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Home > Frequently Asked Questions > Glossary

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This is the inability of the camera lens to produce a true image. There is no such thing as a "perfect lens", generally the more expensive the lens the less aberrations there are in the picture quality.

Advanced Photo System

An innovation in the consumer photography market. This system was developed using a new film format (24mm), camera and photofinishing technologies. APS cameras are distinguished by their compact size, various print out options and a drop in film features.

Ambient Light

Natural light that surrounds subject matter being photographed (ie. there is no artificial light used to illuminate the subject).

Angle of View

This is determined by the focal length of the lens and defines the region that the lens covers (or that the camera user can see). The angle of view can be enhanced, by using different types of lenses eg. Wide–angle lens or telephoto lens.


This is the lens opening. A "metal leaf diaphragm" covers the hole inside the lens and this controls the amount of light which will pass to expose the film. The aperture is calibrated by an f number and effects the depth of field (ie. the sharpness of the picture). The smaller the aperture (or f number) the sharper the object will appear.

Aperture Priority

The ability to change the aperture setting in an automatic or autofocus camera. By changing the aperture, it either increases or decreases the amount of light let into expose the film. With automatic cameras, once you change the aperture – the shutter speeds adjusts accordingly.

Aspect Ratio

Refers to the ratio of width and height in photographic prints. 35 mm film with a 2:3 ratio will produce photographs measuring 4x6 inches.

Autofocus (AF)

Function of the camera lens automatically focuses on the subject in the chosen picture frame.

Automatic Camera

Cameras that automatically adjust the lens opening, shutter speed or both to ensure correct exposure when taking photographs.

Automatic iris

This is the lens "metal leaf" diaphragm, which works in conjunction with the shutter release. The diaphragm is closed prior to the shutter opening and returns to the fully open position when the shutter closes.


Refers to the aperture settings or aperture value.

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The section of a scene that is visible behind the principal subject of the picture frame.


Light (whether artificial or natural) that appears from behind, so that the subject stands out intensely from the background. Backlighting often creates a silhouette effect around an image.


This is the term given to pixels that are over saturated on the digital still camera sensor. Eg. When taking a photo of the sky and trees, due to the brightness of the sky the detail of the leaves is lost in the end picture.

Bracket Flash

This is also known as a handle mount flash and consists of an L–shaped bracket with an arm which extends out from under the camera body. This bracket is then secured in place by the camera"s tripod socket. The arm of the bracket operates as the flash mount with an electronic cord connecting the camera to the flash mount.

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Camera Angle

Various positions of the camera that are chosen to give a subject a different viewpoint, perspective or visual effect. These positions are usually high, medium, or low; and left, right, or straight on.

Camera Shake

This is a foremost cause of un–sharp pictures, especially with long focus lenses. It is due to movement of camera caused by unsteady hold or support, vibration, etc., leading, particularly at slower shutter speeds, to a blurred image on the film.

Candid Pictures

Casual, pictures of people where the subject is not posing, and often taken without the subject’s knowledge. These usually appear more natural and relaxed than posed pictures.


Charge–Coupled Device. A computer chip that is used to capture the digital images in digital still cameras.

Coated Lens

This refers to a fine layer of transparent material that is placed over a lens to reduce the amount light reflected off the surface of the lens.

Colour Balance

Refers to two issues – how a colour film reproduces the colours from image being taken and secondly, how these colours are replicated to colour prints.

Colour Correction

A process that can occur in digital photography, once the images are transferred to the computer. It is the process of adjusting the amount of different primary colours in an image.

Compact Camera

A small, easy to use camera with basic settings. Often includes a built in flash, autofocus and zoom lens.

Compact Flash Cards

Type 1 – Most common type of compact flash storage cards for digital still cameras. Small format, lightweight and available in sizes up to 250 MB. Type 2 – This is a slightly larger card with larger capacities up to 1 GB.


The art of assembling different components of the picture frame (eg. background/foreground and surrounding subjects) into an agreeable format or arrangement.


