This stands for AE (auto-exposure) and AF (autofocus) lock. Often it’s useful to fix the exposure settings and focus point ahead of taking a picture and on most cameras you can do this by half-pressing the shutter button, holding it in position, then reframing the picture. By default, the AE-L/AF-L button does the same, locking […]
A new service offered by Adobe where users can download and buy stock photography at attractive prices from within their Adobe apps. Photographers can also upload their images to the Adobe Stock library in the hope of earning money from image sales.
Software that works alongside Adobe Photoshop to open and process RAW files before they open in Photoshop itself. Adobe Camera Raw’s tools are also built into Adobe Lightroom. Most people use Adobe Camera Raw to process their RAW files simply because they’re using Photoshop or Lightroom, but other RAW converters are available.
An exposure mode on some Nikon digital cameras which balances up the exposure in high-contrast scenes. The camera reduces the exposure to make sure it captures bright highlight detail and then processes the image to brighten up dark shadows. It can be applied in different strength settings.
A small, simple and largely automated video camera (you can also shoot stills) designed to attach to a helmet, handlebars, surfboard or any other kind of object and provide dramatic first-person video of adventure sports and other activities. Almost all use fixed focal length super-wideangle lenses and shoot full HD video – some can shoot […]
This is a professional colour space offered by more advanced cameras and it captures a slightly wider range of colours than the usual sRGB colour space used by most consumer devices. It can be useful if pictures are destined for commercial print production, but it does introduce complications with colour profiles and monitor calibration.
A special type of layer in image-editing software which is designed to hold adjustments rather than other image layers. It’s a way of ‘stacking’ a series of adjustments to an image without affecting the image layer itself.
A tool used to ‘paint’ adjustments on to an image manually, and one of the key adjustment tools in Lightroom, for example. You may need to choose the adjustments you want to make, e.g. exposure, saturation, clarity and so on before you start painting although non-destructive photo editors let you make changes to these settings […]
Black and white film simulation mode added to newer Fujifilm cameras. It’s designed to give richer, more intense tonal rendition than the regular monochrome film simulation.
An auto-enhancement filter added to version 1.2 of MacPhun’s Luminar image-editing software. It uses artificial intelligents to break a picture down into a series of different areas and optimise the colour contrast and detail rendition in each. It’s an instant-fix filter with no controls except an Amount slider.
These are optical flaws produced by camera lenses and which are largely unavoidable except in the most expensive or the simplest lens designs. They include distortion, chromatic aberration (colour fringing), vignetting (corner shading) and edge softness. To find out more, see the Aberrations tag.
These are used rarely in digital cameras (except in some cheap point and shoot models) but used extensively in external flashguns and battery grips. Alkaline AAs will do in an emergency, but rechargeable NiMH batteries are more cost effective and last longer between charges.
These are photos which use 8 bits of data for each of the red, green and blue colour channels. This is enough to give over 16 million colours – more than enough for photographic images. The JPEG photos taken by digital cameras are 8-bit images.
The latest kind of image stabilisation technology, where the camera’s sensor can be tilted or shifted on 5 axes to counter a much wider range and types of movement than regular lens-based image stabilisers, and it’s a particular advantage for video, where these additional movements can pose problems during handheld filming. 5-axis stabilisation used in […]
The latest consumer video standard, with a horizontal resolution of 4,000 pixels or thereabouts. 4K video is appearing on an increasing number of cameras and even smartphones, and 4K TVs are gaining in popularity. Strictly speaking, the dimensions for 4K video are 4.096 x 2,160 pixels and the aspect ratio is slightly wider than the […]
This is the aspect ratio of full HD and 4K UHD video and it’s been widely adopted as the aspect ratio for domestic TVs and computer monitors. The 16:9 ratio means that the picture is 16 units wide by 9 units high. These units can be anything from pixels to centimetres to inches, but the […]
These are photos with 16 bits of data for each of the red, green and blue colour channels. These aren’t created directly by the camera, but you can generate 16-bit images from RAW files and they withstand heavy image manipulation better than regular 8-bit images. The file sizes are much larger, though, which puts more […]
A unique sensor size used by Canon in its PowerShot G1 X II.
The ‘bit depth’ of RAW files is a factor in the picture quality they can produce, so this is a selling point for advanced digital cameras. Some cheaper models can only shoot 12-bit RAW files, but while this sounds like a small difference, the extra bit depth potentially offers 4x the image data so 14-bit […]
A new sensor size roughly half way between the small sensors in point and shoot digital cameras and the much larger ones in digital SLRs and mirrorless cameras. It’s found in more advanced high-end compact cameras, and Nikon uses it for its Nikon 1 mirrorless cameras. It’s been adopted by a number of makers as […]