Glossary / Technology

Digital Cameras Glossary

16:9 Widescreen Photo Mode: Many digital cameras offer this mode to let you take photos that have the same shape as a 16:9 aspec
35mm Equivalent: Focal length is a measure of the distance (in millimeters) from the optical center of a camera's len
A-V Outputs: Video or audio/video outputs are found on most digital cameras; they let you send an image to a TV f
Ambient Light: The natural light in a scene.
Analogue Digital Converter (ADC): Analogue to Digital Converter, this takes the analogue output and is able to turn it into digital fo
Aperture: A small, circular opening inside the lens that can change in diameter to control the amount of light
Aperture Priority Mode: The Aperture Priority mode can be found in most DSLR and SLR-like cameras and even some compact Digi
Aperturethe: Opening in the lens that allows light in to expose the image.
Application: A computer program, such as an image editor or image browser.
Archival: The ability of a material, including some printing papers and compact discs, to last for many years.
Artifacts: Distortions of the image often caused by noises or heavy handed use.
Auto Focus: All Digital Cameras feature the Auto Focus (AF) function. In AF mode a Digital Camera automatically
Batteries: The power source for the camera's electronic features.
Brightness Controls: Adjustments on an LCD to make it more readable in bright light.
Buffer: Memory in the camera that stores digital photos before they are written to the memory card.
Burning: Selectively darkening part of a photo with an image editing program.
Burst Mode: Continuous mode, often called burst mode, lets you press and hold a camera's shutter button to captu
Camera Bag: A protective padded back for the camera and accessories.
Card Reader: A small USB device that reads image files into the computer.
CCD Technology: With cameras with this technology it acts like a enhancer it uses the technology to enable images of
CD-R: CD-Recordable: a compact disc that holds either 650 or 700 MB of digital information, including digi
CD-RW: CD-Rewritable: similar in virtually all respects to a CD-R, except that a CD-RW disc can be written
CDROM: A type of storage medium for digital cameras.
Center-Weighted Averaging: Light metering that averages the exposure from the entire image with emphasis on the center zone.
Charge Coupled Device (CCD): One of the two main types of image sensors used in digital cameras. When a picture is taken, the CCD
CMYK: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black. The four colors in the inksets of many photo-quality printers. Some pr
Compact Flash: This is a removable memory type used to record and store digital images.
Compactflash Card: A popular form of removable media originally developed by sandisk. Compactflash cards are used in so
Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS): One of the two main types of image sensors used in digital cameras. Its basic function is the same a
Continuous Mode: Continuous mode, often called burst mode, lets you press and hold a camera's shutter button to captu
Continuous Shooting: Successive images in rapid sequence; relatively slow in digital cameras.
Contrast: The difference between the darkest and lightest areas in a photo. The greater the difference, the hi
Conversion Lenses: Wide-angle or telephoto lenses that attach to permanent lens.
Crop Factor: If you own a digital SLR camera, you may have heard of crop factor, or focal length multiplier. Basi
Digital Camera: A camera that captures the photo not on film, but in an electronic imaging sensor that takes the pla
Digital Signal Processing (DSP): (also known as processor) This processes the raw data before it can be stored and viewed on the memo
Digital Zoom: The ability to magnify an optical image digitally, using interpolation. Digital cameras can come wit
Diopter Adjustment: Adapts the viewfinder to your vision so you see the subject in sharp focus.
Dodging: Selectively lightening part of a photo with an image editing program.
Dots Per Inch (DPI): A measurement of the resolution of a digital photo or digital device, including digital cameras and
Download: The process of moving computer data from one location to another. Though the term is normally used t
Echangeable Image File (EXIF): The file format used by most digital cameras. For example, when a typical camera is set to record a
Effective Pixel Count: There are two different ways to think about the pixels on a camera's image sensor. 'Actual' pixels i
Effective Pixels: This is the number of pixels of the CCD used to make up the final image.
