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Interchangeable vs fixed

The total amount of light reaching the film plane the 'exposure' changes with the duration of exposure, aperture of the lens, and on the effective focal length of the lens which in variable focal length lenses, can force a change in aperture as the lens is zoomed. Changing any of these controls can alter the exposure.

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Many cameras may be set to adjust most or all of these controls automatically. This automatic functionality is useful for occasional photographers in many situations. The duration of an exposure is referred to as shutter speed, often even in cameras that do not have a physical shutter, and is typically measured in fractions of a second. It is quite possible to have exposures from one up to several seconds, usually for still-life subjects, and for night scenes exposure times can be several hours.

However, longer shutter speeds blur motion, and shorter shutter speeds freeze motion. Therefore, moving subjects require fast shutter speeds. The effective aperture is expressed by an f-number or f-stop derived from focal ratio , which is proportional to the ratio of the focal length to the diameter of the aperture. Longer focal length lenses will pass less light through the same aperture diameter due to the greater distance the light has to travel; shorter focal length lenses will transmit more light through the same diameter of aperture.

The f-stops that might be found on a typical lens include 2. Image capture can be achieved through various combinations of shutter speed, aperture, and film or sensor speed. Different but related settings of aperture and shutter speed enable photographs to be taken under various conditions of film or sensor speed, lighting and motion of subjects or camera, and desired depth of field. A slower speed film will exhibit less "grain", and a slower speed setting on an electronic sensor will exhibit less "noise", while higher film and sensor speeds allow for a faster shutter speed, which reduces motion blur or allows the use of a smaller aperture to increase the depth of field.

For example, a wider aperture is used for lower light and a lower aperture for more light. If a subject is in motion, then a high shutter speed may be needed. A tripod can also be helpful in that it enables a slower shutter speed to be used. The chosen combination affects the final result. The aperture and focal length of the lens determine the depth of field , which refers to the range of distances from the lens that will be in focus. A longer lens or a wider aperture will result in "shallow" depth of field i.

This is often useful for isolating subjects from backgrounds as in individual portraits or macro photography. Conversely, a shorter lens, or a smaller aperture, will result in more of the image being in focus. This is generally more desirable when photographing landscapes or groups of people. With very small apertures, such as pinholes , a wide range of distance can be brought into focus, but sharpness is severely degraded by diffraction with such small apertures.

However, as lens technology improves, lenses are becoming capable of making increasingly sharp images at wider apertures. Image capture is only part of the image forming process. Regardless of material, some process must be employed to render the latent image captured by the camera into a viewable image. With slide film, the developed film is just mounted for projection. Print film requires the developed film negative to be printed onto photographic paper or transparency.

Prior to the advent of laser jet and inkjet printers, celluloid photographic negative images had to be mounted in an enlarger which projected the image onto a sheet of light-sensitive paper for a certain length of time usually measured in seconds or fractions of a second. This sheet then was soaked in a chemical bath of developer to bring out the image followed immediately by a stop bath to neutralize the progression of development and prevent the image from changing further once exposed to normal light.

After this, the paper was hung until dry enough to safely handle. This post-production process allowed the photographer to further manipulate the final image beyond what had already been captured on the negative, adjusting the length of time the image was projected by the enlarger and the duration of both chemical baths to change the image's intensity, darkness, clarity, etc.

This process is still employed by both amateur and professional photographers, but the advent of digital imagery means that the vast majority of modern photographic work is captured digitally and rendered via printing processes that are no longer dependent on chemical reactions to light. Such digital images may be uploaded to an image server e.

Every type can then be produced as a hard copy on regular paper or photographic paper via a printer. Prior to the rendering of a viewable image, modifications can be made using several controls. Many of these controls are similar to controls during image capture, while some are exclusive to the rendering process. Most printing controls have equivalent digital concepts, but some create different effects. For example, dodging and burning controls are different between digital and film processes.

