DSLR cameras work in a combination of different settings. Here are 5 web applications to help you learn the basics of DSLR cameras.

Unlike old-school point-and-shoot cameras, Digital SLRs or simply DSLR cameras work in a combination of different settings and features. The three main aspects of a DSLR camera to capture perfectly exposed images are:

  • Shutter Speed
  • Aperture
  • ISO

All these settings are interrelated to one another.

Basics of Manual Mode In A DSLR

Shutter Speed

This setting controls how long the shutter opens to expose the image sensor to that light. Open it for just a millisecond and you can freeze a fast-moving subject.

Alternatively, you can show the movement of a fast-moving subject by keeping it open longer with a slow shutter speed.


The aperture setting controls the size of the lens opening that allows light into your camera. You can blur the foreground and background that bracket your subject (known as shallow depth of field) by opening up the aperture with a low f-stop number.

Alternatively, you can keep your photo sharp from the foreground through to the background (known as wide depth of field) by closing the aperture down with a high f-stop number.


With the ISO setting a camera’s image sensor can be adjusted to detect more or less light as needed for a good exposure. High ISO will cause graininess so as a rule use the lowest ISO possible.

The photo effects you want to achieve with the aperture and shutter speed will impact the amount of light reaching the sensor, so use the ISO to adjust its sensitivity to get a good exposure.

Now, if you are planning to buy your first DSLR or you have just got your hands on one. The first thing you should do is understand the basics of it.

Web Apps For Learning Basics of DSLR

Here are 5 web applications or camera simulators to help you learn the basics of a DSLR camera.



Canon Play is a web application by Canon where you can play with the camera controls found in the “Creative Zone” of an EOS Digital SLR. With this simple web application, you can dictate the outcome of your photos and get the effects you want.

Camera Setting Sliders allow you to set the three primary variables used to control a photograph’s exposure:

  • Shutter Speed
  • Aperture or F/Stop
  • ISO

Also, there is a challenge mode that puts your photography skills to the test using 6 different image scenarios.



CameraSim is a tool that makes DSLR photography accessible for anyone who wants to learn it. While nothing can replace a real camera, CameraSim has played in enlightening budding photographers all over the world.



Be The Camera is a real-time HTML5 camera simulator that demonstrates the relative noise levels and bokeh size of cameras based on their absolute aperture size. Unlike other web applications, Be The Camera allows you to change the camera model, lens, and overall scene.



Exposure Simulator is a tool by Tim Andersen that attempts to roughly simulate a final photograph given a particular set of camera settings.

Three shooting modes are available, including “Shutter Priority” (Tv) and “Aperture Priority (Av) modes, which all you to control one setting and have the camera auto-calculate the other for you to keep a proper exposure. “Manual” mode gives you full control over the exposure.



DOF Simulator has everything you need to know about the depth of field and understanding of how focus works. This web app is not just for amateurs but is beneficial for professionals as well.

This application interactively calculates the camera depth of field and background blur and visually simulates it on a photo together with different types of lens blur (bokeh) for any lens, camera, and distance combination.

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