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Monday, January 29, 2007

Digital Camera Anatomy

Labels: Learning Center

The Nikon D70 shown above provides a good example of the controls that you're likely to encounter on most D-SLRs. Though control placement varies among models and manufacturers, many of the icons used are similar or identical from camera to camera.

If a compact digital camera will be your first camera or a replacement for a 35mm point-and-shoot, you may be overwhelmed at first with the myriad dials, buttons and switches staring back at you from all sides. Fear not. It's possible you won't use many of those buttons on a regular basis anyway. Once you've found the power switch, mode dial and shutter button, you're ready to start taking photos. The rest will come in time and practice.

For more experienced shooters, you'll find that compact digital cameras offer an amazing level of quality and control that you might not have expected. While easy to use for quick snapshots, these certainly aren't "point-and-shoot" cameras. Switch the mode dial from Auto to Manual and you'll have access to pro-level features such as exposure compensation and bracketing, manual focus, exposure and focus lock, selectable autofocus points and more. The high-end compacts are in many ways more comparable to a D-SLR than they are to the entry-level compacts that share their basic form factor.

Whether you're a new or experienced digital camera user, we recommend you take the extra minutes and read your owner's manual. These cameras often are so laden with features that it takes a read of the manual just to discover everything your camera is capable of doing. The Canon PowerShot G6 here is typical of the more advanced compact cameras in terms of features and control placement.

 

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