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Glossary of the photographer

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Глоссарий фотографа

How often there are cases when, being a novice in photography, on forums of photographers or just in dealing with them, you come across incomprehensible phrases, words or jargon, about the meaning of which and ask awkwardly.

To avoid such situations, we present you a glossary of photo terms and photo-jargon, which will be constantly updated.

If you have met an unfamiliar term or an incomprehensible word about a photograph that you do not know or feel shy to ask, send us a request via the feedback form - we will explain everything and add this word to our dictionary for the benefit of future generations of amateur photographers and novice photographers.


Autofocus (English: Autofocus, AF) - a system of digital cameras for focusing.

Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB - Auto Exposure Bracketing) - a mode that allows you to take a series of pictures with a certain exposure increment. One picture is taken with normal exposure, one or more underexposure and one or more with overexposure. The amount of underexposure or overexposure is determined by the settings of the camera. For example: by specifying a series of 3 pictures in one-step increments, you will get one shot with the normal exposure (set by you or by the camera's exposure meter), one underexposed and one overexposed to the stage shots.

Apodization is an action on the optical system, leading to a change in the intensity distribution in the diffraction image of the luminous point. Translated into a language more understandable for a wide range of photography enthusiasts, this means that the lens allows you to control the blurring of objects outside the sharply-represented area using the built-in filter.

Автоматическая экспозиционная вилка (англ.: AEB — Auto Exposure Bracketing)


Bayonet - the type of connection of the lens and the camera body.

White Balance (WB) - modern digital cameras are equipped with automatic color balance adjustment systems, trying to compensate for the difference in illumination under which shooting is taking place, from "standard" natural outdoor conditions. If you are not satisfied with the shades of the pictures taken while the automation is in operation, often cameras offer a set of preset settings, for example "incandescent lamps", "several types of fluorescent lamps," "flash," "sun", etc. Typically, these options are offered from 4 of the simple "digicam" to 8 in professional and semi-professional systems. Often the cameras provide a "manual" mode, in which the parameter is set when photographing a white sheet. Professional cameras also have the option of setting the white balance directly in degrees Kelvin.

Shoe - see Hot shoe

Lood (English: Hood) - adaptation in the form of a cylinder, a truncated cone, a "flower", etc. plastic or metal, with a black matte inner surface, mounted on the lens. Prevents the light rays from falling into the lens, which do not participate in the formation of the image, thereby preventing the appearance of glare.

Blooming (English: Blooming) The appearance of a color border between very light and dark areas of the image taken with a digital camera. It occurs as a result of the flow of a charge from the pixel of the sensor, which received an excess of light energy, to adjacent pixels.

Blur - blur artificially, with the help of post-processing in a graphics editor or programmatically in the camera.

Body (English: body) - the body of the camera (body)

A barrel is one of the types of geometric distortion, inflation, rounding of straight lines closer to the edge. Usually this is clearly visible on wide-angle lenses.


The leading number of the flash is the maximum distance (in meters or feet) at which the flash can illuminate the subject for proper exposure, at aperture f / 1 and ISO 100. For example: a flash with a leading number of 56, when shooting at ISO 100 and the aperture f / 5.6 correctly illuminates the object located at a distance of 10 m, when shooting at ISO 400 - 20 m. The general formula connecting the leading number with the diaphragm and the distance: distance = V.C. / F-number for ISO 100.

Fork (exposure bracketing, bracketing) - see Automatic exposure plug

Vignetting (English: Vignetting) - shading the edges of the image. Usually, it occurs when using filters with wide-angle lenses.

High key (English: High Key) - specific visual techniques, resulting in a gentle gradation, almost airy and soft pictures, which almost entirely consist of "white" with very light gray tones.


Hyperfocal Distance - the minimum distance from the lens to such a plane in the space of objects, when focused on, the rear boundary of the sharply depicted space is at infinity.

Histogram (English: Histogram) - a graph of the distribution of tones in the image. The horizontal axis displays the scale of the brightness of the tones from white to black, the vertical number of pixels of the specified brightness in the image. The histogram allows you to more accurately set the exposure.

Depth of Field, Depth of the Image Space, Depth of Field - the space in front of and behind the subject of the survey (which was focused on) depicted sharply. The distance between the front sharp plane and the sharp background is called the depth of field. Depth of field can be adjusted with the help of a diaphragm. The smaller the aperture value, the lower the depth of field.

Hot shoe (English: Hot Shoe) - contact device for connecting an electronic flash to the camera.


