How Does A Camera Work?

Photography - 101 Basic Photography Concepts
11 minutes
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So how does the camera work? Let's understand some of the basics, the terminology, because in all reality ever since they started making cameras, the fundamentals have been the same, the elements have been the same, they might have changed the icons, the button placements, these little details, but the way they actually work, it's been the same since we started making cameras even back in the film days, when, of course, 100 years ago, we didn't really have buttons, right? But but he's absolutely right in that, you know, most of the components as far as the aperture, the shutter speed, the sensor, I mean, we went from film to sensors, but everything is stayed the same ISO and so forth. Alright, so well, where should we start? Let's start with lenses. Okay, well, the first thing I probably bring up is the focal links.

Let's talk about focal lengths. So here in my hand, I have an 18 to 55. What do you got? I've got a 55 to 50. Okay, so the focal length is measured in millimeters and basically the lower that number so if we go from 18 to 14 to 13 to 10. The wider is Getting, if I wanted that wide view, I would be on the 18th of your lens or the 55 of my lens.

But if I wanted to zoom in and maybe narrow into a portrait, then I'd be on the bigger number side. So like the 250 on mine, or what are you on, I can only go up to 55. So, okay, the way that they've designed these kit lenses is basically one lens kind of picks up where one left off. So the widest you can get on the 55 to 250 is 55. the tightest is at 250 and the widest I can get on this is 18 millimeters. the tightest is 55 millimeters. But of course there are tons of different lenses that vary in range, but that's just the basic rule on on focal lengths.

Okay, so that's how it works. The lower the number, the wider the angle, and then the higher the number, the tighter the more zoomed you're going to be. Okay, so, well let's talk about the aperture. What is the aperture because that's the next component of a lens that kind of matters. So the aperture is kind of like the pupil of your eye. So let's say I went into the bathroom and the lights are on and bright.

What happens to my people, it'll shrink down. And that's pretty much what the aperture in the lens does. It opens and it closes and it controls the amount of light that comes in. Do you do this often in bathrooms? Are you looking at me when I'm doing my selfies? I will flick the light switch on and off and watch my pupils.

But yeah, that you're exactly what that happens to when, let's say you're in a movie theater, you're watching movie and then you just step directly outside. It's super bright and almost like you can actually hurt your eyes. Well, it's not I don't think it can damage them, but maybe if it's bright enough, but it does like it's physically uncomfortable. Right, right. So you step outside and it takes a couple minutes for those for your eyes to adjust your pupils they closed down and it lets in less light, the exact same thing happens on a lens and I have here a manual aperture lens that I can actually show you guys. So let me see here where my little dial is a little after preview lever here.

So if you notice this is at its widest open setting, okay, I can actually close down the aperture to let in less and less light. It does something else too when we have a wide open aperture not only are we letting in more light, but we're also well it's doing something else What is it doing from an artistic standpoint now if you guys like that blurry look where maybe I'm looking at pie and he's in focus and everything behind him is blurred. That's because I controlled my aperture. And if I opened it up really, really wide, he would be in focus and everything else would be blurred. Now if I squint my eyes, right, yeah, absolutely. That would be like phrasing the aperture to that highest setting where it kind of closes down then everything sharpens.

So as you get older you're trying to do this to read same thing. She would not know this because she's super young. Right? But um, yes, that's exactly right. So we're controlling the depth of field with our aperture right. So the wider the aperture the larger that opening, the less depth of field we have meaning more blurry in the background.

More blur behind your subject or wherever you're focusing. The smaller you go down. Again, the less light we're allowing, we're allowing much, much less light. And we also increase the depth of field. So the more of the image is going to be sharp. And what's that called?

Blurry, that blurry effect. Oh, the blurry effect. vocab, say it again. Bo. Okay. It's pronounced like, Well, everybody says it in kind of a different way.

That's totally fine. The correct pronunciation of I almost said pronunciation. The correct pronunciation of bow cat is bow like bow and arrow and cat like kettle, right? Is the Japanese a Japanese word? That's right. And the interesting thing about that term, we often use that term just to just just to talk about the blurb basically, but the actual definition is talking about the aesthetic quality of the blurb.

So you'd say a lens has great quality to the bokeh. You'd say that but it really doesn't matter if we say okay, we're basically referring just to that blurry area. All right. So light pass. Through our aperture. Now the aperture is actually a component of what you mentioned earlier, the exposure triangle, right?

That was actually number one for us. Yeah. So that's the first component light passes through the aperture. The aperture controls the amount of light going through, and then it reaches the inside of the camera. Now, this is the interesting part, I'm going to take this lens off now I wouldn't necessarily recommend taking lenses off and leaving them off the camera. But what do you see inside of there?

That is a mirror that is a mirror, check out see this little mirror here. When you look through the viewfinder, a lot of people think that they're seeing the sensor or they're seeing basically Yeah, where the image is recorded, but in reality, what are they actually seeing a mirror. I'm here, I used to think that I was looking through the lens that was wrong. We all did. We always thought that that's how it worked. But when we look through the viewfinder, there's actually another mirror it's sometimes referred to as a penta mirror or penta prism on the top of the camera and basically where the light comes in, so it goes in through the aperture it hits this mirror and reflects up to that penta mirror And then it comes through the viewfinder.

