● Aperture – A circle-shaped opening in a lens through which light passes to strike the sensor. The aperture is usually created by an iris diaphragm that is adjustable, enabling the aperture to be made wider or narrower, thereby letting in more or less light. The size of the aperture is expressed as an f-number, like f/8 or f/11.● Camera Sensor – CCD (charge coupled device) and CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) image sensors are two different technologies for capturing images digitally. Each has unique strengths and weaknesses giving advantages in different applications. The sensor captures light and converts it to digital data that is recorded by the camera. For this reason, a sensor is often considered the digital version of film. The quality of an image captured by a sensor depends on its resolution. Therefore, an 24MP digital camera can capture twice as much information as a 12MP camera. The result is a larger photo with more detail.
● Camera shutter – a device that allows light to pass for a determined period of time, exposing the sensor to light in order to capture the image.
● Digital zoom – A feature that enlarges the subject within an image to fill more of the frame; using a digital zoom reduces the resolution of an image. Although fitted to many bridge cameras, this has no effect in real terms, the same result can be done on a computer. Of course, if photos are not going through a computer, then it is a useful addition.
● DOF – depth of field – is a measure of how much of a scene (from the front to the back of the image) will be in focus. A camera can only focus its lens at a single point, but there will be an area that stretches in front of and behind this focus point that still appears sharp. This zone is known as the depth of field. It’s not a fixed distance, it changes in size and can be described as either ‘shallow’ (where only a narrow zone appears sharp) or deep (where more of the picture appears sharp).
● DSLR – Stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex.
● Flare (lens) – Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens either in the image or shining into the lens but not in the image and which produces a haze. Most commonly, this occurs when shooting into the sun (when the sun is in frame or the lens is pointed in the direction of the sun), and is reduced by using a lens hood or other shade.
● f-Number – (ƒ-number) A number that expresses a lens’ light-transmitting ability – i.e. the size of the lens opening. f-numbers indicate the size of the aperture in relation to the focal length of the lens. A smaller number indicates a larger lens diameter. ƒ/1.4 signifies that the focal length of the lens is 1.4 times as great as the diameter. All lenses set at the same f-number transmit the same amount of light.
● Hyperfocal distance – is the closest distance at which a lens can be focused while keeping objects at infinity acceptably sharp. When the lens is focused at this distance, all objects at distances from half of the hyperfocal distance out to infinity will be acceptably sharp. Many use the rule of thumb which states that you should focus roughly 1/3 of the way into your scene in order to achieve maximum sharpness throughout. Whilst this is sometimes helpful, the precise distance actually depends on other factors, including subject distance, aperture and focal length.
● Image editing software – is used to manipulate a photo once it has been taken. Editing can be used to improve a photo (for example, improving the contrast and then sharpening the image), or can be more extreme (for example, cutting a person out of one photo and pasting them into a different photo).
● ISO – This refers to the sensors sensitivity to light. A low number ISO such as 100-400 ISO will produce a higher quality image. A faster ISO setting such as 1000 and upwards will produce a faster shutter speed but at the cost of more noise in the image.
● JPEG – An acronym for Joint Photographic Experts Group that describes an image file format standard in which the size of the file is reduced by compressing it. A “JPEG” image file name carries the extension “jpg” – e.g. “portrait.jpg
● LCD – A liquid crystal display (LCD) is most commonly used on digital cameras to view and preview digital photos.
● Megapixel – A megapixel is one million pixels. Commonly used to describe the resolution of digital cameras, a camera’s megapixel number is calculated by multiplying the number of vertical pixels by the number of horizontal pixels captured by the camera’s sensor. For example, if a camera captures 2048 vertical by 3072 horizontal pixels, for a total of 6,291,456 pixels(2048 x 3072) and is therefor said to be to be a 6.3 megapixel camera.
● Memory card – A removable device for storing images taken by a digital camera, sometimes also called a “Picture card.” Types of memory cards are – SD (Secure Digital) : SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) : SDXC (Secure Digital ‘Xtra Capacity’) : CompactFlash (CF) : Micro SD : xD : Multi Media Cards (MMC) : Ultra Direct Memory Access (UDMA). A card’s read speed describes how fast data can be retrieved from a card to your computer. The write speed describes how fast images can be saved onto a card, which is important when shooting bursts of images in continuous shooting mode.
● Noise – This refers to the digital interference seen in an image at maximum resolution. The less noise in an image the higher quality the image will appear. Noise can be added as an effect as well. Noise shows as random ‘colour flecks’ in shadows.
● Optical zoom – A feature that alters a camera’s focal length, filling more of the frame with the subject.
● Perspective – is a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional scene. In photography this can be achieved by viewing 3-D objects from an angle rather than head-on. A photograph is also given perspective if there are objects in the foreground, middle distance and background, giving the whole scene “depth”.
● PictBridge – allows digital cameras, camcorders, and other image-capture devices to connect and print directly to photo printers and other output devices; no PC is required.
● Pixels – This stands for picture elements. It is the basis upon which a digital image is built. A pixel is a tiny square of colour. A digital image is made up of millions of these. Pixels are so small that when viewed from a reasonable distance, all the pixels merge to form a sharp, clear image.
● RAW – A digital image format that contains the most information possible from a camera’s sensor. RAW data is unprocessed and has to be processed using a appropriate software. A common setting on many digital cameras, RAW is a file type option many photographers prefer over JPG, despite a huge increase in file size.
● Red Eye – An image in which a subject’s irises are red instead of black. The red eye effect is caused by light from a flash traveling through the iris and illuminating the retina at the interior back of the eye which is red in colour due to its blood vessels. Animals produce different colours
● Resolution – This term can describe either how many pixels a monitor can display or how fine a printer can print. Monitors. A small monitor may have a resolution of 640 x 480, which means there are 640 pixels horizontally across the screen and 480 pixels vertically. Some other common monitor resolutions are 800 x 600, 1024x 768, and 1280 x 1,024. The higher the resolution, the more that can be displayed on the screen. Printers. Printer resolution measures how fine a printer can print. This measurement is known as dots per inch, or “dpi.” The greater the dpi, the better the image clarity.
● Shutter Lag – Using a digital camera, the delay that occurs between pressing the shutter release button and the actual moment the picture is taken. It is very frustrating and action shots are very easily missed at the critical moment.
● Shutter speed – is the length of time that the shutter is left open. The scale used is easier to understand than the aperture system, because speeds are measured in fractions of a second. However, the numbers are often simplified – so 1/125 sec is shown as 125, 1/15 sec as 15 and so on. Speeds of a second or longer are shown as 1”, 2”, and so on.
● White balance – Digital cameras have the ability to adjust the colour based on the lighting situation where they are used. This is known as white balance. A camera uses white as a reference to adjust the colour balance to give a true as possible white, correcting all the other colours by doing this.
● Zoom lens – A lens with an adjustable focal length that lets you see a scene from a narrow to a wide field of view.