There are many different brands and styles of digital cameras, but you can count on a few basic parts to be the same no matter what model you have. Let’s review what those parts do.
Lens/Shutter: The lens manipulates and focuses light for your camera’s sensor. Lenses are often interchangeable, so you can switch between lenses to fit the type of pictures you want to take. Whatever lens you’re using will be covered by a shutter, which opens to let light in when you take a picture. The width of the shutter opening (the aperture) and its speed influence the outcome of the photo.
Viewfinder: The viewfinder is a small opening at the back of the camera; look through it to set up your shot before taking a picture.
Battery Compartment: The battery compartment usually opens at the bottom of the camera. Only use the types of batteries suggested by the manufacturer.
Memory Card Compartment: The memory card compartment is a small slot often located on the bottom or side of the camera. You’ll need a memory card that fits your camera to save your pictures. The area around the compartment will usually be labeled with the type of card you need; in most cases, this will be an SD memory card.
Shutter Release: The shutter release opens the camera’s shutter, which remains closed until you’re ready to take a picture. The shutter release is usually found on the top of the camera and to the right of the viewfinder.
Flash: The flash is built into the top of the camera to provide extra light in your shot. The flash can be set manually or enabled to activate automatically when more light is required, which can be a big help for beginners.
Mode Dial: The mode dial is a round spinner on the camera used to change how your camera takes pictures. Some modes are pre-programmed for different types of photography, while others let you adjust settings to your needs. We’ll cover the most common modes in the next section of this course.
Hot Shoe Mount: The hot shoe mount is a point of attachment on the camera to connect electronic accessories, such as powerful external flashes or microphones. These accessories can be expensive and require practice to use effectively, so it’s a good idea to get comfortable with your camera’s built-in features before purchasing add-ons.
Carefully review the slides below to see each part of the camera.