A process in digital photography that reduces the size of an image file by eliminating some image data. A user may compress an image file if needing to store multiple images on his memory card. However, if wanting to print out the image, compression may lead to some detail being lost from the photo.


Indicates how digital cameras can be connected to other devices eg. computer or television.


The range of difference in the light to dark areas of a negative, print, or slide (also called density). Also refers to the brightness range of a subject or the scene lighting.


Reducing the size of the image when printing or taking a photograph to result in a more pleasing composition.

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The clarity of a photograph.

Digital Image

An image that you can view and edit on a computer.

Digital Still Camera

Photographic camera that simplifies the process of creating digital images. Digital cameras do not carry film – the images or pictures appear electronically, allowing the user to view, edit, print or send over the internet.

Digital Video (DV) Camera

Video cameras that use a digital signal rather than an analogue signal to record vision.

Digital Zoom

Feature of digital still cameras and is the cropping of the center of a captured image. Digital zoom crops to the center of an image, then restores the cropped image to the camera"s full resolution capacity.


A lens aberration changes the shapes of objects in the frame. It is the inability to render straight lines perfectly straight. There are two types of distortion: Barrel and Pincushion. Barrel: Straight lines are bowed in at the edges of the picture frame resembling the sides of a barrel. This could occur in some wide angle and wide angle zoom lenses. Pincushion: The opposite of barrel distortion; straight lines are bowed in toward the middle to resemble the sides of a pincushion. This may be a problem in some telephoto and telephoto zoom lenses.


Transferring data from one computer device to another eg. from digital camera to personal computer. Can also be referred to as "uploading".

Drop–in–Loading (DIL)

A feature of the APS (Advanced Photo System) were the film is simply "dropped" or placed in the camera with no manual feeding or user involvement required.


Digital Index. Coding on the film cartridges used to transmit information in relation to film speed, the length of film and the exposure latitude to the camera. Most films – except some technical films are DX coded – means you need not to worry about wrong setting of the ISO setting of film speed anymore, reducing chances of mistakes. Common speed ISO 25 to 6400 – depends on camera models.

DX Data Exchange

35 mm format film as an electrical coding system that communicates film type, speed and exposure length automatically to the camera once loaded.

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Process or result of selectively recording video and or audio on finished videotape. Basically involves reviewing raw footage and transferring desired sections from the master tape onto the new tape in a pre–determined sequence.

Edit Controller

Electron Control Devices used in conjunction with VCR"s and video cameras to assist automated videotape editing with speed, precision and convenience.

Effective aperture

The diameter of the bundle of light rays striking the first lens element that actually pass through the lens at any given diaphragm setting.

Electronic flash

Artificial light source that aids the taking of photographs in darker situations. This light is based on an electrical discharge across two electrodes in a gas filled tube.

Enhanced Back–Printing

A feature available in some APS (Advanced Photo System) cameras that allows the user to program different information such a times, dates or camera settings when taking the picture. These details are then printed on the back of the photos when processing.


A print that is larger than the negative or slide.


The amount of light let into the camera to react with the photographic film or material. It is comprised of two elements – intensity (controlled by the lens opening) and the duration (restricted by the shutter speed).

Extension bellows

Required for close up photography, these provide the extra separation between lens and film. Comprised of extendible bellows and mounting plates at the front and rear to fit the lens and the camera body respectively.

Extension tubes

Metal tubes used to acquire the additional separation between lens and film for close–up photography. They are fixed with screw thread or bayonet mounts to suit a variety of lens supports.

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File Format

A way of storing digital image data in a file. Popular image formats include TIFF, JPEG and GIF.


A photographic mixture coated on a flexible, transparent base that can record images or scenes. Based on the type, film has the ability to record either still or moving images.

Film Presence Indicator Flag

A simple feature on Advanced Photo System cameras that shows the user that film has been loaded correctly.

