Essential aspects of the operation of a camera

If you are passionate about photography, you have surely wondered how a camera works. In this article, you will be able to know it and also you will get a general idea of ​​the elements that participate in obtaining a photo.

What is a camera?

As simple as saying that it is a device that allows you to capture and store images. They exist of many types and with greater or lesser degree of sophistication. It has a great capacity for adaptation, to the point of being an indispensable part of smartphones.

The principle that governs the operation of a camera is similar to the human eye. It requires a focusing element, whose pair would be the cornea / lens, to project an inverted image of the object onto a photosensitive component that simulates the behavior of the retina.

Process to take a photo

The process to capture a photo is very simple and involves few steps. When your camera is on, the light passes through the lens and the diaphragm, waiting for the command to actuate.

Pressing the trigger starts the mechanism, the shutter opens to allow light to pass through and stimulate the sensor. Then the processor takes care of taking the photo according to the information that was captured and stores it on the memory card.

Basic components of a camera

You already knew in a few words the process to take a photo, now it is necessary that you know the elements that allow obtaining those images. The basic components of a camera are:

Photosensitive element

It is the accessory that reacts to the influence of light to fix the image that comes from the lens. The traditional supports are:

  • -Photographic film.
  • Self-revealing photographic paper.
  • Electronic image sensor.


It is an element that allows you to frame the photo you want to take. It works as a kind of framework to preview what the product will be. With this component is that the photographer can see and locate the composition that you want to capture. Types of viewers:

  • Frame viewer.
  • Optical or direct viewfinder.
  • SLR (Single Lens Reflex) viewfinder.
  • TLR reflex viewfinder (Twin Lens Reflex).
  • Screen viewer.
  • Electronic viewer.


It is the mechanism that allows you to focus on certain objects or distances. According to the quality of your camera, the focus will also vary. The types are:

  • Focus by rangefinder.
  • Split image rangefinder.
  • Microprism ring.
  • Matte field screen.

Autofocus system

Just by looking at their name you can understand what it is about. Most cameras today include one of the following autofocus systems:

  • Comparison of contrasts.
  • Infrared.
  • Ultrasounds


It is used to control the opening mechanism of the optical system. It is usually located on the target and restricts the passage of light.


This element is in charge of regulating the duration of the passage of light towards the sensor. It is located between the photosensitive component and the objective.

Common items

In addition to the aforementioned components, there are some that can be seen as optional but that play a very important role in the result of your photos.

  • The exposure meter or photometer: controls the exposure measurement that the photosensitive element will have, works in conjunction with the shutter. Currently, it is incorporated in most cameras, however a manual one can also be used.
  • Built-in flash: it is an artificial light source that is activated in synchronization with the shutter-release button. In this way, you can illuminate dark environments.

The world of photography is exciting and now that you know more details about it, you will surely become a better photographer.