craft as we do, then I'll put references in (try doing cite refs! I hate them!) The only camera that I've ever hated is the one that doesn't work at all and I haven't encountered too many of those. Again, to Dicklyon, I hear what you're saying, but understand that the page was a 'mess' from its creation. I didn't criticize anyone else for creating the page as, the previous people did a good job considering and I'm glad they did. Those people are probably coming from a digital camera background and they didn't play with all these 'toys' and you and I probably did, or attend all the photography shows either. As this is an online encyclopedia, the article should not have any set length. My understanding of regular encyclopedias is that they will continue a topic over a number of pages if need be. Speaking of Photography Shows, guys, log onto:

I'm definitely going to this show and if you gentlemen are in the New York area, you should attend also.--MurderWatcher1 21:46, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I was there peddling my wares a few years back, but not doing that any more. Thanks for your efforts, and as I said above, sorry about being overly blunt in my feedback. I agree that the article has been a mess for a long time, and will be happy to work with you to try to fix that. Dicklyon 23:02, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good to me but I'll need time to retrieve my old magazines which are in 'storage' (assuming that they haven't been eaten up by the mice, that is! If I had enough time, I'd PDF everything!--MurderWatcher1 15:46, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Discussion: Let's take this JPEG out[edit]

The Kodak SLR/c: a full-frame DSLR

This image:

shows a DSLR that has been discontinued for quite some time. Kodak has said that since its discontinuance, which I believe was around 2005 or 2006, that they will only support this camera for 3 years; the Kodak Pro 14N, which uses a Nikon mount is also among those discontinued.--MurderWatcher1 21:41, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

It's not a bad photo. I'd leave it until we have a better one to replace it with. Dicklyon 23:13, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Okay. I'll see if I can take photographs of full-frame DSLR's at the upcoming PhotoPlus Expo.--MurderWatcher1 21:51, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Matte Focusing Screen Placement Discussion[edit]

Dicklyon: In the Digital Single Lens Reflex page, why did you undo one of my previous edits which said:

A digital single-lens reflex camera (digital SLR or DSLR) is a digital camera that uses an automatic mirror system placed between the lens and the image sensor to direct the image from the lens through the viewfinder where it can be viewed by the photographer. The viewfinder includes a matte focusing screen located above the moving mirror, diffusing the light, allowing it to pass through the condenser lens, where it is reflected twice to the eyepiece, then to the photographer's eye. This system allows accurate viewing, focusing and composition.

And put this text in instead:

A digital single-lens reflex camera (digital SLR or DSLR) is a digital camera that uses an automatic mirror system placed between the lens and the image sensor to direct the image from the lens through the viewfinder where it can be viewed by the photographer. The viewfinder includes a matte focusing screen at its focal plane, to allow accurate focusing and to allow the light into the prism that directs the light through the viewfinder.

The only time a matte focusing screen is at or near the the focal plane is when there is a discussion of View Cameras or some Graflex Press cameras, not SLR’s and DSLRs. The focusing screen is clearly situated above the reflex mirror and underneath the pentaprism housing. Further: If you check the image in the section: "DSLR design principles", you'll clearly see the placement of the focusing screen. If my text gets changed, then the caption for this image has to change as well, otherwise there is a conflict. Further: Your edit comment:

"its" refers the focal plane that is viewed by the finder, not the one where the film is; the mirror chooses one or the other. using TW)

The mirror doesn't 'choose' anything. It is simply part of the viewing mechanism for reflecting the light from the lens to the focusing screen. The only time the focal plane should be discussed is when there is a discussion of film or the focal plane shutter. Your statement is very confusing! We're talking about the "placement" of the focusing screen in relation to the rest of the DSLR design. This was what I was trying to clarify and why I worded that paragraph.--MurderWatcher1 19:38, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

