Functions of an SLR camera

Mind Map by kristielamb, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by kristielamb about 5 years ago


Mind Map on Functions of an SLR camera, created by kristielamb on 12/08/2014.

Resource summary

Functions of an SLR camera
1 Looking for a subject
1.1 Human sight can perceive a much wider range of light intensities than a digital camera sensor. We can look through a window and still see what is inside at the same time, even though the light conditions inside are totally different from these outdoors. Cameras, and especially digital cameras, cannot. So on camera, you will only see what's outside through the window or what's inside.
2 Steady your camera
2.1 If you have a tripod, use one; if you have a solid surface to rest on, then do so. Not that a tripod is as necessary as many people say it is; but to observe the effects of various camera settings, it's best if you get several shots of exactly the same thing. Tripods really come in handy for slower shutter speeds. Most pictures go bad because of a camera shake. Though as mentioned above, if your lens has an automatic stabiliser, use it....
3 Play with your camera's ISO speed.
3.1 The ISO speed is a measure of your camera's sensor's sensitivity to light; a lower number is less sensitive, and a higher number is more sensitive. Take a photo of your subject at its lowest ISO speed (or "slowest", typically 50, 100 or 200), and then take one at its highest (800, 1600 or more).
4 Set your lens' aperture (also called the diaphragm).
4.1 This might be a dial on your lens with a series of numbers on it (which will typically fall anywhere between around 1.4 and 22 on most lenses); otherwise, refer to your camera's instructions. The diaphragm is just that: a opening towards the front of your lens that lets more or less light onto the sensor. The size of the diaphragm is expressed as a ratio of focal length to aperture size (hence, they are referred to as, for example, f/5.6); consequently, a smaller aperture (less light onto your sensor) is expressed by a larger number. So, take two photographs, one with a larger aperture, and then stop down and take one with a smaller aperture.
5 Manual
5.1 This will tell the camera to give up all control of trying to expose your picture properly. Most of the time, you will not need to use this (and shouldn't; exposure control exists for a reason). But we'll need to do this if we're going to show the effects of shutter speed.
6 Shutter speed
6.1 See your manual for the exact details of how to do this. Shutter speeds are numbers which go up in a sequence that roughly doubles each time, and normally expressed as a fraction of a second; i.e. 1 second, 1/2, 1/4, 1/16, 1/25, and so on (each one usually being called a "stop"). Take two pictures at shutter speeds a couple of stops apart
7 Lens
7.1 50mm
7.1.1 How human see
7.2 28mm
7.2.1 Wide angle
7.3 80mm
7.3.1 Telephoto
8 Flash
8.1 SLRs generally can automatically control output of their internal flash, or an external flash with much higher maximum power, to provide even light across a subject. Use a flash at reduced power (applying negative "flash exposure compensation") in sunlight to soften but not eliminate shape-defining shadows. Use a flash in dim light to light the scene. Bouncing a flash off the ceiling (with an external unit with a hinged head) will softly light a large area. A slower shutter speed makes the scene's ambient light more conspicuous but don't use such a slow shutter speed that the ambient light can blur the scene due to camera shake or subject movement over a long exposure.
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