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Aperture: The aperture is the opening through which light passes to the lens. Manipulating the aperture can change the depth of field and affect the amount of light entering the lens. The aperture is expressed as a range indicating the size of the opening.
Depth of Field: The depth of field is the foreground/background surrounding your focal point. It can be manipulated by the aperture.
Digital Zoom: A digital zoom feature allows one to enlarge a portion of a previously captured image, thus simulating an optical zoom. Digital zoom is a feature only found in digital cameras. Editing software can also create its effect.
Effective Pixels: The effective pixels are the number of active pixels on the image sensor of a digital camera. The number of effective pixels helps to determine the quality and detail of the resulting images.
Exposure: Exposure indicates the total amount of light that reaches the image sensor or photographic film when taking a picture. Most cameras come with mechanisms that regulate exposure without the user having to worry. However, professionals and hobbyists should consider cameras that allow the user to regulate aperture and shutter speed.
Exposure Compensation: Exposure compensation allows for the manipulation of the light included in the finished image without adjusting the aperture or shutter speed. It allows for a brighter or darker final image by effectively underexposing or overexposing the image. Camera exposure compensation is commonly stated in terms of EV units.
Flash: In cameras, a flash offers a temporary artificial light source to illuminate a subject. In modern cameras, the flash is built directly into the camera, but some professional photographers use interchangeable flash units.
Focal Length: The focal length determines the angle of view and magnification for a given photographic position. A zoom lens offers a range of focal lengths.
ISO: The ISO of a camera determines the film speed. Because digital cameras do not use film, the ISO indicates the equivalent of the film speed and therefore the sensitivity of the image sensor to the amount of light present. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive the image sensor will be to light. Thus, a high ISO sensitivity allows for photography in low-light situations.
Lens: The lens of a camera directs the path of light rays onto photographic film, an image sensor or other media capable of storing an image. It is one of the more crucial aspects to capturing images due to its complexity and fragility. Digital cameras come with lenses that are adequate for most users. However, the serious photographer should look for a camera that comes with a macro focus mode, allowing for extreme-close-ups that don't lose focus.
Optical Zoom: An optical zoom manipulates the lens of a camera to bring a subject visually closer.
Pixels: Derived from a combination of the words "PICture ELement", pixels are the basic light-sensitive elements which compose an image sensor or digital display. In digital cameras, the number of megapixels is an indication of resolution capability.
"Red Eye" Effect: The "red eye" effect occurs in color photography when a flash is used in low ambient lighting environments, producing the appearance of red pupils in eyes. There are several ways to prevent the "red eye" effect. You can increase the ambient lighting in a room and not use the flash. Or you can take the image at an angle so the flash does not strike the eye directly. Some cameras offer a series of pre-flash illuminations to reduce the "red eye" effect. Editing software can also remove the appearance of the "red eyes" after the image is obtained.
Resolution: Resolution is the amount of information a digital image holds. It is measured in megapixels, so the higher the count of megapixels, the higher the resolution in an image. Images with low resolution can appear grainy and blurred, while images with a high resolution will be crisp and clear. The higher the resolution, the bigger you can enlarge your picture without losing the sharpness of the image.
Sensor: An image sensor is a tiny device implemented into a digital camera that converts the optical image into an electrical one for storing. Image sensors are typically a flat piece of silicon with millions of sensor pixels. The number of pixels defines the resolution of the sensor and determines the quality and detail of the resulting images. There are two primary types of sensors found in today's cameras: CCD and CMOS. While both are complex, no sensor has a clear advantage over the other.
Shooting Modes: Shooting modes rearrange and optimize your camera's settings when you went to capture a special moment or specific mood. Landscape, auto-focus, portrait and snow are among the more common modes.
Shutter Speed: The shutter speed, which determines the exposure time, is the length of time a camera's shutter is open. Along with the aperture, the shutter speed determines the amount of light that passes through the lens.
White Balance: Also referred to as color balance, white balance adjusts the various colors of an image to accurately reflect the true colors. While different lighting conditions affect how cameras record colors, white balance accounts for the different conditions to create an accurate image.