Photography Video Glossary of Terms
An accurate viewfinder means that what you see through the viewfinder is exactly what you’ll get in the picture. Quite a simple term and function but for someone who wants a basic point and shoot camera it's essential!
By manually adjusting either the shutter speed or the aperture size, you increase or reduce the amount of light that hits the image sensor. Altering this can allow you to create your own effect on a picture and as the camera automatically optimises the other settings this gives greater control and flexibility over your pictures but is not as complicated as a fully manual mode.
this is where the camera lens focuses automatically (nearly all cameras now do this).
Most modern digital cameras have many pre-set programmes for different situations these include sport, landscape or night time. When you select the pre set programme, the camera automatically configures the settings and focus settings to give you the best result.
A built-in flash enables you to use the camera in varying light conditions. Many flashes also reduce “red eye” effect.
A handheld portable video recorder. Today’s camcorders are very versatile and are all digital, varying camcorder models allow you to record onto a hard disk drive (HDD), memory card, digital videos or DVDs.
Card readers (Photography and Printers)
Plug into your PC or Laptop (note some have built in card readers) and insert a memory card for quick and easy download of images to your PC or Laptop. Photo printers and all-in-one printers often have memory card readers too so you can print directly from the memory card. Many cheap PCs and Laptops have card readers!
CCD or Charged coupled device
the Charged coupled device in a camera allows images to be delivered in a greater colour and detail.
Continuous shooting mode
continuous shooting operates when the shutter button is held down, several rapid-fire exposures are taken in one motion. This feature is excellent for fast-moving action and you will find the feature on many of the value range cameras.
CMOS sensor or Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor
A CMOS sensor in digital cameras gives a wider range and reduced light smear to footage. It results in high quality images with extremely realistic colour and definition.
The databack facility records and prints the time and date of the photograph, so you'll never forget when it was taken.
Digital camera facility (Camcorders)
Some camcorders have a memory card slot that lets you capture still photos onto the card.
Digital zoom allows you to enlarge the image by increasing the size of the pixels. The image may become fuzzier as you enlarge.
Digital SLR (single lens reflex) cameras have advanced features, manual controls and interchangeable lenses for greater creativity.
Dual recording mode (Camcorders)
A feature to take a still image while shooting videos.
These camcorders record straight onto a disc slightly smaller than a standard DVD. You can play it back on your DVD player immediately.
DV input (TV and Photography)
This type of a connection is typically used to connect a digital device, such as a digital camcorder, to your DVD recorder. You can then record your home movies onto DVD.
This feature adds light when the background light is not strong enough and the subject is too dark. It’s less harsh than a full flash.
Film speed measures a film's light sensitivity. Different film speeds perform better in different lighting environments. For example, 100 ISO works better in bright lighting conditions, whereas 400 ISO is more sensitive to light and is good in poor light.
Basic camera models are fixed focus which is fine for general shots. Compact cameras with autofocus produce sharper images automatically, as they measure the distance between the camera and the subject.
A small attachment at the top of some cameras for adding an external flash.
Image stabilisers digitally reduce camcorder and camera shake for steadier pictures.
ISO is a rating to show the camera's results in much lower light level. High ISO sensitivity, up to 3200, means you'll be able to get beautiful, atmospheric photography without needing to use flash. Low light levels is one of the most frequent causes of unsuccessful shots so a high ISO level can mean more of your shots come out better.
Joint Photographic Experts Group is a format for storing still images
A feature often identified by a flower icon on cameras. Macro mode helps when taking highly detailed close-ups.
Megabyte refers to memory and is used to denote the size of a flash memory card and how much can be stored on it.
The resolution of an image – the more megapixels, the more detailed the picture. Cameras are usually classed according to the number of megapixels they offer. Most compact cameras offer a resolution of around 5 megapixels. This is fine for emailing or printing up to A4 size. Many cameras have different quality settings so you can shoot at lower resolutions. This is because 10-megapixel shots take up more memory than 5-megapixel shots.
Removable data storage devices for images and data, typically found in cameras and mobile phones.
Some cameras allow you to take short movies with sound in AVI, MOV or MPEG format.
Optical image stabilisation
A unique optical apparatus in a camera/camcorder that attempts to compensate for shaking and vibrating by altering the camera’s properties.
Image magnification without the loss of optical quality.
PictBridge™ is a new standard for direct USB printing from digital cameras and some camcorders to the printer without needing a computer.
Pixel resolution (TVs, Photography)
The amount of pixels, or individual points on a screen. The higher the pixels, the better the resolution.
Red-eye reduction mode
A special flash mode where a pre-flash or a series of low-powered flashes are emitted before the main flash goes off to expose the picture. This helps eliminate red-eye.
This measures the sharpness, clarity and detail of an image. It’s measured in dpi (dots per inch) for printers, megapixels for cameras and pixels for TVs.
Many digital cameras now have an exposure mode called SCENE, where the user selects the best pre-programmed scene to suit the current shooting conditions. The camera will automatically change many settings to capture the best possible image.
Secure Digital or SD
A flash memory card used in most digital cameras and some camcorders and increasingly in other equipment, such as SatNav and MP3 players.
The self-timer button gives you enough time to go and join the rest and be in the photo before the picture is taken.
Shutter speed priority mode
Great for capturing fast-moving action or to deliberately blur an image to show movement.
Single Lens Reflex Cameras have advanced features, manual controls and interchangeable lenses for greater creativity.
A flash memory card standard that was co-developed by Fujifilm and Olympus
There are 2 types of zoom; optical and digital. Optical zoom is more important as it delivers great close ups without any loss of picture quality.
Picks up sound from a subject you are zooming in on.