VIEWING SYSTEM Optical viewing can help you see what is being photographed. The Electronic viewing can allow you to compensate for colour balance, etc. by providing more information about the photo.
IMAGE SENSOR Since the dawn of photography, cameras have captured and stored images on glass plates or on film. Today, digital cameras capture the images on a nifty piece of technology – the image sensor. The image sensor is made up of millions of light sensitive photodiodes set on a grid, where each photodiode records a tiny portion of the image as a numeric value that corresponds to a specific brightness level, which is then used to create your image.
LENS OPTIONS Telephoto – used for taking subjects from a distance (e.g. wildlife), but narrower field of view & shallow depth of field. Standard – fixed focal length (similar to the human eye), usually 50 mm. Wide-angle – shorter focal length for for a wider angle of view & greater depth of field. Good for landscapes and group shots. Close-up – a.k.a macro lens, allows detailed images of small / near subjects (e.g. insects, plants).
FLASH The flash is only good for up to 1 meter from your subject, objects further away will not be illuminated. DSLR cameras allow for more control over the use of the flash.
1. AUTOMATIC MODE Most of the time, auto will pick the ideal settings for your shot. Uneven lighting is more difficult & flash may be triggered when not needed.
2. PORTRAIT MODE This mode “thinks” there is a subject in the foreground and creates a shallow depth of field. Flash will often be used to light your subject.
3. MACRO MODE Best for subjects smaller than your hand. Takes a shallow depth of field to focus on the subject. Works best in good lighting & with a tripod.
4. LANDSCAPE MODE Usually this mode uses a small aperture to create focus from front to back of the landscape photo. Works best in good lighting conditions – no flash needed.
5. SPORTS MODE Uses faster shutter speeds in order to capture fast-paced movement associated with sports. Works well in good lighting and continuous shooting mode.
6. NIGHT PORTRAIT MODE Balances dark background with lighting your foreground subject. Sometimes the flash will double-fire to compensate.
7. ADVANCED CAMERA MODES M (Manual) – allows the photographer to change every single setting; AV (Aperture-Priority) – allows the photographer to set the aperture value and the camera automatically sets the correct shutter speed; TV or S (Shutter Priority) – lets the photographer choose the shutter speed first (for example when shooting sports) and the camera automatically sets the correct aperture. P (Program mode) – similar to Auto mode - the shutter and aperture settings are determined by the camera, but the photographer can adjust the shooting and image-recording functions.
ISO ISO ratings determine the image sensor’s sensitivity to light. Lower ISO numbers produce crisper, more defined high resolution images. Higher ISO numbers work in lower light situations but appear more grainy.
SHUTTER SPEED The Shutter Speed indicates the speed in which the curtain opens then closes, and each shutter speed value also represents a “stop” of light. The shutter speed is measured in fractions of a second.
APERTURE The Aperture controls the lens’ diaphragm, which controls the amount of light traveling through the lens to the film plane. The aperture setting is indicated by the f-number, whereas each f-number represents a “stop” of light.
DEPTH OF FIELD larger aperture setting = shallower depth of field smaller aperture setting = deeper depth of field
EXPOSURE The exposure of a photo is determined by the ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture combined. Any change in any one of the three elements will have a measurable and specific impact on how the remaining two elements react to expose the film frame or image sensor and how the image ultimately looks.