The camera is the primary tool used for photography, so you will need to have a basic understanding of the gadgets before you set out on your photography journey. Seeing photographers move around with numerous lenses and looking at the gazillion settings and knobs can be intimidating.

At the same time, just seeing a picture on the camera display can make you underestimate the art of photography. It all seems like just a click-job…until you give it a try, and your photos look just awful. Photography is a journey, and the first step is understanding cameras.

Main Parts of a Camera

As you will probably notice, a camera has numerous parts. All of them play a role in creating amazing photos. Again, there may be variations from one camera to another. Do not be confused by all these; you will familiarise yourself with each as you go along. Begin by understanding the basic ones.


This is the hole through which light enters the camera, hence the first point of photo creation. Most cameras have removable lenses, each with various adjustments for zooming, stabilising images, etc. See those long ‘noses’ that stick out of the camera? Those are lenses.


This is the main part of the camera to which other accessories are attached. It is, basically, the camera. Cameras have varying body sizes depending on price, purpose, and detail.

View Finder

This is another ‘hole’ – the opening you look through when taking photos. Many modern cameras are complementing the viewfinder with a screen on which the image appears in the same way it would if you used the viewfinder.

Shutter Release

This, in the plainest terms, is the button you hit so that you actually take the picture. ‘Shutter release’ is the process that takes place after you press this button.

Image Sensor

This is the sensitive part that is ‘burnt’ by the light in order to form an image.

Controls Knob

This confusing button is where all photography lessons occur. It is that knob with so many icons (An athlete, a flower, A, M, etc.) that you initially feel like you will run away from it. As a beginner, you should always set the knob to ‘A’ for automated settings.

Camera Prices

Camera prices vary depending on a wide range of factors. While for many years bigger cameras were automatically more expensive, this is not the case anymore. With the adoption of minimalist designs taking centre stage in most avenues, the capability is now the primary price determinant.

Good cameras for beginner photography will range anywhere between $300 and $500. Additional accessories- stands, other lenses, etc. will also determine the price of the package.

The good thing with cameras is that you can buy accessories separately at a later date if you are on a tight budget.

Camera Phones

Many people wonder whether it is necessary to invest in a camera when camera phones are already producing such quality. While the effort of phone companies in creating good cameras has to be lauded, it is important to note that they do not fit the bill for a professional photographer.

You can have a good camera phone as part of your photography package, but you cannot have it replace the camera. A phone is a phone, and a camera is a camera. Each has its own -different- core purpose.