Comparison between the Parts of an SLR and a Non-Reflex Camera
SLR camera parts are slightly different to the parts used in a standard point and shoot camera. These cameras are, however, seen as being much more professional. A single lens reflex camera allows you to see precisely what you are photographing without looking at it from a slightly different position.
All cameras have a lens, but these are different on both point and shoot and SLR cameras. On an SLR camera, the lens is interchangeable and locks into a lens mount. This allows for greater control by fixing different lenses onto the body of the camera depending on the photographers preferences. A point and shoot camera has one lens which is a compromise. Both of these lenses can zoom in for more detail.
A SLR camera features a mirror which is at a 45 degree angle to the lens. This captures the light entering the lens and directs it to the viewfinder. When you press the shutter, the lens moves out of the way so that the sensor can capture all of the light. Point and shoot cameras do not have mirrors.
This mirror is known as a reflex mirror and is a very important part of the digital SLR design. Without it, you could not view through the viewfinder. This is why the viewfinder goes black when taking a photo. You cannot use the screen as a viewfinder on DSLR cameras.
Both point and shoot and SLR cameras have an image sensor. These image sensors are used to convert the light in a picture into electrical impulses which can then be stored on digital media. There are different technologies which can do this including CMOS and CCD sensors.