Twin lens reflex cameras such as the Blackbird, Fly possess an optical pathway that differs from common SLR and point & shoot cameras in that they have a pair of lenses, one atop the other. The bottom 'taking' lens, responsible for image capture, contains the aperture and shutter assembly and brings the light to the film plane behind it. The upper 'viewing' lens is solely for composing and has a reflex mirror which projects the image upwards to a horizontal ground glass shielded by a chimney stack hood.
The TLR design's main advantages are that the viewfinder is never blacked-out by a mirror during activation of the shutter, so the photographer sees the subject during the exposure, and that the away-from-the-eye way in which you use it tends to allow subjects to be more at ease around the camera.
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