Indicates what lens mount the camera has.
Controls the amount of light reaching the film or light sensor. Cameras that don't have an aperture ring often have an electronic control to adjust the aperture.
Depth of Field Scale
Indicates how much of the subject will be in focus.
Indicates the distance from the subject.
Used to focus on the subject when in manual mode.
A threaded ring to attach filters.
A threaded ring at the front of the lens for attaching filters.
For adjusting the focal length.
Conveniently, most SLR cameras have an Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) feature that will automatically take the 3 pictures for you. You simply set the EV value and the camera will take a picture that it thinks is properly exposed, a picture that is slightly under-exposed and a picture that is slightly over-exposed.
Factors that affect Depth of Field:
- f-number: Increasing f-number (reducing aperture diameter) increases DOF (foreground & background are all in focus). Decreasing f-number (increasing aperture diameter) decreases DOF (soft/blurred backgrounds).
- Focal length of the lens: The smaller the focal length number of the lens, the greater the DOF.
- Distance: The greater the distance of the subject from the camera, the greater the DOF.
A shallow DOF is ideal for photos where you want to call attention to your subject and not be distracted by the background, for example, portraits. A large DOF is ideal for landscape photos where you want everything in focus.
A simple way to improve the composition of your photos is to follow The Rule of Thirds. Divide your view into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. Imagine drawing horizontal and vertical lines so that you have 9 evenly sized rectangles. The 4 intersection points are your optimal points for placing your subject. More and more point and shoot cameras now offer a feature where you can turn on gridlines on your display screen. This helps to quickly compose your shots.
The Rule of Thirds helps you to compose well balanced shots that will make your photos more interesting and more pleasing to the eye. This same technique is often used by artists. Even though it's called the Rule of Thirds, keep in mind that it is more of a "guideline" than a fixed "rule". Depending on your photo, sometimes the Rule of Thirds should be ignored. Each photo is unique and should be composed in a way that suits the photo.