All posts by DSLR ROCKS

DSLR – TOP, FRONT and BACK all buttons and settings explained

A DSLR camera looks much more complex than the majority of cameras. Most of the beginners are often afraid of touching certain buttons as they think that it may mess up the default settings. The whole point of a DSLR camera to give all buttons is for the user to set everything according to their requirements.

Below you will find images of a popular camera, the Canon EOS 70D. What’s great is that once you understand the functions of one camera you can apply the same knowledge to other models of other brands. If you’ve never owned, or seen a DSLR then this is honestly all you need to know! Don’t be scared to jump into this “complicated” DSLR world, we all started without any knowledge and if you really want to take pictures then learning will be easy.

Front of a DSLR Body

dslr body front view

  1. Shutter Button– The most important button of all! Almost no lag at all between pressing on it and capturing a photograph. To auto focus or see the settings, you can also press it half-way.
  2. Focus Assist Beam– Helps with illuminating the subject in low light situations.
  3. Lens Mount Indicator– Most DSLR cameras accept two types of lenses (EF-S and EF at Canon,DX and FX at Nikon). In our image, the red dot marks the spot for your EF lines, while the white one is where you would start putting on your EF-S lens.
  4. Flash– The built-in flash that always jumps out in Automatic shooting mode.
  5. Flash Button– In manual modes, the use of a flash is up to you. Press this button to make it jump out!
  6. Lens Removal– The button you need to hold in order to take off a lens
  7. Lens Contacts– This is how your lens communicates with the camera; aperture, auto focus and lots of other settings.
  8. Mirror– There’s a reason why the mirror is hidden inside, it’s crucial for transferring the light up into the pentaprism. Try not to get any dust inside of your body when swapping between lenses.

Most of the time, you will “use” the front of your body for changing lenses. The real deal starts behind it, with all those buttons and dials.

Back of a DSLR Body

Back of a DSLR Body

Luckily for all of us, most of these buttons are pretty self-explanatory.

1. Menu – Why make it complicated; it shows you the main menu of your camera. Functions, controls, flash control; you can change it all in there.

2. Info – Displays information depending on what you are looking at in your camera (information of a photograph and so on).

3. Dioptre Adjustment – A great adjustment for those of you who have problems with vision.

4. Movie/Live View Mode – Switch between the Live View and Movie mode with one single click. Use the start/stop button to record movies.

5. AF-ON – Whilst holding the button, your camera will not re-auto focus or adjust the settings again; it will use whatever you had prior to holding it.

6. Zoom in/Exposure Lock – Allows you to keep the exposure metering you just did, and to zoom in on any photograph.

7. Zoom out/Focus Point – If you want to manually select your focus point (or groups) then you would use this button. Oh, it also zooms out your shots.

8. Memory Card Slot – Either SDHC or CF. Some more expensive DSLR cameras also offer 2 slots!

9. Set/Main Wheel – The Set button is for accepting any changes, while the main wheel is for navigating in the menu, selecting different values etc.

10. Trash Icon – Deletes the image you are currently previewing (for deleting multiple shots at once you have to use a function in the menu)

11. Playback – What’s the point of a digital camera if you can’t see what you just photographed? Use the playback button (and zoom in/out to see multiple shots).

12. LCD Screen – A few years ago, a screen was just a screen. Now we have different resolutions, different sizes and even articulating ones (move them around). Most common features here are a 3.0″ LCD screen with over 920,00 dots, more than great for many of us.

Again, cheaper/more expensive cameras may offer more or less options, or even something totally new. That’s why there is a manual for every camera, make sure to read it! Not all of it in the same day of course, it would be extremely boring with so many expressions you’ve never heard of. Learning can be fun, but you also need to know when to stop and actually use what you’ve been reading!

Top of a DSLR Body

Top of a DSLR Body

1. Mode Dial – Switch between different modes. Make sure to read my camera shooting modes article!

2. Top Buttons – Commonly found on more professional models, these buttons make our lives much easier! Change the white balance, select the ISO speed and so on. Each has two different values that you can control with two different dials on the body.

