Depth of field is the near to far sharpness in your pictures. A picture with shallow depth of field has only the main subject in focus, and everything in front of it and behind it is blurred. The opposite is a picture with deep depth of field, where everything is sharp from right up close […]
This is the physical size of the sensor, which is independent of the number of megapixels it has. Bigger sensors capture more light and produce sharper, clearer images with less noise. In fact sensor size is the single most important factor these days in a camera's picture quality – megapixels are mostly secondary.
Noise is the digital equivalent of grain in film. It’s random electrical signals captured by the photosites on the camera sensor, and usually this background noise level is so low compared to the brightness of the captured picture itself that you just don’t notice it. But if you start increasing the camera’s ISO setting, the […]
Lenses are always identified by their focal length. It’s not just a physical measurement, it’s an indication of the type of lens it is, for example, a wideangle lens, standard lens, telephoto and so on. In other words, the focal length of the lens gives you an indication of its angle of view. Or at […]
If all you want to do is take pictures and you don’t know much about cameras, the range of camera types on the market is bewildering. Even if you do know a bit about cameras, it’s not easy to weigh up one type against the other and make a decision about which to get. So […]
The aspect ratio of an image is the ratio of its width to its height. The larger the ratio, the ‘wider’ the image; the smaller the ratio, the ‘squarer’ the image. Digital camera sensors have their own ‘native’ aspect ratio, and this is generally tied in to the sensor size. The small 1/2.3-inch sensors or […]
There’s probably more talk about sensors in digital photography than anything else, so here’s a run-down on sensor basics and everything you need to know to make sense of the jargon. First of all, sensors are made using two types of chip technology. They’re often used in sensor descriptions so it makes sense to mention […]
In the days of film, it was well understood that the bigger the negative, the better the quality of the picture. The same is true with digital cameras, only here the ‘negative’ is the sensor. The larger the sensor size, the better (generally) the picture quality. Megapixels do confuse the issue somewhat because you can […]