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Parts of a Camera – Basic Digital Camera Parts and Their Functions

Knowing about Parts of a Camera will be helpful while taking pictures or if you want to learn about photography. This article is very insightful and worth reading as this post will discuss in detail about basic parts of a Camera and basic functions of the camera parts.

What is a Camera

Camera is a device which creates images. It uses light to capture images of objects. Light rays which reflects back from the object are incident on the digital sensor or a piece of film, creating a sharp image.

Introduction to Parts of a Camera

Fig.1 – Introduction to Parts of a Camera 

A digital type of Camera stores its photos on a digital memory. Most of them that are manufactured nowadays are digital. However, you can also find other types of cameras on mobile phones, laptops, tablets etc. In this article, we are going to find out more about the Digital Camera.

Digital Cameras are manufactured all over the world by different companies. They come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Some can take photos only, others can take photos and videos. Some can stand on a tripod for professional video shooting. There is a variation even in this classification since the memory of the camera can vary as well.

Parts of a Camera and Their Functions

Now let us have a look at the basic parts that make up a Digital Camera along with their functions. They are:

  • Aperture
  • Lens
  • Shutter Release Button
  • Memory Card
  • Viewfinder
  • User Controls

Aperture of a Digital Camera

The Aperture is the part which opens and closes through which light passes to enter the Camera. It is defined as a camera control that will allow you to choose how much you want to open the lens. Once the lens is set to the desired opening, the Exposure Meter will adjust automatically.


Fig. 2 – Images Shot with Different Aperture

The Meter will then determine the closing speed of the shutter. This procedure happens every time we click, to take a picture. Technically, it is defined as the ratio of focal length to effective Aperture diameter. Lens has f-stops/number markings and greater Aperture on a lens means a lower f- stops and vice versa.

Lens of Digital Camera

Lens also called photographic/ optical lens is attached to the Camera body. It helps in capturing an object and storing it. Lenses are available in different types that include standard zoom, telephoto zoom, fisheye, macro, wide-angle etc.

Lenses in Camera

Figure. 3 – Image of Lens

The type of lens that you choose can have determining effects on the picture that you want to take. Some lenses can take detailed photos from far away, while others can capture extreme detail from close by. There are even lenses that can give you distorted images. The conclusion is that, the better the lens, better is the quality of the picture.

Shutter Release Button in Camera

The bright red button as shown in the Fig. 4, is Shutter Release Button and not all shutters are like that. Some Shutter Release Buttons bulge out of the body of the camera. Others are made close to the body of the camera. This gives the camera a sleek, smooth-looking top.

Shutter Release Button

Fig. 4 – Shutter Release Button

If you are taking a picture, you must press the Shutter Release Button to take the picture. When the button is pressed, the Exposure Meter will determine the appropriate setting of the lens. This means that the release button will open and close the shutter in the proper time enough to allow the light to enter.

Memory Card in Camera

Well, I am pretty sure that all the readers of this article have come across a Memory Card. For those who haven’t, this is what makes a camera digital. It is a type of storage media used to store photos and videos. Two most popular Memory Cards are the SD (Secure Digital) and CF (Compact Flash) cards.

Memory Cards of digital camera

Fig. 5 – Memory Cards

Memory Cards come in different sizes. The size is determined by the memory capacity that the card can take. Some of them can be tiny in size (Micro SD Card) and as yet they have huge memories that are measured in Terabytes. Other Memory Cards have gigabytes of memory. Memory-Cards should be kept in a memory card case to protect the data. Dust and weather conditions could damage a Memory Card.

Viewfinder in Camera

Viewfinder is the component that displays the image to be shot. When the device is held to the photographer’s eye; he tries to find a spot to focus on, through Viewfinder. Some have an LCD screen and more often than not, the LCD acts as the Viewfinder. Getting a good and sharp photograph depends on factors like Camera’s Megapixels, light falling on the object, quality and type of lens.


Fig. 6 – Viewfinder

User Controls in a Camera

As the name implies, the User Controls are the control options that you find on the top of the camera. These vary from one type of model to another, from one brand to another. Basic models do not have too many User Controls since they come with automatic settings that change depending on the condition the person is taking the photo in.

DSL Cameras come with separate user controls which will allow you to set the Camera at your preferred settings. Professional photographers prefer having user controls and use them accordingly.


Having a Camera, especially for all those who have photography as a passion, is a luxury thing. However, a photo taken from a mobile cam is also of good quality. If you are going for a professional one, check the specifications first. Go through the specs, compare them with other models.

A more expensive Camera does not necessarily make it a better one! So we recommend that you check the facts first. And to check the facts, you must have an idea about the basic camera parts and their specific functions. Having knowledge of the parts of a camera will always help you in selecting best one as per your suitability. Also, Do not forget to check customer reviews. Checking customer reviews never hurts. It is always good to see what people who have purchased have to say about it.

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Chakrasthitha is a B.E (Medical Electronics) and has work experience in MatLab and Lab View Software as Design Engineer at BCS innovations and Manipal hospital as Biomedical Engineer. She is an author, editor and partner at Electricalfundablog.


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