We will go over the main camera buttons and features of a typical camera. We are not going to in depth because every camera is very different, so we will see a general layout and buttons for what you might see on your specific camera.

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Typically, in the front of the DSLR camera, you will find a button to switch out the lens around the base of the lens. Also, in the front, on the right side of the camera, is where you will probably find the shutter release button along with maybe the dial to change aperture setting or some other type of setting. Also, in the right, really within shot of your front index finger, you will be able to turn off and on your camera on most cameras. There will be too a dial where you can change settings in the type of shooting mode you want to be in. Moving over the top, this is typically where you will see a hot shoe mount for an external flash or a video shotgun recording microphone. You will also see an internal flash on some cameras and there will be also a button on the left side which when push will pop up the flash.

On the back of the camera is where you will find your viewfinder on a DSLR or electric viewfinder on a mirrorless camera and a screen. Some cameras have articulating screens where you can spin around but most cameras will have a screen that is fixed to the back, so you will be able to see the photos that you’ve taken. Also, you will see more buttons for dials for changing settings. You will sometimes see another spinning dial back where you can change more settings. You will also find your menu buttons, info buttons and a play button or a trash can button to review photos.

Typically, on camera right, you will find where you put your memory cards, a lot of times it is just a door that you can open, and you will see a slot for the memory card. A lot of times there will be a logo or symbol on how actually put your memory card in. On some cameras, you will see dual slots and other cameras you will see compact flash slots but a lot of cameras that we will be talking about are using SD cards.

On the bottom of the camera is typically where you find your battery mount. Some cameras also house your SD card inside the battery mount, so if you can’t find it check inside there. Also, you will find on the bottom a hole for a tripod, where you are going to fix your tripod plate to on the camera.

On the camera left side is typically where you will see all the ports for your camera, like USB ports, HDMI ports or microphone ports, depending on your camera. Also, on the top of the camera are your lens strap holders, in some cameras it is sort of built-in, but it is where you would slide your lens strap in.

When taking a look at a mirrorless camera we will see how similar it is, you can see both cameras have shutters on the top and the right, the both have dials up here on the front and they both have lens release buttons on the front as well. Some will have a lot of dials up top to change settings. The back is very similar too, it has buttons again to change different settings as a screen, some fixed, some not. Again, like the DSLR, on the right side is the SD cards slots and again on the bottom you can see the battery door and a screw for tripod. On the left and right side, there have the strap holders too. Basically, a lot of things are the similar and the same. Every camera is different, but you can see how similar they are even between DSLR and mirrorless cameras.

Continue to lesson 36: Understanding camera scene modes

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