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Commonly Used Terms in Digital Photography and What Do They Mean?

Digital photography is quickly becoming the preferred way to take pictures.   If you are in the market for a new camera, consider the following advantages of digital over traditional film photography. In the long run, digital is less expensive.  All photos are recorder are on memory device within the camera and then downloaded straight to your computer.  You skip the need to keep buying rolls of film and paying for developing. You can send unlimited copies of the same picture to friends and relatives without spending a penny extra.

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You see your pictures quicker.  Most digital cameras allow you to view your photos immediately.  There is no waiting and worrying about whether or not that “perfect shot” turned out.  You can take a picture of that new baby and immediately download it to your computer to share your good good news with friends and relatives. There’s no need for anxious grandparents to wait days or even weeks for a picture.

Most digital cameras have built in editing features.   Cropping and re-centering the picture to make it look its best can be done easily.  You no longer have to worry about a stray hand distracting from the main subject of your photo.  Sharpening can be done immediately to bring out the details.  Within minutes you can have a print-perfect photo.

You avoid the frustration of running out of film and having to find a store that is open in the middle of an important event or on vacation.  Depending on the size of your memory card and the setting of file size and quality, which you often control, you can store a couple hundred pictures on one tiny card.  That is the equivalent of nine or ten rolls of film.

These are just a few of the advantages of digital photography.  It is definitely worth considering as you search for your next new camera.

It helps when learning to use your new digital camera to also know what some of the more common terms mean.  Below you will find many of these common terms defined..

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.

Compression — The process of compacting digital data, images and text by deleting selected information.

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Digital Zoom — Cropping and magnifying the center part of an image.

JPEG — The predominant format used for image compression in digital cameras

Lag Time — The pause between the time the shutter button is pressed and when the camera actually captures the image

LCD — (Liquid-Crystal Display) is a small screen on a digital camera for viewing images.
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.

Pixels — Tiny units of color that make up digital pictures. Pixels also measure digital resolution. One million pixels
adds up to one mega-pixel.

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.

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…

Viewfinder — The optical “window” to look through to compose the scene.

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.

27 comments
  1. Vim

    Nice post thanks for explaining the terms commonly used in photography, However I’m sure that if you have a manual with the camera, you’d understand the camera functionality a bit better.

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  4. Kelly H

    I found this blog post really informative. I often look at my camera and don’t know the possibilities of what it can achieve. These descriptions are a start to what I can learn about my camera and the different images I can take. Thanks

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