The mirror determines whether the focal plane of the objective is at the film plane or at the viewfinder screen. That is, the viewfinder system includes its own focal plane, which is used then the mirror is down. The point of my edit was to make it clear that the screen is at a focal plane; it doesn't just "diffuse the light, allowing it to pass through the condenser lens." It's true it's not always "matte", but if anything diffuses the light, that thing has to be at the focal plane of system with reflex mirror down. The other focal plane only comes into play with the mirror up; in that sense the mirror chooses between them.
As the figure you refer to shows, the matte focusing screen (5) is located such that the rays from the lens converge at its frosted surface (the top surface, apparently, in this sketch). That makes it a focal plane.
Dicklyon 06:16, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
This is a new concept as far as I can determine, and I've never heard of this before. I know from reading your UserPage that you have a considerable amount of knowledge about light and light theory but from any photography articles that I have read, all of these agreed with what I had put in. What you're saying, in effect, is that with SLR and DSLR designs, there are 'two' focal planes; one at the film plane and the other, by your reasoning, at the focusing screen. My understanding was that there was one, and only one, and that 'focal plane' was always associated as being at the film plane. I feel that this explanation will confuse any readers. It certainly confuses me a little just to read all of this. I can concede that light is coming to 'a focus' around the matte focusing screen, but the general concept of 'focal plane', to my understanding of talking with photographers, is that it is always located at the film plane, not in the viewfinder system. If we're going to keep your edit, then this matter has to be further clarified, otherwise I vote for my edit.--MurderWatcher1 14:18, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
OK, my terminology does seem to be a bit unusual; so I took out "at its focal plance". Let me know what other changes are needed, or work on it from there. Dicklyon 18:19, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
I'll take a look at it in more detail tomorrow. In the meantime, maybe you'd like to look at the other photography pages I have also been editing. Just check on my contributions and you'll see. Single Lens Reflex is one of the Wikipedia that needs a good look-at. To be honest, when I 'discovered' these pages, I found I had issues with all of them in one category or another. FYI, an unknown user just made some interesting edits to the page.--MurderWatcher1 21:23, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

A concise and easy-to-read introduction[edit]

Here are three versions of the introduction to this article:

Version of 9 Sept. 2007:

A digital single-lens reflex camera (digital SLR or D-SLR) is a digital camera that operates on the same optical and mechanical principles as a modern electronic autofocus 35mm film single-lens reflex camera. The key difference is that the film is replaced with a CCD or CMOS image sensor plus accompanying electronics, thus creating images digitally in-camera, without the need to first chemically develop a latent image on film.

The problem with this, in my opinion, was that it implied that the reader should become familiar with film SLRs in order to understand DSLRs.

Version of 10 Sept. 2007, after I had rewritten the introduction, plus some tweeks by Dicklyon:

A digital single-lens reflex camera (digital SLR or DSLR) is a digital camera that uses an automatic mirror system placed between the lens and the image sensor to direct the image from the lens through the viewfinder where it can be viewed by the photographer. The viewfinder includes a matte focusing screen at its focal plance, to allow accurate focusing and to allow the light into the prism that directs the light through the viewfinder.

As in film SLRs, the through-the-lens optical viewing is primarily to support accurate fast viewfinding with interchangable lenses.

The basic operation of a DSLR, having the mirror reflecting the image away from the image sensor except briefly during the exposure, precludes the ability to see the image in the LCD display before the picture is taken, a major difference from the way an ordinary digital camera works. Some newer DSLR models feature an option generally known as "live preview" that does allow the image to be seen on the LCD display, although with certain limitations and while the optical viewfinder is dark.

In most other respects a DSLR is similar in principle and operation to a standard digital camera; the image captured by the CCD or CMOS image sensor is processed electronically and stored on a removable memory device. The price range and extra features and options available vary widely from model to model, and newer and better models arrive every year.

This may be a bit long-winded, but in my opinion includes the important points about what a DSLR is, and in particular emphasises the very important limitation of not being able to compose the picture on the LCD (unless "live preview" is present), something that many, many people who buy DSLRs don't realize, because they assume that's how all digital cameras work.

Version of 8 Oct. 2007:

A digital single-lens reflex camera (digital SLR or DSLR) is a digital camera that uses an automatic mirror system placed between the lens and the image sensor to direct the image from the lens through the viewfinder where it can be viewed by the photographer. The viewfinder includes a matte focusing screen, to allow accurate focusing and to allow the light into the prism that directs the light through the viewfinder.

The basic electro-mechanical operation of a DSLR is as follows: for viewing purposes, the mirror reflects the light coming through the attached lens through the fresnel lens and the condenser lens where it is further reflected by the pentaprism (or pentamirror) to the photographer's eye. During exposure, the mirror swings upward from its 45 degree viewing angle, thus providing light to be received by the image sensor, and this action precludes the ability to view the image shown on the LCD display screen before the image is exposed. This is a major operational difference from the way an ordinary digital camera (digicam) works. Some newer DSLR models feature live preview, allowing the image to be seen on the LCD display, although with certain limitations and with the optical viewfinder disabled.

In most other respects, a DSLR is similar in principle and operation to a standard digital camera; the image captured by the CCD or CMOS image sensor is processed electronically and stored on an internal, removable, or external memory device. The price range and extra features and options available vary widely from model to model, and newer, more improved and more featured models arrive almost every three to four months.

Now I fear that the introduction is drifting into excessive techno-babble. These latest changes are technically correct (which is great, of course), but are not of interest to "Joe six-pack" who is wondering whether he should buy a DSLR. It can be argued that the 10 Sept. version was also too technical, but the justification was that it was necessary to explain why the heck the LCD was black, something that surprises many, many people.

