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Part 1. Getting Comfortable with Your Di... > Anatomy of a Digital Camera

Anatomy of a Digital Camera

Photo courtesy of Canon USA, Inc.

Types of Digital Cameras

Even simple point-and-shoot cameras have an LCD display for composing pictures and configuring the camera.

A 3x optical zoom lens is typical of point-and-shoot cameras.

A few mid-range cameras have a hot shoe or other provision for removable electronic flash.

Most mid-range cameras offer longer zoom ratios (this one has a 4x instead of a 3x zoom).


Digital cameras can be divided into several categories, based on their lenses, their resolution (number of horizontal and vertical pixels), the type of storage they use, and the level of manual control they provide for exposure and focus.


Point-and-Shoot Cameras

The Pentax Optio 230 is a typical point-and-shoot digital camera. It has limited manual control, a short (3x) zoom range, and relatively low resolution (2 megapixels). Photo courtesy Pentax, Inc.


Mid-Range Cameras

The Nikon Coolpix 5400 is a typical mid-range digital camera. It offers a wide range of manual picture controls and a 5.1 megapixel resolution for enlargements up to 16×20 inches. Photo courtesy Nikon USA.

Many high-end cameras offer a wide lens opening (f2.8–3.1) for better shooting in dim light.

Many high-end cameras offer selectable auto/manual focus for more creative control of focus.

Interchangeable lenses enable digital SLR cameras to use lenses made for film cameras.

Digital SLR cameras can also use the same electronic flash units made for film cameras.



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