Software which doesn’t make any direct changes to the pixels in a photo, but saves processing instructions alongside it. These instructions are used to change the appearance of the photo when it’s displayed and can be applied permanently to a new ‘exported’ image.
Noiseless is a Mac-only noise reduction tool which works both as a standalone app and a plug in. It smooths out noise in high ISO images via a range of presets designed to tackle different kinds of noise. You can adjust the strength of the noise reduction and set the controls manually if you wish.
Camera makers use special noise reduction processing techniques to reduce the appearance of noise in photos, but the drawback is image softness and haziness and a kind of ‘watercolour’ effect where areas of fine, subtle detail are smudged beyond recognition. Bad noise reduction can do as much harm as image noise – or more.
Random ‘speckling’ in an image caused by variations in the light levels captured by the photosites on the sensor. Noise is worse with the smaller photosites on small sensors and at higher ISO settings generally. You can get ‘chroma’ (coloured) noise and ‘luminance’ noise (general ‘grittiness’) the same colour as the background.
A style of photography designed to reflect the dramatic, low-key lighting of Hollywood noir films. It can be achieved with lighting or, increasingly, with digital image effects which convert images to black and white, exaggerate contrast and often add grain and a vignette.
The most common type of rechargeable AA battery, and they’ve taken over from older, less efficient Ni-Cad batteries. NiMH batteries are inexpensive and often used in cheaper compact cameras, flashguns, battery grips and LED lights.
An important collection of plug-ins once published by Nik Software but then taken over by Google when it bought the company. Google has since made the Nik Collection free but has announced it will no longer be developing it, leaving its future in doubt.
Stands for Near Field Communication, a wireless transfer system that relies on very close contact between devices – sometimes you simply tap or touch the devices together to establish contact. It can be used for transferring photos from a camera to a compatible printer, for example.
A filter which reduces the amount of light passing through the lens or reaching the sensor without affecting it in any other way. It allows longer exposures in bright daylight (useful for creative blur effects) or controls bright light in a camera with limited exposure controls.
A control that’s practically universal on digital cameras. It’s a circular controller on the back of the camera with up/down/left/right buttons which can be used for positioning the autofocus point, menu navigation, camera settings and more.