PC hardware

PC Hardware Computer Information, Guides, News, and Reviews find the latest prices for technology and gadgets here

View Prices

Digital Camera Glossary

Terms from the Digital Camera world explained

ADC - Analogue to Digital Converter, this takes the analogue output and is able to turn it into digital format so that it can be manipulated and altered by the DSP.

Aperture - On a film camera this is an adjustable control which can alter the passage of light into the camera, often used with shutter speed to determine depth field.

Artifacts - Distortions of the image often caused by noises or heavy handed use.

CCD - Charged Couple Device, this can play part of the film in registering the image seen through the lens.

CCD Technology - With cameras with this technology it acts like a enhancer it uses the technology to enable images of a higher pixel resolution. Instead of the light-sensitive elements in standard CCD, it uses larger octagonal arranged in a slight honeycomb pattern which provides a highly detailed result.

Compact Flash - This is a removable memory type used to record and store digital images.

Digital Zoom - This can be misleading in fact it doesn't zoom at all it crops the image and displays the center portion of the image.

DSP - Digital Signal Processing (also known as processor), this processes the raw data before it can be stored and viewed on the memory card.

Effective Pixels - This is the number of pixels of the CCD used to make up the final image.

Interpolation - A software program that will add pixels but no more detail to the image.

ISO - Stands for Internation Standards Organisation, this gives details on the light sensitivity and speed of film.


JPEG - This graphic format is widely used and stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, this is a technique which can usually be set to different levels of compression and is one of the most supported graphic formats.

Noise - In photographic terms noise means Grain or a random colour pattern on what is normally a continuous tone.

Optical Zoom - This is the true measure of the focal length of the lens.

Resolution - Size in pixels of the image.

Shutter Speed - The time the shutter on a film camera is open. Usually done for you by the electronics inside some cameras.

SmartMedia - Another removable memory type used to record digital images.

TIFF - Tagged Image File Format, this is a widely used format which does not compress at all so you could end up if you scanned a magazine cover with a 30mb or so file depending on your settings.

White Balance - Colour correction to deal with various lighting conditions.