Heard about DSLT cameras? Well, two kinds of people read this post — people who think that I made a mistake in typo, and people who want to know about the DSLT cameras. In case you are wondering, it is not a typo error. I meant DSLT cameras; don’t get confused with DSLR cameras.
Okay. I am going to stop rambling, and explain what DSLT cameras are — how it is different from the DSLR counterparts.
What are DSLT cameras really?
DSLT stands for Digital Single Lens Translucent. It uses ‘translucent mirror technology’ (TMT) — When light enters through the lens, the mirror, in front of the image sensor, transmits about 70% of light to the sensor and the rest 30% is reflected up to the camera’s phase detection autofocus sensor.Confused? This diagram explains it well.
Okay, that is something different. But how it is different from a DSLR?
Well, from the outside, DSLT and DSLR cameras look same. The difference lies in its working. If you kn0w the how a DSLR camera works, you already have the answer. If you don’t, I will breifly explain it to you: DSLR stands for digital single lens reflex. It uses a reflex mirror, and hence the name. When you take a picture in a DSLR camera, the mirror flips up, which allows the light to hit the sensor.
So, the difference lies in the mirror technology. DSLT cameras has a fixed translucent mirror, and the DSLR cameras has a reflex moving mirror.Because of this reflex mirror, when you look through the viewfinder of a DSLR camera, what you see is exactly what you are going to get in the photograph. I guess that might give you an idea. I am not going to bore you by giving more technical details. The picture below shows the working of a DSLR and a DSLT camera.
DSLR vs DSLT — Who is better?
Now the question rises –Which one is better? – DSLT or DSLR
Below are some of the advantages of DSLT cameras
High frames per second (fps) shooting
Since there is no mirror flipping in DSLT cameras, you can shoot in high frames per second (fps). For dslr camera, it has to flip its mirror out of the way before every shot, which limits the frame rates. DSLT cameras can go upto 12 fps continuous shooting which no other system of cameras can do. I think it’s one of the incredible advancements in technology.
As I mentioned before, in a dslr there is a mirror in front of the sensor that flips up and down when a shot is taken. This mechanism takes time and creates vibrations in the camera body. These vibrations negatively affect image quality. But in a DSLT camera, since there is no mirror flipping, there is no question of vibration arises – this ensures good image quality.
Faster continuous AF system
Another advantage of DSLT cameras is faster continuous AF system. It focuses faster even between the shots. It is a big deal in video shooting since, unlike in DSLR cameras, it auto-focuses the moving subject.
- No viewfinder black out (or, no blackout time) when you take a picture. So you can view the scene while taking the shot. How cool is that! I think it is quiet useful for some action photography where you don’t want to miss anything.
- You can see white balance, ISO, Exposure compensation in the electronic viewfinder itself, which will give you a good estimation of the settings for taking the shot.
- Reduced size and weight. As DSLT cameras don’t use a pentaprism, and rely mostly on the electronic viewfinder, the size and weight would be slightly reduced.
Disadvantages of DSLT cameras
Everything comes at a price. The DSLT cameras have some disadvantages, too.
Optical view finder is dim: I think this is a major advantage: Since it reflects only 30% of light upwards, the optical view finder would be dim. This would be apparent especially when you use narrow apertures. Sony is solving this issue by implementing electronic viewfinders.
Poor low light performance: There might be some issues with low light performance since the light hitting on the sensor is less when compared to a DSLR.
Consumes power: Use of an electronic viewfinder consumes a lot of power.
Here is a video about Sony’s DSLT cameras:
NOTE: Translucent mirror technology is not new, though. This technology was first used by canon back in 1965. They used it for avoiding the mirror flipping , the viewfinder ‘blackout’, and for increasing the frame rates. But later they discontinued since the optical viewfinder gets dark at low apertures. Plus, the DSLRs came into the scene which offered good fps even with the reflex mirror.
So, what do you guys think about this? Do you think this technology will replace DSLR in future? Feel free to drop your comments.