A camera is a device used to take photographs. They mostly work by letting in light (often through a lens and aperture) into the body of a camera (where a digital sensor or a roll of film is placed). A camera is absolutely essential for photography.
Types of cameras[edit | edit source]
Cameras range from a simple cell phone camera to a professional DSLR. For simple things, a cell phone camera will do.
Single Lens Reflex (SLR)[edit | edit source]
A single lens reflex camera, or SLR, involves light passing through a lens, in turn hitting a reflex mirror, which reflects it into the viewfinder. When the shutter button is pressed, the reflex mirror would fold and light would hit the film. The main difference between the SLR and the DSLR is that a DSLR uses a digital image sensor, while the SLR uses film. The first SLR camera was the Asahiflex, manufactured by Asahi (Pentax).
Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR)[edit | edit source]
A digital single lens reflex camera, is similar to a single lens reflex camera in internal operation. Light enters the camera body through a lens, is reflected by a reflex mirror, and then to the viewfinder. However, the only difference is that the image is not taken with film; instead, a digital image sensor and an image processor captures the photograph. In 1981, Sony revealed the Sony Mavica: one of the first SLR cameras not to use a roll of film. However, it wasn't until 1988 when Nikon released the first commercially available DSLR, the Nikon QV-1000C.
Mirrorless cameras work different in the fact that they do not have a reflex mirror. Instead, the optical viewfinder supplied in DSLRs is replaced by an electronic viewfinder. The removal of the reflex mirror allows mirrorless cameras to be lighter than most DSLRs, and less prone to internal mechanical failure since it has less moving parts. This, however, may create problems in the battery life of mirrorless cameras, as many mechanical functions has been replaced electronically. The first commercially available mirrorless camera was the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1, released in October of 2008.
Point-and-Shoot Camera[edit | edit source]
A point-and-shoot camera, also referred to as a compact digital camera, is often used by beginners in photography. All point-and-shoot cameras have the disadvantage that they are not interchangeable lens cameras. It is hard or sometimes impossible to manually focus, set the ISO, change the shutter speed, or readjust the aperture with a point-and-shoot camera. Therefore, professional or even advanced amateurs usually stay away from this type of camera.
Mechanics[edit | edit source]
All cameras have the same basic mechanics for working. All cameras consist of a lightproof box, and a hole where light can enter the box. Most modern cameras also have automated systems for the viewfinder, shutter speed, aperture, etc.