Definition: Adjustable Camera

Definition: Adjustable Camera | Glossary entry

Adjustable Camera

Adjustable camera - settings can be adjusted manually

Adjustable camera - settings can be adjusted manually

An adjustable camera is one that has settings that can be adjusted manually. A fully adjustable camera can have its focus, ISO, aperture and shutter speed adjusted.

The focus can be adjusted so the subject can be in focus as close to the lens as the lens itself will focus, and as far away as infinity. Some lenses are more restricted in their range, but the adjustment is still there to allow manual focus. Some lenses are fixed with no focus. In this case there is no adjustment. This was more common in film cameras. Today, most digital cameras tend to have some sort of focus control, although not all of them.

The shutter speed can be adjusted – so the adjusted setting determines the length of time the shutter stays open. Normal shutter speed variations lie in the range of 2500ths/sec down to 30 seconds duration.

The aperture, the hole through which the light enters the camera, can have its size adjusted. This determines how much light can enter the lens while the shutter is open. The aperture values available can vary according to the lens.

In a film camera the sensitivity of the film is determined by loading a film that is suitable for the Ambient Light where the photographer is shooting. In a digital camera, the ISO setting allows the photographer to adjust the sensitivity of the digital sensor. The setting of ISO sensitivity allows the photographer to control the brightness range that the camera can work within without clipping details from the highlights or extreme shadows.

All Digital Single Lens Reflex Cameras are adjustable. However, many point-and-shoot cameras are not adjustable. This is because some point-and-shoot cameras are usable without any adjustment or a few simple adjustments. In general, an adjustable camera requires that the critical factors for photography are adjusted – focus, ISO, aperture and shutter speed. They may have other adjustments and various photographic modes too.

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By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

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Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
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