Dynamic range is the difference between the lightest and darkest areas of the image. If the plot is replete with very bright zones and contrasting shadows, this can be a problem for some digital cameras. Some amateur photographers do not like digital cameras for a smaller dynamic range than a film. One of the attempts to solve this problem was made by Fujifilm, which manufactured the SuperCCD SR matrix, where in place of one "logical" pixel, there are two physical photocells. The additional one is responsible for expanding the dynamic range in the area of ​​light tones.

Distortion is the aberration of optical systems, in which the linear magnification changes along the field of view. In this case, the similarity between the object and its image is violated. Corrected by the selection of lenses and other elements of the optical system when developing it.

Control lighting - occurs when the subject is illuminated from behind, for example if it is in the background of a lighted window or behind the back of the object being photographed by the sun. If you can not withstand the correct exposure of the picture, then only the silhouette will be visible on the bright background. The simplest solution to this problem is to use a "fill" (Fill-in) flash mode. Or use a spot metering of exposure, if there is one in your cell. But to use the flash is more correct, as well as the object you need to get and the background will not become overexposed.


CMOS-matrix (CMOS) - this matrix, made by another technology, has a potentially higher image quality. While the data matrix is ​​used, mainly in digital SLR cameras. Recently, this type of matrix is ​​also used in compact cameras, having tested CCD matrices.


The Fresnel lens is a complex composite lens. It consists not of a single piece of polished glass with spherical or other surfaces (like ordinary lenses), but of separate concentric rings of small thickness adjoining each other, which in the section have the form of prisms of a special profile. Proposed by Augustin Fresnel. This design provides a small thickness (and hence weight) of the Fresnel lens. The sections of the rings in the lens are constructed in such a way that the spherical aberration of the Fresnel lens is small, the rays from the point source placed at the focus of the lens, after refraction in the rings, leave a practically parallel beam (in Fresnel ring lenses).

Линза Френеля


The world is a test image that is photographed to determine the properties of the camera's optical system. These pictures allow:

  • evaluate the sharpness of the image in the center and at the corners (very important for cheap cameras, where the image in the corners is often not sharp);
  • To assess the resolving power of the optical system;
  • evaluate chromatic aberrations.
In the catalog for some cameras there are such test shots, beside which the size is indicated. To determine the "fidelity" of color transfer, there are also test shots.


Optical zoom is the ratio of the maximum focal length of the lens to the minimum. Zoom allows you to zoom in and out, shoot close-ups and panoramas with one lens. As a rule, zoom lenses are controlled by an electric motor, which is not always convenient and quick. The lenses of professional cameras and some "pseudo-mirrors" are equipped with an "old-fashioned", but very convenient mechanical ring.

An optical low-pass filter (sometimes called anti-aliasing) is built into many digital cameras and is located directly in front of the matrix. The main task of the optical low-frequency filter is to remove high-frequency components of the image, which allows to soften moiré and distortion of colors, which are caused by high-frequency waves in images. An optical low-pass filter usually consists of two birefringent plates and a wave plate. The light is separated when passing through birefringent plates onto the matrix, as shown below. In addition, for better color reproduction, infrared and anti-reflective coatings are used, as well as glass absorbing infrared rays. Digital cameras without an optical low-pass filter can record high-frequency components of the image, which increases its sharpness. In this case, moiré and color distortion can be noticeable depending on the subject and shooting conditions. Since digital cameras are equipped with matrices with a higher resolution, in such matrices the number of pixels is larger, and the pitch between pixels is smaller, which allows to soften moiré and distortion of colors in the images. Due to this softening effect, you can not use an optical low-pass filter in high-resolution cameras to get images with more sharpness.

Оптический низкочастотный фильтр


A CCD (CCD) is a light-sensitive device that records an image. This device consists of millions of photosensitive pixels. The size of the matrix is ​​measured in megapixels (MP).

Firmware is software for controlling the hardware of the camera.

Prosumer (English: Prosumer) - a compact camera for "advanced" lovers. Usually has some professional capabilities, but at the same time have a price comparable to the products for amateurs.

A professional camera is usually a dust-waterproof camera with a large sensor and interchangeable optics, a large number of manual settings, control of which is rendered in the form of various controls, buttons, screens on the camera body, which is made of strong (more often - titanium) materials . Professional cameras also feature a short camera readiness time, a large number of frames that the camera can shoot during continuous shooting, fast and "tenacious" autofocus, a powerful processor (or several processors) for processing captured images. Cameras are adapted to work in difficult lighting conditions, with various accessories.

