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What Are Camera Parts?

Identify the Various Parts of Your DSLR or Advanced Camera

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When making the switch to a DSLR camera or to an advanced camera from a beginner point and shoot camera, you may be overwhelmed with the large number of buttons, dials, and parts that the advanced camera has. Learning the names of the various parts of your DSLR or advanced camera can help you use it more effectively.

Best of all, some of these same buttons and dials are available on an advanced point and shoot camera, too. Use these tips to find and remember the names of the most important parts of your DSLR camera or advanced camera.

(NOTE: Keep in mind that not every DSLR camera or advanced point and shoot camera will have the same layout; check your user guide for your camera’s specific layout.)

  • The mode dial is a dial that’s a little larger than a penny, usually located near your right index finger, as you hold the camera. Use the mode dial to select the shooting mode for the camera.

  • The lens mount is the circular area on the front of the DSLR camera body where the lens connects to the camera body. The lens mount’s surface contains small, raised bumps that are the camera’s CPU contacts. Keep in mind that only certain types of lenses can fit on your DSLR’s lens mount. The lens mount also includes a body cap, which should be used to cover the lens mount and protect the interior of the camera and the CPU contacts any time you don’t have a lens attached to the camera.

  • The hot shoe (also called the accessory shoe) is the flat, square area in the middle of the top of the camera. You can connect an external flash unit or other types of accessories to the hot shoe. Some cameras include a hot shoe cover, which is a flat piece of plastic that protects the hot shoe and which must be removed before using the hot shoe.

  • The battery compartment usually is located inside a panel along the bottom of the camera or behind a panel on the right side. This panel usually slides open. The battery compartment usually includes a memory card slot, too.

  • The USB and HDMI connectors usually are also behind a panel on the right or left side of the camera. This panel usually swivels open. Use these connectors to pass digital photos from the camera to the computer. Keep in mind that many cameras use mini USB connectors, requiring a specific USB cable.

  • The tripod socket is on the bottom of the camera, and it’s a small, threaded hole. You screw the tripod into the hole.
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