A manually inserted blade known as a dark slide allows the film to be covered when changing lenses or film backs. A blind inside the camera covers the film prior to and after the exposure but is not designed to be able to give accurately controlled exposure times and a leaf shutter that is normally open is installed in the lens. To take a picture, the leaf shutter closes, the blind opens, the leaf shutter opens then closes again, and finally the blind closes and the leaf shutter re-opens the last step may only occur when the shutter is re-cocked.

Using a focal-plane shutter, exposing the whole film plane can take much longer than the exposure time. The exposure time does not depend on the time taken to make the exposure over all, only on the difference between the time a specific point on the film is uncovered and then covered up again. In fact in practice the curtains do not run at a constant speed as they would in an ideal design, obtaining an even exposure time depends mainly on being able to make the two curtains accelerate in a similar manner. When photographing rapidly moving objects, the use of a focal-plane shutter can produce some unexpected effects, since the film closest to the start position of the curtains is exposed earlier than the film closest to the end position.

Typically this can result in a moving object leaving a slanting image. The direction of the slant depends on the direction the shutter curtains run in noting also that as in all cameras the image is inverted and reversed by the lens, i. Focal-plane shutters are also difficult to synchronise with flash bulbs and electronic flash and it is often only possible to use flash at shutter speeds where the curtain that opens to reveal the film completes its run and the film is fully uncovered, before the second curtain starts to travel and cover it up again.

The ancestor of the photographic camera was the camera obscura. Camera obscura Latin for "dark room" uses the natural phenomenon that occurs when an image of a scene at the other side of a screen or a wall, for instance is projected through a small hole in the screen to form an inverted image left to right and upside down on an inner surface of the camera obscura, opposite to the opening.

The oldest known record of this principle is a description by Han Chinese philosopher Mozi c.

Essentials for your camera

Mozi correctly asserted the camera obscura image is inverted because light travels to the inside of the camera in straight lines from its source. Ibn al-Haytham c. Since the late 17th century, portable camera obscura devices in tents and boxes were used as drawing aids. Before the development of the photographic camera, it had been known for hundreds of years that some substances, such as silver salts, darkened when exposed to sunlight.

These images weren't permanent, however, as Wedgwood didn't employ a fixing mechanism. He ultimately failed at his goal of using the process to create fixed images created by a camera obscura. It was made using an 8-hour exposure on pewter coated with bitumen.

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He called this process Daguerreotype , and tried unsuccessfully for a couple years to commercialize it. In the s, the English scientist Henry Fox Talbot independently invented a process to fix camera images using silver salts. Within two years, Talbot developed a two-step process for creating photographs on paper, which he called calotypes. The calotyping process was the first to utilize negative prints, which reverse all values in the photograph — black shows up as white and vice versa.


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The first photographic camera developed for commercial manufacture was a daguerreotype camera, built by Alphonse Giroux in By sliding the inner box, objects at various distances could be brought to as sharp a focus as desired. After a satisfactory image had been focused on the screen, the screen was replaced with a sensitized plate.

A knurled wheel controlled a copper flap in front of the lens, which functioned as a shutter. The early daguerreotype cameras required long exposure times, which in could be from 5 to 30 minutes. After the introduction of the Giroux daguerreotype camera, other manufacturers quickly produced improved variations. Chevalier's camera had a hinged bed, allowing for half of the bed to fold onto the back of the nested box.

In addition to having increased portability, the camera had a faster lens, bringing exposure times down to 3 minutes, and a prism at the front of the lens, which allowed the image to be laterally correct. The Nouvel Appareil Gaudin camera had a metal disc with three differently-sized holes mounted on the front of the lens.


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  • Rotating to a different hole effectively provided variable f-stops , allowing different amounts of light into the camera. Its design was the most widely used for portraits until Carl Zeiss introduced the anastigmat lens in The American-box camera had beveled edges at the front and rear, and an opening in the rear where the formed image could be viewed on ground glass. The top of the camera had hinged doors for placing photographic plates. Inside there was one available slot for distant objects, and another slot in the back for close-ups.