Film Speed

This indicates how sensitive the film is to light and is represented by a number such as ISO 100 or ISO 400 etc. Note that the higher the number the more sensitive or faster the film.

Film Status Indicators

The Advanced Photo System cameras have four symbols that easily show the user if the film cassette is unexposed, partially exposed, fully exposed or processed once the film is loaded into the camera.


Effectively restricts the transmission of radiation through a lens thus changing the colour or intensity of the entire scene or particular sections in a scene. This is achieved by a coloured piece of glass or other transparent material being placed over the lens.


One step up from USB – this offers faster transfer rates and is commonly found on professional digital still cameras.

Fisheye Lens

Ultra–wide angle lens giving 180 angle of view for the user

Fixed–Focus Lens

A feature on entry, disposable or easy to use cameras where the lens is focused in a permanent position by the manufacturer.

Flash Memory

Feature of a storage card that allows the card to be accessed quickly and cannot be erased. A feature on digital, still cameras.

Flash Shooting Distance Range

The distance or range over which the flash can effectively provide light. This is controlled by the amount of flash output available in addition to other elements such as film speed and aperture.

Flash synchronization

Simply the function of the timing of the flash coinciding with the shutter release. There are two types of synchronization: Front Curtain Sync, which activates the flash at the start of the exposure and a Rear Curtain Sync that triggers the flash at the end of the exposure.


Found on an adjustable camera, this is an indication of the size of the lens opening. Common f numbers include f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16 and f/22, noting that the larger the f/number the smaller the lens opening. F numbers work together with shutters speeds to determine exposure settings on the camera.


This is the action of adjusting a lens to produce a sharp image. Requires the user to adjust the distance setting on the lens to focus the subject or image.

Focus Range

The range within which a camera is able to focus on the selected picture subject.

Focus Tracking

Enables the camera to analyse the speed of moving the subject to obtain accurate focus. By focus tracking the camera can anticipate the subjects position at the exact time of exposure.


The actual size of the photograph produced by the camera. Whether a slide or a negative, in 35mm photography the picture measures 24mmx36mm. The new APS (Advanced Photo System) new formats were introduced that included panorama.


Frames per second. This applies to moving picture tools such as video, movie cameras and animations. Used to describe how many frames the motor drive or winder can record automatically per second consequently.


One individual picture on a roll of film. Also can apply to an object that can be employed (tree branch, arch, etc.) to frame a subject in composition.

Frame (video)

Referred to in video editing where there are 25 frames per second.

Full aperture metering

TTL metering systems in which the camera simulates the effect of stopping down the lens when the aperture ring is turned, while leaving the diaphragm at full aperture to give full focusing screen brilliance. The meter must be "programmed" with the actual full aperture, and the diaphragm ring setting.

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Ghost Images

The bright spots of light that appear on the viewfinder when the camera is directly pointed at the sun. This can be controlled by a variety of lens elements.


A format that allows photos to be used on the World Wide Web. Stands for graphics interchange format.

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A format choice in the Advanced Photo System cameras. Allows the user to frame shots that are wider than usual and produces prints of 4x7 inches.

Hyperfocal Distance

Distance of the nearest object in a scene that is acceptably sharp when the lens is focused on infinity.

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The two dimensional duplication of a subject or image formed by the lens.


If the lens is set at it"s infinity position (ie. one focal point) then no matter the distance any object can be reproduced sharply and clearly.

Interchangeable lens

Lens designed to be readily attached to and detached from a camera.

Internal Memory

Image storage that is built into the digital still camera. Once this internal memory is used up, the user has to download or "empty" the memory to continue taking photos.

Inverted telephoto lens

Lens created so that the back focus (distance from rear of lens to film) is larger than the focal length of the lens. As a result, room for mirror movement is reached when short focus lenses are fitted to a SLR.


Or Iris diaphragm. Device consisting of thin overlapping metal leaves pivoting outwards to form a circular opening of variable size to control light transmission through a lens.