Semi-professional camera - these do not exist! The marketing name of amateur cameras, designed for experienced ("advanced") photographers, and not possessing (or partially possessing) the characteristics of a professional camera.


Repeater (repeater, tutor, repeater) is a function that allows you to close the aperture to the specified value (by default, it is fully open for aiming at the object), in order to determine the depth of field before shooting


Softbox, attachment to the light source (flash, lamp) - which allows you to adjust the width and power of the light flux.


Digitalzadnik - devices containing a photosensitive matrix, processor, memory and interface with a computer. Digital backdrop is installed on professional medium format cameras instead of cassettes with film

Digital zoom - this function actually allows you to record not the entire frame, but only its central part, as a result of which the illusion is created that the picture is taken with a large magnification. A tangible benefit from this function is the saving of space on the memory card. This significantly degrades the quality of the captured image.


Chromatic aberration is the error of the objective, due to which rays of different wavelengths cross the optical axis of the system at points located at different distances from the optical axis of the system. Chromatic aberration is inherent in the lenses of cheap cameras and appears in the form of interference fringes or, more often, colored fringing around the object. The quality of the optical system allows you to determine the shooting of test images.


Noise - an image defect that appears in adverse shooting conditions (large ISO, long exposure).


An electronic shutter is an electronic circuit that, for a certain time (endurance), supplies voltage to the matrix, while the rest of the time the matrix is ​​de-energized. Depending on the method of reading information from the CMOS matrix, two types of electronic shutters are distinguished: the Global Shutter (Global Shutter, Global / Global exposure technology) and the Rolling Shutter (Rolling Shutter technology). With the frame shutter, the image is formed instantaneously, exactly as in the case of photographing, i.e. All matrix pixels allocated for operation transmit information simultaneously. The operating time of the sensor is equal to the shutter speed, which is set in the camera in advance. With a sliding shutter, the final image is not based on instantaneous reading of information from the matrix, but by sequential scanning. Those. The information from the sensor is not transmitted all at once, but line by line - from top to bottom, while the shutter as it slides on the frame. Again, the concept of the shutter here is arbitrary and has nothing to do with mechanical implementation. Simplified work of electronic gates can be represented as in the picture below.

Электронного затвор

Bracketing is the shooting of a series of frames with different exposures. This increases the chance to get a perfectly exposed shot. It is carried out either with a tripod or with a special camera mode. In the case when the camera itself makes an exposure, an automatic shooting of three or five frames with different exposures occurs. The first frame, as a rule, is done with the exposure, which the camera's metering system considers ideal. The rest are underexposed and overexposed with a given photographer step. From the received frames the ideal is chosen already from the point of view of the photographer, not the camera. Some photographers use the possibilities of such shooting, for expanding the dynamic range, combining the pictures in the editor.

A metering is a system for measuring the light indicators of an object of photography-exposure. The metering is weighted average, dot, matrix, multipoint, etc.

Exposure - a combination of the "aperture / shutter speed" setting when taking pictures. If the picture is too dark - it is "underexposed", if too light - "overexposed".

EGF - equivalent focal length, the virtual characteristic of the lens, serving only comparison purposes - the focal length of the lens, designed for a frame of 24x36 mm (film type 135, "full-frame" digital matrix, Crop factor = 1), with a viewing angle equal to the viewing angle lens on a camera with a crop factor.

Effective pixels - the resolution of the matrix, taking into account the pixels that do not participate in the creation of the image. Some of them are painted black in order to create the correct color balance, while others are arranged so that they do not get any light from the lens at all.


DPI - English abbreviation, which means "dots per inch". This parameter is used to calculate the image size in pixels for making prints. Most printing machines in conventional photo laboratories have a resolution of 300 DPI or 118 points / cm. Thus, for example, a picture with a resolution of 1600x1200 from a camera with a 2 megapixel matrix will suffice for a quality print of 13x10 cm.

DPOF - Decrypts as Digital Print Order Format. This is a system that allows devices recording an image, including digital cameras, to determine which of the images they recorded should be printed on compatible printers and exactly how. Typically, DPOF is a set of text files located in a special section on the digital camera's memory card. These files determine which images should be printed, in what quantity and whether you need to superimpose any text on the image when printing. Typically, DPOF information is specified through a special option for viewing the digital camera. This option allows you to mark files for printing and specify the necessary settings.


Exchangeable Image File (EXIF) - some standard information about shooting parameters (which camera, which lens, what shutter speed, which aperture, date and time of shooting, etc.), shoved by the camera inside each RAW, TIFF or JPEG file . Many programs can show these parameters (for example, Photoshop or ACDC).

