DSLR vs. SLR Camera

Are you going to buy a new camera?
Sometimes it becomes difficult for beginners to choose the right camera, particularly when they are starting their photography career.
However, both these terms (DSLR and SLR camera) are known as confused terms in the photography world. So, if you are confused, whether to buy an SLR or a DSLR? We have some valuable information regarding these two terms for you, and it will help you in choosing between DSLR and SLR cameras.

The main difference between DSLR and SLR cameras is their imaging technology; the SLR camera uses a film roll. On the other hand, the DSLR camera uses a digital sensor.
SLR refers to single-lens reflex cameras, whereas DSLR refers to the digital single-lens reflex camera.
SLR camera allows photographers to change the lenses and chose the lens according to the required shooting situation. On the other hand, a DSLR is a modified version of the SLR camera with a digital sensor as an alternative to film.

Comparison Chart




DSLR utilizes an internal reflex mirror which allows the user to see the image which is captured through the cameras optical viewfinder SLR uses a reflex mirror which allows live optical viewing through the lens taking the image
Lenses DSLR uses interchangeable lenses SLR uses interchangeable lenses
Requires DSLR uses memory cards A SLR uses a film
Storage Thousands of image can be store 36 images per film roll
Video capability They are capable of recording videos SLR cannot record videos
Optical viewfinder Yes Yes
Manual control Yes Yes
Reused Images can be erased from the memory card, and the card can be reused for new pictures Images cannot be erased, and the film roll cannot be reused
Live preview Sometimes None
Shutter Speed DSLR has a shorter range of 1/4000th to 1/8000th of a second SLR has a speed range from 1-1000th  of a second.

What is DSLR?

DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras are top-rated nowadays. As we know, this is the era of modern technology, and when it comes to advanced interchangeable-lens models, DSLR is the most desirable and iconic camera.

The working of DSLR is more or less the same as SLR. DSLR camera uses a mirror that reflects the light coming from the lens up into an optical viewfinder. Moreover, the DSLR camera offers live digital viewing through the rear LCD screen.

DSLR use memory cards for storing thousands of pictures, due to advance technology DSLR uses interchangeable lens, which means the user can choose the lens according to their imaging requirement and shooting style.

DSLR has vintage-inspired bodies such as the Silver Pentax KP, mostly they are available in a single color and have a monitor. Moreover, they can also record videos.

Parts of DSLR

  • Lens- one of the most vital parts of the camera. It is the part where light enters through the lens and this is where the photo process begins.
  • Reflex mirror- It is one of the unique components of a DSLR camera. The primary function of the reflex mirror is to reflex the incident light towards the optics in the upper part of the camera.
  • Shutter button- the shutter release button on the camera is used to snap the photo.
  • Image sensor- it converts the optical image to an electronic signal, then sent it to the memory card.
  • Focus Ring- it is found on the lens which allows manual control of the camera’s focus, some cameras have an autofocus feature in addition to the focus ring.
  • Condenser lens- The main purpose of the condenser lens is to focus the light onto the specimen.
  • Pentaprism- It is the piece that revolutionized photography. The primary role of Pentaprism is to direct the image into the viewfinder from the lens so that the image appears right side up rather than shows the inverted image that first occurs.
  • Viewfinder- it is the area on the camera where you look through to compose your shot.


  • Images are more precise due to the larger sensor size.
  • The choice of filters and flashes is the extra factor that makes the pictures stand out from the rest.
  • One of the main advantages is the high-speed shooting mode as the shutter return is swift to provide a live picture through the viewfinder.

What Is SLR?

SLR refers to single-lens reflex, whereas single-lens means you can see the image through the lens of your camera, and reflex means you can see it through a mirror (as in reflection).

SLR camera consists of a film where the picture is recorded, later, which is retrieved to be developed, such as creating real, crisp images that the film recorded. However, the film can record a limited number of images at a time, and you may need to change the roll if you want to take more pictures

The shutter speed of SLR can be range from 1 sec to 1000th of a second.

SLR cameras have sleeker and modern camera bodies like Nikon FX; they have more buttons, two-tone colors, and no rear monitors.

Parts of SLR

  • Battery cover- to store the battery.
  • Depth of field scale- it will tell us the depth or space which will be in focus.
  • Distance scale- it will tell us at which point the lens is focused.
  • Exposure counter- tells us how many photos we have remaining.
  • Film advance lever- it is used to rotate the film roll inside the camera to take a new photo.
  • Film speed dial- shows the speed of the film.
  • Flash shoe- mounting surface
  • Focusing ring- it adjusts the focus in the image
  • Rewind button- to release the film roll before rewinding the roll into the canister.
  • Rewind knob- used to rewind the film roll into the canister.
  • Shutter release button- to open the shutter and take a photograph.
  • Tripod socket- this is a part you can screw to a tripod.
  • Shutter speed dial- it indicates the speed at which the shutter is open and close.
  • Viewfinder- used to see what we are shooting.


  • The SLR camera gives you the ability to frame up the photo, focus accurately, and view the depth of the field.
  • A vast backup range of accessories and lenses makes SLR a flexible unit system.
  • The autofocus (fully AF) models adjust the lens faster than you focus it by hand.

Key Differences between DSLR and SLR Camera

  1. The key difference between SLR and DSLR is the image capturing part. SLR uses film roll to record the images, whereas DSLR uses the memory card to record the pictures.
  2. SLR can store only 36 images per film roll, whereas DSLR can save thousands of pictures in memory cards at a time.
  3. In DSLR, images can be erased without any problem, whereas in SLR cameras deleting option is not available.
  4. SLR means Single-lens reflex, whereas DSLR means a digital single-lens reflex.
  5. Both SLR and DSLR cameras use interchangeable lenses.
  6. DSLR can record videos, whereas SLR cannot record videos.
  7. SLR ‘s shutter speed can be range from 1 sec to 1000th of a sec, whereas the shutter speed of DSLR is much shorter in the range of 1-4000th to 1-8000th of a sec.

Comparison Video


However, there are many differences between SLR and DSLR, as discussed above. Choosing between SLR and DSLR camera depends on your personal preferences and style of shooting. Now a day’s people mostly prefer to use DSLR cameras due to their modern features and ease of use, and they offer excellent image quality as well.

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