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The Parts of a Typical Digital Camera

If you’re new to digital cameras, you might be wondering what all those parts — the buttons, LEDs, and windows — are for. Here’s a quick introduction to the key components of the average non-SLR digital camera:

The front of a typical digital camera.
The front of a typical digital camera.
The back of a typical digital camera.
The back of a typical digital camera.
  • Shutter button: Press this button all the way to take a picture.

  • Control buttons: Adjust various camera settings.

  • Shooting mode dial: Change among different scene modes, adjust exposure choices, and so on.

  • Microphone: Capture audio for movie clips and voice annotations, or even activate a sound-triggered self-timer.

  • Focus-assist light: Helps the camera focus in dim lighting conditions.

  • Electronic flash: Provides addition light to your scene.

  • Optical viewfinder: To frame and compose your picture.

  • Zoom lens and control: Magnifies or reduces the size of the image.

  • Tripod socket: Allows you to attach the camera to a firm support.

  • Docking port: Can be used to transfer photos, recharge the batteries, make prints, or perform other functions.

  • Battery compartment: Contains the cells that power the camera.

  • Power switch: Turn the camera on or off.

  • Indicator LEDs: Show the camera’s status.

  • LCD (liquid crystal display) panel: The camera’s display.

  • Display control/Menu button: Controls the amount of information shown in the LCD and menus.

  • Picture review: Press this button to review the pictures you’ve already taken.

  • Cursor pad: Navigate menu choices.

  • Set/Execute button: Activate a feature or set a menu choice to the current selection.

  • Memory card slot: Accepts digital memory cards.

  • USB port: Access for a USB cable.

  • File-save LED: This light usually lights up to indicate that an image is being saved to the memory card.

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