If you have worked with a film camera before, it would be very easy for you to familiarize yourself with a digital camera as they are designed for that purpose. Digital cameras also come with many helpful features to help you take awesome pictures. Most of the cameras have basically the same features than others. I will be introducing you to the typical features of a camera and would then continue to discuss the more specialized functions in another article called “Starting to Use Your Camera” Always check your camera manual for additional features.
The Side Of A Digital Camera
A camera should have a wrist strap lug on the side where you can attach the camera’s wrist or carry strap. On small cameras it is easier to use the wrist strap as it’s very light and easy to work with, but with the larger digital cameras, it’s best to use a carry strap that you put around your neck to void it from falling or damaging. Always ensure that you take this precaution, because when your camera falls, it would probably not work again.
The Front Of A Digital Camera
The viewfinder enables you to look at a scene that you want to photograph. There are two types: Optical and electronic. If you use an optical viewfinder, it means that you can simply turn the large colour screen off to save battery life. If you are using the electronic viewfinder, you are able to make use of the benefit to display the scene you want to photograph. This however uses a bit of power.
AF Assist Emitter
The autofocus (AF) assist emitter is a port that contains a light emitting diode (LED) to help you to focus your image in a low light area and situation. This also assists on reducing the redeye phenomenon.
A digital camera has an automated built-in flash unit that will provide light in dark situations to reduce heavy shaded shadows even in bright sunlight.
The camera comes with a zoom lens that enables you to zoom in and out when photographing a scene. The results when changing the focal length will be displayed on the display screen on the back of the camera or in the viewfinder.
Memory Card and Battery Cover
You will also find a small cover that protects hidden sockets where you insert your digital memory card and battery and then cover them safely again.
The Top Of A Digital Camera
A camera has an on/off button that is electrically powered by batteries that you insert in a battery socket.
A shutter release would be the most important button that you will use on a camera. There are two different pressures on a shutter release button. A half press that you hold to focus your images as required. Once the image is in focus, it will make a beep that indicates the focus being ready. When you complete the press, it will fire the shutter and take the photo.
When you switch on a camera, it will extend a zoom lens into position to take a photo. The lens can have different ratios up to ten times of the extended measurements. Normally cameras have three times the extended zoom ratio.
Lens Zoom Control
A zoom lens control is a lever that controls the lens to make it zoom in or out. It will make adjusting views very easy when taking a photograph. This lever is not always found on the top of a digital camera though.
The Back Of A Digital Camera
Viewfinder (Back View)
The viewfinder (back view) part of the camera is used to compose a shot. It also has two small indicators showing what the status is on your flash and focus. A green light would mean that the focus is in focus. The flash indicator will flash when it is busy charging and will be steady when it is ready.
A high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) socket is where you will find the location to connect your digital camera to your personal computer. You can also use it to connect to your television (TV) for displaying your images or videos in high-definition.
LCD (Colour Screen)
The colour display screen is used to show a live display of any subject before you release the shutter. It is also used to view your images after taking them. When you are not busy taking photos and need to set the camera’s settings, the settings will be displayed here as well.
Adjustment Buttons & Controls
Depending on the type of camera you have, you will find various adjustment buttons on the camera that is used to control functions that is frequently used. These functions will control the different types of modes the camera has.
Jog buttons are used to scroll around and through menus and images. The centre button is used to confirm an action of the camera’s shooting functions.