Other opinions? --RenniePet 19:02, 8 October 2007 (UTC) --RenniePet 19:25, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

I think I liked the oldest one best. It seems to me OK to start by saying it's an SLR with a sensor in the place film; that's what the name means, obviously. After that, one can get into what it means to be an SLR. The thing about the LCD not showing a preview when the reflex mirror is down does not belong in th lead, in my opinion; or certainly not in the first paragraph of the lead. Just because a bunch of people are clueless about this, as they are with all other aspects of DSLRs, doesn't mean it has to go right up front. The expanded lead is OK, but the "matte focusing screen" is anothing thing that probably shouldn't show up in the lead paragraph. I recommend you work on it, but if you'd prefer, let me know I'll try a rewrite myself. Dicklyon 22:38, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

> I think I liked the oldest one best.

Oh, dear. :-)

> ... or certainly not in the first paragraph of the lead.

Actually, it isn't / wasn't.

I feel fairly strongly that the introduction should

1. Not be dependent on film SLRs or even mention them. More and more of the people getting into DSLRs are young and never used a film camera and consider film to be ancient like vinyl LPs.

2. Sould mention in some way the lack of an image on the LCD. I hang out on a DSLR photography forum and again and again there are newbies who ask how to turn on the LCD - it comes as a total shock to them that it is not possible.

If nobody else wants to try doing a rewrite of the introduction I'll make another attempt in a couple of days. OK? --RenniePet 17:20, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't mind if you give it another try, but as I said, I think introducing the DSLR without mentioning the SLR is silly, and the dark LCD feature is not so important as to be in the lead; OK, maybe in the lead, but certainly not in the opening paragraph, and certainly not more prominent than explaining "SLR". Dicklyon 01:11, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

An easier to read intro is welcome - I would also be in favor of an intro that helps out "Joe six-pack" but the lead shouldn't selectively pick and choose personal favorite advantages of DSLR's. How about an 'advantages' section that jumps to the many advantages noted within the article? 15:53, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

> Now I fear that the introduction is drifting into excessive techno-babble.
"The basic electro-mechanical operation of a DSLR is as follows: for viewing purposes, the mirror reflects the light coming through the attached lens through the fresnel lens and the condenser lens where it is further reflected by the pentaprism (or pentamirror) to the photographer's eye. During exposure, the mirror swings upward from its 45 degree viewing angle, thus providing light to be received by the image sensor, and this action precludes the ability to view the image shown on the LCD display screen before the image is exposed."
The latest revision of the introduction, with talk of "fresnel lens" and "condenser lens" and "pentaprism (or pentamirror)" is too technical in my opinion for the introduction. All this can be explained in detail later, but not in the introduction.
Also, "the mirror swings upward from its 45 degree viewing angle, thus providing light to be received by the image sensor, and this action precludes the ability to view the image shown on the LCD display screen before the image is exposed" is not really correct. It is not the swinging up of the mirror that prevents the image being displayed on the LCD, it is the existence of the mirror and the fact that it is normally in the path of the light.
Well, that's my opinion, for what it's worth. --RenniePet 18:19, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, - I've edited to take out such stuff. I also added some characteristics, seaparated into advantages and disadvantages, that I hope would make the article more "Joe six-pack" friendly. You only have to look at some of the comments on the talk page (e.g. 'dslr's are for ego masturbation') to see that there is a need for advantages and disadvantages to be a bit more prominent - did I do a bad thing by putting these in? did I miss anything? Could we link these advantages and disadvantages to relevant sections of the article? My problem with previous leads that mentioned advantages was that they were so selective... 05:37, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't think we need to help Joe six pack buy a camera. This is an encyclopedia. A list of purported advantages and disadvantages does not belong in the lead. So I took it out. Dicklyon 06:08, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
A list of purported advantages and disadvantages does not belong in the lead. So I took it out
Fair enough.... I have moved it into the DSLRs compared to other digital cameras section. How do you like it there?
undo addition of a whole section worth of unsourced stuff to the lead
If you still dislike this list in its new location, please add why you think this needs to be sourced. The individual statements are hardly contentious, and as a list, I hoped it was an inclusive and balanced enough not to be POV. 15:48, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Version of 31st Dec. 2014:

I added a more explicit explantion and link to SLR as link in the second paragraph, as the link in the first paragraph is somewhat burried in the text. The earlier link may be missed by someone fast scanning through article. By putting an explicit line in a singl short paragraph the significance of SLR to DSLR will be retained for people who want fast read/jump betwen articles as opposed to read them in depth. The second advnatage is that people buying DSLR lenses can discover that SLR lenses are availble and will work manually - which is fine for some applications such as videography. Another use of them is on micro four thirds camera's through the use of telecompressors AKA metabones X-mass (talk) 05:33, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