    The lens was focused either by sliding or with a rack and pinion mechanism. The Robert's-type cameras were similar to the American-box, except for having a knob-fronted worm gear on the front of the camera, which moved the back box for focusing. Many Robert's-type cameras allowed focusing directly on the lens mount.

    The third popular daguerreotype camera in America was the Lewis-type, introduced in , which utilized a bellows for focusing. The main body of the Lewis-type camera was mounted on the front box, but the rear section was slotted into the bed for easy sliding. Once focused, a set screw was tightened to hold the rear section in place. Daguerreotype cameras formed images on silvered copper plates and images were only able to develop with mercury vapor [52]. The earliest daguerreotype cameras required several minutes to half an hour to expose images on the plates.

    By , exposure times were reduced to just a few seconds owing to improvements in the chemical preparation and development processes, and to advances in lens design. The collodion wet plate process that gradually replaced the daguerreotype during the s required photographers to coat and sensitize thin glass or iron plates shortly before use and expose them in the camera while still wet. Early wet plate cameras were very simple and little different from Daguerreotype cameras, but more sophisticated designs eventually appeared. The Dubroni of allowed the sensitizing and developing of the plates to be carried out inside the camera itself rather than in a separate darkroom.

    Other cameras were fitted with multiple lenses for photographing several small portraits on a single larger plate, useful when making cartes de visite. It was during the wet plate era that the use of bellows for focusing became widespread, making the bulkier and less easily adjusted nested box design obsolete. For many years, exposure times were long enough that the photographer simply removed the lens cap , counted off the number of seconds or minutes estimated to be required by the lighting conditions, then replaced the cap.

    As more sensitive photographic materials became available, cameras began to incorporate mechanical shutter mechanisms that allowed very short and accurately timed exposures to be made. The use of photographic film was pioneered by George Eastman , who started manufacturing paper film in before switching to celluloid in His first camera, which he called the " Kodak ," was first offered for sale in It was a very simple box camera with a fixed-focus lens and single shutter speed, which along with its relatively low price appealed to the average consumer.

    The Kodak came pre-loaded with enough film for exposures and needed to be sent back to the factory for processing and reloading when the roll was finished. By the end of the 19th century Eastman had expanded his lineup to several models including both box and folding cameras. Films also made possible capture of motion cinematography establishing the movie industry by end of 19th century.

    In photography, the single-lens reflex camera SLR is provided with a mirror to redirect light from the picture taking lens to the viewfinder prior to releasing the shutter for composing and focusing an image. When the shutter is released, the mirror swings up and away allowing the exposure of the photographic medium and instantly returns after the exposure. No SLR camera before had this feature, although the mirror on some early SLR cameras was entirely operated by the force exerted on the shutter release and only returned when the finger pressure was released.

    The earliest cameras produced in significant numbers used sensitised glass plates were plate cameras. Light entered a lens mounted on a lens board which was separated from the plate by an extendible bellows. Many of these cameras had controls to raise or lower the lens and to tilt it forwards or backwards to control perspective.

    Focusing of these plate cameras was by the use of a ground glass screen at the point of focus. Because lens design only allowed rather small aperture lenses, the image on the ground glass screen was faint and most photographers had a dark cloth to cover their heads to allow focussing and composition to be carried out more easily.

    When focus and composition were satisfactory, the ground glass screen was removed and a sensitised plate put in its place protected by a dark slide. To make the exposure, the dark slide was carefully slid out and the shutter opened and then closed and the dark slide replaced. Glass plates were later replaced by sheet film in a dark slide for sheet film; adaptor sleeves were made to allow sheet film to be used in plate holders. In addition to the ground glass, a simple optical viewfinder was often fitted. Cameras which take single exposures on sheet film and are functionally identical to plate cameras were used for static, high-image-quality work; much longer in 20th century, see Large-format camera , below.

