This is the first part of a multi-part series of articles I’m writing about digital photography, as I learn more about it. You can find links to the other articles at the bottom of this one.
So, you just got a new Digital SLR for your birthday, or mabye you’ll get one for Christmas, if you’ve been a good little boy or girl this year…
Or maybe, you’re just lusting after the latest Canon EOS Rebel XT, or you’re eyeing a used D60 on eBay. Either way, you find yourself asking the question:
What the hell is an “SLR” anyways?
I did, as I started to contemplate writing a “Digital Photography 101″ series for this website. (I’m starting this little series of posts with this one, because I just graduated to using a real 35mm Digital SLR that I bought off a buddy that had out-grown his. As I learn stuff, I’ll try to pass it on, and hopefully people will correct any inaccuracies I come across, so I can learn faster myself).
So, I turned to Google, and the best answer I could find to this question came from the best information source on the ‘net… the Wikipedia:
The single-lens reflex (SLR) is a type of camera that uses a movable mirror placed between the lens and the film to project the image seen through the lens to a matte focusing screen. Most SLRs use a pentaprism to observe the image via an eyepiece, but there are also other finder arrangements, such as the waist-level finder or porro prisms.
The shutter in almost all contemporary SLRs sits just in front of the focal plane. If it does not, some other mechanism is required to ensure that no light reaches the film between exposures…
So, if you were wondering, go read the full entry for SLR on the Wikipedia, and sound smarter next time “SLR” comes up at a dinner party.
Expect more as I learn it.
Other articles in this series:
And you can browse the rest of the Photography + Video category on this site for more links to relevant content.