ISO Speed

ISO (International Standards Organisation) and is the international criteria for representing film sensitivity or speed. The higher the ISO number (eg. ISO 400) the greater the sensitivity.

IX Information Exchange

The unique ability of the Advanced Photo System film to correspond with film. This is achieved either optically or magnetically using a thin magnetic layer of the film that records the digital data.

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Major image format of digital still cameras. Compresses photos so that they are suitable sizes for the electronic storage of images. Compressing an image to a JPEG allows it to make the file size smaller without any degradation to the image quality (visible to the human eye).

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Stands for Kelvin. A scale use to measure the colour temperature. 5000 K refers to the temperature or level of normal daylight.

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Horizontal angle of a picture eg. used to capture a scenic panorama. The oppisite to "portrait".

Latent Image

A reaction of light on photographic film or paper. When processed this will result in a visible image that is either in reversed tones (as in a negative) or in positive tones (as in a colour slide).

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)

The digital screen in the back of the digital camera that allows you to review and preview your photos as well as acting as a large size viewfinder.


Low dispersion glass that also comes in the forms of UD (ultra low dispersion) or SD (super low dispersion). This is optically superior glass that is also expensive to obtain.


A Light Emitting Diode. Gives the user the ability to display dots, numbers or text in the viewfinder through light producing transistors. This technology is slowly being replaced by the LCD display.


Specialised optical glass or similar material that is designed to collect and focus light to produce a clear image on film, paper or on a projection screen.

Lens aberration

Small optical imperfections present in a lens that leads to misrepresentation of lines and shapes in photos. Lenses are never perfect, however most aberrations can be controlled during lens construction by combining a group of single lenses to make one lens. This way, the aberration of one lens can be cancelled out by the opposing aberration of another creating a near perfect lens.

Lens Shade

Either attachable or detachable, this cover for the front of the lens acts as a guard to keep unwanted light from striking the lens and causing image flare. It is important that the size of your lens shade matches the size of your lens to evade vignetting.

Lens Speed

In theory, a fast lens has a larger opening and transmits more light than a slow lens. Lens speed is determined by the maximum aperture of the lens (the largest lens opening or the smallest f–number) in relation to it"s focal length. The "speed" of a lens is relative, a 400 mm lens with a maximum aperture of f/3.5 is considered extremely fast, while a 28mm f/3.5 lens is thought to be relatively slow.

Lens–Shutter Camera

A camera with the shutter built into the lens however the viewfinder and picture–taking lens are separate.

Light Sources

General term applied to any source of light (whether natural or artificial) used in photography.


Provides the user with a narrower angle of view than a standard lens, as well as a relatively long focal length.

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MAC Platform

The digital camera can transfer images and has software that is compatible to computers with an Apple MacIntosh format.

Macro Lens

Allows the user to focus on objects/images from infinity to extreme close–ups often with a reproduction ratio of 1:2 (half life–size) or 1:1 (life–size)

Macro photography

Also known as "photomacrography", this is the process of taking photos of small objects with a regular photographic lens at reproduction rations of 1x or greater.

Magnification ratio

This is a ratio that conveys the strongest magnifying power of the lens. It is used commonly on the macro setting of the zoom lenses or macro lenses.

Manual Exposure

Optional mode on automatic cameras. The user selects both the shutter speed and aperture either following or ignoring the camera"s recommendations to achieve the desired exposure.

Manual flash

The flash output is controlled manually by the user regardless of selected aperture.

Manual iris

Diaphragm controlled directly by a calibrated ring on the lens barrel.

Matrix Metering system

An exposure metering system using a multi–segment sensor and computer. By allowing for reflection, factors such as brightness and contrast are primarily used to determine exposure. In addition, it is essential to evaluate each scene’s esthetic factors such as color to get the best exposure.


Technical term for digital cameras that can capture high resolution images of 1 million pixels or more.

Memory Stick

Only currently found in Sony Digital Still Cameras, these storage cards have capacities from 64–128 MB.