Reinserted Section On Fuji Infrared/Ultraviolet DSLR[edit]

To the unknown user who removed the following:

===Unusual features – infrared and ultraviolet photography===
On July 13, 2007, FujiFilm announced the FinePix IS Pro, which uses Nikon F-mount lenses. This camera, in addition to having live preview, has the ability to record in the infrared and ultraviolet spectrums of light. (See [1] for a discussion of same)

Let's understand that a number of people new to photography (especially those involved in law enforcement and forensic photography, to name a few) would certainly be interested in this reference. This is not so much a 'PR' for Fuji (as you put it in your edit) as just simply "mentioning a tool of the trade". It could be further argued about the whole page that any picture or mention of a certain manufacturer's DSLR model is also a 'promo' for that manufacturer's company, which is simply not true for this page so I stand by my reinsertion of the text. It informs readers in general of peculiar types of cameras in photography that are an answer to a particular type of photographic problem, and this is generally true in photography and with most manufacturers. Canon, for example, makes a 24mm tilt/shift lens; nobody else makes this lens including Nikon (and I wish they would). So, a mention of this lens might solve a certain kind of problem that an architectural photographer or landscape photographer might have, and that photographer would need this information. A general reader of this web-encyclopedia would also appreciate the variety of SLR and DSLR models that are out in the marketplace.--MurderWatcher1 17:09, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Actually, that was user And I agree that there's no problem with briefly mentioning particular DSLRs that have interesting characteristics. 23:31, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

SLR question[edit]

From an earlier version of the article:

Because the viewfinder shows the image as seen by the light coming through the lens, it is possible to build cameras that allow interchangeable lenses; all currently available DSLRs do support interchangeable lenses. Being able to change the lens makes it possible to invest in the lenses that are best suited for the kind of photography one is interested in.

I must be missing something, but how is the ability to exchange lenses inherently unique to SLR cameras? JIP | Talk 17:55, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

The ability to exchange lenses is not inherently unique to SLR cameras, and there's even a little section at the end of the article that mentions this: Digital single-lens reflex camera#Other digital cameras that allow the lens to be changed.
As author of that previous version of the introduction, I'd like to mention that I don't think that what I wrote implied that only SLR techniques could allow interchangeable lenses, although the text could have been more clear on that point. --RenniePet 09:26, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Just because something is not inherently unique to SLR cameras does not mean that it is not very strongly associated with them. At the time of writing you'll struggle to find many DSLR cameras that do not have an interchangable lens design, and you'll also struggle to find many non-DSLR digicams that do. 15:59, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

DSLRs compared to other digital cameras[edit]

Added references to this section re. advantages / disadvatages. Obviously given the nature of the subject, most of these are enthusiast sites and not peer-reviewed academic journals. However, I feel they are 'Sources ... appropriate to the claims made' as per WP:V. Any help with finding further sources is of course appreciated. 02:24, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Olympus E-10 and E-20[edit]

A lot of the information here is only relevant to current dSLR. However, the E-10 and the E-20N/P from Olympus were of SLR design and share only a few of the characteristics of current dSLRs. This article needs to be updated to reflect that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:27, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm not happy about seeing the Olympus E-10 and E-20 categorized as DSLRs, with the result that the E-10, rather than the E-330, is proclaimed to be the first DSLR with "live preview". That doesn't make sense in the modern context.
Aren't the E-10 and E-20 more commonly talked about as being "SLR-like"?
For me, the lack of an optical viewfinder means that they are not real SLRs or DSLRs. --RenniePet (talk) 18:24, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
... I'm not familiar with these cameras myself, but other sources (; seem to confirm that this was indeed an SLR design using a 'beam-splitter' to drive the LCD view. 18:42, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
DP Review also says it's true-SLR - "Real TTL viewfinder (beam split prism)". Why shouldn't it be included as an SLR? Because the lens is fixed ? Semantically, that definitely means it's a 'Single-Lens'. (Lol !) For an historic precedent, see Canon Pellix, a 1965 SLR with a thin-film beamsplitter. The key word here is 'Reflex' which comes from the same root as 'reflect', implying a mirror or prism. The term SLR was coined to distinguish them from TLRs 'Twin Lens Reflexes' - ie Rolleiflex, Mamiyaflex, Yashicamat, Lubitel etc. TLRs have completely separate chambers for viewing & taking : SLRs have one or more mirrors in a single chamber, to fold the optical path from one lens to the eye or sensor as required.
'No moving parts' is a great & notable design feature - cost, reliability, silence, battery-life, vibration ... only disadvantages are loss of light (half-a-stop?) and potential fogging via the viewfinder.
The big debate here seems to be that there's nothing magic about a mirror which is 'necessary and sufficient' to make DSLRs wonderful. However, even though the mirror itself does not cause excellence, there are many desirable features that correlate extremely strongly with the existance of a mirror in practice. The excellence is more likely to be caused by the price, which also correlates positively with the 'reflex' feature. It is almost as though weight and bulk justified the expense. It reminds me of a period in photographic history (between F and EM reigns in the Nikon dynasty) when black was the 'professional' colour, and silver cameras looked 'amateur'. That may still persist to an extent.
There have been a few attempts to make a quality digital non-SLR, but it seems to remain a 'niche market', very similar to the film-rangefinder market - only room for a few suppliers, and high-priced. It could make an interesting article or category. On the other hand, no-one has come up with the digital equivalent of the 'Nikon EM', which was a £100 ($200) 'budget SLR' in ~1980. The D40 at £250 ($500) is getting close, though!
The Sigma DP1 seems to fit the definition of "quality digital non-SLR", but isn't this getting OT?