Exposure Value (EV) - exposure level, exposure number. EV 1 corresponds at ISO 100 exposure 1s and F 1.4 (1 second exposure, aperture 1.4). Each subsequent integer number EV corresponds to a doubling of the exposure. EV 2 corresponds to the expo- sure 2c and F 1.4 or the expo- sure 1c and F 2.0


HDR - High Dynamic Range Imaging, HDRI, or simply HDR - the common name of image processing technologies, whose brightness range exceeds the capabilities of standard technologies.


ISO (International Standards Organization) - Sensitivity of the sensor.


JPEG is the most common format for recording digital images with compression created by Joint Photographic Expert. Group. This format allows you to reduce the amount of the recorded file with a given quality. The higher the compression ratio, the smaller the file, the lower the image quality. In digital cameras, you can choose with what quality to record a picture. Usually the quality levels are SuperFine (very good), Fine (good), Normal (normal). In addition to JPEG, the digital cameras use TIFF (recording almost without loss of quality) and RAW (recording without loss of quality - an exact copy of the image from the matrix). These formats are too bulky and are used for further professional processing.


Micro Four Thirds System (Standard MFT), the standard Micro 4: 3 is a set of standards created by Olympus and Matsushita (Panasonic) for the parallel development and production of compatible digital cameras, cameras and optics to them.


RAW - an image recording format that allows you to record a picture in the form in which it was "seen" by the camera matrix.


SLR (DSLR) (English: Single Lens Reflector (Digital)) - a single-lens reflex camera, a "mirror". Until recently, the abbreviation SLR applied to a digital camera automatically attributed the camera to the class of professional.

SLR-like - "pseudo-mirror", a class of digital cameras giving almost the same functionality as SLR cameras, but for less money. The main differences from the "DSLRs" - an electronic viewfinder instead of a mirror and non-removable lens. Recent developments have shown that some of the technologies inherent in professional cameras and lenses have migrated to the latest models of pseudo-mirrors.

SLT (English: single-lens translucent) - also SLR cameras, from traditional DSLR are distinguished by the presence of a translucent stationary mirror instead of a movable one. This class of DSLRs is manufactured exclusively by Sony.


TTL (English: Trough The Lens) - A system for measuring exposure and focusing on the basis of light transmitted through the lens.


  • Grabelka - hand, usually compositionally unsuccessfully placed in the frame
  • Gradient - a color filter, partially painted, in the conditionally upper part. In most cases, it is used to increase the contrast and increase the working of the sky
  • Hole, hole - diaphragm
  • Zoom - a lens with a variable focal length
  • Hare - glare on the sensor, due to bright light sources
  • Poltnik, poltos - a lens with a focal length of 50 mm
  • Polarik - polarizing photofilter
  • A flash is a flash (usually external)
  • Dandelion - adapter for non-autofocus lenses, allowing to fix the moment of precise focusing
  • The Kenonists are the harsh owners of Canon's cameras
  • Nikonists - orthodox devotees of Nikon
  • Kit - the lens supplied with the camera
  • Dark glass - a lens with a low aperture (maximum aperture 3.5 or still)
  • Screwdriver - motor drive built into the camera, designed for autofocus lenses without their own engine
  • Glass - lens
  • Soap, digital - a digital compact camera, or an indistinct image of an object in focus
  • Pyaterochka, Piglet - Canon EOS 5D Camera
  • Boot - camera Canon
  • Gnusmas - camera made by Samsung
  • Оля, олик - cameras Olympus
  • Crop - reduced camera array by collapsing with 35 mm standard frame 24 x 36 mm
  • Crop - crop photos in a graphics editor (crop photos)
  • Lenspen - (from Lenspen) Lens Pencil
  • Fish - the ultra-wide-angle lens "Fish Eye", Fischai (transcription from the English fish-eye)
  • Fix - a lens with a fixed focal length
  • FF - (full frame) full-frame SLR camera with 24 x 36 mm matrix
  • The carcass is actually a camera without a lens, see Body (body)
  • Tail - attachment of the lens to the camera, bayonet or thread, depending on the manufacturer and brand of the lens
  • Trunk - telescopic zoom
  • Sharpe - from the English. Sharp, meaning "sharp." This is usually called the artifical improvement in the sharpness of the image with the help of a graphic editor
  • Shevelenka - blurred image, a characteristic effect due to hand tremor in the photo
  • Width - Wide-angle lens