DSLR: Victory Flag

What is a DSLR and Why Do You Need One?

You want to be more creative with your photography.

So which camera do you need?


You’ve been looking at a DSLR. But what is a DSLR?

DSLR – It stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex

Ok maybe that doesn’t make it any clearer…… let me try again!

Digital means that the camera has an image sensor that turns the image that you have captured into digital information that is stored on a memory card.

Single Lens Reflex means that what you see is what you get. It’s what the lens is seeing. Older viewfinder cameras had a viewfinder in one corner of the camera away from the lens, so what you saw was not what the lens saw. And you could end up with heads chopped off, or the edges of the picture not showing what you thought it would…. DSLR cameras use a mirror and a pentaprism to show what the lens sees through the viewfinder.

SLR (single lens reflex) cameras use 35mm film to capture the image instead of a Digital sensor.

Why do you need one?

DSLR’s have greater image quality compared to point and shoot cameras. You can have full manual control over the camera and exposure, or you can stick it in fully automatic mode. Basically they have a computer inside of them making them a very powerful and intuitive tool to have.

You can change the lenses for complete flexibility and have a large selection to choose from (for every budget). But to fit the mirror, pentaprism and fancy electronics into a DSLR, you have to make them BIG! There’s no other way to put it…. and the more high end you get the bigger they get. So go and dig out that gym pass!!!

To give you an idea of what is available here’s a look at Canons range at the moment (only because I use Canon and I am used to them):

Entry level for beginners

1200D    18mp      APS-C
100D      18mp      APS-C
700D      18mp      APS-C

Mid Range

70D             20mp    APS-C
7D mk II    20mp    APS-C
6D               20mp    full frame


5D mk III    22mp    full frame
1D X             18 mp   full frame
1D C             18mp    full frame

As you can see there is a DSLR for everyone…

Just to clear some things up –

Full Frame means the sensor is the same size as the old 35mm film and is supposed to be the best quality.

APS-C uses a smaller sensor than the full frame one. They’re also known as cropped sensor cameras because the smaller sensor gives a smaller field of view than the full frame. In other words it’s like you’re already zoomed in!

What do I use?

At this moment I use a Canon 600D.


P.S. You need to decide if a DSLR is what you need – so I’ve taken a look at Mirrorless and Compact cameras so you can compare and contrast!

Comments 7

  1. Pingback: Mirrorless, Micro 4/3 What Does It All Mean?

  2. Pingback: Compact Cameras are they worth looking at anymore?

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  3. Hi Mandy. I also use the 600d but wish to upgrade to the 60d. Am I being foolish and I just need to have it or is it really that much better. Can’t afford the 70d. What’s the difference between the 60d and 600d. Seems only the prism. Please help. You do wonderful things and I love the way you speak. Our language and not gobblygook that only the really high end photographers can understand. Thanks mate

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      Personally, if i was going to buy another DSLR I would go for the 70D without question…. and if I couldn’t afford it (which I can’t) I’d wait and save up!

      The differences between the 600d and 60d are too small for me, yes the 60d is better than the 600d eg body is metal instead of plastic, the prism, slightly faster…. but the 70D is a lot better than both the 60d and 600d?

      If it was me I’d stay with the 600d and start saving 🙂

  4. You actually make it seem so easy together with your presentation however I find this matter
    to be actually one thing which I feel I might by no means understand.
    It sort of feels too complex and extremely huge for me.
    I am having a look forward for your subsequent post, I will attempt to get the hang of

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