Digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras have become the standard in high-end and professional photography. They're also a great choice for aspiring photographers, visual artists and people committed to capturing the best photographs possible of their families and special events. What sets these cameras apart from other digital models is the ability to switch out lenses. Changing lenses allows for a greater degree of control, highly specialized effects and more artistic images.
Understanding how a DSLR camera works will help you understand if they're the right choice for you. A mirror is placed behind the lens to direct the light while a photograph is being composed. When you release the shutter, the mirror moves out of the way and light goes to the camera's sensor. A prism in the viewfinder helps position the image so the photographer can see it as the image is taken.
Technologically, this set-up allows a single camera to work with a very wide variety of lenses and allows the photographer to see the same image that hits the sensor. That translates into a DSLR camera that gives you the ultimate flexibility to take or compose just about any type of photo and work under a variety of conditions by simply switching out lenses. There are two primary reasons to choose a DSLR over a point-and-shoot camera: flexibility and image quality.