Differences Between SLT and DSLR Cameras

in Photography + Gear


When buying a new camera, the traditional choice has been whether to opt for the affordable simplicity of a point-and-shoot compact digital camera, or pay a premium price for the superior quality of a Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera.

However, the introduction of the Single Lens Translucent or SLT camera by Sony has had a drastic effect on this debate, with amateur photographers and professionals alike struggling to decide whether to trade in their DSLR for a new SLT. Let’s take a look at some of the differences.



Unlike the moving mirror mechanism contained within a DSLR, SLT models contain a single translucent lens that constantly allows light into the camera. This is the main mechanical difference between the two types of camera, and is responsible for the boost in performance – the faster working mechanism – that is now associated with SLT devices.

Switch to SLT Camera


By eliminating the moveable parts, SLTs are able to decrease the time it takes to take a photograph, making them ideal for sports or wildlife shots, in which the subject may move or change within a matter of seconds. In addition, any potential shaking caused by moving mirrors is also avoided, making it less likely for your photos to blur, thus leading to higher quality and reliability for your images.

The constant stream of light provided by the translucent lens in an SLT model can also be a huge advantage to those who want to ensure that their camera’s auto-focus system is running continuously. As the SLT’s translucent lens does not obstruct the light (as with the moving mirror in a DSLR camera) an image is always present in the viewfinder, allowing the camera to work its auto-focus magic throughout your photography session.

Stick to DSLR Camera

01-dslr-camera-nikon-canonPhoto by treaCor

On the other hand, there are a few drawbacks that need to be considered before making the decision to switch to an SLT. DSLR cameras are more suited to low-light photography, with automatic ISO and shutter speed controls able to do the hard work for you. SLTs, on the other hand, require slight adjustments of these settings in order to produce the best results, and this is something that amateurs may not be comfortable with.

Sony Translucent Mirror Technology versus DSLR Cameras

So, while SLT is still a relatively new technology, these cameras do possess significant advantages over their DSLR cousins. Choosing which camera is right for you will ultimately depend on your budget, your technical know-how and of course, the purpose of your photography.

What Type of Camera Should I Get?

Have you figured out what type of camera you want? If you are on a tight budget, would you buy a new digital camera or buy a second-hand used camera instead? Read more about this on our previous article on camera buying guide checklist for new versus used digital camera. Or you might want to know and read more about the five features you can ignore in a DSLR camera.

what-type-of-camera-should-i-get-infographicVIEW SOURCE

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