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Photographer Glossary

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Глоссарий фотографа

How often are there cases when, being a novice in photography, on the forums of photographers or simply when dealing with them, you encounter incomprehensible phrases, words or jargon, the meaning of which is embarrassing to ask.

To avoid such situations, we present you a dictionary of photo terms and photo jargon that will be constantly updated.

If you have come across an unfamiliar term or an incomprehensible word about a photo, the meanings of which you don’t know or are embarrassed to ask, send us a request via the feedback form - we will all clarify and add this word to our dictionary for the benefit of future generations of amateur photographers and beginners.


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

Auto Exposure Plug (English: AEB - Auto Exposure Bracketing) - a mode that allows you to take a series of shots with a certain exposure increment. One shot is taken with a normal exposure, one or more under-exposed and one or more over-exposed. The magnitude of underexposure or overexposure is determined by the camera settings. For example: by setting a series of 3 shots in increments of one degree, you will receive one shot with a normal (set by you or camera exposure meter) exposure, one underexposed and one overexposed shot per step.

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

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


Bayonet is a type of connection between a lens and a camera body.

White balance (English: White Balance, WB) - modern digital cameras are equipped with automatic color balance control, trying to compensate for the difference in lighting, which is used for shooting, from "standard" natural street conditions. If you are not satisfied with the shades of the resulting images when the automation is working, then the cameras often offer a set of preset settings, such as incandescent lamps, several types of fluorescent lamps, flash, sun, etc. Typically, such options are offered from 4 in simple "digital telephones" to 8 in professional and semi-professional systems. Often, cameras are provided with a "manual" mode, in which the parameter sets a white sheet when photographing. Professional cameras also have the ability to set white balance directly in degrees Kelvin.

Shoe - see hot shoe

Blend (English: Hood) - a device in the form of a cylinder, a truncated cone, "flower", etc. made of plastic or metal, with a black matte inner surface, worn when shooting on the lens. Interferes with hit in a lens of light beams which are not participating in formation of the image, thereby, preventing emergence of patches of light.

Blooming (English: Blooming) The emergence of a color border between very light and dark areas of an image taken with a digital camera. It arises due to the overflow of charge from the pixel of the sensor that received the excess part of the light energy to the neighboring pixels.

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

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

Barrel - a type of geometric distortion, swelling, rounding of straight lines closer to the edge. This is usually noticeable on wide-angle lenses.


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

Fork (exprovilka, bracketing) - see. Automatic exposure fork

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

High key (English: High Key) - specific visual techniques that lead to gentle gradation, almost air and soft shots, which are almost entirely composed of “white” with very light gray tones.


Hyperfocal Distance (English: Hyperfocal Distance) is the minimum distance from a lens to such a plane in the space of objects, when focused on which, the back border of the sharply depicted space is in infinity.

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

Depth of Field, Depth of Sharply Imaged Space, DOF (English: Depth of Field) - the space in front of and behind the subject (to which the focus was made) is depicted sharply. The distance between the sharp front and the sharp background is called the depth of field. Depth of field can be adjusted using the iris. The smaller the aperture value, the smaller 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 dislike digital cameras for less than the film's dynamic range. One of the attempts to solve this problem was undertaken by Fujifilm, which manufactured the SuperCCD SR matrix, where two physical photocells are in place of one "logical" pixel. Additional is precisely responsible for the expansion of the dynamic range in the field of bright tones.

Distortion is the aberration of optical systems, in which the linear increase varies in the field of view. In this case, the similarity between the object and its image is violated. Corrects the selection of lenses and other elements of the optical system during its development.

Backlight - occurs when the subject is lit from behind, for example, if it is located against a lighted window or behind the object being shot by the sun. If you do not withstand the correct exposure of the picture, then only a silhouette will be visible on it, on a bright background. The simplest solution to this problem is to use the fill-in flash mode. Or use a spot metering, if you have one in your camera. But it is more correct to use the flash, since the object you need will turn out and the background will not become overexposed.


CMOS-matrix (CMOS) - this matrix, made by another technology, has a potentially higher image quality. While these matrixes are used mainly in the SLR digital cameras. Recently, this type of matrix is ​​used in compact cameras, testing out the CCD matrix.


