Digital SLR Cameras

What is a DLSR camera?

A DSLR is a digital single-lens reflex camera. DSLRs allow for interchangeable lenses, and are typically larger and more robust than other camera types. A DSLR has a mirror behind the lens, which redirects the light from the lens to the optical viewfinder and focusing systems. This allows the photographer to see exactly what they’re shooting, and enables fast and accurate focusing. When you take a photo, the mirror flips up, the shutter opens, and the digital sensor is exposed to the image.

What does ISO mean?

Photographically, ISO stands for the level of sensitivity the camera’s sensor has to light. The higher the ISO number, the more sensitive the sensor and the brighter the image. ISO is an adjustable setting and reaches much higher than it ever did. However, very high ISO settings can sometimes cause grain or “noise” in the image.

When a camera is said to be “very good in low light” it means that there is little to no noise in the higher ISO values.

What is a megapixel?

A camera’s sensor is comprised of millions of individual pixels (for “picture element”). Each pixel works individually to capture a tiny amount of light and color, which then gets combined to form the final image. One million of these pixels equals one megapixel. The number of megapixels determines the resolution of the image, and in turn how large the image can be printed or how much it can be cropped. The more megapixels, the larger your prints can be. See this chart for more details.