A Guide to Basic Camera Functions and Features
You will find plenty of characteristics that distinguish how one camera functions from the others. The range of the supplied zoom, the resolution of the digital sensor, plus the overall quality and range of exposure selections are important indicators. However, it is generally the more subtle camera functions that represent the actual distinction among models…
The difference in cost between a top-of-the-range SLR and an entry-level SLR is often considerable. This differential isn’t just about quality and brand name. There are actually numerous extras for which the keen photographer is willing to pay.
Autofocus camera functions
Autofocus (AF) is now a regular feature on virtually all SLRs and compacts. Nonetheless, some AF systems are far more sophisticated than others. Standard compacts use an active infrared program which works something like sonar to measure distances. Even though excellent in low light, they simply cant work with the longer distances a zoom lens uses. To handle this, AF SLRs and superior zoom compacts use a passive autofocus system built into the optics.
Possible issues Some aspects of automatic camera functions can lead to troubles. One example is the fact that the infrared autofocus functions used on compacts can’t ‘see’ through glass, which is opaque to IR light. The beam emitted by the camera merely reflects back as if it had met an opaque barrier – so the camera focuses on the surface of the glass instead of your intended subject.
A challenge with autofocus is the fact that you nonetheless need to have to make certain that the camera is locking on the proper part of the scene. Standard models just focus on a point within the centre of the image. If your subject is usually to the side of the frame, a function referred to as the focus lock can sometimes be used to change the focus area.
Other models take several readings so, to some degree, can guess exactly where your subject is positioned.
The greatest distinction in autofocus efficiency comes when photographing moving subjects. Some aren’t only quicker to react, but can continually adjust focus to track the subject. The most effective SLRs use a predictive autofocus that can continue to tweak the focus throughout the entire exposure, which could be as much as a quarter of a second.
Loading the camera has been a perennial dilemma with 35mm film cameras. In the event you get it wrong, your images might not be recorded. These days, most SLRs and compacts have built-in motors that advance the film for you, and rewind when the roll is finished.
APS film camera functions simplify film loading much more.
APS film cartridge APS film is an option to the beloved 35mm film. It can be slightly smaller in size, but is created to ensure that the user never sees the film – which makes virtually impossible to load incorrectly. Numbered symbols let you know exactly how much of the film has been used. APS cameras are common on compact cameras, but very rare on SLRs.
Another important difference between film transport systems is the number of shots that can be taken per second. Better camera functions allow for continuous shooting, which can be essential when photographing sporting events or other fast paced scenes. The leading motordrive speed may be as much as 10 frames per second (fps).
Digital cameras don’t use film, but the delay form taking one shot to the next is still an issue. This delay is due to the time it takes to process and save the digital information. A good camera features a burst mode which can save a limited number of shots quickly into a memory buffer.
The range of shutter speeds readily available differ from camera to camera. Lengthy shutter speeds are vital for night photography, whilst the fastest shutter speeds are valuable for action subjects. Very good camera functions provide many distinctive methods in which to adjust shutter speed or aperture to suit the way you perform – or to suit the topic.
Multiple Exposures This advanced camera function is availible only on a small number of film and digital cameras. It lets you combine more then one pictures within a single frame for surreal or artistic impact.
Programmed modes set each value automatically. With aperture and shutter-priority functions, you set one aspect while the camera adjusts the other. A manual mode, meanwhile, lets you be independent of the built-in meter for more extreme effects. Manual camera functions are also important for situations in which the automatic meters can fail.
Depth of field controls
Off-center subjects Very simple autofocus systems assume that the primary topic is always at the middle of the frame. For an off-center shot, first locate your subject within the middle of the frame before locking the focus setting into the camera functions. After this, recompose the shot with your subject off center. Cameras with multipoint autofocus commonly use the nearest of all of the distance readings calculated as a basis for focusing the lens.
Depth of field is essential for creative photography, as it defines how much of the image is in focus. With most camera functions, this effect can’t be observed until the photos are taken. Some SLRs have a preview button that provides an preview of how much of the shot will be in focus. Some models can use the autofocus camera function to ensure that all of the elements within the frame are kept sharp.