Digital Photography Principles: The Camera
Illustration by Don Barnett

Digital Photography Principles: The Camera

with Derrick Story

Video: Camera sensors

I want to talk about Image Sensors just for a minute because a lot of talk around what type of digital camera to buy, gets caught up around megapixels. And really sensors are more important. We have three sensors here, the first one is the Full Frame Sensor and this is a kind of sensor that you would find on a high-end Digital SLR such as a NikonD3 or a Canon5D. The reason why they call it Full Frame is it's the same size as a 35 mm piece of film, so all of your lenses behave as they would on a 35 mm camera.
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  1. 3m 54s
    1. Welcome
      33s
    2. How I view photography
      3m 21s
  2. 5m 4s
    1. Camera sensors
      1m 55s
    2. Depth of field
      48s
    3. Shutter speed
      45s
    4. Camera size
      1m 36s
  3. 7m 14s
    1. Your camera manual
      1m 33s
    2. Anatomy of a compact camera
      3m 12s
    3. Anatomy of a DSLR camera
      1m 12s
    4. Anatomy of a mobile device
      1m 17s
  4. 8m 33s
    1. The lens
      1m 53s
    2. The shutter release
      1m 19s
    3. The LCD and rear controls
      2m 36s
    4. Power and memory
      2m 45s
  5. 12m 46s
    1. The lens: Prime vs. zoom
      1m 19s
    2. The lens: Stabilization
      1m 46s
    3. The lens: Maximum aperture
      1m 22s
    4. Lens filters and hoods
      1m 53s
    5. Shutter release
      46s
    6. Zoom Lenses
      1m 12s
    7. Top panel controls
      1m 12s
    8. LCD and rear controls
      1m 54s
    9. Power and memory
      1m 22s
  6. 26m 20s
    1. Core exposure modes
      5m 55s
    2. Scene modes in compact cameras
      9m 21s
    3. Zone exposure modes in DSLRs
      4m 7s
    4. Exposure compensation
      2m 24s
    5. Exposure bracketing
      4m 33s
  7. 22m 36s
    1. Metering patterns
      4m 37s
    2. ISO speed
      4m 16s
    3. White balance
      6m 8s
    4. Histograms
      7m 35s
  8. 4m 31s
    1. Focusing options
      4m 31s
  9. 5m 43s
    1. Flash modes
      3m 47s
    2. Flash compensation
      1m 56s
  10. 7m 12s
    1. Single shot drive mode
      41s
    2. Continuous drive mode
      3m 13s
    3. Self-timer drive mode
      3m 18s
  11. 24m 45s
    1. Image stabilization
      5m 21s
    2. Auto red-eye reduction mode
      3m 14s
    3. Aspect ratios
      4m 0s
    4. Panorama mode
      2m 47s
    5. Macro mode
      2m 27s
    6. Face detection
      1m 29s
    7. Digital zoom
      2m 34s
    8. Movie mode
      2m 53s
  12. 25m 24s
    1. Resolution and image quality
      6m 2s
    2. File formats
      5m 23s
    3. File numbering options
      1m 37s
    4. Date and time
      6m 47s
    5. Erasing Options
      5m 35s
  13. 19m 39s
    1. Photo playback
      2m 20s
    2. Movie playback
      4m 30s
    3. Uploading to a computer
      9m 24s
    4. Direct printing
      3m 25s
  14. 23m 11s
    1. The Traveler kit
      8m 11s
    2. The Weekend Warrior kit
      5m 58s
    3. The Aspiring Professional kit
      9m 2s

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Watch the Online Video Course Digital Photography Principles: The Camera
3h 17m Appropriate for all Mar 31, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Even the simplest, most compact digital camera is capable of taking magazine-quality shots, once the user has a working knowledge of its features. In Digital Photography Principles: The Camera, Derrick Story shows how to master and take advantage of everything from basic resolution settings to the latest imaging technologies. He teaches even beginning digital photographers how to apply techniques that will have friends asking, "How was that shot taken?"

Topics include:
  • Understanding basic camera settings
  • Controlling menu options for improved shots
  • Exploring the latest technologies
  • Making movies
  • Shooting panoramas
  • Using compact and DSLR cameras
  • Building the perfect custom photo kit
Subject:
Photography
Author:
Derrick Story

Camera sensors

I want to talk about Image Sensors just for a minute because a lot of talk around what type of digital camera to buy, gets caught up around megapixels. And really sensors are more important. We have three sensors here, the first one is the Full Frame Sensor and this is a kind of sensor that you would find on a high-end Digital SLR such as a NikonD3 or a Canon5D. The reason why they call it Full Frame is it's the same size as a 35 mm piece of film, so all of your lenses behave as they would on a 35 mm camera.

What's so good about this sensor is that it has a lot of room. So if you put 12 megapixels on here, which is really 12 million pixels, then you have lots of space for them to operate. Lots of light gathering power. By the same token, if you go over here to a Compact Camera Sensor and you put 12 megapixels on here, this is much more crowded. And the photo size themselves are going to be a lot smaller. There is going to be a more heat and heat equals image noise in the world of digital photography. So although each of these are 12 megapixels there is a big difference in image quality between the Full Frame Sensor and the Compact Camera Sensor.

Now the APS is right in the middle, you will find this on mid-level Digital SLRs and entry level Digital SLRs. It's an excellent size for a sensor. It's much bigger than a Compact Camera Sensor. And it's not that much smaller than a Full Frame and 12 megapixels on here is going to give you beautiful pictures also. So don't get hung up on megapixels. Really what you want to think about is sensor size. And if image noise is important to you, in terms of if you are a low light shooter and you don't want a lot of image noise in the shadows and so forth.

Think in terms of Digital SLR, but don't shy away from compact cameras either. It's really a matter of expectation, not megapixels. It's sensor size and knowing what you are going to get from those sensors.

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