Study these images abbreviations and quick monitor your understanding of cameras, capturing and printing, PDQ!

ISO, AWB, RGB…WTH?  What does all of it imply?  Studying to shoot, edit and print lovely pictures is tough sufficient with out the necessity to decipher the various acronyms and images abbreviations utilized by the business.  It feels a bit like falling into bowl of alphabet soup!

I hope this text may also help decode and decipher a number of the commonest abbreviations you may encounter in your method to turning into a tremendous photographer.  It isn’t meant to be an entire glossary of images phrases or present detailed explanations of all of those phrases.  Nevertheless it ought to outline them and offer you a place to begin for extra analysis!

Bookmark it for fast and straightforward reference!

What do the next stand for?


  • AE: auto publicity. This can be a digital camera’s automated system that determines and units publicity by altering the aperture, shutter velocity or ISO.
    AE-L: auto publicity lock.  Often used on a button or menu perform on a digital camera.
  • AF: AF stands for auto-focus. When utilizing the auto-focus, you’re letting the digital camera and lens discover focus as an alternative of manually adjusting it by way of the turning mechanism in your lens.  There are totally different sorts of auto-focus, AF-C and AF-S.
    • AF-C: AF-C is auto-focus steady. Additionally it is referred to as steady servo.  With AF-C your digital camera focuses on a topic however will proceed to refocus in your topic because it strikes, so long as your shutter button is held midway down.  Use AF-C when photographing shifting objects like sports activities video games, wildlife or fidgety toddlers.
    • AF-S: AF-S stands for auto-focus single. This implies the digital camera is locking the give attention to a stationary object.  You’ll be able to then hearth the shutter or recompose and take the shot.  AF-S is used to photograph topics that don’t transfer.  It’s typically utilized in portrait, panorama and nonetheless life images.
  • AF-L: auto focus lock. Often used on a button or menu perform on a digital camera.
  • ASP-C: Canon’s time period for his or her smallest digital camera sensors, or crop sensors. The sensor is 22.three×14.9mm giant.
  • AWB: Auto white stability. Enabling auto white stability lets your digital camera learn the sunshine temperature in a scene and modify its settings accordingly.  See WB: White stability under for extra info.


  • BBF: BBF is an acronym for again button focus. You possibly can customise many cameras now to make use of a button on the again of it to realize and lock focus as an alternative of holding your finger on the shutter midway down.  You’ll see this images abbreviation typically in discussions on focus or sharpness.
  • B&W: black and white.

Abbreviations and acronyms in photography


  • CA: Chromatic abrasion. CA is principally shade fringing, the discolored parts that seem alongside excessive distinction edges in a picture.  It’s also generally known as dispersion.
  • CC: Constructive criticism. Photographers will use this time period when they need different photographers to critique a picture.
  • CF: CompactFlash. This time period describes a reminiscence card with excessive capability and quick processing time.  It has nothing to do with the lighting type of flash.
  • CMYK: CMYK is an acryonym for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. That is the usual for the printing business.


  • DNG: DNG stands for digital unfavorable graphic, Adobe’s proprietary picture commonplace, created to retailer photographs in a generic, extremely suitable format. Some digital camera producers corresponding to Leica and Pentax have adopted this normal and use it for the uncooked picture information popping out of their cameras.  See the dialogue on RAW information under.
  • DOF: DOF means depth of area. It describes how a lot of your picture is in focus from entrance to again of your scene.  The dimensions of that zone is decided by your aperture, lens, digital camera and distance from digital camera to topic.
  • DPI: dots per inch, which means technically what number of printer dots per inch. Many photographers use this time period interchangeably with PPI, or pixels per inch, though they don’t seem to be truly the identical.  DPI is a printing time period, PPI is a digital decision time period.  You will notice DPI or PPI used when discussing find out how to export pictures for printing.
  • DSLR: digital single-lens reflex. In a DSLR digital camera physique, a mirror displays the sunshine coming in from the lens up into an optical viewfinder, often via a prism.  This is the reason you’ll be able to see what you’re capturing.  DSLR cameras work equally to 35mm cameras of previous, besides the picture is recorded digitally as an alternative of on movie.
  • DX: DX is Nikon’s identify for his or her smallest sensor. The DX is the smallest sensor of Nikon DSLR cameras at 24x16mm.  Additionally it is referred to as the crop-format.

