Digital SLR Cameras
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Jargon Buster

Digital SLR camera terms explained

 

Aperture Adjusts the opening in the lens through which light passes. As it changes size, it affects both the focus and the exposure of the image.
Auto focus A camera system that automatically brings the lens into sharp focus on the subject. Auto focus systems operate very reliably and quickly.
Digital zoom Enlarges the centre of an image digitally. Very easy to use but image resolution and sharpness can be affected.
Exposure The process of allowing more or less light into the camera and exposing the image sensor to light, which results in a captured image.
eXtreme Digital (xD) Memory A memory card format used by Fuji and Olympus cameras to store images, which is smaller than Secure Digital.
Face detection Built-in camera software that detects the shape of a human face and automatically sets the focus and exposure for perfect portraits.
Frames per second The maximum number of images a camera can shoot continuously in one second. Important for high-speed action shots.
Image stabilisation (also known as anti-blur and anti-shake) Advanced technology that automatically compensates for unwanted camera movement and low light, reducing the appearance of blur in photos.
ISO ISO is a measure of sensitivity to light. A high ISO rating lets you take clear pictures of fast-moving subjects or in low-light environments.
LCD screen Liquid Crystal Display. A screen that allows you to frame and review your images in addition to displaying camera functions and menus.
Lens mount All compact system digital cameras can use interchangeable lenses, but only from certain manufacturers. Check which yours uses before you buy a new lens.
Lithium ion battery A rechargeable battery that does not require a full discharge before being charged again. Higher capacity than most battery technologies.
Megapixel (MP) 1 megapixel (MP) = one million pixels. The more pixels in an image, the higher its resolution. Pictures of 5MP or higher can be enlarged to A4 size.
Memory Stick (MS) Pro/Duo A memory card format made by Sony. Procards allow high-speed shooting while Duocards are smaller, for use in cameraphones.
Optical zoom Allows zoom photography without any loss of picture quality. The higher the magnification, the closer you'll get - 3x to 5x is typical, but some high zoom cameras can reach 36x or even 42x.
PictBridge An industry standard that allows images to be printed directly from digital cameras to a printer, without having to connect to a computer.
Red-eye reduction Flash portraits can result in an unpleasant 'red eye' effect. This technology reduces the likelihood of red eyes - and some cameras can even eliminate them later, digitally.
Secure Digital (SD) Memory A memory card format that is smaller and lighter than Compact Flash, and that is becoming the standard.
Shutter speed How long the camera's shutter remains open as a photo is taken. High shutter speeds will 'freeze' moving objects. Lower shutter speeds can add creative blur effects.
SLR Single lens reflex. A camera in which the picture taken matches exactly what is seen in the viewfinder and often features interchangeable lenses that can enhance the image.
USB A 'plug and play' hardware interface between computers and add-on devices such as digital cameras and printers to quickly and easily transfer images and data.

 

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