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

Линза Френеля


Mira - a test image that is photographed to determine the properties of the optical system of the camera. These pictures allow you to:

  • evaluate the sharpness of the image in the center and at the corners (very important for cheap cameras, in which the image in the corners is often not sharp);
  • evaluate the resolution of the optical system;
  • evaluate chromatic aberration.
In the catalog for some cameras there are such test shots, next to which the size is indicated. To determine the "fidelity" of the colors 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 of objects, shoot close-ups and panoramas with a single lens. As a rule, zoom lenses are controlled by an electric motor, which is not always convenient and fast. 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 a smoothing filter) is embedded in many digital cameras and is located directly in front of the matrix. The main task of the optical low-frequency filter is to remove the high-frequency components of the image, which allows to soften the moire pattern and color distortion caused by high-frequency waves in the images. An optical low-pass filter usually consists of two birefringent plates and a wave plate. Light is separated when passing through birefringent plates on the matrix, as shown below. In addition, for better color reproduction, infrared and anti-reflective coatings are used, as well as glass that absorbs infrared rays. Digital cameras without an optical low-pass filter allow you to record high-frequency components of the image, which increases its sharpness. At the same time, moire and color distortion may be noticeable depending on the subject and shooting conditions. Since matrices with ever higher resolution are set in digital cameras, in such matrices the number of pixels is greater, and the pixel pitch is smaller, which makes it possible to soften moire and color distortion in images. Due to this softening effect, it is possible not to use an optical low-pass filter in high-resolution cameras to obtain images with greater sharpness.

Оптический низкочастотный фильтр


CCD (CCD) is a photosensitive device that records the 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.

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

A professional camera is, as a rule, a dustproof, waterproof camera with a large sensor and interchangeable optics, a large number of manual settings, which are controlled in the form of various controls, buttons, screens on the camera body, which is made of durable (more often - titanium) materials . Professional cameras also feature a low camera readiness time for shooting, 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 the 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) - a function that allows you to close the aperture to the set value (by default, for aiming at the object it is fully open), in order to determine the depth of field before shooting


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


Digital cameras are devices containing a photosensitive matrix, a processor, a memory and an interface with a computer. Digital backdrop set on professional medium format cameras instead of film cassettes

Digital zoom - this function actually allows you to record not the entire frame, but only its central part, as a result of which there is an illusion that the picture was taken at high magnification. The tangible benefits of this feature - saving space on the memory card. This significantly deteriorates the quality of the captured image.


Chromatic aberration is the objective error due to which rays of different wavelength intersect the optical axis of the system at points located at different distances from the optical axis of the system. Chromatic aberration is characteristic of cheap camera lenses and appears in the form of interference fringes or, more often, color edging around the object. The quality of the optical system allows you to determine the shooting test pictures.


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


An electronic gate is an electronic circuit that for a certain time (exposure) supplies voltage to the matrix, while all the rest of the time, the matrix is ​​de-energized. Depending on the method of reading information from the CMOS-matrix, there are two types of electronic shutters: human shutter (Global Shutter, global shutter, general / global exposure technology) and rolling shutter (Rolling Shutter, technology of line-by-line exposure). With the frame shutter image is formed instantly, exactly as in the case of photographing, i.e. All matrix pixels reserved for work transmit information simultaneously. The sensor operation time is equal to the shutter speed, which is set in the camera in advance. With a sliding shutter, the final image is built not by instantaneous reading of information from the matrix, but by sequential scanning it. Those. information from the sensor is not transmitted all at once, but line by line - from top to bottom, while the shutter slides across the frame. Again, the concept of a shutter is conditional here and has no relation to mechanical implementation. Simplified operation of electronic shutters can be represented as in the picture below.

Электронного затвор

Bracketing (bracketing) is a series of shots with different exposures. This increases the chance to get a perfectly exposed picture. It is performed either with a tripod or a special camera mode. In the case when the camera makes the camera, the automatic shooting of three or five frames with different exposures takes place. The first frame, as a rule, is done with an exposure, which the camera's metering system considers ideal. The rest are made underexposed and overexposed with the step set by the photographer. From the received frames, the ideal is chosen from the point of view of the photographer, not the camera. Some photographers use the capabilities of such a survey to expand the dynamic range by combining images in the editor.

Exposure metering is a system for measuring the light indicators of a subject - exposure. The metering can be weighted average, point, matrix, multipoint, etc.

Exposure - a combination of parameters "aperture / shutter speed" when shooting. If the picture is too dark - it is “underexposed”, if too light it is “overexposed.”

EGF - equivalent focal length, a virtual characteristic of the lens that serves exclusively for comparison purposes - the focal length of a lens designed for a frame of 24x36 mm (film type 135, “full-frame” digital matrix, Crop factor = 1), with an angle of view equal to the angle of view lens on a camera with a crop factor.