Nonetheless not sure about depth of area?  See our in-depth rationalization of DOF!


  • EF: EF is brief for electro focus. That is Canon’s time period for lenses which have an inner focusing motor. Canon EF lenses are suitable with all Canon EOS cameras and are designed to cowl 35mm full-frame picture circle.
  • EF-M: Canon’s designation of lenses designed to be used on mirrorless cameras.
  • EF-S: Canon’s designation of lenses designed to be used on cameras with an ASP-C sensor, or crop format.
  • EOS: Eleoctro working system. That is Canon’s advertising time period for his or her auto-focusing system cameras and can be utilized to explain a mirrorless and DSLR digital camera.
  • Exif: exchangeable picture file format. Exif is one other normal.  It’s used to explain the format for sounds, pictures and digital tags utilized by digital cameras and scanners.  This knowledge accompanies your picture and tells the viewer issues about how the picture was shot, together with the shutter velocity, ISO, lens, digital camera model, aperture and extra.  Additionally, you will see it printed as EXIF.


  • FPS: Frames per second. That is what number of distinctive pictures a digital camera can report in a single second.
  • F-Cease: This time period is used to explain the numerical illustration of the dimensions of the aperture within the lens. This is called the focal quantity, additionally referred to as an f-stop, f standing for focal.  You’ll see f-stops expressed numerically like f/2.eight or f/5.6.
  • FX: FX refers to Nikon’s largest format. The Nikon FX is the most important sensor format of DSLR cameras at 36x24mm and most intently resembles a 35mm movie format.  It’s also referred to as full-frame.  Photographers use the time period full-frame to explain many model’s largest format digital camera, not simply Nikon.

Photography acronyms


  • HDR: excessive dynamic vary. In images this time period is most frequently used to explain a way that goals so as to add extra dynamic vary to a photograph, which means a much bigger vary of intensities of sunshine from shadows to spotlight.  In HDR processing, three or extra pictures taken at totally different exposures are mixed throughout submit processing.  Digital software program principally takes the perfect elements of every photograph and combines them into one picture.  The HDR picture then has a higher dynamic vary than any of the only pictures alone.  HDR photographs extra intently symbolize how a scene may seem to the human eye.
  • HSS: excessive velocity sync. This can be a time period utilized in flash images.  As an alternative of firing the flash firstly of the shot, HSS pulses the flash all through the shot.  Utilizing HSS permits photographers to shoot flash at larger shutter speeds than they might with normal strobes or speedlights.


  • IS: picture stabilization. This know-how compensates for digital camera shake (via mechanisms within the lens or the digital camera) permitting photographers to shoot at slower shutter speeds with out blur than when capturing handheld.  Every digital camera producer provides some kind of stabilization know-how.  The precise mechanisms, how they perform and what every is known as varies by producer.  Under are the most typical.
    • Canon – IS, picture stabilization
    • Pentax – SR, shake discount
    • Nikon – VR, vibration discount
    • Sigma – OS, optical stabilization
    • Sony – OSS, optical regular shot
    • Tamron – VC, vibration compensation
  • ISO: ISO is your digital camera’s sensitivity to mild. It truly stands for Worldwide Group of Standardization, though many trendy photographers don’t know that.  The Worldwide Group of Standardization was a governing physique chargeable for standardizing sensitivity scores for digital camera sensors (amongst different issues.  Up to now, the ISO has about 22,000 requirements throughout industries of all types).  Within the days of movie cameras, the ISO physique would price movie’s sensitivity to mild, giving it a velocity and ASA.  When the images world made the change to digital cameras, it retained the ISO normal to explain a digital sensor’s mild sensitivity.

Need to study extra about ISO and the way it impacts your photographs?  Click on right here!


  • JPEG: JPEG is a technique of compressing digital photographs. In images, JPEG most frequently describes a picture compressed based on a common commonplace.  Technically JPEG stands for Joint Photographics Professional Group, the physique that created the file-squashing format.  JPEG information often have the file extension .jpg or .jpeg.


  • Okay: Kelvin. In images, Kelvin is a measurement unit of the colour temperature of sunshine sources.  It’s usually expressed with a quantity, like 2000Okay.  The Kelvin scale ranges from 2000Okay to 9000Okay.