Evaluative (Multi-Pattern) Metering: Measures the light in different zones and adjusts for conditions.
Exif Print: An Exif Print-capable camera is great if you're going to be printing out photos on an Exif Print-com
Exposure: Exposure refers to the amount of light to which the camera's image sensor is exposed. Three factors
Exposure Compensation: Adjusts exposure reading for backlight or bright conditions.
Exposure Lock: Feature that holds focus or exposure while you compose the image.
External Flash: A supplementary flash unit that connects to the camera with a cable, or is triggered by the light fr
F-Stop: A small, circular opening inside the lens that can change in diameter to control the amount of light
Face Detection: Face detection is a recent technology commonly found in point-and-shoot cameras. It recognizes one o
File: A computer document.
Fill Flash: A flash technique used to brighten deep shadow areas, typically outdoors on sunny days. Some digital
Film Speed: With traditional film cameras, sensitivity, also known as ISO, represents the film's sensitivity to
Fire: Slang for shooting a picture. Example: I pressed the shutter button to fire.
Firewire: A type of cabling technology for transferring data to and from digital devices at high speed. Some p
Flash: Built-in to most digital cameras, sometimes adjust for intensity of flash.
Floppy Disks: Storage media for some digital cameras.
Focal Length: Focal length is a measure of the distance (in millimeters) from the optical center of a camera's len
Full Frame Image Sensor: Some advanced digital SLR cameras feature an image sensor that has the same dimensions as a frame of
Grayscale: A photo made up of varying tones of black and white. Grayscale is synonymous with black and white.
Handle The Camera: Try before you buy.
Highlights: The brightest parts of a photo.
Histogram: A graphic representation of the range of tones from dark to light in a photo. Some digital cameras i
Hot-Shoe Receptacle: A fixture allowing the use of an extermal flash.
Image Browser: An application that enables you to view digital photos. Some browsers also allow you to rename files
Image Editor: A computer program that enables you to adjust a photo to improve its appearance. With image editing
Image Resolution: The number of pixels in a digital photo is commonly referred to as its image resolution.
Image Sensor: A digital camera's image sensing element, or as it's often referred to, its image sensor. The image
Image Stabilization: A feature that reduces the blurring of images that occurs as a result of camera shake when taking ha
Inkjet: A printer that places ink on the paper by spraying droplets through tiny nozzles.
Inkjet Printer: Can be used to print photo-quality prints.
Internation Standards Organisation (ISO): This gives details on the light sensitivity and speed of film.
Interpolation: A software program that will add pixels but no more detail to the image.
ISO Film Speed Equivalency: With traditional film cameras, sensitivity, also known as ISO, represents the film's sensitivity to
ISO Settings: Adjustable on some cameras to simulate speed of film.
ISO Speed: A rating of a film's sensitivity to light. Though digital cameras don't use film, they have adopted
JPEG: A standard for compressing image data developed by the Joint Photographic Experts Group, hence the n
Lcd Viewscreen: Color LCD view screens are pretty much the norm on today's digital cameras; they can operate in plac
Lens Cap: Snaps or clips onto the lens for protection.
Light Metering: Camera's capability for automatic or manual reading of light.
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD): A low-power monitor often used on the top and/or rear of a digital camera to display settings or the
Live View Mode: In traditional digital SLR cameras, the LCD view screen can only be used to play back captured image
Macro Mode: Many digital cameras offer a 'Macro' mode. This mode changes the focus setting to let the camera foc
Macro Setting: A close-up feature on some cameras.
Manual Focus: Manual Focus mode allows a user to manual control the lenses and set the distance to the subject. It
Manual Setting: Allows you to set speed, aperture and other features.
Media: Material that information is written to and stored on. Digital photography storage media includes co
Megabyte (MB): A measurement of data storage equal to 1024 kilobytes (KB).
