Question: How does a camera work?

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  1. Not my area of expertise but it involves letting light in through an aperture and capturing it somehow. That used to be with film but now it’s digital technology.


  2. Cameras capture and record visual information – either directly, onto film or digitally.

    In a digital camera, light goes into the lens and lands on a small sensor. The sensor is divided into millions of tiny squares – or pixels as they’re called.

    Each little square is a bit like a solar panel. As the image hits the sensor, each square gets a different electrical charge depending on the brightness and colour of the light hitting it.

    The computer in the camera takes the grid of electrical charges and converts them into a picture. It’s recorded as a computer file so it can be accessed as many times as you like and moved around.

    You might like this YouTube clip:

    Or go straight to wikipedia for more detail:


  3. @mia has a great description of how it all works.

    All you need to remember is that its all glass and chemistry.

    We used to use film to put in the back of our cameras. The light would fall on this film making small chemical reactions. You would then take the film to a specialist who, with more chemistry would print your photos on paper.

    New cameras are almost the same, just much better in my opinion. The light now falls on a special material we now a CCD. A different type of chemical reaction occurs there as well.