A digital single lens reflex camera is an electronic camera which combines the mechanisms and the optics of a single lens reflex camera with an electronic image sensor. It has all the advantages of the SLR (single lens reflex) cameras like better picture quality, more options in shooting, automatic or manual exposure control, and a faster shutter speed and greater storage capacity for images. In short, it is like the SLR but with one lens which are able to capture more images than the other. The main advantage of the digital single lens reflex camera over its SLR counterparts is the flexibility to change the angle of view without switching the camera.
One of the main disadvantages is however, the shorter distance the image sensor needs to cover in order to obtain a clear image. In spite of this shortcoming, a lot of cameras still offer a much longer optical path which enables them to cover a greater distance than other types of reflex cameras. This optical path however needs to be as narrow as possible in order to ensure that there is no ‘cobbling’ when you adjust the focus or exposure. Another disadvantage of using an optical path camera is the need to shift the focusing and exposure mirrors which can be quite cumbersome when doing manual focus adjustments.
Digital single lens reflex cameras differ from DSLRs in many ways; the most obvious is the lack of a built in viewfinder. Many DSLRs have built in lenses which are able to preview the image using the viewfinder and direct image feed back to the camera body. Other digital single lens reflex cameras however can only ‘see’ the light that has passed through the sensor. Some cameras offer ‘depth of field’ pre-focusing whereby the camera automatically focuses on an object even if it is slightly out of the intended focus area. Most modern DSLRs however have a full manual focusing feature which allows the photographer to fine tune the focus and exposure.