Perhaps it is possible to mention the E-10 and E-20 as technically SLRs, but ones that use an unconventional design. Conventional being a moving mirror. Yes, they are similar to the Pellix and the Nikon F3H [2] Micahmedia (talk) 20:37, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

-- (talk) 08:07, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Early Summary[edit]

Why do I have to read the entire page AND the talk page to get a basic understanding of why DSLR cameras are used over digicams by many photographers. I come to Wikipedia to gain understanding about topics, rather than revel in scientific explanations. Sure, keep the detail but please add a sentence to the top (above the toc) which simply explains WHY the distinctions are. Something like: "DSLRs are preferred over standard digicams by many photographers due to the optical viewfinder, which shows the true image which will be captured, rather than a low-resolution LCD image of an Electronic Viewfinder (EVF)." Perhaps adding: "Most DSLRs come with the ability to equip a range of lenses, unlike most digicams, however there are some exceptions to this." - surely this is not too much to ask? Gerardtalk 16:56, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

That sounds good, but it would need to be verifiable... if you can cite a book or other reliable source that explains this preference, then go for it! ǝɹʎℲxoɯ (contrib) 17:05, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Fair enough, but surely that is simply common knowledge - the point of the Single-Lens Reflex. Check the OVF vs EVF section, or the 2nd paragraph on SLR. The Burden of Evidence applies to "All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged", which I think doesn't apply to that summarisation of content already in this article (and others). Gerardtalk 20:25, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

The properties of the DSLR are common knowledge. But inferred reasons why someone prefers them should be omitted, or sourced. Dicklyon (talk) 20:31, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Okay, perhaps rephrase my sentence. you could say (in a brief sentence early on) that the optical viewfinder offers more precise (?) higher resolution (?) images, which more accurately (?) represent the photograph taken (because the mirror redirects the light etc etc). Obviously the old "some people say" is inappropriate, but surely we can list the advantages, or the resulant differences of use? Gerardtalk 20:49, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

What works best is to find a source, and write what you learn from it, and cite it. Try some of these books. Dicklyon (talk) 04:50, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

dSLR's with movie mode[edit]

Just released today is the Nikon D90, first dSLR with a movie mode.

[3] [4] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:35, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

And also now the 5d MkII. What's the best section to add this? Micahmedia (talk) 02:46, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Apologies, it's there already! Micahmedia (talk) 02:48, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Hello all, I just wanted to chime in that I helped update this section today with information about a couple new Single Lens Reflex cameras capable of recording HD movies, and changed the title of this section to what is now the common vernacular of the subset of DSLR cameras with a specific HD movie options- HDSLR.

I tried to find reference to the first instance I could find of the term HDSLR, and the best I could do is an ebook released this past April. To be fair I know at least 3x professional commercial photogs in New York, and a professor in Santa Barbara (Brooks Institute of Photography) that have been using the term HDSLR to describe DSLR cameras with HD movie capabilities since sometime last year. Unfortunately I couldn't find anything in writing to link to.