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


DPI - English abbreviation, which means "dots per inch". This parameter is used to calculate the size of the image in pixels for making prints. Most of the printing machines in conventional photo labs 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 is ​​enough for a 13x10 cm high-quality print.

DPOF - stands for Digital Print Order Format. It is a system that allows devices that record images, including digital cameras, to determine which images they have recorded should be printed on compatible printers and how. DPOF is usually a set of text files located in a special section on a digital camera's memory card. These files determine exactly which images should be printed, in what quantity and whether any text should be superimposed on the image when printing. Typically, DPOF information is specified using a special option for viewing a digital camera. This option allows you to mark files for printing and set the necessary parameters.


Exchangeable Image File (EXIF) - some standard information about shooting parameters (which camera, which lens, which shutter speed, which aperture, date and time of shooting, etc.), pushed 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, to an expander 1c and F 1.4 (shutter speed 1 second, aperture 1.4). Each subsequent integer EV corresponds to a doubling of the exposure. EV 2 corresponds to 2c and F 1.4 or 1c and F 2.0


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


ISO (English: International Standards Organization) - sensor photosensitivity.


JPEG is currently the most common format for recording digital images with compression created by the Joint Photographic Expert. Group. This format allows you to reduce the size of the recorded file with a given quality. The greater the compression ratio, the smaller the file, the lower the image quality. In digital cameras, you can make a choice with what quality to record a picture. Usually quality levels are SuperFine (very good), Fine (good), Normal (normal). In addition to JPEG, digital cameras use TIFF formats (recording with almost no loss of quality) and RAW (recording without loss of quality - an exact copy of the image from the matrix). These formats are too large and are used for subsequent professional processing.


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


RAW is an image recording format that allows you to record a picture in the form in which the camera matrix “saw” it.


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

SLR-like - "pseudo-mirror", a class of digital cameras that give almost the same functionality as SLR cameras, but for less money. The main differences from the DSLRs are the electronic viewfinder instead of the mirror one and the fixed 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, differ from traditional DSLRs by the presence of a translucent fixed mirror instead of a moving one. This class of DSLRs is manufactured exclusively by Sony.


TTL (English: Trough The Lens) is an exposure metering and focusing system based on the light that passes through the lens.


  • Grabelka - hand, usually compositionally poorly placed in the frame
  • Gradient - light filter, partially colored, in the conventionally upper part. In most cases, used to increase the contrast and more development of the sky.
  • Hole, hole - diaphragm
  • Zoom - zoom lens
  • Hares - glare on the sensor, due to the bright light sources
  • Fifty, Poltos - lens with a focal length of 50 mm
  • Polaric - polarizing photo filter
  • Puff - flash (usually external)
  • Dandelion - adapter for non-autofocus lenses, allowing you to capture the moment of precise focus
  • Canonists are the tough owners of Canon cameras
  • Nikonists are orthodox followers of Nikon
  • The whale is the lens that comes with the camera.
  • Dark glass - a lens with a low aperture (max. Aperture 3.5 or even already)
  • Screwdriver - motor drive built into the camera, designed for autofocus lenses without its own engine
  • Glass - lens
  • Soap, digital camera - a digital compact camera, or a fuzzy image of an object in focus
  • Pyaterochka, Piglet - camera Canon EOS 5D
  • Boot - Canon Camera
  • Gnusmas - Samsung Camera
  • Olya, Olik - Olympus Cameras
  • Crop - reduced camera matrix in comparison with 35 mm standard frame 24 x 36 mm
  • Crop - cropping a photo in a graphical editor (sprinkle a photo)
  • Lenspen - (from Lenspen) Pencil for cleaning lenses
  • Fish - Super Wide Angle Fisheye Lens, Fischay (transcription from English fish-eye)
  • Fix - a lens with a fixed focal length
  • FF - (full frame) full-frame mirror camera with a matrix of 24 x 36 mm
  • The carcass is actually a camera without a lens, see. Body (body)
  • Tail - mount the lens to the camera, bayonet or thread, depending on the manufacturer and brand of lens
  • Trunk - telescopic zoom
  • Sharpe - from the English. Sharp, meaning "sharp." This is usually called the artificial improvement of image sharpness using a graphical editor.
  • Shake - blurred image, a characteristic effect as a result of shaking hands in the photo
  • Shirik - wide-angle lens