What Is an SLR Camera?

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An SLR camera is a camera with a single lens reflex that allows the photographer to change the lens on the camera for different shooting situations. Have more control of the camera and photograph by using an SLR camera with advice from a professional photographer in this free video on cameras.

Part of the Video Series: Digital Camera Technology
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name's James Flint. I'm a professional photographer, and I was going to take a moment to talk to you about what an SLR camera is. An SLR camera stands for single, lens, reflex. An SLR camera can be either film, or digital. What it really means, when it's saying SLR, is that it has lenses that you can remove, and exchange from one camera, to the other. This is really a benefit, because it gives you the ability to have a lens specific to whatever you're shooting. As you see here, the lens I have on my camera, goes from 18, to 70 millimeters. That's a pretty decent range. Eighteen is fairly wide, but it's not as wide as say, if I was shooting interior photographs of a building, I would want to switch to another lens, a wide angle lens. You'll notice on a lot of skateboarding, and surfing, videos, and photographs, they use even wider lenses. A fish eye lens, is usually around eight millimeters. The point is, if you want to have all of these different lenses, you need to have an SLR camera. You'll notice on a point, and shoot camera, a little camera, that doesn't allow you to change your lenses, a non SLR camera, they'll have different settings, for zooming up on things, or shooting at night, but this is nowhere near the difference you'll get if you have a lens specific to a different situation. Another example of a lens I use on my SLR, is a telephoto lens. This is great for photographing sports, and things of that nature, where you want to get up close on the action, but you can't necessarily be on the middle of a soccer field, or whatever. So, it's important to understand SLR camera stands for single, lens, reflex. And that an SLR camera gives you the ability to change your lenses, so you can have the perfect lens for the situation.


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