About me, I'm new to wikipedia, very new.... so I'm still getting the hang of some of this. But I'm not to photography- with a little more than 30-years under my belt, had my own studio at one time and about 7-years of teaching at the college level. Semi-retired now (you never really retire from photography), I've got the time to put into "wiki" so I'm going to try to help out the other editors of this page (and other pages) by tracking down reputable sources where needed. CameraPHD

I might also add, there are now six DSLRs with movie mode. I order of the release date, here they are:
--The High Fin Sperm Whale (talk) 03:58, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
You forgot Pentax K-7 and, just last week, Pentax K-m Moxfyre (ǝɹʎℲxoɯ | contrib) 04:33, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
And also the Canon EOS 1500D. But how come the article on the Pentax K-m doesn't mention the movie mode? --The High Fin Sperm Whale (talk) 23:40, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, the Canon EOS 1500D doesn't exist. I think someone was playing with the template. But still, are you sure about the Pentax K-m? The article doesn't say anything about video. --The High Fin Sperm Whale (talk) 17:53, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

New Lede--suggestions?[edit]

The lede for this article is in dire need of a re-write. How's this for starters:

A digital single-lens reflex camera (digital SLR or DSLR) is a digital camera that uses an mechanical mirror system and pentaprism to direct light from the lens through an optical viewfinder on the back of the camera.
The basic operation of a DSLR is as follows: for viewing purposes, the mirror reflects the light coming through the attached lens upwards at a 90 degree angle. It is then reflected twice by the pentaprism rectifying it for photographer's eye. During exposure, the mirror assembly swings upward, the aperture narrows (if set smaller than wide open), and a shutter opens, allowing the lens to project light onto the image sensor. A second shutter then covers the sensor, marking the end of exposure, and the mirror lowers while the shutter resets. The period that the mirror is flipped up is referred to as "viewfinder blackout", with a shorter time being preferred.
DSLRs are often preferred by professional still photographers because they allow an accurate preview of framing close to the moment of exposure, and because DSLRs allow the user to choose from a variety of interchangeable lenses. Most DSLRs also have a function that allows accurate preview of depth of field.
Many professionals also prefer DSLRs for their larger sensors compared to most compact digitals. DSLRs have sensors which are generally closer in size to the traditional film formats that many professionals started out using. These large sensors allow for similar depths of field to film, for a given focal length.
The term DSLR generally refers to cameras that resemble 35mm format cameras, although some medium format cameras are technically DSLRs.

Micahmedia (talk) 03:54, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

HDSLR section needs cleanup[edit]

The HDSLR section meanders between historical coverage ("the first HDLSR was...") and a market survey of current models. There are merits to covering both angles, but the current article is too cluttered with impertinent trivia. Or perhaps some of the trivia needs to be expanded upon.

For example, the Canon 5D Mark II "firmware 2.0.3/firmware 2.0.4". That's an awkward sentence. The important point is that the 5DM2 lacked broadcast-compliant video at introduction, then was later given that feature through a firmware introduction. It's enough to simply say "firmware 2.0.4", or even leave the version out altogether, because the main point is that the feature is present/not present. When/how the feature got added is irrelevant trivia, and it should only be included in the article if it doesn't disrupt the flow of writing.

I'm against listing individual models and their features. wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a product guide. And the product listings tend to get outdated very quickly (e.g. what about the Rebel 550D/T2i, and the 1D Mark IV?) Specific models should only be listed if they are notable with respect to the topic at hand. For me, the Nikon D90 being the first DSLR with HD movie-mode passes that 'notability test', flawed as it is. Most of the other models do not. They're just refinements/evolutionary-improvements along the evolution of digital cameras. I suppose the 5D Mark 2 is notable since it's the only one with full 35mm sensor-size. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:50, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Meaning of "digicam"[edit]

The word "digicam" needs to be defined. The digicam page disambiguates to digital cameras, or digital camouflage. Obviously the relevant article is the former, but this article includes DSLRs as well as every other kind of digital camera. Yet, in the DSLR article (and in this very talk page) DSLRs are often compared and contrasted to digicams. Many might assume that "digicam" means compact digital camera, but Wikipedia's articles do not make this clear at any time, and it's not an assumption that I made. In the article, the following sentence made little sense to me:

Therefore, many older DSLRs do not provide "live preview" (allowing focusing, framing, and depth-of-field preview using the display), a facility that is always available on digicams although today most DSLRs offer live view.

So, I'd recommend either not using the word "digicam," or defining it unambiguously. - Random anonymous UK user on (talk) 23:18, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

What's with the Sensor-Size -Comparison picture ?[edit]

The photo shows the two cameras lop-sided/dipping towards the center ? (talk) 16:25, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Where are the pictures? Please give me a sample of an image using these lens. Thanks Yhabe of blank blu ray discs — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yhabe30 (talkcontribs) 06:33, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

What would that accomplish? The sensor size comparison is pretty useful and interesting. —Ben FrantzDale (talk) 16:10, 23 September 2011 (UTC)


A significant fact is that old fashioned 35mm SLRs almost entirely provided a fresnel lens in the viewfinder, providing a bright image. Most, or even all, DSLRs use a matte screen which is far darker and requires light adaption of the photographers eye. Can an explanation be included please, I do not know why. Reg nim (talk) 22:16, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

In SLR (not digital) viewfinder is also use to focus instead of framing, but in DSLR a Hybrid AF can take the picture in almost dark.Gsarwa (talk) 15:38, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Aspect Ratio[edit]

Aspect ratio is mentioned only two times (!) in the entire article. In my opinion, in an article which extensively talks about the "sizes" of images, sensors, and lenses; aspect ratio is one of the most important issues because of the fact that aspect ratio is the actual definitve unit of measurement in terms of rectangular images.