Micro Lens

Used predominately for close up photography, this lens has the ability to focus from infinity down to a reproduction rate of 1:2. A reproduction rate of 1:1 is possible with the assistance of an extension ring or teleconverter.

Mid–roll change

A feature that enables the user to remove a partially exposed/used film cassette, insert it again later and start shooting exactly where they left off. This feature is only available on Advanced Photo System (APS) cameras.

Mini DV

A video format using a digital signal rather than an analogue signal. "Mini" is due to the smaller size of the tape.

Mirror lens (Reflex Lens)

Lens in which some (usually two) of the elements are curved mirrors. This construction produces comparatively lightweight short, fat, long focus lenses. They cannot be fitted with a normal diaphragm.


Also referred to as a unipod, this a one–legged support used to restrain the camera in a steady position.

Motor Drive

A mechanism that advances the film to the next frame and recocks the shutter. This is all activated by an electric motor usually powered by batteries. This feature is popular for action–sequence photography and for recording images by remote control.

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Normal Lens

A lens that makes the image in a photograph appear in perspective similar to that of the original scene (approximately 45°).


National Television Standards Committee. Standards for video broadcasting and recording in the US and Japan. PAL is the standard in Great Britain and the commonwealth countries. SECAM used in many countries in the European communities.

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Off–The–Film Metering

A device which controls the camera"s exposure by reading the light reflected from the film when taking a picture.


An excessive amount of light reaching the film resulting in a dense negative or a very bright slide or print.

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Pan Format

Is the panoramic format that is selectable on the Advanced Photo System cameras. It has a 1:3 aspect ratio that generates prints 3.5 x 10.5 inches or up to 4.5 x 11.5 inches.


An act of creating a strong sense of movement in pictures or video. Involves maneuvering the camera so that the moving object remains in the same position in the viewfinder as you take the picture.


A broad view, usually scenic.


The difference between what the viewfinder sees and what the camera records. Typical of lens/shutter cameras and is caused by a separation of the viewfinder and the picture taking lens (ie the user is not viewing the image through the picture taking lens).

Parallel Port

Used for the connection of peripheral devices such as computers or printers. Parallel ports operate 8 times faster than serial ports (by having eight parallel wires rather than one).


An abbreviation of Personal Computer.

PC cords

Allows the camera to control the flash so that it fires at the correct time. This device is also called the sync or synch cord.


Storage cards for larger digital still cameras, as they are not small enough for compact digital still cameras. They are available in a large range of capacities with flash memory and hard drives.


The holes that are spaced along the length of the film in still cameras. The perforation function as a guide for precision registration of film and also assist with the mechanical movement from frame to frame.


The relationship between how far the foreground and the background appear to be separated from each other, or the apparent space visible in a flat photograph.

Photo File Index Print

A feature of the Advanced Photo System where small, "thumbnail" sized prints (of all the photos on the film) are laid on a viewing card for easy selection of enlargements and reprints. This indexed card is accompanies all prints and negatives as a record for the customer.


The practice of taking photographs of minute objects using a microscope and a camera. This is not to be confused with "microphotography" – the process of making minute photographs of large objects.

Picture Angle

Measured across the diagonal of the picture frame, this is the angle of the coverage of a lens. This angle of coverage varies with focal length: the longer the focal length the narrower the picture angle and vice versa.


These are the "building blocks" that join together to create an image on a digital still camera. Short for "picture element"

Polarising Screen (Filter)

When used in conjunction with a lens, this filter eradicates unwanted reflections from photo subjects such as water, glass or other shiny objects. In theory, a polariser transmits light traveling in one plane whilst absorbing the light traveling from other planes.

Polarized Light

This is the natural effect of light waves vibrating in one plane as opposed to multi–directional vibrations of normal rays. Produced by reflecting surfaces eg. water/glass/polished wood etc, however it can also be artificially replicated with the placement of a special screen in front of a light source.

