What Is a Camera Prism?

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A camera prism is placed behind the viewfinder to help the photographer see exactly what the camera sees, which creates more accurate images. Understand how a camera prism works with information from a professional freelance photographer in this free video on photography.

Part of the Video Series: Photography Tips & Projects
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Video Transcript

In this clip, we're going to talk about what exactly a Camera Prism is. O.k., so in order to start explaining exactly what a Camera Prism is. I kind of, have to explain the beginning of photography, to you in general. The first cameras were actually called the Pinhole camera. And it's kind of like, it's easiest for me to explain to you in the way. That my friend did it for a Science project. Just imagine like a Quaker Oats box and having a negative sitting inside. And a pinhole on the front of it. And all you would do, is basically just take the front of the pinhole, off. Expose that pinhole to light. And let all of the light hit the light sensitive film. That way, an image would actually appear on, a negative image would on the film. That obviously, is not how we take pictures anymore. We've advanced in Science. And now following that, we got into Camera Obscura. And that actually helped you, instead of having the box. And not really getting to take a short image. It took a long time. You were able to actually see what you're going to take the picture of. They had the view finder which is usually like. This is a modern camera. A view finder would sit up on the top. and that way, you can kind of see what you're looking for. And be able to focus, depending on what you were seeing. Based on the eye. Unfortunately, that was great if what you were taking a picture. Was in the depth of filed. But it was too close or too far away. Then you really weren't taking a picture of what the camera was seeing. You guys were seeing something different. The Camera Prism comes into play with the SLR camera. Which this a very old SLR. It's an 80 I. It's basically, right up in here. They put it in front of where the lens is. Or the view finder, I'm so sorry. And when you take the picture, this way. The Camera Prism helps you see exactly what the camera's seeing. And Camera Prism is just like any prism that you've seen before. Usually the rainbows go through. It's like a triangle or. But this one is a five sided. It is a Roof Pentaprism. And basically yeah, it just helps you see exactly what the camera's seeing.

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