Especially in the "Table of sensor sizes" as well as the image captioned as "Drawing showing the relative sizes of sensors," aspect ratio should be mentioned. I suggest adding a line to Table of sensor sizes and modifying the aforementioned image to depict aspect ratios. -- (talk) 20:28, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Major restructering[edit]

  • Introduction done.
  • Moved digicam comparison and quickly merged.
  • Added image in Digital_single-lens_reflex_camera#DSLR_design_principles. Related text makes educationally only really sense with this image, has to be EXPANDED by electronics/display, the "D" in SLR. Probably in the next days.
First version done. Tagremover (talk) 12:37, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Electronics sub-section planed. Although its good the article explains other features, the "D" is essential in DSLR. Probably in the next days. Tagremover (talk) 11:46, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Obviously written by editors who want to repeat ALL details and disadvantages of "point-and-shoot" cameras. Again and again. Comparison moved to the section. Tagremover (talk) 13:08, 25 March 2012 (UTC)


In this diff, we heard that "Compact digital cameras mostly have an even smaller image sensor, additionally providing a larger depth of field." This is extremely misleading. The only way a smaller sensor provides a larger depth of field is if the photo is taken with a smaller absolute aperture diameter (e.g. same f-number and smaller focal length with same field of view), and therefore gets fewer photons from the scene. The same larger DOF can be obtained by the DSLR by stopping down to the same aperture diameter. So I took this out. Dicklyon (talk) 03:52, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Someone already updated back to saying compact give larger DoF, so I just add here in support. We should compare DoF for same picture, i.e. same FoV and same aperture, that is the only thing that makes sense? Therefore as long as the compact have a smaller sensor, therefore receiving less photons and having a shorter focal length it does have larger DoF. Obviously it is not the small sensor that give larger DoF, but the shorter lens. I hope we can agree that compacts in general have smaller sensors? We can update and make the relation ship between, smaller sensor -> shorter lens -> larger DoF more clear, if that is the issue? --Stefan talk 06:03, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Dynamic range[edit]

While I'm at it, the lead states, "often using a larger image sensor format providing a higher dynamic range". Why does larger image sensor give higher dynamic range?? In the text there is one requested ref for the same statement and one ref [5] that does not talk about dynamic range at all. I think DSLR might often have better dynamic range, since they have newer sensors, and more expensive image engines but I do not think that the actual size of the sensor matters at all? Any comments? --Stefan talk 06:12, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

I felt Brave and removed the claims that large sensor -> higher dynamic range, I tried to do a bit of research, and my conclusion (all OR) is that DSLRs does often have higher dynamic range, but there is not much that say that it is because of a large sensor, much more of the 'size' of the pixels. And a small compact sensor will have much smaller pixels than a DSLR, and therefore less dynamic range, but this is not directly related to sensor size. I did not update this on the page since I do not have any good sources. Please correct me and revert if I'm wrong, but please discuss here after your reverts, --Stefan talk 06:52, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Requested move (short-form)[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. Strong and well-argued consensus against. Andrewa (talk) 12:39, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

Digital single-lens reflex cameraDigital SLR – Widely known by the short-form name [6] [7] [8] and lately even better known by the acronym "DSLR" [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]. I'll compromise and content myself with Digital SLR for the foreseeable future. Marcus Qwertyus (talk) 18:05, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

