Digital Photography Terminology — What Do All Those Strange Words Mean? This sction on digital photography terminology brings us to the last lesson in our mini-course — the language and terminology of digital photography.
Digital photography includes many terms not used in traditional photography. If you’ve been wondering what some of them mean, here’s a short glossary that could help you better understand advertisements and reviews of digital cameras:
Digital Camera Terminology — What Do All Those Words Mean?
Aperture — An adjustable diaphragm of overlapping
blades that adjust the size
of the lens opening.
Automatic Mode — A setting that sets the focus, exposure and white-balance automatically.
Burst Mode or Continuous Capture Mode — a series of pictures taken one after another at quickly timed intervals with one press of the shutter button. It’s perfect for action shots because it eliminates lag time for a series of pictures.
CCD — A light sensitive chip that converts light into
CMOS — Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductors (pronounced Seemoss). Refers to a standard manufacturing process of making chips for computer microprocessors and memory. This process is also used in digital cameras.
Compression — The process of compacting digital data, images and text by deleting selected information.
Digital Zoom — Cropping and magnifying the center part of an image.
Dynamic Range — The ratio between the brightest and darkest parts of an image or scene.
JPEG — The predominant format used for image compression in digital cameras that compresses digital picture information to its lowest common value. It produces relatively small files from large amounts of image data by discarding certain information (lossy).
Lag Time — The pause between the time the shutter button is pressed and when the camera actually captures the image(exposes the shot). Lag time varies according to camera model.
LCD — (Liquid-Crystal Display) is a small screen on a digital camera (like a miniature computer monitor) for viewing images. Once the image leaves the CCD sensor, it can be viewed on the LCD to check for accurate composition and exposure.
Lens — A circular and transparent glass or plastic piece that has the function of collecting light and focusing it on the sensor to capture the image.
Megabyte — (MB) Measures 1024 Kilobytes, and refers to the amount of information in a file, or how much information can be contained on a Memory Card, Hard Drive or Disk.
Menu — A listing of camera functions usually displayed on the LCD screen.
Metering — The autoexposure mechanism that “measures” the light in the scene and determines the optimum exposure for the image, which allows compensation for difficult lighting situations.
Noise — The visible effects of electronic interference in the final image from a digital camera appearing as random spots, dots, or flecks of dust.
Optical Zoom — The magnification difference between minimum and maximum focal lengths in the lens system.
Pixels — Tiny units of color that make up digital pictures. Pixels also measure digital resolution. One million pixelsadds up to one megapixel.
RAM — Random Access Memory, the volatile memory used to temporarily store information for processing.
RAW —A lossless image format that captures raw data as it comes directly off the CCD, without in-camera processing, resulting in smaller files than TIFF. (Lossless means pixels are not discarded.) RAW files require a plugin to open.
RGB — Refers to Red, Green, Blue colors used on computers to create all other colors.
Resolution — Camera resolution describes the number of pixels used to create the image, which determines the amount of detail a camera can capture. The more pixels a camera has, the
more detail it can register and the larger the picture can be printed. Monitor and printer resolution are different from camera resolution.
Scene Modes — Preset exposure/shutter speed combinations which include white balance and exposure compensation.
Storage Card — The removable storage device which holds images taken with the camera, comparable to film, but much smaller.
Also called a digital camera memory card.
Thumbnail Index — A page that displays 9 or more miniature digital pictures in a grid. It can be compared to “contact sheets” of traditional photography.
TIFF — Tagged Image File Format (TIFF), an industry standard raster file format consisting of the image and header information. It is a “lossless” image format that doesn’t throw away information in the compression process.
Viewfinder — The optical “window” to look through to compose the scene. It can be optical, electrical, or TT.
White Balance — White balancing adjusts the camera to compensate for the type of light (daylight, fluorescent, incandescent, etc.,) or lighting conditions in the scene so it will look normal to the human eye.
You’ll find these terms and many more discussed in much greater depth in “Master Your Digital Camera in Four Easy Steps:” http://hop.clickbank.net/?photograph/dazzlepics
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Written by Rufina James