  • LR: Lightroom. Adobe Lightroom is a software program utilized by photographers to catalog and edit their photographs.


  • MF: guide focus.
  • MP: megapixel. 1 megapixel is equal to 1 million pixels.


  • NB: new child. Some photographers focus on photographing very younger infants.  In images boards, a photographer may as “Who else is a NB pro?”
  • ND: impartial density. In images, the time period ND describes filters that scale back the quantity of sunshine passing by way of them with out altering the hue, shade or polarization of the sunshine.
  • NR: noise discount. Noise in images refers to visible distortion in a picture.  Noise discount may be completed via software program in your digital camera or in post-production.



  • OCF: off digital camera flash. OCF makes use of speedlights or strobes not bodily hooked up to the digital camera by way of the on-board hotshoe.
  • OOF: out of focus.


  • Photog: photographer.
  • PPI: Pixels per inch. See additionally DPI.
  • PNG: PNG stands for Moveable Networks Graphic. It’s one other system of digital file compression, just like JPEG. In contrast to JPEGs, nevertheless, PNGs don’t lose high quality when they’re compressed.  A PNG file is bigger than its JPEG counterpart.  PNGs are used virtually solely on the internet and not in print.  The PNG format additionally permits a picture to retain a clear background.  The file extension is often written as .png.
  • Submit: brief for post-production, which means the work carried out to a picture or video after it has been recorded by the digital camera. Photographers often use this when referring to how a picture was edited by way of digital software program, as in “I adjusted the contrast and exposure in post.”
  • PS: Adobe Photoshop, the high-end digital photograph modifying software program.


  • RGB: Purple, inexperienced blue.  That is the system pc screens and digital camera LCD screens use to show colours.  Digital cameras document pictures within the RGB system.
  • RAW: Uncooked is just not technically an acronym or an abbreviation. Uncooked information are uncompressed and unedited, so named just because nothing had been completed them, just like uncooked meat earlier than it’s cooked, floor or in any other case reworked.  Photographers write the time period as each uncooked and RAW, the latter main individuals to consider it’s an acronym of some type.  Adobe, together with most digital camera producers, has its personal proprietary uncooked file format, expressed as a singular file extension.
    • Adobe – .DNG
    • Canon – .CR2
    • Nikon – .NEF
    • Sony – .ARW

Why shoot RAW?  We offer you all the professionals and cons!

   SD cards for photography


  • SD: Safe digital. Used to explain a kind of small reminiscence card used to retailer photographs and information.  Telephones, tables and some cameras just like the GoPro take very small SD playing cards referred to as micro-SD playing cards.  Reminiscence playing cards additionally are available SDHC (safe digital excessive capability) and SDXC (safe digital prolonged capability).  These phrases all describe the identical primary measurement and sort of reminiscence card however every is barely totally different.  Verify your digital camera’s guide to see what sort of reminiscence card it could actually use.
  • SOOC: straight out of digital camera. This implies a picture that has had no post-processing methods utilized to it.  In discussions, the time period SOOC discerns what methods are completed in digital camera vs. what methods are completed utilizing digital modifying software program.
  • SS: shutter velocity. That is the time between when your shutter opens and closes.  It’s expressed in seconds or fractions of a second, reminiscent of 5, three, 1, 1/200 or 1/1000.


  • TIFF: tagged picture file format. This file format is used for storing raster graphics and typically pictures.  TIFF information don’t lose high quality when compressed.  Photographers working  in Photoshop or between Photoshop and Lightroom use TIFF information.  Keep away from utilizing TIFFs due to their measurement.  Some printing homes would require photographers to submit their pictures as TIFFs for printing.  The file extension is .tif.
  • TOG: brief for photographer.
  • TTL: via the lens. This time period usually refers to a digital camera’s means to “talk” to the flash and change the flash output routinely based mostly on the supply of sunshine.  Consider it as auto-flash.


  • WB: White stability. White stability is the method of eradicating shade casts out of your photographs to make them look extra pure.


  • XQD: One other reminiscence card format. This format is the successor of CF playing cards.  XQD playing cards have very excessive speeds for studying and writing pictures.  Many very quick capturing cameras use XQD playing cards to report and retailer photographs.


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