3. Main Dial – Used for changing the shutter speed, aperture and all other values

4. Top LCD Screen – Another exclusive feature for semi-pro and higher models, a top LCD screen will allow you to see your settings immediately. Cheaper cameras tend to do that on the LCD screen, or only in the viewfinder.

5. Hot-shoe – Attach your flash, wireless triggers and other devices here!

6. Power switch – Simple switch to turn on/off the camera.

Side of a DSLR Body

Side of a DSLR Body

1. Viewfinder – One of the major differences between DSLRs and P&S cameras is the quality of the viewfinder. Because the light is reflected up with the help of a mirror, you’re looking at the world at the speed of light! Not to mention it’s much brighter and has lots of information about your settings inside of it.

2. Devices – Usually two slots for different types of cables or attachments. HDMI and USB are a must, while latest cameras also feature a microphone input for better audio quality!

And that’s pretty much it, a simple explanation with a couple of images about DSLR buttons. Once you actually get the camera in your hands you’ll slowly get the feel for all of this, and in just a couple of weeks you won’t even have to look at what you’re pressing anymore!

Lens that you need to buy to do brilliant photography

Here in this article we are focusing on a number of typical situations that kit-lens-toting photographers often find themselves in. For each example, we’ve highlighted some of the factors that should be considered when trying to find the right lens for the job. While these are factors which are relevant whatever camera and lens system you’re using, in each case we’ve also highlighted a couple of lenses that would be a good choice for specific set-ups without blowing the budget.

If you want an all-day / travel lens

dslr holiday photography

When you’re on holiday or traveling, you probably don’t want to be lugging several lenses and cameras around with you – unless you’re the most dedicated of photographers, that is. It’s often the same if you’re trying to enjoy a day with the family and don’t want to spend all day changing lenses and moaning about your back.

As such, a good all-day or travel lens would be one that was easy enough to carry around, but still offered you the freedom to capture shots from landscapes to portraits, and zoom in on distant objects. For Micro Four Thirds shooters, that could be something like the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140 mm f/3.5-5.6, or the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II if a DX Nikon is your DSLR or choice.

If you want to do street photography


Street photography can be done with almost any lens, though a 300 mm F2.8 might raise a few eyebrows from your subjects. However, a focal range of around 35-50 mm is often seen as the ideal for capturing the moment in urban areas.

Unless you want all of your subjects looking directly at the camera, you’d probably be best served by something discrete. It’s also important that street photography lenses feature a fast maximum aperture for lower-light situations. This means that something like the Fuji XF 23 mm f1.4 R Lens would be a great selection. The Sigma 35 mm F1.4 DG HSM has also been very well received by many DSLR street shooters.

If you want to photograph your kids running around in the garden

dslr kids running and playing

Many people shell out for a DSLR or mirrorless interchangeable lens camera when they have a child, but by the time that child starts running around, the kit lens struggles to keep up, both in terms of aperture and focal range. This is especially true if you’re trying to photograph the kids running around in the garden or on the sports field.

This means you need something with a bit more reach, but probably without the bulk and weight that a professional lens would bring. A zoom lens will allow you to keep your shots framed as you want while your subject moves around in front of you. So, if you feel you just need some added reach, the EF-S 55-250 mm f/4-5.6 IS II could get you closer to the action. But if you want a bit more speed (and to be the best equipped parent at the game), there’s the Canon EF 70-200 mm f/4L USM.

If you want to take landscape photographs

dslr rocks landscape photo

While the kit lenses which come with most cameras are surprisingly good at the wide angle end, you could find that they don’t quite go far enough for some of the landscape images you try to take. So, unless you’re able to keep moving backwards, you’re going to need a new lens.

Focal length is key here, and you’ll only get some landscapes if you’ve got an ultra wide angle lens. You could go for either a prime or a zoom, but most people in this situation are probably going to be best-served by a zoom. A lens like the AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24 mm f/3.5-4.5G ED could be good for APS-C Nikon shooters, while the Olympus 9-18 mm f/4-5.6 ZUIKO would do the job on Micro Four Thirds cameras.