Megapixel (MP): One million pixels. The more megapixels a camera has, the higher its maximum resolution — and the
Memory: Digital cameras store the photos they take to some kind of memory. In nearly all cases, this will be
Memory Stick: A memory card slightly smaller than a single stick of chewing gum. Like compactflash and smartmedia,
Movie Mode: Most point-and-shoot digital cameras, and even a select number of newer digital SLRs, let you record
Nickel Metal-Hybrid (NiMH): A type of rechargeable battery that can be recharged many times. Nimh batteries provide sufficient p
Online Photo Printer: A company that receives digital photos uploaded to its Web site, prints them, then sends the prints
Optical Zoom: The ability to magnify a subject for close-ups, by adjusting the camera's lens assembly (thus the na
Panning: A photography technique in which the camera follows a moving subject. Done correctly, the subject is
Panorama Shooting: Photographing several overlapping images in succession that can be joined in the computer using soft
Pictbridge: Pictbridge is an international direct-print standard adopted by most major manufacturers of digital
Pixel: Short for 'picture element.' A digital camera's image sensor consists of millions of pixels, each on
Playback Feature: Allows you to review your images after shooting.
Priority Modes: Aperture and shutter speed priority modes are a shortcut to easy exposure adjustment. To set exposur
Rangefinder Cameras: Show a slightly offset image because of different alignment of lens and viewfinder.
Raw Image Format: A mode found on digital SLRs (and a few point-and-shoot models) that allows all the digital data cap
Red Green Blue (RGB): The three colors to which the human visual system, digital cameras and many other devices are sensit
Red-Eye: The red glow from a subject's eyes caused by light from a flash reflecting off the blood vessels beh
Red-Eye Reduction: Minimizes the reflection from the camera's built-in flash.
Remote Control: Allows activating the camera from a short distance away.
Removable Media: All of our digital cameras use some kind of reusable removable memory, such as Memory Sticks, compac
Resolution: The number of pixels used to capture an image. Resolution ranges from low (640 x 480) to high (2592
Saturation: How rich the colors are in a photo.
Scene Mode: Most cameras offer what are called 'scene modes' — settings that are optimized for the demands of
Secure Digital (SD) Card: A Secure Digital (SD) card is an SDMI-compliant flash memory card used in many digital cameras, memo
Self-Timer: A setting that allows a lapse between pressing the shutter button and firing of the camera.
Sensitivity: With traditional film cameras, sensitivity, also known as ISO, represents the film's sensitivity to
Serial: A method for connecting an external device such as a printer, scanner, or camera, to a computer. It
Sharpness: The clarity of detail in a photo.
Shutter Priority Mode: Shutter Priority mode can be found in most dSLRs and SLR-like cameras and some compact Digital Camer
Shutter Speed: The speed at which a digital camera's shutter exposes the image sensor to light. A shutter speed of
Single-Lens Reflex (SLR): An SLR, or single-lens reflex, camera is named for its picture-taking mechanism. In a film SLR, the
Size: Extremely variable in digital cameras.
Smartmedia: A wafer-thin, matchbook size memory card. This is also a flash-memory based storage medium.
Software: May include USB setup, image-editing or storage software.
Special Effects: Sepia, black-and-white, possibly others.
Spot Metering: Meters the light at the center of the image storage media.
Swiveling LCD: An LCD that rotates or twists so you can view a subject from odd angles television.
Telephoto Lens: A telephoto lens makes it possible to capture crisp, close-up shots of far-away subjects. The longer
Thumbnail: A small version of a photo. Image browsers commonly display thumbnails of photos several or even doz
Universal Serial Bus (USB): A protocol for transferring data to and from digital devices. Many digital cameras and memory card r
UV-Haze Filter: Protects lens and enhances some photographs.
Viewfinder: A viewfinder is the small square on the back of a camera that the photographer holds up to his eye.
White Balance: White balance is the electronic adjustment of light levels to remove unrealistic color tones or hues
Wide-Angle Lens: A wide-angle lens can capture an extra-wide view of the scene immediately before a camera. This allo
Zoom Lenses: Change the focal length from wide-angle to telephoto.