Digital SLR Camera Controls on the Back - dummies

By David D. Busch

Part of Digital SLR Cameras & Photography For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Because you can do so many different things with a dSLR camera, the learning curve is a bit steep. You’re a more serious photographer, though, so those options are probably the reason you bought a digital SLR in the first place — even if you might find all those controls daunting at first. This list will help you get your dSLR controls under control:

  • Autofocus lock: Lock the focus zone at its current setting so that you don’t accidentally switch to another focus zone while shooting.

  • Cursor movement pad: A four-way cursor control pad that you can use to navigate menus and move indicators (such as focus zones) in your viewfinder.

  • Delete Photo: Press to delete the current photo.

  • Information: Change the status information display.

  • Jump: Advance to the next group of photos during review or to the next menu screen.

  • LCD screen: Use this screen to review your photos after you take them and to view menu options.

  • Main command dial: Spin this dial to adjust the main settings, such as exposure value (EV) or shutter speed.

  • Memory card access lamp: This lamp, usually green or red, illuminates when the camera is writing to the memory card.

  • Memory card door: The cover over the SD or CompactFlash slot.

  • Menu: Press to navigate your camera’s setup, picture-taking, and playback menu options by using the multi-selector or cursor movement pad to move the menu cursor.


  • On/Off switch: Flip your dSLR on or off. Typical cameras sip juice judiciously, so you might not need to turn off your camera until you finish a shooting session.

  • Playback: Press to activate picture review.

  • Print/share: Mark the displayed image for printing.

  • Zoom in/zoom out: Magnify and de-magnify the image during picture review.