If want a lens which will make you improve as a photographer


After a while you might find that you’ve simply outgrown your kit lens. You suddenly find that it’s stifling your creative ambitions and preventing you from taking the photos that you want, even if they are within its focal length reach.

This is the ideal time to get yourself a fast prime lens, and the good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to do it. Getting something like a Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35 mm f/1.8G or the Sony E 50 mm f/1.8 OSS will mean you can play around with shallower depths of field, and shoot naturally in conditions that would have otherwise required a flash. Because they are primes, it also means you need to zoom with your feet, which will in turn probably mean you spend more time thinking about how you compose shots. Never a bad thing.

Canon EOS Rebel T5 Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens

The Canon EOS Rebel T5 SLR camera with the EF-S 18-55mm IS II standard zoom lens is perfect for families, budding photo enthusiasts and first-time SLR users alike. EOS Rebel T5 makes it easy to capture movies and photos that are nothing short of dazzling. It features a powerful 18 megapixel CMOS image sensor and DIGIC 4 image processor for easy recording of HD video and high-resolution photos and has a huge 3-inch LCD screen for Live View recording and review. With a 63-zone, dual-layer metering system, an expanded ISO range for outstanding operation in less-than-perfect light, shooting modes like Scene Intelligent Auto to take the guesswork out of complex shots plus creative options like Basic+ function and Creative Auto, the EOS Rebel T5 is ready for anything. With a helpful Feature Guide, rugged, lightweight construction and proven Canon design, the EOS Rebel T5 makes EOS SLR photography faster and easier than ever!

Reasons to buy

  • Includes optically stabilized lens
  • Raw shooting support
  • Detailed images at high ISOs
  • 1080p video capture
  • On-screen shooting guide

Things to consider

  • Fixed LCDPentamirror viewfinder
  • Pentamirror viewfinder
  • Slower autofocus
  • Burst shooting limited to 3fps
  • Small buffer when shooting Raw
  • No microphone input

Technical Specifications

Auto Focus Technology
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus Points 9
Battery Average Life 500 Photos
Color Black
Compatible Devices
  • Canon Lenses
  • EF-S Lenses
Compatible Mountings
  • Canon EF
  • Canon EF-S
Configuration Base
Continuous Shooting Speed 3 fps
Digital Zoom 8x
Display LCD
Display Fixture Type Fixed
Display Resolution Maximum 460000
Display Size 3 inches
Effective Still Resolution 18 MP
Expanded ISO Maximum 6,400
Expanded ISO Minimum 100
Exposure Control Type
  • Scene Intelligent Auto
  • Program
  • Shutter Priority
  • Aperture Priority
  • Manual
External Memory Included No
File Format JPEG, RAW (CR2)
Flash Memory Type SD/SDHC/SDXC card
Flash Modes Description Auto
Flash Sync Speed 1/200 sec
Flash Type Built-In Flash
Flash Type Hot-shoe, E-TTL II
Focus Description TTL-CT-SIR, 9 focus points
Focus Type Includes Manual Focus
Form Factor Compact SLR
GPS None
HDMI Type mini-HDMI
ISO Range Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400
Image Aspect Ratio 3:2
Image Stabilization None
Image types
  • RAW
  • JPEG
Included Components
  • EOS Rebel T5 Body
  • EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens
  • Eyecup Ef (Not shown)
  • Battery Pack LP-E10
  • Battery Charger LC-E10
  • Wide Strap EW-300D
  • USB Interface Cable IFC-130U
  • EOS Digital Solution Disc & Software Instruction Manual CD
  • Camera Instruction Manual (Not shown)
  • One Year Limited One Year Limited Warranty Card
Item Dimensions 3.94 x 3.07 x 5.12 inches
Item Weight 1.06 pounds
Lens Type zoom
Lithium Battery Energy Content 6.8 Watt Hours
Lithium Battery Weight 45 grams
Manufacturer Warranty Description 1 year limited
Material Type Composite
Maximum Aperture ƒ/3.5
Maximum Focal Length 55 mm
Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000 of a second
Maximum horizontal resolution 5,184
Metering Multi, Center-weighted, Partial
Minimum Aperture ƒ/38
Minimum Focal Length 18 mm
Minimum Shutter Speed 30 seconds
Model Year 2014
Optical Sensor Resolution 18 MP
Optical Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9mm
Optical Sensor Technology CMOS
Optical Zoom 5.6x
Photo Filter Thread Size 58 mm
Photo Sensor Technology CMOS
Processor Description Digic 4
Remote Control Description E3 connector
Removable Memory Secure Digital card
Resolution modes 18MP
Self-timer Yes
Sensor Cleaning Method Low-pass filter vibration
Shipping Weight 2.6 pounds
Style Name 18-55mm
Supported Battery Types Lithium-Ion LP-E10 rechargeable battery & charger
USB 2.0 1
Video Capture Format h.264
Video Capture Resolution 1080p_hd
Viewfinder Magnification 0.8x
Viewfinder Type Optical (pentamirror)
Water Resistance Level Not Water Resistant
Weather Resistance No

