Examining the Parts of a Digital Camera

If you're very new to digital cameras, you might be wondering what all those buttons, LEDs, and windows are for. Here's a quick introduction to the key components of the average non-SLR digital camera. Not every camera will have all these features, and some will have additional features not shown in Figures 1-1 and 1-2.

♦ Shutter release: Pressing this button halfway locks exposure and focus; press all the way to take a picture.

♦ Control buttons: Miscellaneous control buttons might turn on/off close-up mode, automatic flash, or other features; set picture quality; or activate the self-timer.

♦ Shooting mode dial: Most cameras use this button or dial for changing among different scene modes (such as Night, Portrait, or Sports), adjusting automatic or manual exposure choices, selecting Movie mode, or switching into close-up mode.

♦ Microphone: This captures audio for movie clips and voice annotations; it can even activate a sound-triggered self-timer.

Focus-assist light: This is an auxiliary illumination source that helps the camera focus in dim lighting conditions.

♦ Electronic flash: This provides light under dim conditions or helps fill in dark shadows.

♦ Optical viewfinder: This window, which doesn't show exactly the same view that the lens captures, is for framing and composing your picture.

Zoom lens: This magnifies and reduces the size of the image, taking you closer or moving you farther away.

♦ Lens cover: This protects the lens when the digital camera is turned off.

♦ Tripod socket: This allows you to attach the camera to a firm support, such as a tripod or monopod, plus other accessories, such as an external flash bracket.

♦ Docking port: Some cameras have a special dock that can be used to transfer photos, recharge the batteries, make prints, or perform other functions.

♦ Battery compartment: This contains the cells that power the camera.

♦ Power switch: Here is where you turn the camera on or off.

Book II Chapter 1

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Indicator LEDs

Optical viewfinder

Mode dial Control button

Power

Zoom

File-save LED

Optical viewfinder

Mode dial Control button

Power

Zoom

File-save LED

Cursor pad Print/e-mail photos

USB port Memory card slot

LCD panel Display control

Cursor pad Print/e-mail photos

USB port Memory card slot

Picture review Set/Execute button Figure 1-2: The back of a typical digital camera.

♦ Indicator LEDs: These indicators show status, such as focus and exposure, often with green and red go/no go LEDs (light-emitting diodes).

♦ LCD (liquid crystal display) panel: This shows the sensor's view of an image before exposure, shows preview images after exposure, and displays status, photo information, and menus.

♦ Display control/Menu button: This controls the amount of information shown in the LCD and produces menus. Some digital cameras have multiple buttons for recording menus, setup menus, and special functions.

♦ Picture review: Press this button to review the pictures you've already taken.

♦ Print/e-mail/share photos: Some digital cameras allow printing directly from the camera to compatible printers or marking pictures for printing or e-mailing later.

♦ Cursor pad: Use this to navigate menu choices. Many digital cameras use the cursor buttons to activate frequently accessed features, such as flash options, macro mode, exposure value adjustments, and a self-timer.

♦ Set/Execute button: Press this to activate a feature or set a menu choice to the current selection.

♦ Memory card slot: This accepts digital memory cards.

♦ USB port: Use this to connect your camera directly to your computer or to a printer via a USB cable.

♦ File-save LED: This light usually flashes or lights up to indicate that an image is currently being saved to the memory card. ^ ^ ||

♦ Power zoom control: Press this to zoom the lens in and out. Chapter 1

Digital Cameras For Beginners

Digital Cameras For Beginners

Although we usually tend to think of the digital camera as the best thing since sliced bread, there are both pros and cons with its use. Nothing is available on the market that does not have both a good and a bad side, but the key is to weigh the good against the bad in order to come up with the best of both worlds.

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