Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video What is an SLR?, part of Canon Rebel T3i (600D and Kiss X5) Essential Training.
All cameras have at least one thing in common, they have a lens that sits in front of a focal-plane. On that focal-plane is a recording medium either a piece of light sensitive film or paper or a digital image sensor. The focal-plane needs to sit directly behind the lens, because the lens is used to focus light onto your recording medium. Another way to think of it is that the recording medium looks through the lens. What's tricky about camera design is that if the recording medium is sitting there and looking through the lens, how is there a room for you to look through the lens to frame your shot? Camera designers have wrestled with this problem since the beginning of photography and they've come up with lots of solutions.
For example, with a view camera, you actually take the recording medium off so that you can look through your lens to line up the shot, and then you put the recording medium back on. Needless to say this doesn't make for particularly speedy shooting. In a twin-lens reflex camera you look through one lens and a second lens exposes the film. However, if I'm shooting up close, my framing might be off due to the parallax shift between the two lenses. Similarly, in a rangefinder camera I look through this viewfinder while the camera looks through this lens.
I still might have parallax issues, but with a camera like this I can actually change lenses and still have a viewfinder that works. The SLR or Single-Lens Reflex solves all of the issues with these other designs. With an SLR is just one lens, a single lens, and both you and the recording medium look through that same lens. To make that happen, there are a lot of mirrors involved. So my image sensor is back here, and my viewfinder is up here, and obviously here is my lens. Light comes in here.
It needs to get back to the image sensor back here when I finally take the picture, but it needs to get up here for me to be able to have any kind of viewfinder, and that's where all these mirrors come in to play. First of all, there is a mirror directly behind the lens. I'm going to take the lens off here and you can actually see it. There is a mirror right inhere. Now when I press the shutter button that mirror flips up, that's the reflex part of SLR, and with the mirror up, light can then get straight back to the image sensor that's behind the shutter.
In this video right here you can see in slow motion that shutter button being pressed and then the mirror popping up, the shutter opening and closing and then the mirror coming back down. So when the mirror is down like it is here, light is bouncing up here into this pentamirror that's up here and going back out to the viewfinder where I can see it. When I press the shutter button, the mirror comes out of the way, so that light can go straight back to the image sensor.
- What is an SLR?
- Attaching a lens to a camera
- Deciding how many batteries and media cards are needed
- Setting Auto mode
- Changing ISO
- Changing image format and size
- Manually selecting a focus point
- Correcting exposure while shooting
- Controlling white balance
- Using a driver and self-timer
- Auto exposure bracketing
- Selecting a picture style
- Using Live View
- Shooting video
- Using custom functions, such as ISO expansion and mirror lockup
- Cleaning the camera and sensor
Skill Level Beginner
Q: Will the lessons in this course work with the Canon T3 too?
A: The main differences between the Canon T3i and the T3 are some video capabilities. Other than that, and some minor menu differences, you should be able to use the lessons in this course with the T3 with no issues.
1. Getting to Know Your Canon Digital SLR
2. Shooting in Auto Mode
3. Shooting in Program Mode
4. Controlling Autofocus
5. Controlling White Balance
6. Using Drive Mode and the Self-Timer
7. Using the Exposure Control Options
8. Using More Playback Options
9. Shooting with Scene Modes
What is a scene mode?1m 8s
10. Shooting with Flash
11. Shooting with Picture Styles
12. Using Live View
13. Shooting Video
14. Customizing Menus and Functions
15. Caring for Your Camera
Firmware updates1m 24s
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