Accessories to buy

Nikon D3300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR

The Nikon D3300 is an entry-level DSLR with an impressive spec list, including a 24 megapixel sensor and 1080/60p HD video recording. It provides the right level of controls for a beginner, offers a number of in-camera retouch options, and boasts excellent battery life.

Reasons to buy

  • Sensor is one of the best in its class
  • Light, well-balanced body
  • Detailed, smooth 1080/60p HD video
  • Rear command dial makes shooting in P, A and S modes easy
  • Excellent battery life

Things to consider

  • Some useful settings buried in camera menu
  • Limited control over aperture in Live View or movie modes
  • Auto mode uses very slow shutter speeds when flash is off
  • Movie mode poorly thought-out
  • Slow auto focus in Live View mode

Suggested for

A beginner specifically looking for a DSLR experience who may want to eventually take a little control over shooting settings.

Not suggested for

Those looking for lots of easily accessible, reliable in-camera effects modes and features, Wi-Fi, fast focusing in live view, and those who want to regularly take control over more camera settings.

Technical Specifications

Auto Focus Technology
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus Points 11
Battery Average Life 700 Photos
Color Black
Compatible Mountings
  • Nikon F (FX)
  • Nikon F (DX)
Configuration Base
Continuous Shooting Speed 5 fps
Display LCD
Display Fixture Type Fixed
Display Resolution Maximum 921000
Display Size 3 inches
Effective Still Resolution 24.2 MP
Expanded ISO Maximum 25,600
Expanded ISO Minimum 100
Exposure Control Type
  • Programmed auto with flexible program (P)
  • Shutter-priority (S)
  • Aperture priority (A)
  • Manual (M)
External Memory Included Yes
File Format NEF (RAW, 12-bit), JPEG
Flash Memory Type SD/SDHC/SDXC
Flash Modes Description Auto, Fill-in, Flash off, Red-eye reduction, Slow synchronization
Flash Sync Speed 1/200 sec
Flash Type Built-In Flash
Flash Type via hot shoe or wireless
Focus Description Multi-CAM 1000 with TTL AF
Focus Type Includes Manual Focus
Form Factor Compact SLR
GPS Optional
HDMI Type mini HDMI
ISO Range Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 25600 (with boost)
Image Aspect Ratio 3:2
Image Stabilization None
Image types
  • RAW
  • JPEG
Included Components
  • D3300 DX-format Digital SLR Kit with 18-55mm DX Vibration Reduction II Zoom Lens (Black)
  • EN-EL14a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • MH-24 Quick Charger
  • UC-E17 USB Cable
  • EG-CP14 Audio Video Cable
  • DK-25 Rubber Eyecup
  • AN-DC3 Camera Strap
  • BF-1B Body Cap
  • NikonView NX CD-ROM
  • LC-52 Front Lens Cap
  • Rear Lens Cap
Item Dimensions 3.86 x 2.99 x 4.88 inches
Item Weight 0.95 pounds
Lens Type Interchangeable
Lithium Battery Energy Content 8.85 Watt Hours
Lithium Battery Weight 3.5 ounces
Material Type Carbon fiber, composite
Maximum Aperture ƒ/36
Maximum Focal Length 55 mm
Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000 of a second
Maximum horizontal resolution 6,000
Memory Slots Available 1
Metering Multi, Center-weighted, Spot AF-area
Minimum Aperture ƒ/3.5
Minimum Focal Length 18 mm
Minimum Shutter Speed 30 seconds
Model Year 2014
Optical Sensor Resolution 24.2 MP
Optical Sensor Technology CMOS
Optical Zoom 3x
Photo Filter Thread Size 52 mm
Photo Sensor Technology CMOS
Processor Description Expeed 4
Remote Control Description Optional
Self-timer Yes
Sensor Cleaning Method Comprehensive Dust Reduction System
Shipping Weight 2.7 pounds
Style Name w/ 18-55mm
Supported Battery Types EN-EL14a lithium-ion battery and charger
USB 2.0 1
Video Capture Format mpeg-4;h.264
Video Capture Resolution 1080p_hd
Viewfinder Magnification 0.85x
Viewfinder Type Optical (pentamirror)
Water Resistance Level Not Water Resistant
Weather Resistance No