    The introduction of films enabled the existing designs for plate cameras to be made much smaller and for the base-plate to be hinged so that it could be folded up compressing the bellows. These designs were very compact and small models were dubbed vest pocket cameras. Folding rollfilm cameras were preceded by folding plate cameras, more compact than other designs.

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    Box cameras were introduced as a budget level camera and had few if any controls. The original box Brownie models had a small reflex viewfinder mounted on the top of the camera and had no aperture or focusing controls and just a simple shutter. Later models such as the Brownie had larger direct view optical viewfinders together with a curved film path to reduce the impact of deficiencies in the lens. As camera a lens technology developed and wide aperture lenses became more common, rangefinder cameras were introduced to make focusing more precise.

    Early rangefinders had two separate viewfinder windows, one of which is linked to the focusing mechanisms and moved right or left as the focusing ring is turned. The two separate images are brought together on a ground glass viewing screen. When vertical lines in the object being photographed meet exactly in the combined image, the object is in focus. A normal composition viewfinder is also provided. Later the viewfinder and rangefinder were combined. Many rangefinder cameras had interchangeable lenses , each lens requiring its own range- and viewfinder linkages.

    After exposure every photograph is taken through pinch rollers inside of the instant camera. Thereby the developer paste contained in the paper 'sandwich' distributes on the image. After a minute, the cover sheet just needs to be removed and one gets a single original positive image with a fixed format. With some systems it was also possible to create an instant image negative, from which then could be made copies in the photo lab. The ultimate development was the SX system of Polaroid , in which a row of ten shots — engine driven — could be made without having to remove any cover sheets from the picture.

    There were instant cameras for a variety of formats, as well as adapters for instant film use in medium- and large-format cameras. In the single-lens reflex camera, the photographer sees the scene through the camera lens. This avoids the problem of parallax which occurs when the viewfinder or viewing lens is separated from the taking lens.

    These correspond to 6x9, 6x7, 6x6 and 6x4. Almost all SLR cameras use a front surfaced mirror in the optical path to direct the light from the lens via a viewing screen and pentaprism to the eyepiece. At the time of exposure the mirror is flipped up out of the light path before the shutter opens. Some early cameras experimented with other methods of providing through-the-lens viewing, including the use of a semi-transparent pellicle as in the Canon Pellix [59] and others with a small periscope such as in the Corfield Periflex series.

    Twin-lens reflex cameras used a pair of nearly identical lenses, one to form the image and one as a viewfinder. The lenses were arranged with the viewing lens immediately above the taking lens. The viewing lens projects an image onto a viewing screen which can be seen from above. Some manufacturers such as Mamiya also provided a reflex head to attach to the viewing screen to allow the camera to be held to the eye when in use.

    The advantage of a TLR was that it could be easily focussed using the viewing screen and that under most circumstances the view seen in the viewing screen was identical to that recorded on film. At close distances however, parallax errors were encountered and some cameras also included an indicator to show what part of the composition would be excluded. Some TLR had interchangeable lenses but as these had to be paired lenses they were relatively heavy and did not provide the range of focal lengths that the SLR could support.

    Most TLRs used or film; some used the smaller film. The large-format camera, taking sheet film , is a direct successor of the early plate cameras and remained in use for high quality photography and for technical, architectural and industrial photography. There are three common types, the view camera with its monorail and field camera variants, and the press camera.

    They have an extensible bellows with the lens and shutter mounted on a lens plate at the front. Backs taking rollfilm , and later digital backs are available in addition to the standard dark slide back. These cameras have a wide range of movements allowing very close control of focus and perspective. Composition and focusing is done on view cameras by viewing a ground-glass screen which is replaced by the film to make the exposure; they are suitable for static subjects only, and are slow to use.

