Cameras!

Cameras are the tools we use to do photography! It's a good idea to get to know your camera, and to understand how it works.

Technically, much of this chapter you don't need at all in order to take photos, but having an understanding of the basic workings of cameras - what they do and how they do it - will leave you a much more prepared photographer. This chapter aims to give you a curory insight into the workings, parts, types, and design of cameras.

If you are itching to start shooting photos, I won't stop you! Open your instagram app, or whatever you shoot with, and get going!

The Essential Camera: A box with a hole in one side.

There are as many different types of cameras as there are breeds of dogs. Maybe more. Maybe less. Maybe dogs are all about inter-breed copulating and have all sorts of nuanced breeds. I don't know, as a photographer I am naturally more of a cat person. The point is, there are tons of different types of cameras. From DSLR's to Pinholes, they all share the same basic design.

A camera is a light proof box with a lens (or small hole) on one side of the box, and an image sensor of some kind on the other. There is a shutter mechanism that opens and closes the hole/lens to allow light to enter this box.

Cameras generally have advanced mechanics that manage the shutter mechanism, they include timers to determine how long the shutter stays 'open' for, how 'open' the lens is, how sensitive the image sensor is, focusing the lens, and more. (See chapter on exposure) These settings are easily adjustable by rotating knobs, parts of the lens, spinning dials, or other convient methods.

Some cameras, such as disposable film cameras, don't have any way to change their settings, and are built in such a way that they can get a pretty good photo most of the time without having to worry about any of the advanced settings.


Whether you have a medium format Hasselblad, a dingy point-and-shoot, or a pinhole camera made out of a Pringles can, all cameras have a few parts in common.

Before we talk about this, we need to discuss the predescesor to the camera, the Camera Obscura.

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