So what you're actually seeing is just these reflections coming off the mirror. Alright, so let's flip this up. This is the part that I would not recommend doing. So we're going to flip the mirror up and you guys can see inside there's an actual little door here. Door. She already knows all this.

You're actually I know. It's kind of cool to look at Wait, but yes, no, you're giving me the heebie jeebies. All right, this is my camera so it's a my old camera so it doesn't really matter. So you can see the shutter right underneath that so like Michelle said, when the mirror flips up, that's when the light hits the shutter the shutter opens to reveal the sensor and then the image is recording the sensor. Now our aperture control the amount of light right what is the shutter control the shutter controls the duration in which your sensor is going to be exposed? Exactly.

And then we talked about how basically every component kind of has that exposure related side and the artistic related side. So what is the artistic so hold on this is by the way, number two overexposure trying, oh yes, this is number two of the exposure. Okay, so shutter speed Again, my question was if Okay, so then after side we had that exposure and the artistic related function, what about the shutter speed side. Now if I want to see motion, I can drag my shutter meaning slow it down, or if I want to freeze it, then I can speed it up. Okay? So that's the artistic side, the faster the shutter you're freezing action, the slower the shutter you're capturing or showing motion.

Okay, perfect. So now we expose the image or we expose the light to the sensor. And then the magic happens. The sensor records the image, but it goes to like a little, it goes like a little image heaven for just a couple minutes. We refer to that as the buffer. Actually, we don't call it an image Heaven, we just call the buffer.

Okay, so when it's in the buffer, this is when the camera is going to basically process the image. So if you're shooting a JPEG, or if you have a unique artistic filters or anything applied to that image, it's going to record the image on the sensor transferred to the buffer is going to process it in the buffer before it sends it to the memory card. Interesting. know, if you shoot RAW? Well, the image is not being processed at all. It's going raw straight from the sensor.

Well, it's going to hit the buffer, but it's not being processed in there. And it's going to go directly to the memory card unprocessed. So hold on, let me rewind that raw, go straight to the memory card, JPEG, it gets cooked up a little bit inside of your camera sits in your buffer and then goes to your memory card. Well, even if you're shooting a standard JPEG is still will process it in camera, a JPEG without any additional settings applied to it, there's still picture styles basically, it will adjust contrast, saturation sharpness, and it still does that basic raw processing in camera. So really, if you ever want just a final JPEG image, it has to be processed. So either on your computer or on the camera, it needs to be done.

Alright, so that's where our raw file we would either get the raw file on our memory card or we would get the final JPEG on the memory card. And then it goes to our computer, where we do what all kinds of good magic good magic bad magic is not good. Avoid the bad magic. But basically, we would go and do additional processing we'd use Lightroom or aperture or capture one. Now this is really kind of more well beyond the scope of this workshop processing in and of itself is really half the artistry to photography and there's so many different things to learn, which is why we have the Lightroom workshop collection we use Lightroom primarily in the studio. So for anyone that wants to learn the processing side, be sure to check out the lighting workshop collection because it teaches everything from A to Z. Alright, so let's do a quick recap we have first our lens which determines field of view field of view, our light enters the lens and goes through the aperture, which controls the amount of light that's coming in.

This is like a touch has no idea I know are just reading with this. The light goes through the aperture which controls our amount of light coming in and then it hits the shutter the shutter door opens and for a certain amount of time and then it exposes our sensor gets transferred to the buffer and then into the memory card. Right See, can you cover this now please? Okay, thank you. Okay, sorry, our cameras naked we need to put these clothes back on. Okay, so that is the recap now, when it comes to different types of cameras really well everything kind of stays the same for the most part even when we talk about film to digital there's just small differences for example, let's talk about going from Digital back to film what changes from Digital back to film it sensor to film.

Exactly so instead of recording on a sensor, a digital sensor we're just recording on film. How about this is it's like already in the name we have a mirrorless DSLR Sony there's no mirror at all. There's no we're straight to the sensor. Okay, so if I did this now this is a very nice camera and I'm going to do a no no to well, you pop the lenses off on this you have to make sure on a mirrorless camera that you turn it off when this thing is on. It attracts dust like crazy. But you can see the sensor inside of here.

This is actually a full frame sensor. check this guy out. It's kind of cool to look at right okay, so my acquisition syndrome is turning on Right now. All right. So this is missing that mirror. So basically, when we, with these mirrorless cameras, when you look through that viewfinder, what you're seeing is actually an electronic view.

They're called EBS, electronic viewfinders. And you're seeing basically what the sensor is saying. So this is a different technology. But everything else still works the same way our aperture or shutter speed and our ISO, these three components of the exposure triangle, they work the same way, regardless of the camera type, whether it's film, whether it's digital, mirrorless, digital, and so forth. These things have been the same since the beginning of the time, and I assume they're probably going to be the same for a very long time. Right.

All right. So are we done here? I think so. I'm ready to move on. I'm ready to move on to I think you guys understand how to use a camera. We understand how to use a camera.

No, no, we understand how a camera works. Right? Everybody through how to use it next. All right, let's head on to the next video.

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