    Medium-format cameras have a film size between the large-format cameras and smaller 35mm cameras. Typically these systems use or rollfilm. The designs of this kind of camera show greater variation than their larger brethren, ranging from monorail systems through the classic Hasselblad model with separate backs, to smaller rangefinder cameras. There are even compact amateur cameras available in this format.

    Subminiature cameras were first produced in the nineteenth century. Image quality with these small film sizes was limited. While viewing, a person's eyes and brain merge the separate pictures to create the illusion of motion. Other professional standard formats include 70 mm film and 16mm film whilst amateurs film makers used 9.

    Some professional equipment is very large and too heavy to be hand held whilst some amateur cameras were designed to be very small and light for single-handed operation. A camcorder is an electronic device combining a video camera and a video recorder. Although marketing materials may use the colloquial term "camcorder", the name on the package and manual is often "video camera recorder".

    Most devices capable of recording video are camera phones and digital cameras primarily intended for still pictures; the term "camcorder" is used to describe a portable, self-contained device, with video capture and recording its primary function. A professional video camera often called a television camera even though the use has spread beyond television is a high-end device for creating electronic moving images as opposed to a movie camera , that earlier recorded the images on film.

    Originally developed for use in television studios , they are now also used for music videos , direct-to-video movies, corporate and educational videos, marriage videos etc. These cameras earlier used vacuum tubes and later electronic sensors. A digital camera or digicam is a camera that encodes digital images and videos digitally and stores them for later reproduction. Digital and film cameras share an optical system, typically using a lens with a variable diaphragm to focus light onto an image pickup device. However, unlike film cameras, digital cameras can display images on a screen immediately after being recorded, and store and delete images from memory.

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    Most digital cameras can also record moving videos with sound. Some digital cameras can crop and stitch pictures and perform other elementary image editing. Consumers adopted digital cameras in s. Professional video cameras transitioned to digital around the s—s.

    Finally movie cameras transitioned to digital in the s. The first camera using digital electronics to capture and store images was developed by Kodak engineer Steven Sasson in Sasson combined the CCD device with movie camera parts to create a digital camera that saved black and white images onto a cassette tape.

    By the beginning of the s, almost all smartphones had an integrated digital camera. Panoramic cameras are fixed-lens digital action cameras. VR Cameras are panoramic cameras that also cover the top and bottom in their field of view. Olympus Four Thirds single-lens reflex camera. Front and back of Canon PowerShot A 95, an early pocket-size digital camera. Imago camera using 62xcm format direct positive photographic paper. Smartphone with built-in camera spreads private images globally, c. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    Optical device for recording images. This article is about any optical photography instrument. For modern specifics, see digital camera. For other uses, see Camera disambiguation. This article needs additional citations for verification. A DSLR is a digital single-lens reflex camera. DSLRs allow for interchangeable lenses, and are typically larger and more robust than other camera types.

    A DSLR has a mirror behind the lens, which redirects the light from the lens to the optical viewfinder and focusing systems. When you take a photo, the mirror flips up, the shutter opens, and the digital sensor is exposed to the image. The higher the ISO number, the more sensitive the sensor and the brighter the image. ISO is an adjustable setting and reaches much higher than it ever did.

    Each pixel works individually to capture a tiny amount of light and color, which then gets combined to form the final image. One million of these pixels equals one megapixel. The number of megapixels determines the resolution of the image, and in turn how large the image can be printed or how much it can be cropped. Camera Model View all available lens and accessory kit combinations for a specific camera model. Sensor Size A variety of size designations indicate the physical dimensions of a digital camera sensor. Customer Rating 10 1.

    Still Image Resolution The total pixel count of a camera sensor, such as 24MP, is expressed in millions of pixels or "megapixels".

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    Video Resolution The maximum video resolution captured by the camera. Memory Card Type The type of memory card the camera is designed to use. Search within results Search. You can only compare up to 4 items. Remove items from bar below to add more. In Stock Order by 6pm to ship today For further details see delivery estimates in cart.

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