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Monday, March 26, 2007

Digital Photography Glossary

Check out common terms you need to know for digital imaging

Labels: Learning Center

Shutter Speed
The amount of time the lens shutter remains when the shutter is pressed. This controls, in conjunction with the aperture setting, the amount of light that hits the sensor, thereby determining the exposure. At the same time, the shutter speed can affect whether or not the image is in focus, especially if the subject is moving. Faster shutter speeds are measured in fractions of one second-averaging 1/4000th of a second or higher. Many cameras also allow the shutter speed to be set in full seconds for longer exposures.

Modern D-SLRs are digital cameras based on the same mechanical and optical features of film SLR (single lens reflex) cameras, minus the film. SLR cameras channel light through a lens and a mirror to a viewfinder that gives an exact preview of the shot to be captured.

TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)
A standard image file format for bitmapped graphics. TIFF files are uncompressed and, therefore, very large compared to compressed formats. Not only do TIFF files occupy more hard-drive space for storage, but also it takes longer for the camera to write these files to a media card, thereby slowing down some aspects of camera performance. Because TIFF is a standard, TIFF image files can be read by all image-processing software.

White Balance
A calibration of color temperature to a degree on the Kelvin scale where white reads as white, rather than the varying shades of white caused by different lighting conditions. White in the morning, for instance, is a cooler blue of white, especially when compared to the very warm yellow of afternoon sun. White-balance settings can be changed within the digital camera to adjust for sun, shade, tungsten and fluorescent lighting; automatic white balance is also an option, although accuracy is generally inconsistent. Custom or manual white balance is available in many cameras and is accomplished by pointing the camera at a white surface and clicking the shutter. Higher-end cameras have a variety of white-balance options, including the ability to set Kelvin temperatures manually.



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