Digital Camera Glossary

Point and Shoot


point and shoot digital camera refers to a entry-level camera with the full automatic control settings for capturing images. For example, the camera shall decide when to have the flash firing or set the faster shutter speed. These models have been suitable for many people in regard of their very reasonable prices.

Samsung-DV150F - Best Point and Shoot Camera Review Buy

Samsung-DV150F – Best Point and Shoot Camera Review Buy

The Samsung-DV150F is a point and shoot digital model.

There is a wide variety of sizes and shapes with point and shoot models, even though the common size nowadays is slightly large than that of a deck of playing cards. If you are just a beginner in photography, you can find it easy to start with a point and shoot camera and immediately able to shoot a photo of the acceptable quality. With several point and shoot cameras, you’re going to be able to have the manual control over some settings, but common the cameras are built to be mostly used in the automatic mode. The menus of those cameras are often easy to understand, so it easy to share photos.

The word “point and shoot” shows that you can have the camera pointed at a certain subject and capture the image. It is very easy to use this type of camera.

Fixed Lens Camera


fixed lens camera is a high-end digital camera that is similar to a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) in terms of the design but it’s lens is not interchangeable.

Casio EX-FH20 - Best Fixed Lens Camera review Buy

Casio EX-FH20 – Best Fixed Lens Camera review Buy

The Casio EX-FH20 is a digital model with the SLR-style.

The common feature of the models using fixed lens is that the zoom lenses are often very large and the prices are usually higher than with point and shoot entry-level cameras. Conversion lens can be added to some fixed lens cameras to improve the zoom and wide angle capabilities.

As fixed lens models have shared some common features with DSLR cameras, but they are not DSLRs. Therefore, sometimes they are called “entry-level” DSLR models or DSLR-style models and ranked in the class of DSLRs. Such models are very nice in cases where a photographer at the intermediate level wants to change from an entry-level camera to a DSLR camera.

Also Called: beginner DSLR or DSLR-style camera.

External Flash


An external flash refers to a part of add-on device which produce an artificial type of extremely strong light that can be useful when there is a lack of light in shooting photos. This type of flash has not been connected to a camera permanently.

external flash - Camera Components

external flash – Camera Components

An external flash is located on the top of a digital SLR camera

With entry-level digital cameras, you often see a built-in flash unit and the firing of the flash is often automatic whenever there is a need for more light. With the digital SLR models, the built-in flash units are not available, so you have to use external ones.

This flash is connected to a camera via a hot shoe that is commonly found at the top of a camera. Without this hot shoe, you cannot make your camera to work with the flash. You also find batteries of an external flash separated from the camera.

You can understand the definition of the flash as both the flash of light in the firing and the actual unit which produces the light.

Also Called: Flash



HDMI, as abbreviated from High Definition Multimedia Interface, refers to an interface for transferring uncompressed digital data among devices. To make use of the HDMI, you’ll need certain types of cables as well as linking slots.

A HDMI is commonly used with high definition TVs to link to devices that produce HD signals, for example a Blu-ray playing device or a set-top box. For several digital models, especially the ones with the capability to record full HD movies, you can make use of the HDMI connector for transferring the movies to a HDTV or computer faster.

16:9 Ratio


16:9 ratio refers to the measuring unit of a photo’s dimensions that can ensure a nice display of photos on a large screen, for example HDTV. 16:9 means that the image measurement has the ratio of sixteen pixels in width and nine pixels in height, so the width is 1.78 times of the height. You can see this ratio in HD movies more often than in still photo photography.

There are other typical aspect ratios available in a digital camera, including 3:2 and 4:3. For most digital models, you often work through the menu for the aspect ratio setting.

Also Called: Aspect Ratio



Flash refers to an artificial source of super strong light that is used for bringing more light to photos when needed. The firing of the flash is just before you shoot the photos so that there will be more light for the lens as well as image sensor to capture a digital image. Flash can be known as either the flash of light during image capturing or the physical flash unit which produces the light.

You will often find a built-in flash unit in cameras that are aimed at entry-level photographers and the firing of the flash is commonly automatic whenever there is a need for more light. The flahs configurations can be changed through the menus of digital models and you can also fully turn of the flash. But when you use these available small flash units on entry-level models, you possibly encounter a redeye issue with your images.

For high-end digital models, you can control the flash better, both the flash firing and the amount of the light from the flash. The sizes of these flash units are often larger and they are stronger. In addition, you are able to remove the flash from high-end cameras.

A powerful flash of high quality will be very useful for making the image quality better while for some other tiny built-in flashes, the range for working well may be just several feet, for instance.

When the autofocus function is being used and the camera needs addition light from the flash, there may be at least two flashes. The first one is to bring more light for the camera to make use of the autofocus feature while the second one refers to the actual flash for shooting the photo.

The word “flash” can be also known as the flash memory, even though these two things of a digital model has no relation.



The viewfinder is a small window that is positioned at the camera top as well as back panel that is used for framing your photos. In some certain cameras, you can find a traditional type of viewfinder, and several others may not include any viewfinder. For cameras that you don’t see a viewfinder, you often find an LCD with the live view or a liquid crystal display, for framing photos.

Below are the two common kinds of viewfinders found in a digital camera.

An optical viewfinder refers to an actual window that tries to match the going line of the main lens. Several advanced digital models connect the optical viewfinder with the lens. By using a set of built-in mirrors and prisms, now you can easily find the viewfinder look through the camera lens.

An electronic viewfinder, or abbreviated as EVF, refers to a small LCD which shows the photo that shall be taken. You can see the settings of the camera through the EVFs but it can be hard to see these EVFs when there is a lack of light.

Image Stabilization (IS)


Image stabilization (IS) is a technology which is used in a digital model to reduce the blurriness of images. You can find this stabilization in one of three following options.

  • Optical Image Stabilization refers to a common type that based on hardware to reduce the blurriness.
  • Digital Image Stabilization refers to type that based on software to reduce the blurriness.
  • Dual Image Stabilization is the combination of both optical image stabilization and digital image stabilization, but  its definition is not the same for different manufacturers

Manual Controls


Manual controls refer to the configurations on a digital camera that photographers can control over the camera manually. For instance, you may want to configure shutter speed or the aperture manually to create the photos in slightly different looks. The capability to have the manual controls over some certain settings on a digital model is often available in advanced models.

Contrary to the manual controls, you cannot set anything manually using the full auto mode, as all aspects of a photo have been set by the camera in this mode.

xD-Picture Card

xD card

xD card

xD-Picture Card (known as xD) refers to a kind of flash memory card that is for storing data of images in a digital camera. xD is abbreviated from Extreme Digital, even though people seldom use that name.

Originally, the storing abilities of xD card is 512 megabytes (MP) or about 0.5 gigabytes (GB). The majority of xD cards has the storing capability up to 2GB, but you can find the potential storing capability of the two H and M xD cards up to 8GB. These two types were released in 2005 and you often see the M” or “H” labels right on the card.  The type M+, released later in 2008, has the faster transmitting speeds. Three types H, M+, or M cannot work well with several Olympus or Fujifilm digital models of the older generations.

Olympus as well as Fujifilm has used their own xD cards since 2002. The shape of xD cards is a little bit rectangular, with one slightly curved edge. The measurement of xD cards is 20 mm x 25 mm x 1.78 mm (equivalent to 0.79 x 0.98 x 0.07 in.)