Case Logic DCB-304

by Case Logic [Caselogic]
Rank/Rating: 96882/-
Price: INR 1,355.00

Nikon D3300 For Dummies

by Julie Adair King [John Wiley & Sons]
Rank/Rating: 140033/-
Price: INR 1,608.39

AmazonBasics Holster Camera Case for DSLR Cameras (Black)

by AmazonBasics [AmazonBasics]
Rank/Rating: 90066/-
Price: INR 1,929.00

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-300mm F/4.5-5.6G ED VR Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon DSLR Camera

by Nikon [Nikon]
Rank/Rating: 14868/-
Price: INR 23,700.00

What is DSLR and how it works?

What is DSLR?

A digital single-lens reflex camera commonly known as DSLR is a digital camera that uses mirrors to direct light from the lens to the viewfinder, which is a hole on the back of the camera that you look through to see what you are taking a picture of.

DSLRs largely replaced film-based SLRs during the 2000s, and despite the rising popularity of mirrorless system cameras in the early 2010s, DSLRs remained the most common type of interchangeable lens camera in use.

Explaining how does a DSLR works.

The following image of an SLR cross section (image courtesy of Wikipedia):

  1. Lens
  2. Reflex mirror
  3. Shutter
  4. Image sensor
  5. Matte focusing screen
  6. Condenser lens
  7. Pentaprism
  8. Eyepiece/Viewfinder

When you look through the viewfinder on the back of the camera, whatever you see is exactly what you are going to get in the photograph. The scene that you are taking a picture of passes through the lens in a form of light into a reflex mirror (#2) that sits at a 45 degree angle inside the camera chamber, which then forwards the light vertically to an optical element called a “pentaprism” (#7). The pentaprism then converts the vertical light to horizontal by redirecting the light through two separate mirrors, right into the viewfinder (#8).

When you take a picture, the reflex mirror (#2) swings upwards, blocking the vertical pathway and letting the light directly through. Then, the shutter (#3) opens up and the light reaches the image sensor (#4). The shutter (#3) remains open for as long as needed for the image sensor (#4) to record the image, then the shutter (#3) closes and the reflex mirror (#2) drops back to the 45 degree angle to continue redirecting the light into the viewfinder.

Obviously, the process doesn’t stop there. Next, a lot of complicated image processing happens on the camera. The camera processor takes the information from the image sensor, converts it into an appropriate format and writes it into a memory card. The whole process takes very little time and some professional DSLRs can do this 11 times in one second!

The above is a very simple way to explain how DSLR cameras work.

To read a lot more about DSLRs, check out at Wikipedia.


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