index‎ > ‎



VOCABULARY:  click links for detailed glossary page:


  • SLR / DSLR: A type of camera where the viewfinder looks through the same lens that the camera uses to make exposures.

  • VIEWFINDER: The part of a camera that the photographer looks through to compose and to focus the picture.

  • FOCAL PLANE: The point in a camera where light is focused by the lens, and is where the CCD or film is positioned.

  • CCD SENSOR: (Charged coupled device) The sensor device used to capture light and convert it to a pixel based image inside a digital camera.

  • SHUTTERThe device on a camera that opens and allows light to pass to the sensor or film for a set period of time in order make an exposure

  • SHUTTER SPEEDThe amount of TIME that the shutter is open, as measured in seconds or fractions of a second.

  • APERTUREAn opening that changes in size to control the amount of light passing through the lens of the camera.

  • F-STOPA fraction that measures of the size of the aperture opening on a camera.

  • ISO / SENSITIVITYA system used to measure and adjust how sensitive a digital camera is to light.

  • HOT SHOE: A mounting point on the top of some cameras to attach a more powerful external flash unit or other accessory.

  • RED EYE MODE: A pulse of light from a flash tube which forces a subject's pupils to contract, lessening the risk of redeye.

  • WHITE BALANCE: A manual adjustment process of removing unrealistic color casts so objects that are white appear white in the image.

  • HISTOGRAM: A bar graph to evaluate brightness and contrast, showing pixels exposed in an image with 256 shades from black (L) to white (R)


  • APERTURE PRIORITY MODEShooting mode where the user manually sets the aperture and ISO, the camera selects the correct shutter speed for exposure, often used to control depth of field.

  • SHUTTER PRIORITY MODE: Shooting mode where the user manually sets the shutter speed and ISO, the camera selects the correct aperture for exposure, often used for moving subjects.

  • MANUAL MODE: The shooting mode in which the user has the greatest amount of control over all the camera settings.

  • EXPOSURE COMPENSATION: Over-ride the automatic exposure settings where the camera's meter is incorrect such as backlighting.


  • AUTO FOCUS: Automatically focuses on the subject in the center of the viewfinder.  Some cameras can focus on a user selected point or area.

  • SPOT METERING: Reading light levels from a very small area, typically 1-3% of an image area.

  • CENTER WEIGHTED METER: Averages the exposure across the entire frame, but gives added emphasis (weight) to the central part of the image.

  • AI SERVO MODE: Pressing the shutter button halfway auto-focuses and continually re-focuses as the distance to subject changes.

  • ONE-SHOT MODE: Pressing the shutter button halfway auto-focuses on the subject and locks until the shutter is released.

  • CONTINUOUS SHOOTING MODE: Camera shoots pictures continuously if shutter release is held down.