Portrait Mode

A program mode of a camera that optimizes camera settings to expose a portrait photograph correctly.

Portrait Photograph

One that is shot vertically (ie. a person standing up). The opposite as compared to a landscape photograph, which is shot horizontally (ie. scene panorama).


The final result of the photographic process usually produced from a negative. It is a positive picture usually developed on paper.


Developing, fixing, and washing exposed photographic film or paper to produce either a negative image or a positive image

Program Exposure

This is an exposure mode that automatically sets the aperture and the shutter speed for correct exposure. It is found on automatic and autofocus cameras.

Programmed Auto

Camera sets both shutter speed and aperture for correct exposure.

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No terms beginning with Q.

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RAW Image Format

This is the image information directly as it comes of the digital still camera CCD. The image has not been compressed nor changed into another format.

Red Eye

Effect experienced when light from a flash unit travels parallel to the lens axis during exposure. The result is the pupils of people in the photo turning red.

Reflected Light

Light bounced off a subject, not falling on it. Often occurs on even, polished surfaces. In contrast, diffuse reflection occurs on uneven surfaces, when light scatters.

Relative aperture

The f number of a camera (eg. f/2.8). This number expresses the effective aperture and is calculated by dividing the focal length by the diameter of the effective aperture.


The ability of a lens to distinguish small detail. In film photography, the image resolution in the final photograph depends on the resolving power of the sensitive emulsion only and not the lens resolution.

Resolution (Digital)

A digital camera image is made up of thousands of dots or pixels. Resolution is the number of pixels an image contains. The higher the number of pixels the sharper the photo will be.

Roll Film

Refers to 120, 220 and 620 film formats. Usually purchased with the ability to take either 12, 24 or 36 photos per roll.

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The percentage of hue in a color. Saturated colors are vivid, strong, or deep, whereas desaturated colors are dull, weak, or washed out.


Focusing method consisting of set of marks to indicate distances at which a lens is focused. This information is usually engraved around the lens barrel, on the focusing control or on the camera body itself.


Found inside the camera and is the surface where the lens projects an image for view finding and focusing purposes.

Self Timer

Otherwise known as delayed action, this is the mechanism delaying the opening of the shutter for some seconds after the release has been triggered.

Semi–automatic iris

Diaphragm mechanism that closes down to the aperture when the shutter is released, but must be manually re–opened to full aperture.

Shutter Priority

The ability to select the desired shutter speed and as a result the camera sets the aperture for correct exposure. An exposure mode on automatic or autofocus cameras, immediately responds to changes in light level or shutter speed and adjusts the aperture accordingly.

Shutter Speed

The speed in which light is let into the camera. For example, darker situations require a lower shutter speed to allow more light for the image.

Single–Lens–Reflex (SLR) Camera

A type of camera that lets the user to see through the camera"s lens as they look into the camera"s viewfinder. Other functions of this style include light metering and flash control and these also operate through the camera"s lens.

Slow Sync

A flash technique that uses a slower shutter speed in conjunction with the flash to bring out the background details in the picture.


Storage cards for digital still cameras that are a lot thinner than compact flash cards and also include flash memory chips.

Soft Focus

The technique of creating soft outlines around a picture. Filters or special lens are used to generate this effect, filters being the most popular material as they are often more economical and flexible.


Silicon Photo Diode. These are external metering devices that are the most common light reading cells for cameras and are battery operated.

Stopping Down

Changing the lens aperture to a smaller opening; for example, from f/8 to f/11.

Storage Card

Removable memory devices that can be inserted into the digital still camera to allow the electronic storage of digital photos. This is a digital camera"s "film"..

Supplementary Lens

A convex lens used in front of the camera lens to enable it to focus at close range.

Sync Cords

Allows the camera to control the flash so that it fires at the correct time. This device is also called the PC Cord.


Used to make the most efficient use of the flash light output; this is the combined action of the shutter opening and closing to fire the flashbulb.

