Unit 1


unit 1

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Component parts of a digital camera

Whether you use a mobile phone, compact digital camera or a digital SLR you will probably be familiar with digital cameras and how to take pictures. Below is a brief overview of the component parts of a digital camera.


The Lense

All digital cameras has a lense. The lense is usually made of several pieces of glass and other elements. The lense focuses the image onto the digital sensor, where it is captured for storage.




The shutter on a digital camera is a component that opens and closes to control the length of exposure. The exposure is the length of time light falls on to the sensor. The shutter opening time affects the image exposure and how motion is shown.



Every camera has an aperture. Sometimes fixed but usually adjustable, the aperture is a hole that varies in size to control the amount of light falling on the sensor. Aperture is measured in f-stops: a higher number represents a smaller amount of light.


With a high aperture the shutter can stay open longer (as less light gets to the sensor). This type of setting allows you to create motion blurring images like the one below.


An image created using a high apperture and long shutter speed



The sensor transforms light from the lense to digital information which is then stored on a memory card. The most popular measure for the Sensor Chip is Pixels Per Inch (PPI) (i.e. 3.3 Mega pixels, 4 Mega pixels, etc.) and range from 1.3-22 Mega pixels. The more pixels the larger the digital image can be enlarged and stay clear and sharp.



Most digital cameras come with a built in flash. These are useful for close-ups in terms of providing lighting up to around 4 metres. These can also be used to fill shadows in sunlight. One of the main problems with using a flash is red eye. This is when pupils appear red in an image. This is caused by light reflecting off the retinas in our eyes. Most digital cameras allow you to change the settings of the flash e.g. red-eye reduction.


Further Reading

Part 1 Components of a digital camera by Duane Brovan

Part 2 Components of a digital camera by Duane Brovan



Anthony Bennett



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