Tips & Tutorials

[Lesson 2] Knowing the Different Parts of the Camera

After getting hold of a DSLR camera, start by memorizing the name of the different parts before you start using it. A proper understanding of the names and functions is the primary step toward improving your photography skills. (Reported by: Ryosuke Takahashi)

Front

1: Shutter Button

Press this button to release the shutter. The shutter button stroke is divided into two stages: press the button down halfway to activate the AF function, and press it down fully to release the shutter.

2: Lens Mount

This is the section for connecting the exchangeable lens to the camera body. Attach the lens by sliding it along the surface of the mount.

3: Mirror

Light entering through the lens is reflected from this mirror toward the viewfinder. The mirror is movable, and flips up immediately before a shot is taken.

4: Battery Compartment

Load the supplied battery here. Insert the battery with the orientation of the battery terminal aligned with that inside the camera.

5: Tripod Socket

This is a socket placed at bottom of the camera body for attaching the camera to a commercially sold tripod. The size of the screw is standardized, so a tripod by any manufacturer would be usable.

6: Lens Release Button

Press this button when you want to detach the lens. The lens lock pin retracts when the button is pressed, enabling you to turn the lens freely. Before shooting, lock the lens into place by turning it until a "click" sound is heard.

7: Lens Mount Index

Align the mark on the lens with this mark when you are attaching or detaching a lens. For EF lenses, use the red index.

8: Built-in Flash

When needed, you can fire the flash to capture a shot of dimly-lit scenes. Flash may be automatically fired in some modes.

Viewfinder Display

1: AF Point

Indicates the position of the focus during AF (autofocus) shooting. You can choose to select an AF point automatically or manually.

2: Shutter Speed

Indicates the time interval during which the shutter is open. The shutter speed value is denoted in the "1/parameter" format. However, only the parameter value is shown in the viewfinder. Increasing the parameter value shortens the time interval the shutter remains open. Shutter speeds slower than 1/4 second are indicated as, for example, 0''3, 0''4, 0''5, 0''6, 0''8, 1'', or 1''3. In this case, 1"3 means 1.3 seconds.

3: Aperture Value

This value indicates the extent to which the aperture blades inside the lens are open. A smaller value means the aperture is more widely open, which allows more light to be captured. The selectable aperture value range varies according to the lens in use.

4: ISO Speed

The ISO speed setting varies constantly when the Auto setting is selected. A higher ISO speed makes it easier to capture shots of a dimly-lit scene.

Rear

1: Eyecup

The eyecup prevents external light from entering when your eye is in contact with the eyepiece. A soft material is used to reduce the burden on the eye and the forehead.

2: Viewfinder Eyepiece

Look through the eyepiece to view the image you want to capture. Camera settings can also be displayed in the viewfinder in addition to the image.

3: MENU Button

Use this button to display the menu for adjusting the different camera functions. After selecting a menu item, you can adjust the camera settings in greater detail.

4: LCD Monitor

In addition to the shooting settings as shown in the illustration here, the captured image as well as text information such as the menu can also be displayed on the LCD monitor. Also, you can magnify the display image to check the details. With a Vari-angle LCD monitor, the angle of the monitor can be altered during Live View shooting, making it easier to capture low-angle or high-angle shots.

5: Playback Button

This is the button for playing back images you have captured. Pressing the button once displays the last image you captured or played back on the LCD monitor.

6: Erase Button

Use this button to erase unwanted images.

7: Access Lamp

The lamp appears blinking when there is data transmission between the camera and the memory card. Do not open the card slot or battery compartment cover while the light is blinking. Doing so may cause the camera to malfunction.

8: SET Button/Multi-controller

The Multi-controller keys can be used to move between the menu items or to move the magnified display to a different point during image playback, while the SET button is used to confirm a selection. In the shooting mode, the function of the button switches to the one indicated by the icon.

9: Speaker

Audio sound of a recorded movie can be played back through the speaker. During movie playback, turning the Main Dial allows you to adjust the volume level. Not only so, you can also select and play back the background music from the menu screen.

10: Focus Point Selection Button

Use this button to select the position to set the focus (the AF point) during AF shooting. You can select any of the AF points manually.

11: Live View Shooting/ Movie Shooting Switch

Use this button to turn on or turn off the Live View function. Pressing the button once displays the Live View image on the LCD monitor, and the camera is ready for Live View shooting. To record a movie, set the shooting mode to "Movie shooting," and press this button to start recording. To stop, press the button again.

12: Dioptric Adjustment Knob

Use this knob to adjust the clarity of the viewfinder image according to your eyesight. To do so, turn the knob while looking through the viewfinder.

Settings on LCD Monitor Screen

1: Shooting Mode

Displays the text or icon corresponding to the shooting mode you have selected as you turn the Mode Dial.

2: Shutter Speed

Displays the time interval during which the shutter is open. Increasing the parameter value shortens the time interval the shutter remains open.

3: Battery Level Display

Displays the remaining battery level with an icon. The illustration here shows the state when the battery level is still full. The icon display changes as the battery level decreases.

4: Shots Remaining

Indicates the number of remaining shots that can be captured. The number varies with the capacity of the memory card in use as well as the image-recording quality you have selected.

5: Image-recording Quality

Displays the image-recording quality that is currently selected. The icon here indicates the state when JPEG Large/Fine is selected.

6: ISO Speed

A higher ISO speed makes it easier to capture shots of a dimly-lit scene. Generally, ISO 100 is used as the standard setting. In the ISO Auto setting, the optimal value is automatically selected according to the scene. You can also choose to set the ISO speed manually.

7: Aperture Value

This value indicates the extent to which the aperture blades inside the lens are open. A smaller value means the aperture is more widely open, which allows more light to be captured. The aperture value is also known as the f-number, which varies with the lens in use.

Top

1: Focus Mode Switch

Use this switch to set the focusing mode to Automatic (AF) or Manual (MF).

2: Microphone

This is a built-in microphone for capturing the audio sound during movie recording. The microphone used may be monaural or stereo depending on the camera model.

3: Strap Mount

Pull the end of the strap through the eyelet, and secure it firmly while ensuring that the two ends of the strap are well-balanced.

4: Hot Shoe

This is a terminal for attaching large external flash units. Data is transmitted between the camera and the flash unit through the contacts. Maintain the contacts in a clean state to ensure proper firing of the external flash when needed.

5: Mode Dial

Turn this dial to select a shooting mode according to the scene you want to capture. The shooting modes are largely divided into two different zones, Creative and Basic.

A: Creative Zone

The Creative Zone modes allow users to select and set functions according to their intended purpose.

B: Basic Zone

In the Basic Zone modes, the camera automatically selects the appropriate settings according to the selected scene.

6: Power Switch

Use this switch to power on or power off the camera. When the power of the camera is left on for a prolonged period of time, it switches automatically to the standby mode to conserve power. For some cameras, the power switch comes with a Movie icon as shown in the illustration, which allows you to switch to the Movie shooting mode directly.

7: ISO Speed Setting Button

Press this button to adjust the sensitivity of the camera toward light. ISO speed is an international standard that is determined based on the sensitivity of negative films.

8: Main Dial

This is a multi-purpose dial that allows you to perform tasks such as adjusting the value of the shooting settings and jumping through playback images.

9: Zoom Ring

Turn the zoom ring to alter the focal length. The selected focal length can be identified from the numbers and index marks at the lower end of the lens.

10: Focus Ring

When the camera is in the Manual Focus (MF) mode, turn this ring to adjust the focus. The position of the focus ring varies according to the lens in use.

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