No matter how long you have your digital camera, there are always some parts of the camera to learn. And if you just bought your first camera, the learning curve may seem somewhat steep.
In this tutorial we’ll help you get the most out of your DSLR camera by explaining some of the key features of the camera that are found on almost every model. Learning these camera features early in your development will avoid some of the common mistakes and help you make better photos.
FRONT Parts Of The Camera
1 Red eye reduction
To prevent the flash from reflecting on people’s retina, causing red eyes, this lamp will emit a small glow of light to make the person’s pupils shrink before the main flash. The lamp also functions as a timer countdown indicator.
2 Focusing ring
In Auto Focus (AF) mode, this ring rotates until the camera has focused on the subject. In manual focus mode, you can rotate the focus ring by hand to focus on a specific subject by looking through the viewfinder until you get the desired focus.
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3 Zoom ring
Rotate this ring clockwise to zoom out in a wide-angle view. Rotate it counterclockwise to zoom in, for a close-up on your subject (only on zoom lenses, obviously).
4 Flash button
When shooting using Creative Zone or manual modes, you can use the built-in flash that opens by pressing here.
5 Focus mode change
Leave on AF (Auto Focus) if you want the camera to do the autofocus, done with a slight press on the trigger button. Turn the switch on Manual Focus (MF) when you want to control the focus. In MF mode, you can still use the AF points on the viewfinder to inform you when the subject is in focus.
6 Image Stabilizer
Lenses with Image Stabilizer (IS) are designed to stop the blur caused by camera shake (which is especially noticeable when you’re zooming in on a distant subject). Nikon lenses have a similar switch called VR (Vibration Reduction).
7 Built-in microphone
Most cameras like the Canon 500D (from the photo above) can record video. The sound is recorded through a microphone like this (although it will also record camera handling noises such as the zoom ring being rotated).
8 Depth of Field Preview
By pressing here, you can reduce the current aperture of the lens. You can then view how much of the image will be in focus by looking through the viewfinder or checking Live View mode.
1 Opening/exposure compensation button
In Manual mode, hold this button down and turn the main dial to open or close the opening (diaphragm). In some other modes (such as Aperture Value), you can configure the camera to open or close a stop using this button and the main dial.
2 AF point selection
Press this button, then rotate the main dial to select which autofocus points the camera will use. It also allows you to zoom in on an image when playing it on the camera’s LCD.
3 AE Lock
This button allows you to lock the camera exposure once you have done the scene lighting reading. You can also use it to zoom out an image when it is displayed on the LCD in playback mode. It also allows you to focus when using Live View.
4 Live View
Press here to display what the camera will capture on the LCD screen. Most new cameras have a live LCD function, which prevents you from having to look through the viewfinder.
5 Cross keys
These crossed main buttons allow you to navigate through camera menus and sub-menus. You can then press the “Set” button to select a specific setting from the menu. Nikon calls these multi-selector buttons. Each button also acts as a shortcut to popular functions such as WB (White Balance) or AF (autofocus).
6 Self timer
This button allows you to switch from single-shot to continuous shooting mode (or change the self-timer settings).
7 Play button
The play button allows you to review the photos you’ve captured and that are on the camera’s memory card.
8 Go out like a light
The symbol of the garbage can is universal; it allows you to delete the file you are currently viewing on the camera’s LCD screen.
9 Menu button
Click here to access a wide range of menus and sub-menus, so you can change the settings to your needs. This button allows you to access and change image quality settings, for example.
1 Built-in flash
When there is not enough light available to capture decent exposure, the DSLR Camera lets you open a built-in pop-up flash to illuminate some situations. If there is not enough light for auto focus, the flash unit can also make a light shot to help, called af auxiliary light.
2 Shutter button
Press this button to the end to make the photo. Press it lightly, halfway, to focus and read the lighting of the scene. Also press here to take the camera out of standby mode.
3 Main Dial
Rotating this dial allows you to manually set the aperture or shutter speed of the camera. It is called a command selector on a Nikon.
4 ISO button
Click here to choose an ISO speed. You can, for example, use the main dial to select a more low-light ISO speed. You can also set the ISO speed manually by passing through the menu system on most digital SLRs and compact cameras.
5 Power button
Turn off the camera when not in use (although it automatically drops into standby mode to save power after 30 seconds).
Rotate this dial to choose a shooting mode. The camera will set the appropriate aperture and shutter speed setting (as well as the processing color in different ways depending on the mode). There are basic shooting modes for each subject type (such as portrait and landscape).
7 Flash shoe
You can mount a dedicated flash on top of the camera to illuminate objects a little further apart – and perform more creative and effective flash shots.