Jargon and the Electronic World of Digital Cameras

August 21, 2011 by  
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In the first part of this series we learnt about the more common digital camera jargon and in this article we will be covering the normal technical jargon. This is some of the not so well known jargon. You’ll certainly be ready to make a wise digital camera purchase after you’ve finished reading part two.

1. What is ISO

This is orginially from film cameras back in the old days. ISO, or International Standards Organization, refers to how sensitive your camera is to the light in your photographs. Digital cameras unlike there older brothers the film cameras can change there ISO on the Move. Your digital camera’s ISO is equal to film speed. For example, if you owned a film camera and purchased 400 ISO film setting your digital camera to a 400 ISO would be the same.

A low ISO such as 100 ISO is not very light sensitive and fairly slow, where as a 400 ISO is more sensitive to light and faster. The darker the subject area you are photographing is, the higher the ISO number you will need to avoid that ugly blurring. However, just like with film, the higher the ISO is, the more grainy the picture will be, also referred to as “noise.” 100 ISO to 400 ISO are the most common ISO’s for point and shoot cameras.

2. what is Hot Shoe

So you properly have never heard of hot shoe, beside a friend or family member maybe pointing out your new shoes, but this is different. You will find a hot shoe on the top of the camera. It is a special slot the can accept a flash and other camera accessories. You won’t usually find them on point and shoot digital cameras, but you will find them on digital SLR’s. Sadly, every manufacture has their own hot shoe design so if you buy a flash for one camera and then later buy another brand it won’t be interchangeable.

3. What is Aperture

Everyone has done this, taken a photo and been given a blurred picture? then this is your camera being exposed to aperture. Aperture is how the camera captures light as it enters the lens. If you adjust your aperture then you will in result also be changing your field depth. Aperture is related to your f stops.

Aperture settings are adjusted automatically on a point and shoot. However with an SLR camera you will have the ability to set the aperture on your lens.

4. Depth of Field

There are 3 factors that affect the deapth of field, they are the focal length, this is the distance from your target to the camera. The depth of field refers to the distance where your image appears sharp. This is all depending on the camera, aperture and focal distance.

The depth of field doesn’t suddenly vary from sharp to un-sharp. Instead it occurs as a steady transition with everything immediately in the back of or in front of the focus distance beginning to lose its sharpness.

5. Metering

To achieve accurate exposures consistently you need to know how your digital camera meters light. Metering is actually the brains behind how the camera calculates the aperture and shutter speed, based on ISO speed and lighting conditions. Metering options can include evaluative zone, partial, matrix, spot metering, and center-weighted. Understanding these metering options will improve your photographic intuition.

 

Now your Ready to Review the Best Digital Cameras or the Waterproof Digital Camera section.

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