DSLRs are often preferred by professional still photographers because they allow an accurate preview of framing close to the moment of exposure, and because DSLRs allow the user to choose from a variety of interchangeable lenses. Most DSLRs also have a function that allows accurate preview of depth of field.
Many professionals also prefer DSLRs for their larger sensors compared to most compact digitals. DSLRs have sensors which are generally closer in size to the traditional film formats that many current professionals started out using. These large sensors allow for similar depths of field and picture angle to film formats.