Tablets, Cameras and Camcorders

Learning Objectives

  • be able to identify the key features of tablets, cameras and camcorders and understand the terminology behind how the devices function.

Learning Outcomes

Must – understand key terminology and functions relating to tablets, cameras and camcorders.

Should – be able to comfortably explain how each device operates.

Could – recommend devices to different users by explaining their suitable features.


A tablet is a mobile device that has features of a computer and a mobile phone.  Tablets are light, flat and handheld and have an inbuilt battery, storage and memory.  Tablets have in-built sensor called an Accelerometer, which helps to rotate the screen’s dimension when the tablet is rotated by its user.   In terms of storage, tablets have in built flash memory rather than a hard drive storage, its primary advantage is that it is a lot lighter and takes up far less space.  Tablets have inbuilt features such as a camera, swipe, and pinch screen motions and wake and sleep function.  All tablets have the ability to connect to Networks.  The vast majority have built-in Wireless Cards to allow them to connect to Wireless Networks.  More expensive tablets have GSM capabilities which allow them to connect to mobile networks through the purchase of data plans.  The most common types of connection are 3G and 4G.

Tablets have programs on them called Apps or Applications.  These can be downloaded from the relevant App store based on the Operating System the device runs on.

Click these links to access the specs of two popular tablets, the Apple iPad and the Microsoft Surface.

Task 1 – In your exercise book, draw a suitably labelled diagram which explains what an accelerometer in a tablet does.  Remember, this is a common exam question!

Task 2 – Name 3 different types of storage methods that you would expect to find on a tablet.  Explain the pros/cons associated which each method of storage.

Task 3 – Explain the different security methods you could employ when using a tablet device.  Remember to think about the documents/files/apps on the tablet itself when developing your answer.


A digital camera is a device that is used to capture images.  It is a common input device.  Digital cameras capture images and store them as photographic images.   In terms of a digital camera you will need to know about the following:

Pixels and Mega Pixels (MP)

A Pixel is a tiny block of colour on a screen/display.  When pixels are placed together, pixels form a complete image or a photograph.  Dependent on the size an image or photograph could be made up of millions of different pixels.  Digital Cameras are measured in their MP capability (Mega Pixel Capability),  Mega meaning 1 million.  For example, a camera of 1MP is One million pixels in size.  A 13MP camera is Thirteen million pixels in size.  When placed onto a screen, pixels are converted to Resolution in order to fit.  For example, a 1MP image would need a 1000 x 1000 size resolution in order to display itself properly.  In theory, the bigger the MP file the greater resolution required.  Higher resolution means that more memory is needed on the device/computer to store the image.

A lot of phones/cameras and devices are sold based on the MP size capability.  The untrue rule of thumb is that the bigger the number the better the image.  That is not always the case as shown in the video below.

Camera Storage

As a generic rule of thumb, digital cameras come with a small amount of inbuilt memory which is used for storage.  The memory is sufficient enough to store a few images, but sadly if the user wishes to store more they will need another storage medium.  Thankfully, cameras have the capability to store images of devices called Memory Cards.  Over time, Memory Cards have become smaller and significantly cheaper, whilst offering the type of storage capacity you would typically find on a hard drive from an older PC!

You are likely to find these two types of Memory Card.  An SD Card (SD stands for Secure Digital) and a Micro SD Card (which is a smaller version of an SD Card).  Because a Micro SD card is significantly smaller than an SD card it requires an adaptor in order to work properly in some types of Digital Cameras.

What is the difference between SD Cards and SDHC Cards?

Read this article here.  Make sure you understand that SDHC Cards don’t work on a Digital Camera!


The Camcorder first came to prominence in the mid-1980s.  A camcorder was an expensive item at the time, check out the advert from Dixons (the long gone Electronics Retailer).  Camcorder at £1199.  Equivalent to just over £3400 in today’s money

It became mainstream and popular in the early 1990s.  Below is the first ever episode of the ITV show “You’ve Been Framed” from 14th April 1990.  It’s still going now 26 years later!  The show introduced Home Videos to the nation and was an instant hit.  Watch the first 3 minutes of the episode.

Old camcorders stored videos on VHS Tape.  VHS Tape could be played back on VHS Recorders.  As the years’ evolved storage moved from VHS tape to CD, to Memory Card and now to SDHC Memory Cards.  The HD capabilities of SDHC cards allows camcorder users to record in HD.  Camcorders have gone in size from heavy and cumbersome, to lightweight devices that can be stored inside your pocket.

Task 4 – Use the Internet to locate 2 different types of digital camera.  Ensure you put down the key features and functions of both devices.


Ensure you have a complete set of notes/activities for the Previous 6 lessons.  You will need to use these notes for your mock examination preparation in December.