Digital Camera Glossary

Megapixel (MP)

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Clarification: megapixel (shortened as MP) is the number of one million pixels. A pixel is a separate component of a digital photo. The resolution amount of a photo will be decided by the number of megapixels, so a digital photo with a higher number of megapixels has the larger resolution.

Megapixel

Megapixel

Now, because a digital camera can create a photo which contains ten million or even a higher number of pixels, “megapixel” is often used for determining the resolution levels.

Commonly, in the specification list of a digital camera, the “MP” is shortened for megapixel.

To define the sizes of photo prints depending of the amount of resolution, please see the print size vs. resolution table.

Shortened as: MP

Wide Angle

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Wide Angle

Wide Angle

Clarification: Wide-angle shooting refers to the ability of a digital camera or a zoom lens to capture images with a field of view which is larger beyond the vision range of human eyes.

If the 35mm film equivalent measurement (if included in your camera) is smaller 35mm (if , it is known as the wide-angle shooting ability. The nearby-50mm measurement is equivalent to the range of human vision.

JPEG

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Clarification: JPEG, as shortened for Joint Photographic Expert Group, is the most popularly used kind of image file format that is often found with a digital camera. JPEG, which has the pronunciation “jay-peg”, is a compressing form that helps significantly lower the size of files, which enables you to store a larger number of images on a camera memory card. Photographers at the beginning level will find this JPEG format very useful and convenient to use.

JPEG image

JPEG image

For most digital camera models which aim at the entry level, there are some various available levels of JPEG compression. But keep in mind that the more compression you have applied to digital photo files, the more the image quality is affected. At times, you may find artifacts with JPEG images that are at high compression. These are known as photo distortions that are caused by the file compression.

The JPEG compression should be kept as minimum as possible if you want to make prints of large sizes and the high quality.

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)

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You can find a very wide LCD screen with the Sony Cyber-Shot G3

Clarification: LCD, as shortened for Liquid Crystal Display, refers to a displaying technology which is used for creating the camera screens attached in the back panel of most digital camera models. With a digital camera, you use an LCD screen to review the images, checking the available options of the camera menu. In addition, an LCD can be used as a live viewfinder.

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)

The LCDs which are rich of colors are even available in low-priced digital models nowadays. There may be not any independent viewfinder in several entry-level digital cameras, so you will have to make use of the LCD screen as a live viewfinder sometimes.

You can see the sharpness of an LCD in the specification list of a camera or check it through the total number of pixels that is displayed in an LCD.

The LCD screens are now available in nearly all digital image frames. The LCD is positioned inside the image frame and it is to display digital images.

Battery

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Clarification:  The camera battery refers to a portable source to bring electric power to a camera. A digital camera cannot be operated without the battery.

There are two kinds of batteries which can be used in digital camera. A proprietary battery refers to one unit which is suitable for one or some digital camera models. The shapes of these batteries are often rectangular or square and you can recharge them.

Digital Camera Battery

Digital Camera Battery

An alkaline battery refers to a popular kind of the camera battery which is often manufactured in mass. You often throw this kind of battery away after using it, for example, cylindrical AAA or AA batteries. You can find many various uses of these batteries for consumer electronics devices.

Commonly, a digital camera only can work with one kind of battery.

RAW

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Clarification: RAW refers to the image format found in a digital photo which is the most similar to film-quality and this format requires
a large amount of storing space. A RAW image has not been compressed or processed in any way after being shot. Someone mentioned the RAW image format as a “digital negative” as nothing is changed with this file when you store it.

RAW image format

RAW image format

Just a small number of entry-level cameras enable the data storage for the RAW image format. Meanwhile, the photographers at the advanced and pro levels prefers the RAW format as they can edit the digital photos by themselves and they don’t have to concern about the components of the image which can be removed by the data compression, for example: JPEG.

Digital Photo Frame

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This digital image frame from Kodak display images on the camera LCD in the center of the white frame.

Clarification: digital photo frame refers to a screen, commonly an LCD, for displaying images produced by digital cameras. With the function of a digital image frame, you often can change the digital image after a certain duration, which is similar to having an automatic slide show. At times, you can add the audio or music clips to the photos.

Digital Photo Frame

Digital Photo Frame

A digital image frame has the similar look as a traditional image frame, in which an image is surrounded by the frame. You will often see this type of frame to display a digital image, while a traditional frame to contain a physical printed photo.

To transfer photos into a digital image frame, just find a memory card or a USB cable.

Burst Mode

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Clarification: Burst mode refers to a feature found in a digital camera for recording a series of images within a short duration. For instance, in one kind of burst mode, it is possible to capture 10 images in 3 seconds.

This mode is also called continuous shooting mode and the features of this mode are different in different digital cameras. In several digital cameras, you can find more than one kind of burst mode. When you select to shoot using the burst mode, your image size is often limited. The limitations from this mode sometimes depend on the remaining available storing space of the camera memory card. And you can configure the burst mode via the camera menus on the screen for other times.

Burst Mode

Burst Mode

The burst mode is especially nice for shooting subjects that are moving very quickly. In several digital cameras, there is one downside with this mode in which the LCD screen (or liquid crystal display) becomes blank when a photographer is shooting the images, which causes some difficulties in tracking the subjects.

Also Called: continuous shot mode or continuous shooting mode or continuous frame capture.

CMOS Sensor

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Clarification: CMOS image sensor refers to a kind of camera sensor which you can find in a digital camera, which consists of an integrated circuit for recording an image.

The number of pixels contained in a CMOS (short for complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) image sensor is up to millions and each pixel contains a photodetector. When the light comes into the camera lens, it hits the CMOS image sensor, which drives every photodetector to accumulate an electric charge depending on how much light strikes the image sensor. This charge will be converted into pixels that form the image.

CMOS image sensor

CMOS image sensor

The CCD technology is a bit different from the CMOS technology and this type is also very popular. This technology is well known for consuming a low amount of power and running fast.

Also Called: complementary metal-oxide semiconductor image sensor

Secure Digital (SD)

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Clarification: Secure Digital (shortened as SD) refers to a kind of flash memory card found in a digital camera model for storing the image data. Perhaps this is also the most common kind of a camera memory card. The size of MMC and SD flash memory cards is similar and so does the technology used in these two types because a SD card follows a MMC card in term of the design, but you cannot use these two kinds of memory cars interchangeably not in all of current digital cameras. There are two other types of memory cards, including MicroSD and MiniSD memory cards, but these two types are often found in mobile phones, rather than digital cameras. If you want to make MicroSD or MiniSD work with a camera that only accepts SD cards, you will need to use an adapter.

Secure Digital (SD)

Secure Digital (SD)

The three manufacturers including Toshiba, Matsushita and SanDisk cooperated to make the SD cards in 1999. The shape of these cards is a little bit rectangular, with a corner cut at an angle of 45 degrees. The measurement of a SD card is 24 mm x 32 mm x 2.1 mm (equivalent to 0.94 inch x 1.26 inch x 0.08 inch).

Currently, thanks to the secure digital technology innovation, SDHC (SD high capacity) memory cards have been available for the higher storing capacities up to 4 gigabytes (GB) and even more. The storage of SD cards is just at 2GB. Several older versions of digital cameras using SD cards can’t work with SDHC memory cards.

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