  • Use varies - digital single lens reflex is still commonly used on the web, 9,020,000 times, but not as commonly as digital slr, 40,000,000 times. DSLR appears 148,000,000 times on the web. In news digital single lens reflex is used 92 times, digital slr 5,120 times, dlsr 10,700 times, and in books dslr is used 82,000 times, digital slr is used 44,900, while digital single lens reflex is used 7,680 times. I am going to have to oppose the move, as the abbreviation fails the "unless the subject is almost exclusively known by its abbreviation (e.g. NATO and Laser)" test. Apteva (talk) 04:13, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
WP:ACRONYMTITLE allows for acronyms if the term is "widely known" in that form. As much as I like Google as a company, it tends to greatly exaggerate its search returns or even behave like a random number generator. See WP:SET#What a search test can do, and what it can't. Paging through, there appears to be 1000+ Google Books returns (not all in English) for "DSLR" (like Google Scholar, Google won't let me get past page 100), 780 for "Digital SLR", and 300 for "Digital single-lens reflex". Digital SLR is in line with other common acronyms like YMCA, CNN, NBC NASA, DARPA, MRAP, HIMARS, STS-135 and HMMWV (HMMWV would be acceptable if Humvee weren't more popular). Marcus Qwertyus (talk) 06:19, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, perhaps I should have provided a link. The MOS does not define titles, even though it would appear to want to. WP:ACRONYMTITLE, despite being about titles, links to the MOS, which says "if the subject is almost exclusively known by its acronym or is widely known and used in that form". What the MOS is for is to format text within articles. WP:TITLE is used to establish titles, and it says "Avoid abbreviations: Abbreviations and acronyms are generally avoided unless the subject is almost exclusively known by its abbreviation (e.g. NATO and Laser). The abbreviation UK, for United Kingdom, is acceptable for use in disambiguation. It is also unnecessary to include an acronym in addition to the name in a title." Within an article it is acceptable to use either standard, "widely known and used", and "almost exclusively known", but why both are included is unknown. The MOS should be linking to WP:TITLE, instead of summarizing it, and summarizing it incorrectly. Apteva (talk) 02:57, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: MOS: "Avoid abbreviations: Abbreviations and acronyms are generally avoided unless the subject is almost exclusively known by its abbreviation (e.g. NATO and Laser)."
Says it all. Google is NOT Wikipedia. Tagremover (talk) 07:13, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: abbreviations in title should be avoided per WP:TITLE, and it is still clearer to use its full name of Digital single-lens reflex camera. The title 'Digital SLR' looses the clarity that the article is referring to a type of camera. Therefore not precise enough to unambiguously define the topic of the article, especially for readers who are not familiar with the technical side of cameras. Yes - it is quite a common useage but maybe later.--Michaela den (talk) 18:47, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:TITLE and also because SLR is not as obvious as camera buffs might think. E.g. it means self-loading rifle in some quarters, something SLR (disambiguation) picks up. In ictu oculi (talk) 09:10, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Larger sensor sizes not directly give better image quality[edit]

Larger sensor sizes not directly give better image quality[edit]

IMHO many people still thinking that the lenses are the main subject for better quality as in film camera, but in digital camera the sensor sensitivity (not the size, because small sensor might be more sensitive than the big ones and the sensitivity is increasing in line with time, so newer sensor is better than the old ones and maybe smaller) is the first important thing. The second is the propietary processor software, if the sensor is good, but the processing is bad, the result will be bad. The third is the lens, but because it is digital, so slight quality different of the lenses will be absorb by the camera processor. In Micro four thirds system, its mount is same and the lenses can be used with camera which support m4/3 without any adapter and we can see the processor take the role more than the quality of the lens itself.

  • Nikon has good quality of sensor and also the propietary processor software
  • Canon has not so good quality of sensor, but its propietary processor software is good
  • Sony and Pentax has better quality of sensor compare to Canon, but its propietary processor software is weak, so even the sensors quality of Sony and Pentax are better than Canon has, the image quality result are poorer than Canon result
  • Olympus and Panasonic have relatively same sensor quality, but when Panasonic lens tested on Olympus gives better result than when Panasonic uses its own lens.

DxO Labs has tested more than 6,000 Combination of Camera & Lens and if we scrutinize the results, we can agree with as mention above. If to scrutinize is too hard for you, so you can pick only several lead of every brands and try to analize it. But if you doubt with the result, you are better to scrutinize all of them.

I propose to add in Larger sensor size and better image quality section as below:

Larger sensor sizes not directly give better image quality[edit]

There are several sensor producers and the sensitivity among it are different each other, so the bigger sensor is not means directly give better result. Light struck the sensor will be processed by each propietary software, so same sensor size from the same producer will give different result when processed by different software. DxO Labs has test more than 6,000 Combination of Camera & Lenses and give us the fact that even Micro Four Thirds image quality can compete with APS-C image quality. Micro Four Thirds sensor size is about 61 to 68 percent of APS-C sensor size.

Thank you so much in advance for your time to read and analyze my proposal.Gsarwa (talk) 15:27, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

First DSLR[edit]

According to my research, this was the first DSLR:
Do they see this (in German):

Rudolfo42 (talk) 20:25, 25 March 2016 (UTC)

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Condenser lens[edit]

Why does the DSLR need the "condenser lens" (number 6 in the first image)? I didn't find the answer in the article. --egg 08:33, 17 October 2017 (UTC)