#Back to the Roadmap


This page covers the global settings and buttons of a camera. I strongly suggest to read your camera’s manual. The manual will usually go deeper in to details specified for your DSLR.

DSLR is the abbreviation for Digital Single-Lens Reflex. Simply said: A camera, on which you attach one single-lens. Light travels through the lens and reflects via a mirror into the viewfinder or sensor. The viewfinder is “the part of glass” used by a photographer to look through the camera. The sensor is a chip, which captures light and transfers it to your memory card. This is why it is called photography: a combination of the Greek words phōtos(light) and graphé (to register, drawing).

The amount of light that reaches the sensor is controlled by the shutter, this is a curtain in front of your light sensor, the sensor that transfers light into a photograph on your memory card. The amount of time the shutter curtains are open is called shutter speed. The camera’s shutter is controlled by pressing the release button. Pressing the release button will start the capture, and transfer the picture to your memory card.

An overview of some of the most common buttons are shown below.

D3100 Back view

D3100 Back view of the camera

  1. Viewfinder
  2. Display
  3. Playback button to view taken pictures
  4. Menu button
  5. Buttons to zoom in or out on pictures in playback mode
  6. Delete button
  7. Cameras speaker for playing back recorded movies
  8. Navigation buttons
  9. Record button for movies
  10. Automatic Exposure Lock button
  11. Command dial to change selected settings
D3100 Top view

D3100 (DSLR) Top view

  1. Shutter release
  2. Power switch
  3. Exposure compensation button
  4. Mode dial
  5. Shutter mode dial (Quite mode, Timer..)
D3100 Side view

D3100 Side view

  1. Flash button (to activate flash and to change flash modes – combined with Command dial)
  2. Lens release button for changing lenses
  3. VR switch to enable or disable Vibration Reduction
  4. Switch to select Automatic or Manual Focus

To learn how your camera works, read the manual. This seems like a hell of a job, but surely will support your understanding of the camera and get the best results.

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