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Digital Photography Terms

To get in touch with digital photography you have to understand the digital photography terms which are used to describe the features and techniques of digital photography.  Here is a short list of some of the more common terms.  

Aperture: it is the opening in the lens of a digital camera which allows light in. Aperture is generally used to manage depth of field in front or behind an object.  

ASA/ISO: the ranking given to cameras and film indicating its sensitivity to light.  

Artifacts: the unnecessary effects in a picture. For example the lights in a Christmas tree which results in multi-colored speckles.  

Buffer: it is a temporary storage space which helps to store numerous exposed pictures before processing.  

Bit: a unit of measurement of information in a computer.  

Bitmap: an image or picture which is represented as a two dimensional array of brightness values for pixels.  

Byte - a series of 8 bits processed as a single unit of information (1 byte is equal to 8 bit).  

CCD: CCD stands for Charge Coupled Device. It is a sensor which creates the imaging surface of a digital camera. CCD helps to translate light into electrical current. A CCD with more sensors will have high resolution.  

CMOS – CMOS stands for Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor. CMOS is used in digital cameras as it is much cheaper and works well with lower power consumption. CMOS is not used as much as CCD due to high noise levels.  

CMYK: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black; it is the four process colors used to print images onto the paper.  

Compression: encoding information while reducing the bandwidth or bits required. This helps to store more pictures in a memory card.  

Crop: to reduce the size of a picture by removing undesirable or unnecessary elements.  

Digital: a system which computes, stores, or manipulates binary information.   

Disk: a device which is used to store digital information.  

DPI: DPI is the abbreviation for dots per inch. The term is used to compute the detail on a printer.  

DPOF: DPOF stands for Digital Print Order Feature. It helps the images to be selected for future direct-from-memory-card printing.  

EXIF: Exchangeable Image File. It is the JPEG compression mode which is followed by most digital cameras.  

External Flash Synch: This helps the connection of an external flash through the flash built into the digital camera. It is mainly used to generate different lightings effects on an object.  

GIF: GIF is the abbreviation for Graphic Image Format. It is a format for compressed low color images mostly used on the Internet.  

JPEG: JPEG, pronounced ‘Jay-Peg’, is a file format for compressed color photographs of higher quality.  

LCD: LCD is stands Crystal Liquid Display. It is the monitor used to view the intended picture or view shots after they are taken.  

Mega-Pixel: it is a unit of measurement of a CCD field which totals above 1,048,576 pixels.  

Memory-Card Reader: it is used to transfer images quickly in the memory card of a computer.  

NiMH: Nickel Metal Hydride, it is a kind of rechargeable battery which can supply constant voltage and is environment friendly.  

Noise: it is the unnecessary grain found in an image. Noise is generally seen in the dark areas of a photograph.  

Optical Viewfinder: it is an optical glass device seen on a digital camera which displays the intended picture to be taken.  

Pixel: is the smallest component of a digital image or picture displayed on a CRT screen (usually a single dot).

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