Digital Photography Glossary


Digital cameras use various systems such as measuring the contrast of the subject or infra red light to measure distance from the subject to set the focus distance on the lens for a sharp photograph. Older cameras only had manual focus lenses whereby the photographer's hand would turn the focus ring on the lens until the subject was in focus.

The part of the image which lies behind the main subject. Sometimes referred to as the backdrop. The foreground lies in front of the subject.

An image or part of an image which has intentionally been thrown out of focus. Blurred images are also the result of camera shake and low light. To avoid blurred images, use a high enough shutter speed or a tripod in low light. Increasing film speed can lead to grain.

A digital camera or SLR stores the captured image in its internal memory before transferring it to the camera's memory card. Digital SLR cameras often have a large buffer which allows them to capture large raw files while allowing the photographer to carry on taking photographs without having to wait for the camera to finish saving the image.

This setting is available on some cameras which allow manual control of the aperture and shutter speed to set a long exposure for night time photography and other subjects. A tripod, cable release or remote control is normally required for best results to minimise camera shake.

Camera Shake
Hand held shots taken in low light or with a long telephoto zoom can result in blurred images. Some digital cameras offer image stabilization systems to counter act the effects of camera shake.

The image sensor (charge coupled device) inside the camera or scanner which captures the image through the lens.

To delete part of an image or its border for a more pleasing effect through the elimination of distracting or unwanted details.

Some cameras use device or cradle for recharging the camera's battery and for connecting to a computer or printer.

The amount of light reaching the camera's sensor as determined by the level of light available and the camera's shutter and aperture settings.

Nearly all digital cameras come with a built in electronic flash to add a burst of extra light in low light conditions and other situations.

To move the lens manually or through autofocus for a sharp photograph.

An image file format comprising of 256 colors with settings for transparency. One of the commonly used image file formats in web pages.

Hot Shoe
Some advanced digital cameras have a clip at the top for mounting external flashguns.

Image stabilization
Some cameras offer a system to reduce camera shake either through controlling movements on the CCD or elements within the zoom lens.

A 24 bit image file format which uses compression to minimise file size. The most commonly used file format in digital cameras as well as web pages.

The optical part of a camera comprising of various glass or similar elements which focus the light for a sharp image.

Various overlapping images can be taken of the same scene and then stitched together in some cameras or in a graphics program on a computer to produce a wide view of the subject. Most commonly used for landscape subjects.

Within photo manipulation on a computer, zoom refers to increasing or decreasing the magnification or size of the image on the screen. With digital cameras and film cameras, zoom magnifies or decreases the image through the camera's optical zoom lens.