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T (setting)

Used for extremely long exposures – a setting that holds the camera shuttle open until the shuttle dial is turned or the shutter release is pressed for the second time.


An optical system used to increase the effective focal length of the lens that is mounted between a camera body and the lens.

Telephoto Lens

A specialised lens that makes a subject appear larger on film than a normal lens subject to distance. Features a longer focal length and a narrower field of view, resulting in the isolation (close up) of the subject without having to go near the subject.

Through–The–Lens Focusing

Applicable to SLR (single–lens–reflex) cameras, this involves viewing a scene to be photographed through the same lens that allows light to the film. This procedure can eliminate pallarax when focusing and composing a picture through the camera.

Through–The–Lens Metering

Most SLR cameras have built in meters that measure light after it has passed through the lens during picture taking. This element enables exposure readings to be taken from the actual image to be recorded on film. This occurs despite the lens angle of view and the use of light filters.


Stands for tagged image file format. This format is popular as can be displayed on both Windows and MAC platforms/programs.

Time Code

Used to enable precise editing, an electronic code recorded on videotape. This marks each frame with a time and a frame number for more precise editing.

Time Exposure

A comparatively long exposure made in seconds or minutes.


Also referred to as value – it is the scale of lightness or darkness at any given area of a print. Cold (blue) and warm tones (red) are often used to describe the colour of the image in both black and white and colour photographs.


Using solutions called toners, it involves the intensifying or changing of the original tone of a photographic print after it has been processed. These toners are used to create various shades of colours on the print.

Transparent magnetic layer

A feature of the Advanced Photo System that is basis for future information exchange features. It enables information exchange ability to improve print quality by capturing lighting and scene information and other important picture–taking data.


A three–legged supporting stand used to hold the camera still. Particulary useful when using slow shutter speeds and/or telephoto lenses. Similar devices include the monopod, single leg tripod.

Tungsten Light

Non–fluorescent lights from regular room lamps and ceiling fixtures that produce extremely warm images. This effect often produces images that are too warm therefore colour balance filters are used to neutralize this.

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Ultra–wide angle lens

Usually a lens with an angle of view greater than 90". Also called an extra wide angle lens, for 35mm cameras this explanation usually applies to lenses of a shorter focal length than 24mm.


A circumstance where too little light reaches the film resulting in a thin negative, muddy looking print or a dark slide.

USB Port

Most consumer grade digital still cameras have these ports that provide a fast and reliable image transfer from camera to a wide range of computer systems including MAC and PC.

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Variable focus lens

Lens where the length of focus can be continuously varied between the set limits, however the lens must be refocused with each variance in focal length.

Video Output

Most digital cameras provide video and sometimes audio output for connection to a TV or a VCR as well as allowing you to switch between PAL and NTSC video standards.


Part of the camera where the image through the lens can be viewed. There are two types – a straight through or reflex viewing system or a separate viewfinder (where the image encompassed by the lens can vary slightly from what is seen in the viewfinder).


This is the underexposure of image corners intentionally produced by shading or accidentally created by unsuitable equipment, such as inappropriate lens hood or a badly designed lens.

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White Balance

This is the term given to the system of colour correction to cope with various light conditions. Most digital still cameras feature an automatic white balance where the camera "guesses" the white balance, however this is often inaccurate and can be manually overridden.

Wide–Angle Lens

A lens that allows the user to include more subject area, therefore it has a shorter focal length and a wider field of view.

Windows Platform

The digital camera can transfer images and has software that is compatible to computers with a Windows PC format.

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X (setting)

Also referred to a X–Sync it is the popular setting for electronic flash units that allow the flash to fire virtually instantaneously and reach full brightness immediately. No time delay is required as the flash is programmed to burst instantly as the shuttle opens up.

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No terms beginning with Y.

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Zoom Lens

A popular lens on many cameras that allows the user to adjust the focal length over many focal lengths yet not have to change the focus.

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