If you’re new to world photography or maybe you’ve bought a camera and would like a decent foundation to start experimenting from. This is a great place to start! Lets Go!
UNDERSTANDING CAMERA BASICS
Camera technology is advancing all the time, however all camera’s are made up of a few components regardless of whether it is your Film, DLSR, Mirrorless or cellphone camera. A camera will consist of the following:
Your image sensor (or film) within your camera body is used to record data in the form of the light that enters through the lens when you open the shutter. In digital photography, the light sensitivity of the image sensor can be adjusted by the ISO value on your camera. This will affect the exposure as well as the quality of your image.
The aperture is usually situated in the lens and is the sphere shaped opening through which light is let through. The size of this opening can be controlled and made wider or narrower. The size of the opening affects the amount of light reaching the image sensor (exposure of the image) as well as the depth of field within an image.
The shutter is situated in front of the image sensor between the sensor and the lens opening. It is opened and closed in order to allow light to reach the sensor and produce an image. The length of time that the shutter is open will affect the amount of light that reaches the sensor (exposure of the image) and the clarity / blurriness in an image.
WHAT ARE DSLR & MIRRORLESS CAMERAS
A Digital Single Lens Reflex or DSLR Camera is named after it’s design. It is designed to use one lens to do two functions. Firstly, to look through (so you can compose your image before you take it). Secondly, to take the image itself.
Some older cameras would have two lenses build into the camera. One to look through and the other to take an image.
DSLR’s use a series of mirrors and prisms to reflect light coming through the lens into the viewfinder / eyepiece. When you press the shutter release button to take the image, the mirror lifts up and the shutter is ‘opened’ to expose your image sensor to the light entering through your lens.
An advantage of a DSLR is the fact that you can change lenses, allowing you grater flexibility and control. However, the fact that a DSLR camera houses the mirror and prism mechanisms means it is a larger camera.
A mirrorless camera is very similar to a DSRL in that it has a digital image sensor and interchangeable lenses. However, as the name suggests, it does not have a mirror or prism mechanism in order to reflect the light through the viewfinder or eyepiece. Instead, this mechanism has been removed and replaced with a digital viewfinder. When you look through the viewfinder / eyepiece you will be looking at a small screen that shows a live preview of the frame.
The advantage of this is that the removal of the mirror and prism mechanism allows for a smaller and lighter camera body size.
Lenses are an essential part of your camera. You may have heard photographers say that it’s worth investing in a good lens. This is because the lens is responsible for focussing the light in the scene onto your image sensor. Depending on the type and quality of the lens, you may end up with a more or less desired result.
A high quality lens may have quick focus capabilities, sharper details, more contrast and richer colours.
Another big factor when choosing a lens is the focal rage of a lens (zoom or fixed).
Telephoto lenses capture a much narrower field of view and help to focus in more closely onto a subject that is small or a distance away from you or to focus into the subject. Anything from a 100mm – 600mm focal length can be considered a telephoto lens. These lenses are great for wildlife, sports and anything else that you may be photographing from a distance.
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