This glossary contains a list of photography terminology that you may encounter from time to time. More terms will continuously be added. 

  

Aperture The circular opening inside the lens that can change to control the amount of light reaches the camera's imaging sensor. It is known as f-stop. The lower the number means wider the aperture.
   
Bulb mode It is a setting that keeps the shutter open for as long as the shutter release button is pressed. ​
   
Centre-Weighted Metering To measure the brightness of the subject in the centre of the frame. 
   
Cropped sensor It is a way to describe a sensor that has a crop factor. A full frame sensor has no crop factor, as its size is equivalent to 35mm film. Cropped sensors have cropped factors, such as 1.3x, 1.5x and 1.6x. They are smaller than full frame sensors. Cropped sensor cameras are generally cheaper than full frame cameras. 
   
Depth of Field Depth of Field refers to a range of distance that is acceptably sharp so that it is in focus on a photo. 
   
DSLR camera A DSLR camera (digital single-lens reflex camera) uses a digital imaging sensor in a single-lens reflex camera. Light travel through the lens, then to a mirror that send the image to the image sensor or the viewfinder. Only one lens is used for this. 
   
Evaluative Metering Also known as matrix metering. Evaluative metering takes the entire frame into account when measuring the brightness of the subject. 
   
EXIF EXIF data, also known as metadata, is a record embedded onto an image, showing the settings used when taking the photo, such as shutter speed, aperture, ISO, date and time of capture, colour space and geolocation. 
   
Flash Exposure Compensation It is a function to enable the amount of TTL flash to be increased or decreased by a specified amount.
   
Full frame sensor Also known as full frame, it is a term to describe a sensor's size which is equivalent to 35mm film (24mm x 36mm). A full frame sensor generally offers better image quality than cropped sensor.
   
Histogram Histogram provides tonal information of an image. The higher the graph at any given point, the more pixels of that tone are present on an image. 
   
Infinity focus Infinity focus can be set when taking photos in an infinite distance. It is commonly used when taking photos of landscapes, fireworks and astrophotography.
   
Image stabilisation Image stabilisation or vibration reduction are technologies that minimising the effects of camera shake when hand-holding a camera, so that the image is sharper. Various makes and models of lenses have different specifications on how many shutter speed steps they gain from using image stabilisation. 
   
ISO It represents the sensitivity of light to an imaging sensor. 
   
JPEG JPEG files are a lot smaller than TIFF files. JPEG files use lossy compression, which means some details are lost.
   
Metering To measure the brightness of the subject.
   
Mirrorless camera A digital camera that does not use mirror reflex optical viewfinder. It has interchangable lenses. 
   
Noise A type of artifact visible on photographs taken in high ISO sensitivies. Long exposures may also introduce noise. 
   
RAW A file format which contains all the data from the canera's sensor when a photo is taken. A RAW file is not compressed, contains 12-bit colour. It needs to be processed using a photo processing software to convert it into JPEG or TIFF file format.  
   
Shutter speed The length of time the shutter stays open. 
   
Spot Metering To measure the brightness of the subject in the centre of the frame. The area being measured is precisely the small area in the centre of the frame only. 
   
TIFF TIFF files can be compressed and uncompressed. They can have either 8-bit or 16-bit colour. They are a lot bigger than JPEG files. A compressed TIFF file does not lose details in the image. 
   
TTL

TTL (Through-The-Lens) is a flash mode which uses the camera to calculate and alter the brightness of the flash. This is generally the default setting for many flash guns. 

   
Vignetting It is a term to describe the darkening of an image's corners when compared with the rest of the image. When an aperture is wide open, especially with lenses of f/2.8 or wider, light travels through multiple elements towards the sensor. Rear elements are shielded by the elements in front of them, result in the reduction of light intensity towards the sensor.
   
White balance It is a function to correct colour casts, so that colour that appears on an object at the time the photo is taken is the same as the one being shown on the photo.
   

 

 

 

 
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